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Sustainability Team 2 - Proposal Draft

Page history last edited by wikiuser0005 14 years, 2 months ago

DATE: 3/21/2010

TO: Dr. Julie Staggers

FROM: Ana, Kyle, Dawn, Nathan, Amnon

SUBJECT: Sustainability Team 2 – Research Proposal


Our group will review the possibilities of using digital versions of college text available for students’ use. The prospect of such a proposal raises questions involving costs, how to prevent negative environmental impact, and the preference for students and faculty in such an idea.


Primary Research Questions


Cost of E-text vs. Hard Copy

Our research will primarily focus on the costs related to having e-versions of college text compared to the traditional hard copies. Average costs of hard copies for an average full-time student will be compared to similar costs for pre-existing e-versions of similar text offered by the same publishers supported by UNLV or other publishers. We will look into the costs and technical requirements of the needed electronic hardware. Online versions of college text will also be compared to ownership of digital text. Finally, the aspect of ‘online pirating’ will also be looked into.


Preventing Negative Environmental Impact of E-Text vs. Hard Copy

As we know, paper is much easier to recycle than electronic devices. However, in this modern age of information and computers, ownership of some type of electronic capable of displaying text is highly common. If a Kindle-like reader becomes widely used, the possibility of selling those readers to other users exists to prevent the possibility of electronic devices becoming waste that is harmful to the environment. This could become a new way of selling books to other students. The costs of refurbishing and repairing electronic devices such as laptops, netbooks, and e-readers will be researched to find ways of preventing these devices to enter public landfills. Costs of these refurbished items will also be researched, since most refurbished/repaired electronics generally sell for a lower price than a newly manufactured product.


Students’ Preference and Faculty Preference

Of course, if there is no one to support this idea, then the research going into it will become almost for nothing. The simplest way to find out if people are for or against this proposal would be to simply ask them, preferably on campus. This would perhaps be “sold” to them if we gather our research on the previous topics before setting out and doing small surveys of the student and faculty bodies.


Potential Problems

• The price of a Kindle™ starts at $200.  The University, even in the best of fiscal circumstances, could not be expected to bear this cost.  Students are stereotypically short on money.  The arrangement would have to be cost effective for a massive cross-section of the student body and acceptable to organizations such as the Department of Veterans Affairs that provide funding for individual students.


• There are several older students who are barely computer savvy. How would this affect them? They are taking basic computer classes to get used to technology. Would this not affect their ability to take classes effectively?  






Schedule of Tasks


Task 1


Team Formation/Project Selection









Task 2











Task 3











Task 4


Peer/Instructor Review









Task 5


Progress Report









Task 6


Recommendation Report









Task 7


Peer/Instructor Review 2









Task 8


Final Report/Project Due











Project Week #:











Semester Week #:
















Name                                              In Charge of (Tentative, Will Change)

Kyle Anders                                                Proposal

Ana Patrnogich-arieli                                  Research

Nathan Douglas                                          Progress Report

Amnon Rosenberg                                      Recommendation Report

Dawn Girard                                               Gantt Chart, Audience Profiles, Final Report



Conclusion & Request for Approval


Research Sources & Strategies


Comments (5)

wikiuser0005 said

at 7:13 pm on Mar 21, 2010


Jennifer Smith said

at 8:34 pm on Mar 21, 2010

Ok guys...would anyone be so kind as to help me/us/group 1 with a pretty chart like yours?? =) I can't for the life of me figure it out!!! Thanks!

Richard Wood said

at 9:23 pm on Mar 21, 2010

Jennifer, have you looked at the Excel sheet I attached to our group page? It can be further modified, but basically it's the same thing as the one above. We can embed it as an image. The one above is an HTML table, which is easy enough to do, but with Excel it's easier to quickly modify.

julie.staggers@unlv.edu said

at 5:07 pm on Mar 24, 2010

Hey Team 2 -- if you have folks working on this tonight, you can get a jump start by taking a look at my comments on Team 1's proposal draft (also in this week -- it looks like you all have been working back and forth). Anything I said to them about research questions (primary and secondary) and research methods (primary and secondary) will apply to you guys, too. You might be putting the cart before the horse here in terms of your research/questions. You've started with a solution in mind rather than a problem in mind. You'll want a primary research question that states your problem as a researchable question (How can UNLV reduce the cost of textbooks for students? How can UNLV reduce waste/environmental impacts associated with textbooks?) A question like that leads you to do research that helps you discover an answer or range of answers; as you're set up know you're doing research to support your conclusion without having considered a range of options. That doesn't mean you can't make an argument for replacing paper with digital, but you'll also want to consider the other possibilities (what those are depends on how you frame your main question.)

julie.staggers@unlv.edu said

at 5:18 pm on Mar 24, 2010

Aacck... re that last post... Also in this wiki (not "also in this week" - my fingers type phonetically :( )

You might want to take a look at the Group 1 draft as a model for your introduction and background sections. You'll want an intro that establishes and defines the problem (what's the problem? who is it a problem for? who has the power to fix it? why is it worth fixing?)

Try breaking out your research questions and your methods and being more specific. If your research question is "Do students and faculty prefer e-text to paper-text" instead of a general discussion about "we could ask some people" give me specifics. "We plan to administer a survey to 100 students in the union on Tuesday. The survey will ask these questions...."

The methods section should include your primary research question and your secondary research question. It should describe in pretty concrete detail how you will answer each question.

Its okay to address potential objections to the project from the targetr audience, but you also need to address specific problems you'll have with the project logistics (getting information, getting work done) and with team dynamics. For example, "we don't really know the best way to do a survey," "Kyle can only work if he's hearing Hawaiian ukelele music but ukelel music gives Ana the hives. Nathan has a new baby and hasn't had any sleep for three weeks (yeah, Nathan).

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