Exams


Assignment Goals

In this assignment we will examine the main themes, concepts and arguments found in Science and Technology Studies (STS). The goals of this assignment are:

    • To pose, refine and answer questions on issues related to science, technology and society;
    • To examine closely conceptions of, and consequences regarding, science, technology and society given the particular arguments and methods available in STS;
    • To practice a timed exam.

Exam Overview

The exam follows the model of comprehensive exams found in many graduate programs in the humanities and social sciences.

Exam questions will be based on any and all of:

    • The course readings—the readings assigned for in-class discussion;
    • The postings to the wiki — question forums, keywords, syntheses;
    • The class presentations.
    • The exam questions you propose.

Mid-Term Exam

For the mid-term exam you are responsible for the assigned in-class course readings (not the recommended resources), the postings to the wiki—question forums, keywords, syntheses—and class presentations listed on the course calendar from 25 August to 6 October.

By no later than noon on Friday, October 9, please post three to five questions you would like to answer to the Exam Question Bank page on the wiki. Using our discretion we may, or may not, use selected questions in whole, or in part, on the exam.

Your exam will consist of four questions. Please choose two questions on which to write.

You may use books, articles, and notes in taking the exam. You may not consult other people, or the Internet, regarding exam questions. Work to maintain equal quality and depth of analysis in your answers to each of the questions. We want to hear your voice in order to assess your command of the readings and ideas addressed to the course to this point.

Each answer may not exceed 1500 words. Please include a word count with each answer. If you feel you have answered fully one question in fewer than 1500 words, you may use the remaining balance of words in the other answer. Your answers to both questions may not exceed 3000 words.

The greatest risk you face lies in producing answers that are too terse, elliptical or hew closely to a single set of concerns. While showing range, be as thorough as you can within the constraints of the 1500-word limit per answer. Please begin your response with the verbatim statement of the question. (Just copy and paste your chosen question to the top of the answer page. Do not include the words in the question in your word count.)

You will be sent the exam by noon Wednesday, October 14. Please take no fewer than 48 hours to complete the exam and no longer than 60 hours to complete the exam. The absolute deadline for the exam is midnight, Friday, October 16.

Blacksburg students will send their exams to Sonja (sschmid@vt.edu) as a document (.docx or .doc) attachment.

National Capital Region students will their exams to Jim (jim.collier@vt.edu) as a document (.docx or .doc) attachment.

End-of-Term Exam

For the end-of-term exam you are responsible for the primary course readings (not the recommended resources), the postings to the wiki—question forums, keywords, syntheses—and class presentations listed on the course calendar from 13 October to 8 December.

By no later than noon on Friday, December 4, please post three to five questions you would like to answer to the Exam Question Bank page on the wiki. Using our discretion we may, or may not, use selected questions in whole, or in part, on the exam.

Your exam will consist of four questions. Please choose two questions on which to write.

You may use books, articles, and notes in taking the exam. You may not consult other people, or the Internet, regarding exam questions. Work to maintain equal quality and depth of analysis in your answers to each of the questions. We want to hear your voice in order to assess your command of the readings and ideas addressed to the course to this point.

Each answer may not exceed 1500 words. Please include a word count with each answer. If you feel you have answered fully one question in fewer than 1500 words, you may use the remaining balance of words in the other answer. Your answers to both questions may not exceed 3000 words.

The greatest risk you face lies in producing answers that are too terse, elliptical or hew closely to a single set of concerns. While showing range, be as thorough as you can within the constraints of the 1500-word limit per answer. Please begin your response with the verbatim statement of the question. (Just copy and paste your chosen question to the top of the answer page. Do not include the words in the question in your word count.)

Please take no fewer than 48 hours to complete the exam, and no longer than 60 hours to complete the exam, from the time you receive it.

National Capital Region students will send their exams to Sonja (sschmid@vt.edu) as a document (.docx or .doc) attachment.

Blacksburg students will their exams to Jim (jim.collier@vt.edu) as a document (.docx or .doc) attachment.

Introduction to STS