Report- Thinking Critically

The Report:   Topic 2: Micro-work and Uni   IMPORTANT: This is only an imaginary scenario set in a very near future:   University students are contacted by message or email and offered micro-work online which is available when they want it, through a new phone app the university itself promotes and installs when students enrol. It integrates a student’s timetable and then pushes messages to them a short time after they finish a class, telling them what microwork on the web is available. Interested students log in directly through a university portal to private internet company EZ-Task-Boss, which can direct them to short online jobs – which are paid very badly (everyone admits) but have a sort of ‘convenience’ because they are available 24/7. The universities, in partnership with EZ-Task-Boss, receive a very small bonus fee for each student completing a microwork task. Students that have passed a literacy test can do basic editing. Others screen through and edit images loaded onto social media sites. Some clean up scanned forms or look for errors in code. Students have their pay for work directly credited to their student loan account – each small job taking a little off their debt. They can look on their phone at their Boss-Tab screen, and see the running total climb with each new unit they enrol in, and gradually fall with each small micro-task accomplished.   Critics of the new work scheme say it is a terrible confusion of study and work, which might motivate some students to neglect their studies in favour of picking up more and more small jobs, chiselling away at their debt. They also say that universities should not be messing with their core task, which is education, and governments should not be partnering universities with private companies.   The government has commented that companies like EZ are “helping young people to recognize the debt they owe society for their education, and helping fund universities!”. An opposition party rejects that: “society has a duty to educate students – they are our future; we should invest in them.”   The universities in the EZ-group say it is ‘incentivising’ students to realistically connect work and studies and offer immediate means to deal with their debt. One university mentions that five of their graduates have since joined EZ as software developers, and they have some interesting ideas for high schools …   Should the app and the work program be banned? Why or why not?         Your Report: You are writing a report explaining the issue to a small community group. You are the only person who has studied the issue at university in your favourite unit – Thinking Critically about Texts and Society! And that makes you confident you can untangle the different interests and values and discuss the issue.   [You must] Use the main reading for this topic (Webster, ‘Micro-workers’) and/or something (one or two more items) from the short list in the Report-Micro-work section in the vUWS Reading List to help define any terms or issues.     The Report: 1000 words total. Word document, double space or space and a half, put references in a references list at the end. Research using at least two items; one of them can be the main reading from the relevant week. Use APA referencing   Deadline is extended for all students to Sunday September 20th 5 PM   SET OUT YOUR REPORT USING THE FORMAT BELOW: Name, Title, then the Bolded Section subtitles  – Section 1) Interests …. Section 2) Principles and values etc.   Read what each section is asking you to do         Student Name and student number:     Case Study title: (come up with a title of your own for the topic)   Section 1) Interests: What are the different interests or ‘stakeholders’ in this problem? List the different groups and their interests or ‘stakes’ in the problem. What do they want? (about 200 words)   Section 2) Principles and values: Show how the different interest groups might have different principles in thinking about the issue. Which are economic, which are ethical, and which are more political. (about 2-300 words)   Section 3) Discussion: Explain the contrasting or conflicting perspectives. Define any important terms or concepts relevant to the issue. Look at the different options for reaching a resolution. Can some compromise work or not? (about 4-500 words)   Section 4) Your brief recommendation – what do you think should happen? And why? (about 100 words)   Reference List:

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