High Impact Assignment for Web Analytics

Learning Objectives for Web Analytics:

  • Implement strategies to drive traffic to a web site via link building, social media, viral content, paid advertising.
  • Write appropriately for users to find their web site through search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo!, Ask).
  • Layout and design web pages to drive traffic through a web site to lead to an appropriate conversion
  • Get search engines to index pages and send traffic to a website.
  • Analyze where the traffic is coming from, who their users are, and the successes and failures to gain traffic and convert visitors.

The Project:
I will be splitting the class into groups for an in-depth research project. Each group will examine a particular website and come up with a strategy to improve its SEO/SEM strategy.

The Big Idea behind the project:
Derive and articulate a strategy for implementing SEO/SEM for a particular website.

  1. Each group will choose a site they think needs SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) help.
  2. They will discuss amongst themselves (both in class and out) what strategies they will propose. I will emphasize that they need to take certain roles in order to capture the work being done.
  3. The groups will then interview people who fall within the target demographic of their site to see if their proposed changes will make a difference
  4. They will produce a written report (which will be shared with the class via Open Lab) as well as an oral presentation to be given in class. The oral presentation will be 7-10 minutes in length, giving each team member some time to present a part of the findings.
The learning objectives:
  • Review and learn current SEO and SEM techniques
  • Learn how to apply these techniques in an appropriate manner to real-life cases
  • Learn how to gather evidence through research and interviews
  • Learn how to work within a group
  • Present findings and conclusions to a client in a professional and well-reasoned manner
The assessment:
  • I will use a rubric to grade the individual student on the project’s learning objectives.
  • I will also give the group a cumulative grade on the written report and oral presentation.


Safecracker Deluxe

In “Safecracker meets Safecracker,” Feynman displays his characteristic jocularity: the fellow just genuinely loved to poke good-natured holes in widely-held but erroneous beliefs. He details his deep research into the technology and logic of everyday locks, revealing his tricks and methods along the way. He is doing what anyone could do, if determined and thorough enough. He also details the way people see locks, showing how we can become falsely secure (no pun intended) in our preconceived notions.

It took me a while to see that Feynman was not making fun of other people’s ignorance. At first I found him just so damned smug I could barely stand it. But slowly, as the stories progressed, I came to realize that I had judged him based on my own set of untested notions: I had literally judged his book by its cover blurb.

His drive is actually altruistic at the very bottom of it all: people are mistaken in their belief that their documents are secure, and he can prove it well before anything dire occurs. The fact that he reveals the weaknesses of the security system at Los Alamos in a humorous way is just Feynman’s method for making the lesson more palatable and memorable. What it all revealed for me was that as an educator, I can weave my small lessons into the living conversation I am having with my students. I can and must make these exercises come alive for them in ways that are relevant to them. That alone will reveal how approachable and possible learning and achievement actually are.