Past Projects

NANCY O’CONNELL (2013): https://waynepoulsen.wordpress.com

JIM POLKA (2014): https://comstockbaseball.wordpress.com/

ARIENE MACLEAN (2014): https://skahren23.wordpress.com/

JEFF BEST (2013): https://highrollers48.wordpress.com

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Syllabus

Overview

This course offers the background and technological skills to produce web-based historical information. It also seeks to expand our understanding of the historian’s role in the context of the contemporary information revolution, considering a multitude of economic and community alternatives for students and scholars of history given the current and ever-changing technological possibilities.

Students will learn how to research, organize and present in-depth historical information on the internet not only for libraries, museums, schools and other public access institutions for public consumption, but also for private purchasers such as businesses, non-profits, government organizations, and private individuals and families, for the purposes of planning, development, publicity, genealogies, etc. They will develop skills in historical research including oral history; in website design; and in videography. They will also explore a variety of contemporary models for the production and consumption of historical information on the web including commercial, non-profit, and government databases, and public history, journalistic and other websites.

They will conclude the course with a demonstration of the skills they have gained by laying the foundations for a web-based community outreach project with the potential for full development in History 499. No prerequisites.

Required Books:

  • A Pocket Guide to Writing in History, 8th, Mary Lynn Rompolla
  • Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web, Cohen and Rosenzweig – also available online at http://chnm.gmu.edu/digitalhistory/index.php

Materials:

Internet and platform access; technological tools such as digital recorders, video cameras, etc. These will all be provided by the university. Students should provide flash drive for storage.

 

Grading:

Students will be graded on documentary source collection, writing skills, website technology and design, and videography (including oral history). All deadlines and assignments prior to the final website will constitute half of your final grade (50%). The final website will constitute the other half (50%). No late assignments will be accepted without medical excuses.

Key Deadlines (50%):

Week 03 – 2/04 – Project Proposal Due

Week 07 – 3/03 – All Sources Due

Week 08 – 3/08 – Outline, Storyboard, and One Page Due

Week 09 – 3/17 – All Videography Materials Due (Except Editing)

Week 11 – 3/29 – First Draft Website Due

Week 13 – 4/14 – Videography First-Round Edits Due

Week 14 – 4/21 – Second Draft Website Due

Week 16 – 5/03 – Final Project Due

 

Attendance:

Attendance to each and every class is absolutely mandatory. Every absence beyond three will result in your final course grade being lowered by one half of a letter grade. (A to A-; B+ to B; B to B-; B- to C+).

Student Learning Outcomes:

Students will be able to

  • read, interpret, and analyze primary source texts with attention to content, historical and cultural context, genre, and language
  • demonstrate familiarity with the various modes of thought, interpretation, and analysis in historical writing
  • create a digital project that conveys an historical argument and demonstrates best practices in the digital humanities

Schedule of Classes:

 

Week 1

1/19 – Syllabus and Course Introduction (Church)

1/21 – Discovering and Writing History (Church)

Week 2

1/26 – UNR Special Collections (Curtis)

  • Pocket Guide, 3a, 3c, 3d, 3e, 24-28;31-44

1/28 – UNR Census Data (Aldrich; Pascutiu) and Online Archival Materials (Church)

  • Pocket Guide, “Writing a Research Paper,” 82-102

Week 3

2/02 – Videography and Documentary Film-Making I (Gandalfo; Fergus) – DML

2/04 – Working with Oral Sources (Watson)

Professor out of town (AEAS)

PROJECT PROPOSAL DUE!!!

Week 4

2/09 – Videography and Documentary Film-Making II (Gandalfo; Fergus) – DML

2/11 – Working With Written Sources (Church)

  • Pocket Guide, “Plagiarism,” 103-109
  • Pocket Guide, “Quoting and Documenting Sources,” 111-149

Week 5

2/16 – Working with Digital Sources and Copyright (Ragains)

  • Stim, Getting Permission, “Intro” and “Releases” (ARES)

2/18 – Videography and Documentary Film-Making III (Gandalfo; Fergus) – DML

Week 6

2/23 – Goals of Public History (Watson) and Digital History (Church)

2/25 – Introduction to web design concepts and WordPress (York)

Week 7

3/01 – Afghan Project (Ragains)

3/03 – From Essay to Website: the Importance of Outlines and Mockups (Church)

  • Pocket Guide, “Following Conventions of Writing in History,” 51-80

SOURCES DUE!!!

Week 8

3/08 – WordPress Organization and Best Practices (York; Church)

OUTLINE, STORYBOARD, and ONE PAGE DUE!!!

3/10 – WordPress Media, Design, Layout (York, Church)

Week 9

3/15 – Videography and Documentary Film-Making IV (Gandalfo; Fergus) – DML

3/17 – Videography and Documentary Film-Making V (Gandalfo; Fergus) – DML

VIDEOGRAPHY MATERIALS DUE!!!

Week 10

3/22 –   SPRING

3/24             BREAK

 

Week 11

3/29 – Presenting Historical Sources Online (Curtis)

FIRST DRAFT OF WEBSITE DUE!!!

3/31 – Web Design Workshop (Church)

Week 12

4/05 – Videography Editing Workshop (Gandalfo; Fergus) – DML

4/07 – Videography Editing Workshop (Gandalfo; Fergus) – DML

Professor out of town (OAH)

Week 13

4/12 – Web Design Workshop (Church)

4/14 – Web Design Workshop (Church)

VIDEOGRAPHY FIRST-ROUND EDITS DUE!!!

Week 14

4/19 – Evaluating Digital History Projects (Church)

4/21 – Peer-Review of Projects

  • Pocket Guide, “Plagiarism,” 103-109

SECOND DRAFT OF WEBSITE DUE!!!

Week 15

4/26 – Technical Workshop (All Instructors) – DML

4/28 – Technical Workshop (All Instructors) – DML

Week 16

5/03 – What is (Digital) History Revisited

FINAL PROJECT DUE @ MIDNIGHT!!!

 

EXAM: Presentation of Project during Scheduled Final Exam Time

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