I was not sure what to expect when I signed up for this class, no idea what I was getting myself into-all I knew was this would be a very different seminar. I am happy to say I learned alot about making history digital and about Fredericksburg through all of the other projects in class.
1. Top three things I liked about the class structure:
a. As difficult as it was to set-up deadlines for ourselves I really enjoyed the contracts and creating our own timelines for the projects. It was easier to show our personal strengths and weaknesses than with a regular class where we would be graded based on the professor’s criteria.
b. I enjoyed all of the time for in-class meetings, we did not have to listen to a lecture and then scramble to figure out when everyone was available to do work, we were able to communicate and be productive in class. I feel it made the work that goes into a group project better.
c. Although I dreaded presentations every week starting week 6, I found by the time we went to the symposium it was not hard at all to discuss a product I was very proud of. While the Images group did a few presentations on the side, I felt confident in presenting what we had created but I do think the class could count as a speaking intensive course.
2. Top three things I would change:
a. Being called out as the trouble-maker group 😉 haha kidding, that is one statement I am very proud of. I would not have all of the information sessions from dtlt at the beginning of the semester, I would spread them out.
b. Along with spreading out the sessions, I would take a poll to see which resources each group wanted to use so sessions could be dedicated specifically to omeka for example. I know the three groups that used omeka had quite a few questions, so if we had more in class time on that.
c. I would not change anything else!!
3. Project topics:
a. One on Aug. Wash -which that could be the name of the school being built by Quantico…I am not sure of an actual topic but something not as text-based. I feel that digital history has changed the way I learn about it, and we should have more charts, pictures, videos, oral history, maps, timelines, online to illustrate how history has changed -if I wanted to read text I would grab the book, but it is nice to have a good text reference online for research/databases. (especially the ones created in our class)
b. A topic I might try would be the evolution of Mary Washington, while the Images group showed students over the years and the expansion, people do not really understand all of the traditions the school has and some people still think it is an all female college.
4. Advice for future students:
Do not go into the class with any expectations, “expect the unexpected” and let some of the sources you find lead you down paths that may stray from your contract.
Some of the most interesting stories and information we found were from one on one discussions with alumni reflecting on their years at Mary Washington, and while we did not know we would attend alumni events or know we would be in their newsletter when we wrote our contract it turned out to be more rewarding to go down those paths than just research in a yearbook. Thank you for a great semester! 🙂