Major Assignments

In-class Practicum Exercises (20)

These assignments will be completed in class, and in cooperation with two of your classmates. During our fifteen weeks together, we will have practicum exercises for ten weeks. Generally, the exercises will follow a pattern that consists of experimentation with the tool on Tuesday, and the use of that tool to create some new knowledge related to immigration history and your research questions on Thursday. While you will do this work collaboratively with your classmates by helping each other to understand the ways that the tools work and the ways that they help to inform our understanding of the past, you each will be responsible for producing some individual evidence of practicum work for each activity (Tuesday and Thursday).

Reflective Blog Posts (10)

By Friday of each week in which there are practicum activities, you will be responsible for writing a 500 word blog post on your site. In these blog posts you should reflect upon the connection between digital methods and our understanding of history, in this case immigration history. You may want consider answer the question following questions: What do I know now about doing history that I did not know before I used this approach? What new questions do I have after doing this activity? What questions remain unanswered? What would I do differently next time?

Mid-term Examination

On October 17, 2013, you will take a 30 multiple-choice question mid-term. This examination will include all of the technical material that have covered up to this point in the course, and it will serve as proof of mastery of many of the core elements of the General Education Information Technology Requirements. You will be required to provide your own scantron form for the examination.

Digital History Project

The culminating assignment for the semester will be a digital history project that you will build using the web publishing platform. This project will allow you to explore a research question about immigration history while also demonstrating your ability to effectively use a range of digital tools to aid your historical analysis and to communicate your findings to a larger audience.

The penultimate version of the project will be due the week of December 3, 2013. That week, in conjunction with your Digital History Project group members, you will make a presentation about you work and the ways that it intersects with the other members in your group.

The final version of the project will be due on December 16, 2013, which is the assigned to the course for a final exam. (There will be no final examination.)

Each digital history project should contain the following items:

  1. site with 6 to 8 primary sources in a range of types. The sources should be fully described using both Dublin Core and Item Type metadata.
  2. At least one exhibit within that site that answers you research question. The exhibit should draw on evidence from the primary sources within the site and other key secondary literature from the field of immigration history. In total, the exhibit should include 2,000-2,500 words of well-crafted prose that offers your original argument in answer to your question. All use of secondary material should be fully documented using the Chicago Manual of Style for footnotes.
  3. The inclusion of at least one interactive map within the exhibit or the site more broadly. You should offer an interpretation for how the map helps answer your research question.
  4. The inclusion of at least one data visualization within the exhibit or the site more broadly. You should offer an interpretation for how the visualization helps answer your research question.
  5. The inclusion of at least one large-scale textual analysis within the exhibit or the site more broadly. You should offer an interpretation for how the analysis helps answer your research question.
  6. A comprehensive bibliography for the secondary sources informing your work.
  7. An “about” page that offers a reflection on the research question and your rationale for organizing the site the way that you did.

Group work

You will receive a grade on your contributions to the group work, both on the practicums and on the digital history project. This grade will be based on two elements: your self-evaluation of your contributions over the semester, and on the evaluations offered by group members of one another.

  • Practicum Group (3 members)
  • Digital History Project Group (6 members)