Digital History: Civil War Fredericksburg

Looking Back at the Semester

April 26th, 2010 by Megan Mc · No Comments

The top three things I liked about the structure of the class.
1. I liked the freedom of creating the design and the content of the site ourselves. The general topic was given to us but once we were given that it was up to the group to decide to make the site, whether it be an archive or interpretation site. This made it different from every other seminar class where you read a book a week and discuss.
2. The amount of technical tools and information at the beginning was overwhelming but it helped a lot. I feel like even that early in the semester we had somewhat an idea what tools would be useful for our projects so we were able to narrow our focus on those specifically.
3. I like the groups being assigned by Dr. M rather than getting to pick who’s in our groups. I would’ve loved to be in the same group as my suitemate but this way we both learned a lot about both our projects.

The top three things I would change about the structure of the class.
1. I liked the idea of keeping the class up to date with weekly presentations, however, I felt like I would prefer a 10-15 minute presentation by a group every other week. There were times when we would present something in our short presentation and then pretty much repeat the same thing in the longer presentation just to make that long enough. So two groups like Mary Wash and Civil War would do a 10 minute presentation 1 week, then the next week the other two would give their 10 minutes presentations.
2.I know a couple groups had problems with the map groups but I liked working with the map group. But, perhaps we should meet with them a little sooner so that their maps don’t arrive last minute. However, I know this has to work with Dr. Hanna’s syllabus as well.
3.Um, nothing?

Possible projects for future classes.
1.Perhaps something on Fielding Lewis and Washington’s sister. Or Hugh Mercer. I think those would be really interesting.
2. This might be a biased because I’m in the Civil War group but another project on something about the Civil War in Fredericksburg.

Advice for future students.
1. One word: Communicate. I don’t care how you do it e-mail, google doc, google wave, texting, calling, skyping, or facebook. But keep in contact with your group.
2. Be willing to compromise you’re in a group project after all.
3. Play around with the tools they show you, and wordpress and omeka. Make sure you want to use omeka before you start working on the project. About halfway through the semester my group and I were getting a little frustrated with how little we could change the look of omeka.

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