To answer Dr. McClurken’s questions…
1) 3 things I liked about the class:
-I liked the freedom we had to develop our projectafter being given an idea, not something that was already spelled out and left no room for creativity.
-I liked that we had to work in teams. While it was not always smooth going, this project, I felt, was a good idea of what it would be like in a job having to work with other people to accomplish something.
-I liked the balance between group meetings and class discussion.
2) 3 things I might would change:
-I think switching back and forth between the 10-15 minute presentations and 5 minute presentations was hard to jump between. Rather than give a long one then a short one, I feel it might be better to have every group give about 6-8 minute presentations every week. That way everyone gets a chance to talk and give a little insight into what their assigned tasks were for the week, issues, etc.
-Maybe earlier in the semester talking generally about ways to publicize our sites and get the word out there that these sites are for use by the general public, not just a class project.
-Ok, so only two things I would change – overall definitely a different class
I really think that my comfort level has grown over the course of the semester in working with primary materials. I’ve never been super comfortable around them and have always preferred secondary sources. I think, working so closely with these primary materials is important to help students become more aware of their value and to have a more thorough look at the past. I think any topic where students as a group can delve into a set of papers or images or objects or diaries, etc. and work specificly with primary sources and draw out their value in a website would be great. Focusing on a specific person like Mary Washington or someone who has a connection to our university or Fredericksburg is a great way to get in touch with the local community. Primary source-wise, any president or person with a lot of correspondence would be really cool to learn more about.
Plan, plan, plan! ahead! I really appreciated the fact that our group pushed ourselves to be done ahead of schedule, so that way when we ran into a ton of issues and got back-logged, we still weren’t late with any deadlines that mattered.
Also, communication is key. Keep talking to your group members, keep in touch with mentors and with Dr. McClurken with issues, otherwise deadlines will creep up on you and you’ll realize that you have run out of time to do anything.