A more detailed step-by-step guide to the projects will be distributed later in term. All assignments will be completed online so no paper copies are necessary.

Quick Guide to length:

  • HCommons profile: 300 words + multimedia/accounts
  • Weekly practical exercises will vary
  • Peer feedback 300 words x 4 (2 per term)
  • Project Updates:
    • Blogs 500 words x 4
    • Tweets (≈200 characters x 4) x 4 times
  • Leading Seminar Preview Post 500 words x 2 (one per term)
  • Omeka Catalogue Entry ≈ 2000 words (from exercises)
  • Research Presentation 15 mins ≈ 2,000 words
  • Digital Exhibition ≈ 3000 words

Classroom Components

Participation. All students are expected to have read and assimilated the material for discussion each week – take written notes or make online annotations on to organize your thoughts. You will assign to yourself a mark for your degree of involvement (subject to oversight; see sheet). Your participation mark will be determined both by the frequency of your attendance (10%) and the degree of your involvement (10%).
In the first and second term, you must meet with the professor to discuss your weekly assignments and your progress towards the larger project. You are encouraged to arrange a meeting with the professor individually around the middle of each term, but specific classes will also be set aside near the end of term for this specific purpose.
Additional bonus points (up to 5% of final grade) may be awarded for organization or attendance of talks or events outside of class time.
Leading Seminar. Each student will be responsible for leading the seminar once per term (i.e. be that week’s expert, introducing the assigned readings, digital tools etc. to the seminar as a whole). The “seminar leader” must publish one week in advance a blog poston the course websiteto identify, without overly summarizing, the main points and overall significance of the texts. In addition to a brief personal reflection, seminar leaders will be expected to post guiding questions for their assigned class. We will maintain a sign-up sheet online to keep track of each week’s leader(s) as a shared online spreadsheet.
Research Presentations. In the last weeks of the second term, students will offer concise, well-prepared formal presentations of their work (15 mins), explaining how they developed their research and what its impact is on our general understanding of the history of the medieval book. The topics of the presentation will be the same as the topic of the Digital Exhibition (see below), though organized in the most attractive and logical fashion for an oral presentation.

Written Components

Humanities Commons Profile. Students must create a complete profile on https://hcommons.orgaccording to the instructions laid out on the course Gitbook.
Practical exercises. Most weeks we will spend some time in class showing students how to complete some practical exercises (such as transcription) and using select digital tools. Usually, this work will be required to be finished on your own time afterwards. In the first term, this practical work will be digital (e.g. signing up for accounts, exploring twitter etc.) and codicological (you will be working each week with the same medieval folio. At the end of each week (Sunday evenings), your work needs to be recorded in a markdown file on the medieval book Github. This weekly work will contribute key information and text for your final work each term. So long as you complete the work each week, your final projects will be easy to complete. You can imagine this as weekly “homework” needing to be done each week in addition to reading and thinking about the readings.
In future iterations of this class, we should use Trello to keep track of work getting done and not getting done.
Project Updates. This is a catch-all term to describe blog posts (4) and burst of tweets (minimum of 4 tweets x 4 times) students must complete to reflect on the class readings or describe the ongoing process of digitizing manuscripts. Tweets/ blog posts can:
  • deal critically (i.e. thoughtfully) with the readings, note important points you took away from them, how they relate to other readings/ your other blog posts
  • discuss your work process, frustrations with the course/ tools we’re using, rant about how hard transcribing a language you don’t know…
  • use it as a way to engage further with ideas that other students have expressed in class, or in previous blog posts, or discuss thoughts that came to you unexpectedly from Twitter etc.
  • If you’re publicly releasing pictures of anything but the manuscripts (i.e. other students) you need to secure their permission beforehand.
Your profile, practical exercises and project updates will be assessed according to a simplified marking rubric:
0% = unsatisfactory/ incomplete 70% = satisfactory 100% = exceptional
Omeka Catalogue Entry. At the end of the first term, students will need to put together the work completed each week on their chosen medieval folio into a single detailed catalogue entry in Omeka. In essence, you need to demonstrate your ability to describe your folio (marshalling evidence/ bibliography for your assessment) as well as offer a transcription of the text. Much of the work that you do for weekly exercises will be a component of the information necessary for this assignment.
Digital Exhibit. Students will create or collaborate on a “digital exhibit” at the end of second term. Students are encouraged to use the “Exhibition” feature on Omeka, but can also create something on Github, Humanities Commons or another platform of their choosing (after discussing it with the professor).