Course Procedures & Materials
The class was held in a computer classroom with one computer per student, plus an instructor’s computer/projector setup. As shown on the course calendar, class time was divided more or less equally between sessions focusing on traditional in-class activities – brief lectures, whole-class discussion, and group work centering around the four core literary texts studies in the class -- and in-class work on and presentation of Omeka/Neatline items and exhibits.
After reading and discussing each of the four core texts, students brainstormed a list of important spaces and places in the text, and identified larger areas and subareas into which those space/places could be grouped. Students then signed up for area/subarea groups according to their interests, and decided which members of the group would work on specific spaces/ places. Each student located at least one primary document relevant to his/her chosen space or place, and, following the directions on the item assignment/worksheet, created an Omeka item based on the document.
Groups then worked together to fill out an exhibit worksheet for their assigned area, writing synthetic area and subarea introductions, adding quotations from core texts to individual items, and determining where dots representing items, subareas, and areas should be placed. The instructor created the exhibits following these directions, groups presented their work to the class, and then had an opportunity for revisions and corrections.
Final exam questions drew on the Omeka/Neatline items and exhibits, asking students to incorporate references to specific items and exhibits into essays analyzing specific aspects of at least two of the core texts studied.