Personal Learning Repository in Omeka.net; exhibit building assignment

In my HIST2809, Historian’s Craft this term, I’ve been asking for students to maintain a repository of their learning using Omeka.net. Every time we do an assignment or an exercise, that work is meant to go into their repository. The final exercise in the course is to build an exhibit of their learning progress. Here is the assignment prompt; I thought folks might be interested.

Omeka is not just for storing items. It is also for exhibiting them. Exhibits are built around the idea that you are telling a story with these items. You will have collected many different items over the course of this term.

Your exhibit should tell the story of your learning in HIST2809.

Help in building the exhibit is available here. An example of an exhibit built by a student at Carleton is ‘Black History in Canada

Your exhibit should:

  • be built around at least five items, including your assignment 1 & 2 originals
  • incorporate (either copy or link to) 2 items from SOMEBODY ELSE’S Omeka repository, providing citation to the original item location (see the forum at the top of cuLearn for the URLs to other people’s repositories)
  • link outwards to at least three other sites or sources (eg an item in a library catalogue, public zotero page, Wordle, Voyant Tools corpus, existing online exhibit, photo gallery… etc).

The point of this exercise is:

  1. To learn how to make an exhibit in Omeka, which is an industry standard in cultural heritage circles.
  2. To see how the assumptions built into the platform constrain or enable various kinds of storytelling. ALL digital resources have assumptions about how the world should work built into them, from Google to JSTOR to the Digital Public Library of America. Working inside Omeka.net gives you a glimpse of how these things work from the creator, rather than consumer, side.
  3. To learn how to analyze digital sources as we would any other source

WHAT YOU WILL SUBMIT:

1. A 500 – 1000 word reflection that analyzes your exhibit under PAPER headings, with the URL to your exhibit, with a final section discussing your process in building the exhibit.

We will be grading this document, not the exhibit itself.

So: have a title page with your name on it, your exhibit title, and the direct URL to that exhibit.

Then, for the reflection/analysis, discuss your exhibit AS IF you were considering it as a primary resource, explicitly using the PAPER headings.

You will tell us about

  • your purpose (obviously, you want to tell us about the evolution of your learning, but you might have other goals, too, that are expressed through careful use of colour, or … ),
  • your argument (the way you arrange things, force particular paths through the material, or…),
  • presuppositions (your worldview as it pertains to the role/value of digital work, perhaps; you might feel that this is a waste of time, or you might love playing and learning with digital tools; or you might be ok with digital but see them as mere tools whereas someone else might think of them more like paint & clay, as things to create with: how does that effect what you’ve done or reflect within it?),
  • epistemology (what has been chosen? what has been left out? why? to what end?)
  • and of course, related…

(The ‘R’ part might be the hardest: read, cite, and consider your exhibition in the light of this article http://dare.uva.nl/document/215092 Jose van Dijck, Search Engines and the production of academic knowledge. International Journal of Cultural Studies,13(6):574–592.)

  • INCLUDE a final section that tells us about the problems/potentials you experienced in building this assignment. In what ways does Omeka lean towards particular kinds of stories or paths through material? Does this matter?

A rubric will be provided. The balance of points will be towards your reflection/analysis, rather than the aesthetics of your exhibit.

-> You could have a bare-bones, ugly, exhibit: that would be perfectly ok. We’re not grading on aesthetics. But aesthetics do make a difference for the visitor to your site- an analysis of a bare-bones, ugly exhibit would need to reflect on what that design choice does, for the visitor, in terms of your purpose, argument…

I certainly want you to be thinking especially carefully about the ways ‘argument’, ‘epistemology’, and ‘related’ are reflected in your exhibit.

 

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