Extra Credit Opportunities

Opportunities to earn extra credit will be offered throughout the semester. These may include additional tutorials, workshop attendance, attending a digital humanities related lecture, etc. Opportunities will be made visible in the #general channel of Slack and the Events page of the DH@MSU website (digitalhumanities.msu.edu/calendar/events). A few opportunities will be listed here.

In order to earn extra credit, you must attend one of these events (or another one that you get approval for in advance) and write up 4-5 sentences elaborating on something you learned during the event. Direct message your write up to me in Slack.

Each extra credit activity you do will add 0.5% to your overall grade for the semester. You may earn up to 3% total in extra credit.

Ideas for extra credit opportunities for Fall 2022

  • Do a DH Tutorial
    • Select a tutorial from Miriam Posner’s website (http://miriamposner.com/blog/tutorials-ive-written/) and do it. When you have finished, message me in Slack with 2 screenshots from your progress during the lesson, and share your experience of what you learned (and/or struggled with) in at least 4 sentences.
  • Programming Historian Lesson
    • Explore the lessons available at Programming Historian (https://programminghistorian.org/en/lessons/) and go through one of them, following along with the lesson. When you have finished, message me in Slack with 2 screenshots from your progress during the lesson, and share your experience of what you learned (and/or struggled with) in at least 4 sentences.
    • Note: Some of these lessons are relatively advanced and might involve coding.
  • Attend DH-related virtual events
    • MSU and non-MSU
  • Watch DH lectures and presentations
    • From the Global Digital Humanities Symposium (make sure to watch at least 30 minutes worth of ‘content’ – so, 2 15 min presentations, or, say, 4 lightning talks)
      One of the Distinguished Lectures given at MSU over the past few years
    • From the Building Digital Humanities Conference (from Nov 2022) – recordings of panels are linked next to the panel info in the program
    • A lecture about visualization from Johanna Drucker as part of the Susan Hockey Lecture Series as University College London
    • Other options are available – if you find something you want to watch, message me in Slack, and I can give you the go-ahead.
  • Co-Work & Extra Help Time for Final Projects
  • Meeting with MSU Libraries Reference Services
    • Go to the reference desk at the Main Library (it’s around the corner from the Circulation Desk) or get in touch with a librarian via email or chat and get help from a librarian in conducting research for your final project. They will be adept at helping you to find scholarly sources which are key for background and context on your topics.
    • Note, you can also setup an appointment with a librarian who has a specialty in the area of research you are exploring instead of just going to the Reference Desk and speaking to whoever happens to be there at the moment.
    • After you meet with the librarian, message me in Slack, explaining what sources you found with the librarian and in ~4 sentences (or more) what new research strategies you learned.

Reflection Essay (12/16)

5% of your overall class grade

Turn in the essay to me as a direct message on Slack by 5pm on Friday, December 16. You can turn it in as a pdf, Word doc, or Google Doc link.

In at least 1000 words reflect on the experience of the class as a whole, and especially about the final project. What did you learn from the experience of creating a research project from scratch? The essay should be written as paragraphs in a narrative format, incorporating the questions below (meaning: it should not be a bulleted document going over each question).

This essay is meant to be relatively informal. I am interested in hearing what your experience of the class and of the project and encourage you to take this time to consider how it went for you and to share what you learned, including what you learned about yourself.

The reflection should address all of the following (these are the required questions). Make sure to illustrate claims with specific examples from the project (including from your own experiences with and reactions to this project):

  • What aspect of the final project did you find most intellectually interesting? Why? How might this choice reflect something about you or what you value?
  • Was this type of assignment new to you? How did you feel about needing to make your own choices about finding data and selecting tools?
  • Explain what advice you would give someone on at least ONE of the following topics, and explain your reasons using your experience with this project (and your prior knowledge as well, if you want): 
    • How to collaborate as an effective team; what to do and what to avoid
    • How to improve your research skills or how to make sure your research is very helpful to the project at hand
    • How to be creative/how to be willing to take creative risks
  • Share one moment or aspect of this class (at any point during, or throughout the semester) that you found memorable. Whether it was something that came up in discussion that stuck with you, an approach to learning that you liked (or disliked), or something that you think you will take away into the future.

In addition, optionally, the reflection may address any/all of the following if you find that these questions deepen or enhance your reflection:

  • What did you find most challenging about this project? How did you work to address these challenges? What knowledge would you offer someone about this particular kind of challenge?
  • What did you find most surprising in the course of completing this project? Why did you find it surprising – were your initial assumptions challenged in some way?
  • Analyze your own reaction to something that you found out or experienced in the course — something that excited you, something that you felt very negatively about, etc. How do you think your reaction reveals something about you? 
  • Did the class and/or final project change how you think about any particular topic or issue? Why?
  • Is there anything else about your experience with the class and/or project you want to talk about that you can use to shed light on some topic? 

Grading rubric

The essay:

  • Is thoughtful in considering the experience of the class and final project
  • Is specific with examples in answering the prompts
  • Presents coherent writing with minimal to no grammatical errors
  • Meets the minimum length requirement of 1000 words (going over 1000 words is absolutely fine, anything more than 2000 words is likely to lose coherence and effectiveness)
  • Answers the minimum required question prompts

Project Critique Essay (10/28)

15% of your overall class grade

After using the digital project evaluation template for the past five weeks, you are expected to be familiar with the process of exploring and analyzing digital projects as you encounter them.

For this Project Critique, you will be given three digital projects as options, and you will analyze ONE project. Use the project evaluation template as a guide. You can either structure your essay as a traditional essay, or you can use the evaluation template structure to answer each question in the evaluation individually. The key here is to be as thorough as possible, especially in your analysis of the effectiveness, success, and shortcomings of the project AND its underlying materials/data. Regardless of the structure you use, the critique as a whole should be a minimum of 1000 words (excluding the prompts etc).

Submit it as a pdf or Word doc in Slack as a direct message to Kristen by the beginning of class on October 28. Don’t forget to insert your name, the title of the project, and the project’s URL at the top of the document and to rename the file to include your name.

Grading Rubric

A successful essay:

  • Addresses all of the prompts/sections of the project evaluation template
  • Meets the minimum length requirement of 1000 words
  • Is thorough in its investigation of who is behind the project and where it comes from
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the underlying materials and/or data behind the project
  • Shows a nuanced view of the project’s successes and failures

Project Critiques

Each Critique counts as 4% of your grade. There are 5 Critiques, totaling 20% of your overall grade in the class.

Digital Humanities projects come in many forms, rely on a wide array of data types, and involve any manner of technologies. In these assignments, you will critically examine the goals, methods, and materials behind DH projects. Becoming accustomed to navigating a project site and exploring how each project approached its data, process, and presentation is a crucial skill for this class.

The Project Evaluation Template includes descriptions for each of the sections and question prompts. Be as thorough in your responses as you can. We will go over the template and discuss the sections during class.

Choose a project to evaluate from the list below, and fill out the Project Evaluation Template as best you can. Make a copy of the Template, rename it to include your last name, and fill it out, being sure to respond to each section. Don’t forget to insert your name, the title of the project, and the project’s URL at the top of the document. Submit it as a pdf or Word doc in Slack as a direct message to me by the beginning of class. If you thoroughly complete the template, then you will receive full credit for this assignment. Partially completed critiques will lose points.

Projects available for critique:

Leading Class Discussion

5% of your overall class grade

During the first two weeks of class, you will sign up (or be assigned) a class session later in the semester during which you will help lead discussion. The discussion portion of each class will be around 40 minutes long. In order to successfully lead class discussion, you will need to:

  • Send 3 discussion questions, prompts, and/or activities to me via Slack by 10am the day BEFORE the class you are leading (or earlier). These materials should be created by you individually/on your own.
  • Confer with any fellow students who are also leading class that day to come up with a plan. You should share your discussion questions with each other and decide if you want to facilitate an activity or exercise to get discussion rolling, how you want to prompt the class to speak, etc.
  • Come to class prepared to speak about the readings, including about specific quotes or sections that you found especially inspiring, challenging, or surprising.

This guide on how you lead class discussions, from Carleton College, has tips and other helpful insights.

Grading Rubric

A successful class discussion will involve:

  • Preparing questions/activities in advance and submitting them on time
  • Clearly having a plan for the discussion time
  • Patiently encouraging the class to share their thoughts, insights, and perspectives on the assigned readings and materials
  • Creatively moving the conversation along, either if it peters out or if it gets too far off track