At the semester’s end, students will be required to build an online multi-media exhibit inspired by their assigned Dickinson College class (due Saturday, 12/17 by 5pm either posted at course site or with exterior link emailed). Exhibits may approach the topic from almost any perspective, but students should detail their plans in a proposal sent by email to Prof. Pinsker no later than Wednesday, December 7th. Exhibits should incorporate at least some revised work from earlier in the semester, including research journal entries and historical thinking essays, but now in a format designed for engaging public presentation. The goal of the exhibit should be to offer high school or undergraduate classrooms an effective and thought-provoking vehicle for studying some aspect nineteenth-century American culture.
History (n.) is the study of past human behavior in the context of its times from the evidence that remains. (By Matthew Pinsker)
- Students may build their exhibits inside the course site, or at their own free website platform (such as WordPress, Weebly or Wix).
- WordPress sample: 204 Test Example
- WordPress model: Lincoln and War Powers
- WordPress model: Unofficial Guide to Spielberg’s Lincoln
- WordPress model: Daniel Anthony of Kansas
- Weebly model: Race for the White House, 1864
- Weebly model: Poetry of Lincoln
- Weebly model: A. Lincoln, a Funny Man?
- Wix model: Change or Stay the Course?
- Wix model: Lincoln’s Anger
- At minimum, each website should cover three broad areas:
—Context on the assigned class (revised journal entries, data visualizations, etc.)
—A featured multi-media exhibit (video, podcast, timeline, etc.)
—Historical Thinking section (revised essays, interactive exercises, etc.)
- Also, each website should include a brief About section that includes information about the author and also about the project’s objectives and its intended audience
- Each website should also consider including at least one image-based exhibit with captions, one custom-made map or timeline (using free platforms such as Google Maps, Timeline JS or Storymap), and one embedded multi-media effort, such as a short video documentary or a well-produced podcast. However, it is not required to have all three.
- All exhibits must acknowledge and properly credit their sources. The best exhibits will provide well-written and well-produced multi-media content that illustrates an important nineteenth-century theme or topic and inspires high-level historical thinking. Please take care to use public domain components and to follow fair use guidelines when approaching copyrighted materials.
- Projects may incorporate multi-media content (such as maps, videos or podcasts) from other sources, but they must be properly acknowledged and credited to avoid any confusion over authorship
- Late projects will be penalized 5 points per day. Make sure to communicate with Prof. Pinsker by email if you are in danger of missing the deadline.
Featured Multi-Media Examples
- Understanding Lincoln grad student projects
- Undergrad close reading video: Schauffler 2015
- Undergrad map: McKelvey 2011
Special Tips for Video Production
- Remember, you must sign up for YouTube or Vimeo and upload your video to those free cloud-based services FIRST (with video sharing set to public) before embedding your video at your web platform. If using our WordPress site, also please remember that you must only try embedding in the TEXT tab (not the Visual tab) and that you won’t see the video unless you switch to Preview mode.
- General tips for Ken Burns-style documentary filmmaking:
- Always open with a title page, and whenever possible, with some public domain music
- The key to voice over narration with still images is to have good, clear audio and a narrator with strong pacing and a conversational style. Make sure to take care with your recording devices and sound environment (watch echo!) and feel free to consult or record with the LIS specialists at Bosler.
- Also critical for the success of your video will be images. Make sure they are high resolution, and be creative in cropping, framing and using tools such as pan & zoom, in order to create a sense of engagement. Remember, you need to make quick cuts (about every 4 to 6 seconds) while still connecting images to the voice-over.
- Documentary short films don’t need thesis statements, but they do need a coherent point-of-view and careful attention to narrative storytelling. Try to outline your project with a storyboard (i.e. converting your text into a visual outline with accompanying images).
- Finally, make sure your images, music and sound effects are in the public domain and properly credited at the end of your video.