Battle Projects

Battle Projects (Due Monday, May 7 by 5pm)

Objective

Students will build an online multi-media teaching exhibit analyzing a battle, combat engagement or episode in US military history.  Exhibits should build directly from the narrative research papers  submitted on April 23.  Late exhibits will be penalized up to 5 points per day.

Main Guidelines

    • Students should build their online exhibits in the free platform Weebly and email a public URL to Prof. Pinsker by December 11th.

  • Weebly sites should incorporate revised text from the April 23 research paper as well as introduce various new multi-media elements, such as self-produced image slideshows, maps, timelines, videos or podcasts.  See various video tutorials below.
  • All projects should continue to use a variety of primary and secondary sources, covering at least three types of perspectives:  American forces, enemy forces, and civilians.  Good projects will cover the essential chronology of the battle, but will also provide wide-ranging historical context that includes an explanation of how this story illustrates the evolving “American way of war.”  Online exhibits, however, can experiment with different ways to present this context or to recreate the sensation of three dimensional views.  Online teaching exhibits can also exercise more creativity in framing a thesis statement or interpretative framework.  You may want to organize your project around an essential question.
  • Students may use multi-media elements produced by external sources, but these elements must be clearly labeled and properly credited.  All exhibits must fully acknowledge and properly credit all of their sources wherever they appear.  Credits may take the form of abbreviated citations (Courtesy of Library of Congress), but note that they should usually be supplemented with explanatory captions (Abraham Lincoln, 1847)
  • This exhibit will count for half of the final exhibit grade (or 20% of the overall course grade).
  • Exhibits will be evaluated on the basis of research effort, analysis and presentation quality (which includes both prose and design). The best exhibits will provide well-written and well-produced multi-media content designed to help classroom teachers and students understand a particular battle or engagement in the context of US military history.

 General Advice

  • Websites can be successful with either an interpretive thesis or an essential question.
  • Keep your design simple, thinking carefully about how audiences will navigate the site. But take advantage of the online platform to bring to life your topic with engaging visual and other multi-media elements, especially ones that can highlight primary sources or historical sites.  Check out these models:
    1. Mary Dillon’s Carlisle (Rachel Morgan)
    2. Discovering Joshua Lippincott (Amanda Donoghue)
    3. Richard McAllister, Fugitive Slave Commissioner (Cooper Wingert)
  • Allow extra time to produce these multi-media elements. Pay careful attention to production values such as audio or image quality. Always remember that professional quality display demands acute sensitivity to detail.

Special Reminders

  • Home page text should be very concise and effective in setting out the objectives of the website or online teaching exhibit
  • Always include a brief About section (or page) that provides information about the author and also about the project’s objectives and its intended audience
  • Citation format can be more flexible on a website than a traditional paper.  Students might consider hyperlinking primary sources and citing only secondary sources, for example, either with Chicago-style footnotes or parenthetical citations (with a Sources Consulted page)
  • Students may receive significant technical assistance on multi-media elements, including even help with manning cameras or supervising audio / video editing production, but they should acknowledge all such help.
  • Make sure your site is published to the web but discourage search engines from indexing to protect your privacy.
  • All exhibits must acknowledge and properly credit their sources. Please take care to use public domain components and to follow fair use guidelines when approaching copyrighted materials.
  • Make sure to communicate with Prof. Pinsker by email if you are in danger of missing the deadline.

Tutorials