Participation Assignments

Weekly Participation (10%)

Class participation is required for everyone. This means you need to engage with the discussion in class each week. Participation means making a meaningful contribution to an ongoing discussion; simply attending class or nodding along as another student talks does not count as participation.

You have two free passes for the semester -- no explanation needed -- and of course you won't be penalized for a legitimate, excused absence (just drop me an email explaining what is happening, before class if possible). Each week of non-participation (beyond the two free passes and excused absences) will subtract a point from your class participation grade.

Student Shares (3 @ 5% each)

Due Sunday, Sept. 10, Oct. 8, and Nov. 19. Please post to the appropriate Student Share Discussion in Canvas. Length: minimum 50 words.

Three times during the semester, once for each course module, we will share examples of fun, interesting, or innovative examples of museums using technology to connect people and information.

  1. For our first Student Share (Digital Objects), due September 10, we will share examples of museums using information technologies to connect visitors with artifacts in and out of the museum.
  2. For our second Student Share (Digital Systems), due October 8, we will share examples of museums providing opportunities for individuals to interact with their collections through information systems.
  3. For our third and final Student Share (Digital Knowledge), due November 19, we will share examples of museums encouraging users of all types to become active participants in the creation of new knowledge centered around museum information resources.

To complete each Student Share assignment, find an example that you'd like to share with the class (preferably one that has not already been shared by someone else), and post your example to the correct discussion for each module in Canvas. Please include a brief description of the technology you selected, and explain why you picked this example and what you like about it (minimum 50 words). Be sure to include a link or a screenshot so that we can see what you have found and/or follow-up to learn more about your example!

Individual Assignments

Individual Assignment for Module 1: Digital Objects (25%)

Due Sunday, October 1. Please submit your assignment to the class Canvas site. Length: minimum 1000 words. Make sure your submission includes the name and number of the course, the instructor's name, YOUR NAME, the name of the assignment, and the date submitted.

This is an individual assignment that builds upon our readings and in-class discussions, and gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of how museums are using information technologies to connect visitors with museum artifacts in and out of the museum.

To complete this assignment, you'll use an open-source, web-publishing platform called Omeka (you'll get a login for our Omeka server in class) to create object records, including images, for five cultural or natural objects of your choice from your own personal collections.

You will catalogue those objects using museum metadata standards. By default, Omeka uses the Dublin Core for data entry (why?), with options for Extended Dublin Core available, but you should consider how you can use data content standards like CDWA, VRA Core, or Cataloging Cultural Objects, and data value standards like the Art and Architecture Thesaurus or other Getty Vocabularies to guide your content creation process.

When you have finished creating your five records on our class Omeka server, write and submit a paper to the class Canvas site covering the following points, in this order, using subheadings to separate each point:

  1. Provide a link to your five Omeka records (which should be appropriately tagged with your name or other identifying information).
  2. Describe the five objects you selected for this assignment, and identify the metadata standards you used to guide the process of documenting these objects, explaining why and how you used those standards while creating your records.
  3. Discuss any difficulties you encountered, decisions you had to make, or questions you had to answer while completing this assignment, and explain how you arrived at your solutions to these problems.
  4. Drawing upon your experiences completing this assignment as well as the assigned readings and class discussions over the past four weeks, examine the implications of what you have learned for museums using information technologies to connect visitors with museum artifacts. What best practices should museum professionals employ when creating digital objects? How can digital objects support new opportunities for interaction, outreach, and engagement? How will museums need to evolve to take advantage of these opportunities?

Individual Assignment for Module 2: Digital Systems (25%)

Due Sunday, October 29. Please submit your assignment to the class Canvas site. Length: minimum 1000 words. Make sure your submission includes the name and number of the course, the instructor's name, YOUR NAME, the name of the assignment, and the date submitted.

This is an individual assignment that builds upon our readings and in-class discussions, and gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of how museums are providing opportunities for individuals to interact with their collections through information systems.

To complete this assignment, you'll use an open-source, collections management system called CollectionSpace (you'll get a login for the server in class) to create museum cataloguing records, including images, for a single cultural or natural object of your choice from your own personal collections (this can be one of the same objects you used in the previous assignment, or a new object altogether).

You will first create a new record for your selected object in CollectionSpace (from scratch, making sure your name and the name and number of this course are clearly marked in the object record), then create an Acquisition Record, a Cataloguing Record, a Condition Record, a Media Handling Record, a Loan Out Record, and an Object Exit Record -- using appropriate standards and best practices along the way -- thereby simulating the process of accessioning a new object into a museum, filling out cataloguing and condition reports, sending the object out on loan, and finally deaccessioning the object from the museum, creating a report at each step along the way.

When you have finished creating your records on the CollectionSpace server, write and submit a paper to the class Canvas site covering the following points, in this order, using subheadings to separate each point:

  1. Provide a link to your collections management records in CollectionSpace (which should include your name or other identifying information).
  2. Describe the object you selected for this assignment, and identify the standards and best practices you used to guide the process of creating the collections management records for this object, explaining why and how you used those guidelines while creating your records.
  3. Discuss any difficulties you encountered, decisions you had to make, or questions you had to answer while completing this assignment, and explain how you arrived at your solutions to these problems.
  4. Drawing upon your experiences completing this assignment as well as the assigned readings and class discussions over the past four weeks, examine the implications of what you have learned for museums providing opportunities for individuals to interact with their collections through information systems. What best practices should museum professionals employ when working with collections management systems? How can museum information systems support new opportunities for interaction, outreach, and engagement? How will museums need to evolve to take advantage of these opportunities?

Individual Assignment for Module 3: Digital Knowledge (25%)

Due Sunday, December 10. Please submit your assignment to the class Canvas site. Length: minimum 1000 words. Make sure your submission includes the name and number of the course, the instructor's name, YOUR NAME, the name of the assignment, and the date submitted.

This is an individual assignment that builds upon our readings and in-class discussions, and gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge of how museums are encouraging users of all types to become active participants in the creation of new knowledge centered around museum information resources.

To complete this assignment, you'll select a publicly available crowdsourcing application either developed or made available by a museum that encourages you to add your knowledge to a set of information records, and then contribute your knowledge to five information resources (broadly defined, as appropriate to your application) as instructed by the system you have selected.

The specific details of your contributions will naturally vary depending on the application you have selected, but your goal should be to contribute sufficient information to this resource for you to develop a good understanding of how your selected crowdsourcing application works, how your contributions will be used (in theory at least), and why the users of this system would want to contribute their knowledge to this resource.

When you have completed your contributions to your selected museum crowdsourcing application, write and submit a paper to the class Canvas site covering the following points, in this order, using subheadings to separate each point:

  1. Provide a link to your contributions (if it's not possible to link directly to your contributions, please include screenshots showing your work).
  2. Describe the contributions you made to this crowdsourcing application, and identify any resources you used to guide your data entry process, explaining why and how you used those resources while contributing your knowledge.
  3. Discuss any difficulties you encountered, decisions you had to make, or questions you had to answer while completing this assignment, and explain how you arrived at your solutions to these problems.
  4. Drawing upon your experiences completing this assignment as well as the assigned readings and class discussions over the past four weeks, examine the implications of what you have learned for museums encouraging users of all types to become active participants in the creation of new knowledge centered around museum information resources. What best practices should museum professionals employ when involving museum visitors in the co-creation of digital knowledge? How can social computing technologies and crowdsourcing applications support new opportunities for interaction, outreach, and engagement? How will museums need to evolve to take advantage of these opportunities?

Notes on Individual Assignments

Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (EDT or EST, as appropriate) on the dates indicated above. Late assignments will not receive full credit. If you have extenuating circumstances, please contact me ASAP before the due date.

When the papers are marked, points will be assigned based on the assumption that you have carefully followed, read, and understood the assignment descriptions. Please do not hesitate to ask for clarifications!

Assignments should be submitted to Canvas as an individual file (PDF preferred), and please make sure your surname is part of the filename.

All submissions must include a title page (or section) listing the name and number of the course, the name of the instructor, YOUR NAME, the name of the assignment, and the date you submitted the assignment.

You are required to use headings and subheadings to make the organization of your paper clear to the reader. The main headings in your paper must correspond to the main sections of the assignment descriptions, listed above. Subdivide each section to reflect its content as necessary.

Papers must be demonstrably spell-checked, grammar-checked, and proofread for nonsense; failure to do so will result in a lower grade.