Home About Schedule Project Presentation & Paper

Group Project: The course is organized around teamwork. Students will work in groups of three people to produce a web-site dealing with the issues raised in the course. This web-sites can include multimedia elements such as pictures and video-clips. However, credit will primarily be awarded for clear presentation, good writing, powerful story telling, selection of evidence and the coherent presentation of interesting arguments.

In the first week of class, fill in the individual information form, and return it via paper or email.

Project groups will be assigned in consultation with the students. Start thinking about a topic as soon as possible. You will need to consult with me before finalizing it.

Breakdown of Marks:

Project marks will be assigned as follows.

bullet30% for quality of research. This is a research project. That means footnotes, citations, going to the library, ordering books specially, reading old newspapers, and that kind of thing. Do not rely exclusively on amateur websites, and use all materially skeptically. Make sure you have a good range of sources of different types.
bullet20% for quality of writing. Write clearly, directly. Proofread carefully. Have an overall argument, and make sure the thing holds together as a site rather than just a collection of pages.
bullet20% for the final presentation.
bullet15% for integration with the themes of the course. This doesn't mean you need to write exactly what you think I want to hear, or drop mentions to the course readings where they don't belong. But the project must address some of the big themes of the course. (The themes page and the timeline will help with this).
bullet15% for intelligent use of the Web. Everything that makes this more than just a term paper on line. Note that this does NOT mean that you need Flash animations, big graphics, etc. -- more that you put thought into the overall design, structure and so on. More of these marks

Generally speaking, everyone in a group will get the same mark. But, sometimes some members of the group put in much more effort than others, and it is clear to them that other members are free-riders. You will have an opportunity at the end of the project to recommend what you as an individual think is a fair distribution of the overall group mark between the different individuals. In the past, this has led to substantial adjustments of marks for a small number of people.

Hints on Teamwork

Teamwork is great when it works, and horrible when it doesn't. There are things you can do to make it work better.

bulletTreat your fellow team members with respect. Don't always insist on getting your own way. Be vocal and give your opinions at the planning stage, but listen and learn from others and go along with the team consensus. Don't argue about the little things.
bulletWork sensibly on a single topic -- put the site together as a whole. Splitting a bit topic into separate areas and having each team member create a separate area of the site is not a good strategy -- you'll finish up with a very patchy result.
bulletDifferent people are good at different things. If one of you is much better at web layout, and another is much better at research, then play to those strengths. Don't assume that everyone has to take part equally in each activity. You are not in competition with each other.
bulletHave whoever is best at writing and editing go over the whole thing before you put it online.

What NOT to Do:

Here are some mistakes students have made previously. Learn from them.

bulletPut all the effort into a fancy graphic design. Look at the credit breakdown. Great visual design is not going to push up the overall mark by more than a few percent. Worry more about layout and navigation, and worry most of all about quality of research.
bulletAdapt all the content from an existing website. This shows.
bulletNot bother showing up to meetings with your teammates. They will hit you hard in the credit breakdown, and you will deserve it.
bulletThink of it like a homepage. When you put up your own amateur website you can write whatever you want, you don't need to do original research, your opinions don't need to be separated from your evidence, and you don't need to cite sources. This isn't a home page -- it's a formal research project that is being put on the web instead of paper.
bulletLeave it until the last minute.

Group Assignments:

Group 1: Title TBA    Project TBA

bulletRoss Freedman
bulletGregory W. Johnson
bulletLeif G. Person

Group 2: Title TBA    Project TBA

bulletRussell B McPherson
bulletRussell D. Mink
bulletPace Carter

Group 3: Title TBA    Project TBA

bulletJoseph Z. Gazza
bulletMichael L. Ungerer
bulletDavid C. Hauser

Page copyright Thomas Haigh -- email    Home: Updated 01/18/2002.