HIS 218: Introduction to Digital History

Professor Charles Evans
syllabus/home page

Contact information

E-mail: cevans@nvcc.edu or charles.t.evans@gmail.com
Office phone: 703.948.7701
My college home page: www.ctevans.net/College.html
My history projects: www.ctevans.net/
NOVA Online telephone: 703.323.3347 (1.888.435.6822)

Introduction

In this course, we will examine some of the major developments in the practice of history in the past decade or so, and study the methods, theories and practices of digital history. There are current and emerging digital technologies that are changing the time-honored methods of doing history, and those are what we will be studying. Some topics and issues that will be look at include: (1) different kinds of digital expression used by historians, (2) the impact of social media and web 2.0 tools on the discipline of history, (3) some basic website creation and design issues, (4) teaching and learning issues regarding digital tools, and (5) conceptual issues regarding the use of historical artifacts. There are a number of assignments in the course, including a student project centered on the creation of a digital history resource using primary source materials. More formally, I might say that:

This course will explore the development of the field of digital history and examine the impact of digital media on the research, writing, teaching and presentation of history.  It also introduces students to issues in digital history such as copyright, intellectual property, information abundance, and how the web has changed the relationship between historians and their audience.  Students will also learn how digital tools and resources are enabling new methods of historical analysis and presentation.

Textbook

Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and, Presenting the Past on the Web, by Dan Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig. Although this "text" was written quite a few years ago, Roy was one of the earliest pioneers in the field of digital history. Way back in 1994, his unique, hypertext history "textbook," Who Built America, appeared (coauthored by Stephen Brier and Joshua Brown). This was an innovative attempt to combine text, video, audio and images in a digital, hypertext format. Roy was also the founder of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. There are some alternative textbooks that we will take a look at in the course.

Course general purpose

This course will explore the development of the field of digital history and examine the impact of digital media on the research, writing, teaching and presentation of history. It also introduces students to issues in digital history such as copyright, intellectual property, information abundance, and how the web has changed the relationship between historians and their audience. Students will also learn how digital tools and resources are enabling new methods of historical analysis and presentation.

Course objectives

Upon completing the course, the student will be able to:

Course prerequisites and expectations

Course drop, withdrawal and incomplete policies

Proviso about the course and permanence in the digital world

Things change fast in the digital world, and this syllabus can change pretty quickly too. I try and keep up with software and tools as they appear, but sometimes I miss things. Please send me any changes/additions that you think would be useful to the course topics and schedule.

Course videos

You can find the videos for the course units on ItunesU for NVCC (look for HIS 295) or on YouTube. These can also change as I add more materials or alter assignments.

Course grading

Course grades are based on the following point scale:

Make sure that you check the very IMPORTANT Explanation of Assignments and Grading, which has information about grading in the course. There are Special Course Grading Requirements that you must meet to successfully pass the course.

Tentative schedule

For fall 2018, this is the class schedule:

For summer 2018, this is the class schedule:

For spring 2018, this is the class schedule:

Extra credit

Late work

There are specific assignment deadlines in this course, and these are listed on the course schedule. You may submit any of the course required assignments late, but the maximum point value will then be reduced by one-half. You may not take a required midterm or final exam late.

Submitting assignments

You must submit all of your assignments and extra credit through Blackboard. See the Submitting Assignments in Your NOVA Online History Course instructions.  (No more than one item per calendar day will be accepted.) Feedback on your work will be posted to the Blackboard gradebook, usually within 24-48 hours. You should follow the same directions if you are resubmitting an assignment.

When you have any questions about the course or your assignments or when you want to send a draft of an assignment for informal feedback, please contact your instructor by email using your student email account.

Using Blackboard

Blackboard is used to support the course. Please review the information on Using Blackboard for instructions on assignment submission, online discussions, exams and your gradebook.

Contacting your instructor

Find your instructor's name and contact information at the top of this page and also when you log into your course on Blackboard. If you have any communication problems, please contact Professor Charles Evans, cevans@nvcc.edu.

Plagiarism, cheating and student conduct

NOVA does not tolerate academic dishonesty. As outlined in more detail in The Student Handbook, academic dishonesty can include, but is not limited to, cheating on an exam or quiz and submitting work that is not your own (plagiarism). Because faculty members share a responsibility for a student’s education and the value of a NOVA degree, they seek to prevent unethical behavior and, when necessary, respond to infringements of academic integrity. Penalties can include a failing grade on an assignment, a failing grade in the course, suspension, or expulsion from the college. Procedures for disciplinary measures and appeals are outlined in the NOVA Student Handbook.

Please make sure that you read the course policy on plagiarism and cheating. You are expected to abide by the student conduct provisions of the college's student handbook, and it is expected that you will be courteous in all conversations and assignments in this course.

Blue Separator Bar

Disabilities and accommodation

NOVA is committed to ensuring all students have an opportunity to pursue a college education regardless of the presence or absence of a disability. Information on NOVA’s Disability Support Services, including how to reach a Disability Services Counselor, can be found at www.nvcc.edu/disability-services/index.html. If you have a MoA, then it must be presented to your instructor during unit 1 of the course so that any accommodations can be worked out.

NOVACares

During your time at NOVA, you may experience challenges including struggles with academics, finances, or your personal well-being. NOVA has support resources available. Please visit www.nvcc.edu/novacares if you are seeking resources and support or if you are worried about a friend or classmate

Financial aid

Students receiving financial aid are expected to attend and complete all classes. Withdrawing from a class can dramatically impact your financial aid status and may require repayment. To understand the impact of withdrawing from a course please review pages 13-17 of the Financial Aid Handbook.

Emergency preparedness

Information on what to do in case of an emergency can be found on NOVA’s Office of Emergency Planning and Management (OEPM) website at www.nvcc.edu/emergency.

Writing in the course

Proper grammar, spelling and style are an inherent part of each assignment in this course, and please check Charlie's History Writing Center for more information about specific writing style expectations. (You can also watch the short YouTube video about the center.)