2011 Drakeapedia Class Syllabus

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FYS 022 - Drakeapedia: Building a Living Archive - Fall 2011

T-Th. 12:30-1:45


Claudia Thornton Frazer

[[1]] Cowles Library 130 (Office) 271-3776

Susan Breakenridge Fink

[[2]] Cowles Library 234D (Office) 271-3994

Course Description

"If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” ~ Rudyard Kipling

Which Drake building was bombed by terrorists in the 70’s? What returning Drake student booked a ticket on an ill-fated ocean liner called the Titanic? This seminar engages students in conducting basic historical research about Drake University. The class will work as a community to create content for Drakeapedia, a wiki “about, by and for” the Drake community which “lives” as a permanent and public resource. Students will uncover long-forgotten stories as they discover the fundamentals of working with primary source resource. They will read, analyze, evaluate and write historical content for Drakeapedia. They will also conduct oral histories with individuals within the Drake community and even add their own archival “footprint” to Drake’s Special Collections and University Archives. This course would appeal to students with interests in creating wikis, working together in a collaborative community environment, or anyone considering a major in the humanities, journalism, technology, law or education.

Course Objectives

  • Learning to read and evaluate historic documents
  • Learning to write in different styles for appropriate audiences (nonacademic/academic)
  • Learning to research, conduct, and process oral histories
  • Understanding the process of historical research, preservation, and archiving
  • Working collaboratively on a group project which ultimately become part of the Drake archives
  • Understanding legal and copyright issues when researching, writing and publishing

Course Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Write journal entries reflecting on his/her own experiences as a first-year student; these will be archived in Special Collections for future researchers.
  2. Read/review Cowles Library Biography and Agency files to create entries in Drakeapedia using information literacy skills and adhering to legal/ethical considerations.
  3. Prepare for and conduct an oral history interview with a Drake faculty, staff, or alum, and then process audio/video file for uploading to Drakeapedia.
  4. Summarize oral history interview experience by presenting project to class.
  5. Work together as a class to plan and create a group project as part of an archival class “footprint” for Drakeapedia
  6. Participate in a tour of the State Historical Archives to better understand and appreciate archival processes, as well as the concepts of conservation and preservation.
  7. Write reflective essays on personal impressions of class speakers, class trip and attended campus activities.

Course Resources

Required Text

Class Schedule

(Updated 11/29/11)

Date Topic Activity Assignments
Tues. 8/23 Introduction to course and syllabus; Knowledge Survey & Needs Assessment
Thurs. 8/25 Virtual tour of 3 Wikis: “Drakeapedia,” Class Wiki, and Your Own Wiki; Set up Class Wiki accounts and kick the tires. Lab Day * Work on writing Autobiography Page for own wiki page
Tues. 8/30 Wikipedia concept * **Read**: PDF article about wikis (see Readings & Resources)
  • **Due: Journal Entry #1(Email PDF to instructor (or bring handwritten copy)** ||
Thurs. 9/1 Library Tour;Hands-on with Drakeapedia; How to upload photos & videos Lab Day * **Due**: **Upload your Autobiography to your own Wiki (include photo)**
Tues. 9/6 Resources: Scholarly vs. Popular; Primary vs. Secondary
Thurs. 9/8 Activity on Primary Resources Lab Day
Tues. 9/13 Digital Resources (Bart Schmidt); Microfilm Reader/Scanner demo; Agency files distributed Special Topic * **Due: Journal Entry #2(Email PDF to instructor (or bring handwritten copy)**
Thurs. 9/15 Agency files distributed for in-class use; Wiki #1 Content Discussion; More hands-on with Drakeapedia; APA Citation Lab Day * Wiki Work Day (upload first draft to own Wiki by next class period)
Tues. 9/20 Introduction to Oral History: Basics * **Due: First draft of Wiki entry (Agency); final and revised draft due on Thursday, 9/29 **
Thurs. 9/22 Library Session (Carrie Dunham-LaGree) Special Topic * Meet in Electronic Classroom, Rm. 122
Tues. 9/27 Intro to Oral History; Oral history on the web Textbook * **Read**: Chapters 1-4 of Angrosino
  • **Due:Journal Entry #3(Email PDF to instructor (or bring handwritten copy)** ||
Thurs. 9/29 Dept. of the Blind Oral History Project Speakers * **Read**: Chapters 1-4 of Angrosino
    • Due: Wiki #1 Entry Due (Content only)** ||
Tues. 10/4 Intro to Oral History : Interview Techniques Textbook * **Read:** Chapters 5-8 of Angrosino
  • **Due:** Reaction paper to Dept. of Blind speakers ||
Thurs. 10/6 More on Oral History and Enhancing Building Wiki in class * **Due: Final Wiki #1 Entry to be uploaded to wiki to include photos, maps, bib. citations, revisions, etc.**

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Tues. 10/11 Paul Morrison Speaker * **Due**: **Journal Entry #4(Email PDF to instructor (or bring handwritten copy)**
Thurs. 10/13 Oral History (short video on interview process)

A look at the digital recording equipment ... time to use it in practicing oral history interviewing techniques on classmates || Lab Day || * **Due**: Morrison reaction paper (1-2 pp.) ||

Tues. 10/18 NO class – Fall Break **Enjoy the break**
Thurs. 10/20 NO CLASS: Read online version of Glaspell's “A Jury of Her Peers” and attend evening “Live”event at 7 p.m. in Reading Room. Be prepared to write reflection paper on event ... due on Tuesday, 10/25 Speaker * Read Glaspell short story (See Resources)
  • Attend evening event at 7 p.m. in Cowles Reading Room ||
Tues. 10/25 Wiki #2 topic chosen from available Biography files

Preparation for Class Trip to State Archives || || * **Due: Journal Entry #5(Email PDF to instructor (or bring handwritten copy)****Due:** Bryan reaction paper (1-2 pp.) ||

Thurs. 10/27 Tour of State Archives Trip * Remember to bring trip liability forms
Tues. 11/1 Follow-up on Trip and Group Project Discussion * **Due:** Reaction paper of State Archives Tour
Thurs. 11/3 Oral History Work Day or Ray Society Interviews (TBA) Lab day Wiki #2 Work Day/Oral History Work Day
Tues. 11/8 Ray Society Interviews (TBA) and Choose Wiki #2 subject

Oral History Work Day || Special Topic || * **Due**:**Journal Entry #6 (Email PDF to instructor (or bring handwritten copy)** ||

Thurs. 11/10 Work Day on Wiki #2 Lab Day
Tues. 11/15 Conservation/Preservation and Ancestry.com
Thurs. 11/17 Archival Projects (Kathy Lincoln) Special Topic **Due: Journal Entry #7( bring handwritten copy to class or plan on emailing to Claudia on Tuesday, Nov. 22)**
Tues. 11/22 NO CLASS : Or come to class and use the period for Clean Up Wiki Work
Thurs. 11/24 NO Class - Thanksgiving Turkey
Tues. 11/29 Wiki #2 must be uploaded to personal wiki/ Class time will be spend doing peer evaluations of classmates work ...... Group Project Work Day * **Due:** **Wiki Entry #2 (Biography)**
  • **Peer evaluation of Wiki #2** ||
Thurs. 12/1 Presentations on Oral History Lab Day Transcriptions of Oral Histories are Due
Tues. 12/6 Presentations on Oral History * **Due**:: **Journal Entry #8(Email PDF to instructor (or bring handwritten copy)**
Thurs. 12/8 Clean Up Day * **Due:** Any Wiki entry rewrites
  • **Due:** Campus cultural event reaction paper ||
Wed. 12/14; Noon – 1:50 Scheduled Final Exam Time *

NOTE: This syllabus is tentative and subject to changes.

Assignment Details

  • Autobiography: (20 pts.)
    • Submission due on 9/1 to be uploaded to your own wiki
    • Content: Write a minimum of 1000 words in first person and include at least 1 photo (5 pts.)
    • Organization/Development: Entire life in logical sequence (5 pts.)
    • Writing style, grammar and wiki page appearance (5 pts.)
    • Submitted on time (5 pts.)
  • Journal Entry (8 submissions at 10 pts. each) (80 pts.)
    • Due every other Tuesday, beginning 8/30/2011.
    • These will NOT be uploaded to Drakeapedia, but rather filed in an archival folder, stored in Drake’s Special Collections, and made available for future researchers, in accordance with your restrictions.
    • NOTE: Email to me ([[4]]) a PDF digital copy of your journal entry. Since these entries are going to be printed off and placed in an archival folder, you may choose to write them long-hand on the paper of your choice and hand them in at class time on those Tuesdays. I will give you an additional **1 point per entry** if you choose the handwritten option. All I ask is that you don’t use the spiral notebook paper that has the annoying ruffles.
    • Leave your footprint! Physical memorabilia is encouraged (ticket stubs, letters, receipts, programs, etc.), provided it is of paper content and is non-edible. Anything meaningful to you that you think would enhance your journal entries is welcome.
    • Content: You will not be judged on content. You are the creator of your archive, so reflect on your campus experiences (events you’ve attended, interactions you’ve had with individuals, relationships you’ve formed, personal values that may have been challenged, etc.), and don’t worry about being judged by your instructor; I won’t be showing these to your parents! It will be totally up to you who will be able to see these and when they will be able to be seen, again in accordance with your restrictions.
    • Organization/Development/Writing Style/Grammar: Please consider future researchers who may be reading your journal entries. What would you like for them to learn from your reflections? (5 pts.)
    • Submitted on time (5 pts.)

  • “Reaction Papers” on Tour, Speakers and Cultural Campus Event –10 pts. each (6 x 10 pts. = 60 pts.)
    • Tour (1) and Speakers (4) reaction papers due the following class period. Cultural campus event (1) papers due by end of semester.
    • Write a minimum of 1-2 pages. Discuss reactions to the content of the format and identify points of interest or item(s) learned. Writing style, grammar, and articulation are part of the grading criteria. (5 pts.) Please don’t simply reiterate what was said. React to it!
    • Submitted on time (5 pts.)
  • Wiki Entries #1 (Building) and #2 (Person)__ 30 pts. each (60 pts.)
    • These two Wiki entries will be the Drake-specific content that you will research and write for the Wiki. The first Wiki is focused on a Drake Building (new and old structures on campus) and the second Wiki is all about a Drake Person (administrators, faculty, alum, etc.). These entries will be uploaded to Drakeapedia.
  • Peer Evaluation (In-Class) – 10 pts.
    • You will grade them on a total of 5 points. You too will be graded on your review of their paper (5 points) Bring a clean copy of your paper completed to date. You will exchange papers with someone in class (not a roommate) and then read/evaluate the other person’s wiki entry. You will grade them on a total of 5 points. You will be also be graded on your review of their paper (5 points)
  • Oral History Interview – 30 pts
    • Identify a Drake faculty, staff or alum that is willing to be interviewed for an oral history and submit the individual’s name to Claudia by October 6th
    • Research the individual and create interview questions for the session
    • Submit the questions and interview date to Claudia
    • Complete a 30 minute interview and capture it by audio or video
    • As part of the project submission, include a photo and short biography of the person interviewed

  • Oral History Presentation – 20 pts.
    • Create a 8-10 minute presentation about your oral history experience. You may discuss your process and some highlights of the interview itself.
    • You will be scored on content and presentation skills.

  • Group Project – 20 pts.
    • As a class, determine what and how to present a history of this class (ex. : class photo, bios, etc.) It needs to be logical and well-thought out.
    • The class has to work together on this assignment and the class will collectively receive one grade for their group submission.
    • Due on Finals Exam Day (December 14)


  • Autobiography 20 pts.
  • Journal entries 80 pts (8x10 pts. each)
  • Reaction papers 60 pts (6x10 pts each)
  • Wiki Entries (2) 60 pts (2x30 pts each)
  • Peer Evaluation 10 pts.
  • Oral History Interview 30 pts
  • Oral History Presentation 20 pts
  • Group Project 20 pts

Total 300 pts

  • 90-100% A 270-300 pts
  • 80-89% B 240-269 pts
  • 70-79% C 210-239 pts
  • 60-69% D 180-209 pts
  • Below 60% F 0-179pts

Extra credit

  • (1 pt.) will be given to each of the 8 journal entries that are handwritten and submitted in its original form.

Class Attendance, Expectations, Policies and Procedures

  • Attendance will be taken regularly.
  • All cell phones need to be turned to “vibrate” prior to entering class.
  • I expect myself to treat you with respect and courtesy, and I expect you to reciprocate with me, Susan, your classmates, and our guest speakers.
  • I do understand that emergencies or unforeseen circumstances can arise. I will make allowances for them if need be, and will work with you to help make up any material you might have missed should there be a legitimate problem that keeps you from class. Missed assignments may be made up if the absence is excused (illness, grievous loss, other emergencies, or an official college activity may be excused with proper documentation).

Academic Honesty

“Academic dishonesty is an all-encompassing term involving any activity that seeks to gain credit for work one has not done or to deliberately damage or destroy the work of others.” See [[5]] for details of what constitutes cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty.

For example:

  • Plagiarism is the misrepresentation, either by intent or negligence, of another’s ideas, phrases, discourse, or works as one’s own.
  • Cheating is the act, or attempted act, of giving or obtaining aid and/or information by illicit means in meeting any academic requirement, including examinations.

Cases of academic dishonesty will result in at least a failing grade on the assignment and may also result in a failing grade in the course. Cases will also be reported to appropriate university officials.


If you have a disability and will require academic accommodations in this course, I would be happy to discuss your needs. Accommodations are coordinated through Student Disability Services (first floor Old Main). Please contact Michelle Laughlin, Director of Student Disability Service, at 271-1835 or [[6]].