Professor: Jim Brown
Class Meeting Place: Digital Studies Center CoLab (Fine Arts 217)
Class Time: Tuesday/Thursday, 9:30-10:50
Jim's Office: Fine Arts 213
Jim's Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 11:00-12:00 [Make an Appointment]
Jim's Email: jim[dot]brown[at]rutgers[dot]edu
Course Website: http://courses.jamesjbrownjr.net/394_spring2015
Students in this class will learn to:
- analyze and synthesize academic arguments.
- identify and then apply research methods in the digital humanities.
- develop effective writing and design processes by creating drafts and prototypes and incorporating feedback from peers and instructors.
- cultivate strategies for collaborating with others on writing and design projects.
Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System, Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost
MP3: The Meaning of a Format, Jonathan Sterne
Flash: Building the Interactive Web, Anastasia Salter and John Murray
We will also read excerpts of other texts, and these will be provided as PDFs on Sakai.
In this class, the following work will be evaluated:
- Attendance and Participation
- Reading Quizzes
- "Follow-a-footnote" Presentation
- Extended research project on a digital platform or format
- Learning Record
Grades in this class will be determined by the Learning Record Online (LR). The LRO will require you to observe your own learning and construct an argument for your grade based on evidence that you accumulate throughout the semester. You will record weekly observations, and you will synthesize your work into an argument for your grade. You will construct this argument twice - once at the midterm and once at the end of the course. We will be discussing the LRO at length during the first week of class. See below for more details.
Success in this class will require regular attendance. I will take attendance at each class meeting, and your Learning Record will include a discussion of attendance. You are required to attend class daily, arrive on time, do assigned reading and writing, and participate in all in-class work. Please save absences for when you are sick or have a personal emergency. If you find that an unavoidable problem prevents you from attending class or from arriving on time, please discuss the problem with me.
If you are more than 5 minutes late for class, you will be considered absent. If there is something keeping you from getting to class on time (i.e., you have a long trek across campus right before our class), please let me know during the first week of class.
Computers, Smartphones, etc.
Please feel free to use your computer or any other device during class, provided that your use of it is related to what we are working on in class. Please silence cell phones during class.
Grades in this course will be determined by use of the Learning Record, a system which requires students to compile a portfolio of work at the midterm and at the end of the semester. These portfolios present a selection of your work, both formal and informal, plus ongoing observations about your learning, plus an analysis of your work in terms of the five dimensions of learning and the goals for this course. You will evaluate your work in terms of the grade criteria posted on the LRO site, and you will provide a grade estimate at the midterm and final.
The dimensions of learning have been developed by teachers and researchers, and they represent what learners experience in any learning situation:
1) Confidence and independence
2) Knowledge and understanding
3) Skills and strategies
4) Use of prior and emerging experience
In addition to analyzing your work in terms of these dimensions of learning, your argument will also consider the specific goals for this course. These goals are called Course Strands (these are also listed above in the "Course Objectives" section):
1) Analysis and synthesis of academic arguments
2) Identification and application of digital humanities research methods.
3) Writing and design process
4) Collaboration strategies
The LRO website provides detailed descriptions of the Course Strands and the Dimensions of Learning.
Your work in class (and in other classes during this semester) along with the observations you record throughout the semester will help you build an argument in terms of the dimensions of learning and the course strands. We will discuss the LRO in detail at the beginning of the semester, and we will have various conversations about compiling the LRO as the semester progresses.
Due dates for assignments are posted on the course schedule. While I will not be grading your assignments, I will be providing comments and feedback. I will not provide feedback on late assignments. Also, late assignments will be factored into your argument in the LR (see the grade criteria for more details).
All writing and design involves some level of appropriation - we cite the work of others and in some cases we even imitate that work. However, copying and pasting existing texts, having another student complete an assignment for you, or any other violations of the university's Academic Integrity Policy will result in a failing grade. If you have questions about the that policy, please see the Dean of Student Affairs website.
The Office of Disability Services
From the The Office of Disability Services (ODS):
"The ODS provides students with confidential advising and accommodation services in order to allow students with documented physical, mental, and learning disabilities to successfully complete their course of study at Rutgers University – Camden. The ODS provides for the confidential documentation and verification of student accommodations, and communicates with faculty regarding disabilities and accommodations. The ODS provides accommodation services, which can include readers, interpreters, alternate text, special equipment, and note takers. The ODS acts as a signatory for special waivers. The ODS also works with students, faculty, staff and administrators to enforce the American with Disabilities Act of 1990."
If you believe you might require an accommodation, please contact the ODS early in the semester.
We will use technology frequently in this class. Although I am assuming that you have some basic knowledge of computers, such as how to use a keyboard and mouse, and how to use the Web and check e-mail, most things will be explained in class. If you don’t understand what we are doing, please ask for help. If you are familiar with the technology we are using please lend a helping hand to your classmates.
Sakai, Course Website, and Email
You should check your email daily. Class announcements and assignments may be distributed through email. The course website will also have important information about assignments and policies. Pay close attention to the course calendar as we move through the semester. We reserve the right to move things around if necessary.
Emails to me must come from your wisc.edu email address. They must include a title explaining the email, a salutation (for example, "Dear Jim"), a clear explanation of what the email is about, and a signature.