For your final project, you are invited to explore some aspect of our course – any of the texts or themes we discussed in class, or that were offered as topics for webposts – in a format that is suitable for online, digital consumption. You are encouraged to be as creative as possible; the project should be an expression of your own voice, your own passion, and your own interests (as they connect to our course, of course!). You are also warmly welcome to collaborate with one or two other students on your project. This is especially encouraged if your project requires multiple types of skills and/or an unusual amount of labor (eg researching a topic, writing a script, and performing it as a Socratic dialogue, for example). Please have a look at these google docs where both sections of the class wrote down their preliminary ideas for their projects and see if you are inspired to work with a partner (in either section). I also strongly recommend that you reach out to Josh Finnell (email@example.com) for assistance in turning your preliminary ideas into a coherent project, and/or to Christine Moskell (firstname.lastname@example.org) for all matters related to the technological side. You are also, of course, strongly encouraged to meet with me to discuss and develop your ideas as well!
Some possible topics:
- any of the characters we encountered in our texts, and their changing reception or interpretation in different times, places, and media
- any of our texts, and their diffusion, uses, or interpretations in different times and places
- any of the themes we discussed in class, such as justice, punishment, leadership, gender, the gods, wealth and poverty, hospitality, family dynamics (mothers and sons, sibling rivalry, etc.), cunning/trickery, law, systems of government, heroism, identity, divinity, etc., and how your encounters with these texts made you understand this thing in a new way
- textual matters: speeches, bards, oral traditions (don’t forget about the podcast we listened to back at the very beginning of the semester; remember the stutterer?); texts with revised endings; contradictory interpretations, etc.
- Great Books courses, Western Civ courses, the Core revision at Colgate; what texts should or shouldn’t be required of all Colgate students, or have been required in the past; what criteria should be used, etc. What should the Core of the future look like?
Digital formats: You are welcome to create a podcast, timeline, map, art work, museum exhibition, game, video, website, poll, performance, or any other format that can be shared digitally. It should be dynamic or interactive in some way that actively engages the visitor; most important, it should make an argument or have a point that is better expressed in your chosen medium than it would be in a straightforward written essay. For some possible formats, please see the excellent guides Josh Finnell and Christine Moskell prepared for you. You are also, of course, welcome to do something not mentioned in either of these guides or anywhere on this prompt. It would be wise to share your idea with me and/or Josh or Christine ahead of time.
Due: Posted on our course website by 2 pm, on December 15, 2020. Please note that extensions must be requested in writing (email) at least 24 hours before the due date, and must include an attachment with all work on the project completed so far (this can be notes). The likelihood of my granting the extension depends very much on your ability to demonstrate that you have not waited until the last minute to get started on the project. Late submissions, or last-minute requests for an extension, will be penalized by a deduction of points on the final project grade.
Assessment criteria: Please note that these are very similar to the criteria that have guided my assessment of your independent work all semester long, with added focus on the match between your topic/argument and your chosen medium.
|1. Creativity: This project should be something only you (or you and your team) could have designed, written, and put together. It should show off your unique personality and imagination. Your keen interest in, and excitement about, the topic should be evident to your audience. Be bold! Surprise and delight us! 20 points
|2. Complexity: The project should demonstrate that you have spent many hours thinking deeply about the topic, researching and examining it from multiple perspectives. It should also reflect a semester’s worth of deep engagement with, and mastery of, our course themes and issues. 20 points
|3. Coherence: Your project conveys information and your interpretation of it in a way that is clear and easily comprehensible to the user. There is no extraneous, unrelated, or confusing material. 20 points
|4. Match between form and content: The medium, format, organization, layout, visuals, and interface should make it easier for your reader to follow – and be persuaded and even moved by – your argument than a regular written essay would. Your audience’s experience interacting with what you create should enhance the message you are trying to communicate; by making it experiential, you are bringing it to life. 12 points
|5. Strong Prose: Even in a digital project that is not an essay, good writing is still essential! Word choices are accurate, descriptive and straightforward. Syntax is smooth, not distracting. Rules of standard written English grammar (including apostrophes) are followed. 12 points
|6. Sources cited: YOU MUST CITE YOUR SOURCES, but I leave it up to you to determine the most appropriate way to do so in the context of your chosen medium. Hyperlinks, endnotes, some equivalent of “page” at the end that lists them, verbally reading them out if you are doing a podcast, Ted Talk or performance of some kind or some other method – any of these are fine. But you may not skip this step. You should cite at least five good quality sources. 8 points
|7. Proofreading and attention to detail. Be sure to use spellcheck! And make sure everything works! 8 points