I listened to past GMU students talk about their digital education projects this week. Both Jess Pritchard Ritter and Nashieli Marcano recommend defining a specific narrow focus and being sure to execute one educational activity. They caution against casting the net too broadly, reminding me I can add items and activities later. Mary Ellen Rethel also recommends posting the learning outcomes on the site early on. This will help the creator focus on the intentions of the site. Marcano said she had to switch audiences part way through and advises future students to identify the main audience early on.
I viewed several sample projects. My favorite of the former student projects was Marcano’s: More to This than Meets the Eye. Her focus on historical thinking and political cartoons related to US Expansion in the 1890s is clear, as is her audience: student learners. She has an appealing landing page with images and some background (but not too much). The site provides links to the Learning Outcomes; a Study Guide that provides an overview of how to analyze political cartoons; 3 activities; and a Gallery.
I think her clean and simple structure could be effective for my design. I plan to include on the landing page an overview of women’s immigration history themes and introduce users to 2 or 3 of the immigrant interviews. Tejinder Ball, who immigrated from India in 1969, will be one because of the interesting content in her interview on women’s roles within her family. Her interview also highlights the shift to professional and familial immigration following the replacement of the quota system with the Immigration Act of 1965. The landing page will have brief clips and transcriptions of 2 or 3 interviews.
I’ll include a study guide on oral history similar to Marcado’s guide on political cartoons. (Here, I will keep in mind Prichard-Ritter’s advice not to remake the wheel. There are lots of oral history guides that I can adapt and credit.)
I’ll also provide links to Learning Outcomes and several activities (though I haven’t decided yet what those activities will look like).