Course Requirements

Most readings and course material will be made available to students by the instructor in a free or open access format.

Resources: Students are encouraged to bring personal laptops and or tablets for class meetings and to have those available. Students are required to maintain online access and resources are available on campus to facilitate students who do not have unlimited access at home.

Recommended tools/apps: Dropbox, Evernote, Zotero, MapBox, etc.

Required texts include:

A Companion to Digital Literary Studies

A Companion to Digital Humanities

DH101 Introduction to Digital Humanities

Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Presenting and Preserving the Past on the Web


Grading/Evaluation Criteria:

Attendance and Participation 10%
Reading Summary Quizzes 10%
Blog Writing Exercise 20%
Research Inquiry Essay 10%
Annotated Bibliography 10%
 Final Project 30%
 Final Project Presentation 10%


Reading Summary Quizzes

Students are required to complete the assigned readings on time and be ready to participate in class discussions, as these conversations will generate much of the ideas and debates that will influence strong project. To ensure accountability in the areas of reading and participation, there will be a weekly in-class reading quiz. This 10-minute quiz will require students to summarize in prose form, based on a short list of questions, the main points in one of the assigned readings for the week. The exercise assesses students’ ability at comprehension and expression and also gauges student investment in course material.

Weekly blog entries

 A WordPress blog will be set up for the course. Students are required to submit reading summaries of approximately 300 words each (no more than 500 words) to the blog by each Sunday at  9 p.m. See grading rubric below.

Blog Grading Rubric

In the field of digital humanities and other disciplines, many scholars, researchers and teachers often collaborate and share ideas on best practices about conducting research and teaching college students. Much of my own training in the digital humanities began with collaboration via email, Twitter, Hangouts, and formal and informal conferences with mentors, colleagues and peers. The blog grading rubric is one of the many gems I’ve been able to adopt and adapt from my experience in scholarly communication – one of the key aspects of digital humanities practice. I borrow it from Mark Sample’s A Rubric for Evaluating Student Blogs and have used it for a number of semesters, with amendments to the scoring. Here are the key points that will matter to you and your weekly blogging exercise this semester:




Exceptional. The blog post is focused and coherently integrates examples with explanations or analysis. The post demonstrates awareness of its own limitations or implications, and it considers multiple perspectives when appropriate. The entry reflects in-depth engagement with the topic.


Satisfactory. The blog post is reasonably focused, and explanations or analysis are mostly based on examples or other evidence. Fewer connections are made between ideas, and though new insights are offered, they are not fully developed. The post reflects moderate engagement with the topic.


Underdeveloped. The blog post is mostly description or summary, without consideration of alternative perspectives, and few connections are made between ideas. The post reflects passing engagement with the topic.


Limited. The blog post is unfocused, or simply rehashes previous comments, and displays no evidence of student engagement with the topic.


 Minimal. The blog post consists of one or two disconnected sentences. It does not address relevant topics to the week’s discussion or is incoherent and plagued with writing errors.

For our purposes in HIS 114, I will only use these number scores. There will be no “half points” awarded. Some of your blog entries will be more free form than others and that will be taken into account. But in general, you are expected to submit thoughtful and well-written material to your site in order to generate productive discussion among classroom peers and a wider public.

Students are also expected to respond to a classmate’s blog post by 9 p.m. on Monday evening. An additional 0.5 points will be added to the blog score for this response. No two people should respond to the same post (first come, first serve). Your response should be much shorter than your original post, but should reflect that you have read the post and understood the class discussion on that Monday.


The major assignments for the course will all prepare you for building one final project. To that end, the deadlines for turning in assignments are as follows. Please note the assignments deadlines are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.

All written assignments are due via Orbund, where applicable, to by 9pm on the stated date.


All assignments are due the Friday evening at 9 p.m. of the stated week.

Research Topic assignments and pitch: Week 3/February 10

Research Inquiry Paper: Week 5/February 24

Annotated Bibliography: Week 7/March 10

Progress Report: Week 9 /March 24

Final Project Draft (Essays and Exhibits): Week 11/April 8

Final Project: Week 14/April 28

Final Presentation: Week 15

Self and Group Assessments: Week 15/May 5

Research Inquiry Essay

  • Should be approximately 1000-1500 words and should include rationale, a brief description of the appropriate target audience, research questions (about 3-5), and methodology. It will be posted as a reference page on the main project site.

A research proposal of 1000-1500 words must be submitted on a topic relevant to Dominican or Caribbean literary studies, cultural studies or historical preservation. Each group is required to present a proposal for your segment of the digital research project we will continue to build this semester. Your formal proposal should include the following parts:

NOTE: Each group member should submit a separate response under each section. They should clearly be labelled under each of the topic headings.

1) TOPIC DESCRIPTIONS: A summary understanding of the topics you have chosen under the banner of the main project and a brief description of the audience to which you will ideally be targeting your completed project. Here, you should consider who would possibly find your content useful and who you would want to target (age group, major, scholars, etc). Your summary should include some rationale for choosing this topic, including what you already know about the topic, what you don’t know or want to find out, or what current knowledge about the topic you want corrected, revised or updated. (10 points)

2) INQUIRY QUESTIONS: Five research questions you have decided to centralize within your project with a description of how those research questions would impact our current understanding of the topic. (15 points)

3) DH ELEMENTS: A description of the type of digital publication you imagine you will produce (what elements of various digital humanities projects will you pursue for your final product) and a brief summary of some primary source documents (form and type) you may have already identified or hope to identify. For example, will your section on the project primarily be a knowledge site? Will it include mapping, timelines, interactive text? Also, will you be looking to find images, text, audio or video as primary sources? Will you be conducting interviews or oral histories? (15 points)

Your proposal is expected to be coherent, well organized and using formal academic writing methods that adhere to rules of grammar, spelling and other mechanics. Another 10 points will be allocated to grammar and organization, bringing the total number of possible points to 50.

Assignments are due in my email at 9pm on the deadline day. A total of 5 out 50 points will be deducted as a late penalty for items submitted to my email after that time.

Annotated Bibliography

  • Should include 15 research sources (academic peer-reviewed or non-academic verifiable periodicals).Groups will submit an annotated bibliography of 5 primary sources and 10 secondary sources pertaining to the research topic of their choice. For each citation, you should include a 3-5 sentence description of the source and its usefulness to your overall project. It will be posted as a reference site on the main project page.

Progress Report 

  • This should be a 300-500 word report on any challenges or major advancements that you are experiencing with your project during the research and analysis phase. It will be posted as a reference page on the main project site. EACH STUDENT MUST SUBMIT A SEPARATE PROGRESS REPORT. 

Final Project 

  • All items, collections, exhibits and simple pages relevant to your project should be posted on our project site by this date and time. Your project grade will be based on information posted at that time. Any changes made to the site after this date without the prior permission of the instructor will result in a grade of F on the project as it is a form of academic dishonesty.

Final Project Presentations

  • You will present your projects to a group of your peers at Dominica State College. You will prepare a 5 minute description of your project, which includes challenges, successes and outcomes.