Back in August, I wrote about plans to introduce a digital project into one of my upper-level courses. Now that we’re just past the mid-semester point, it’s time for a brief update. The project hasn’t progressed in quite the way I anticipated that it would, but I’m nonetheless pleased with how things are developing.
When we first started the project, my (unspoken) expectation was that the site would develop gradually, and that we’d be able to see that slow development each time we loaded the site in our browsers. For two reasons, that hasn’t happened.
First, I didn’t communicate that expectation clearly, primarily because it wasn’t a fully conscious expectation on my part. I’ve grown so accustomed to working in a public environment, building things as I go rather than having everything all put together before calling anyone’s attention to it, that I sometimes forget that working that way wouldn’t necessarily occur to everyone as something reasonable or natural to do.
Second, it’s taken longer than we initially planned for students to locate sources and develop the content that they want to post. Given that the parameters of the assignment push the project in the direction of being a completed product more than an ongoing, public process, it’s perfectly rational to add and organize content on the site close to the end of the semester.
So, the actual construction of the site is proceeding slowly, and the development of site content is moving along as it should. Thus far, then, though the project isn’t going quite as I originally envisioned it, it’s going well, and I look forward to the site’s completion at semester’s end.
If you’re trying something new in one or more of your courses this semester, how’s it going? Let us know in the comments!