Practicum Exercises and Blogging (20%)

The online component of this course includes practicum exercises (see course outline for specific assignments). Those exercises must be completed and should be discussed in the blog post for the week.

Each student will be responsible for maintaining a personal blog using WordPress. Each week, students chronicle their practicum work for the course, the development of their major projects, and their reflections on the course readings. In addition, students should engage in social blogging by commenting on each others’ blogs and interacting on Twitter.

Before the second class go to WordPress and create an account and a blog. You may choose any title you like but I strongly recommend you select something that is both catchy and professional. Post an introductory message about yourself and then send me the URL of your blog so that I can add you to the course blogroll.

I will use student blogs as a place from which to begin our in class discussion. These blog posts should be at least 300 words, and are due on Monday for the week in question. Posts for all weeks are required, unless otherwise noted.

Attendance and Class Participation (20%)

Students should come to class prepared to engage with the material and their fellow students. Active participation in class discussion and exercises will serve as the minimum necessary to receive a passing grade for this portion of the course.

Project proposal (10%):  due October 28 via Moodle.  Provide a 1-2 description of your project topic and an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources that you will use to inform your work.

Project Presentation (10%): In class, Wednesday, December 11, 2-4pm (this is when a final would have been scheduled)

Final Project (40%): due December 16 via Moodle

Final projects might include:

  • A company overview and what they manufactured, choosing items from the museum’s collection
  • A single object studied in depth, including why we needed it, who used it, how successful was it, etc.
  • a small interpretive exhibit that can live both online and in the museum
  • A research article of a company, brand, product, etc.

Please make sure that potential projects are not already on the site or explored elsewhere.

Things to keep in mind when writing for the web:

Write for the General Reader

Information and interpretation must be authoritative, but its writing style should be engaging to anyone interested in Connecticut history as many readers will be school-age students. Avoid scholarly writing, but express your points clearly. You need not avoid complicated or unfamiliar concepts, just be sure to explain them for readers who do not share your subject matter expertise.

Check Your Facts

Record your sources. It is obviously essential that all names, dates, places, and other facts presented in your article are accurate. You will become the authority on the subject about which you are writing, so please confirm the accuracy of your facts, and provide the principal sources for you find.

Provide a List of “Learn More” Resources to Conclude Your Article

You should list the works you consulted for your article. If these are non-digitized primary sources from the museum’s collection, please note where you found them, and how to find them again. If they are necessary to the project’s weight, the museum digitize materials for you. In addition, recommend three or four books or open access articles on your topic. These should be “must reads” capable of deepening understanding of your topic.

Also, please recommend appropriate online resources. These can also include Web sites for physical locations, such as museums and historic venues, where visitors can learn more about your topic.

Familiarize yourself with and the New Britain Industrial Museum prior to starting your research. Also, please familiarize yourself with the contents of the Local History Room at the New Britain Public Library. You will need permission to copy/digitize/distribute any materials found there.


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