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Practicum Assignments

Page history last edited by Alan Liu 10 years, 4 months ago

English 197 course "practicums" are hands-on, small-scale exercises that ask students to experiment at a beginner's level with the tools of the digital humanities. Classes 11-18 in the course each include a practicum that should be completed before class. (The first 4 practicums for classes 11-14 are required; students can then choose to do any 2 of the remaining practicums for classes 15-18.)

 

Typically, a practicum asks students to try out a digital tool and method, then to leave an interesting "souvenir" on a page they create on the Student Work Posted Online branch of the course site.  The "souvenir" can be as simple as a screenshot of, or link to, something created (or found) during the exploration. (Practicums are required to pass the course, but are not graded.)

 

 

 

General Instructions for Leaving a "Souvenir" of Practicum Exercises

 

(i) Perform the practicum exercise

(See the instructions for the individual practicums below).

 

(ii) For each practicum, create a page on the Student Work site for this course through the PBWorks editing menu bar: "Pages & Files" > "New" > "Create a Page":

 

PBworks - Create a Page

 

(iii) Name the page "Your Name - Name of Practicum - Exercise" (e.g., "Alan Liu - Google Ngram Viewer Exercise"), and place it in the folder on the site for that practicum (so that we can easily find all the student pages for a practicum together):

 

PBworks - Name Page and Assign to Folder

 

(iv) When your new page is open, select the "Edit" tab in the top menu.  Add your textual or other content.  Be sure to "save your work as you go: 

 

PBwworks - edit

 

(v) By default, editing is done in GUI or graphical user interface that shows you approximately what the final result will be.  However, you can also edit in the source-code view by toggling "source" in the editing interface:

 

PBworks - source code view

 

(vi) You can upload images and other media from your computer to the site using the "Images and files" tab in the editing interface.  Once the images are uploaded, then you can add them at your cursor location while editing a page by clicking on the link for the image in the sidebar:

 

Pbworks image uploader

 

 


Class 11 Practicum Assignment:

Exploring Digital Humanities Tools (required)

Go to Class 11 on Schedule

  1. Explore the instructor's list of "Digital Humanities Tools"--especially in the categories of Text Analysis | Text Collation | MappingNetwork/Social Network Analysis | Visualization. The purpose of this exploration is to get an initial sense of the variety of digital methods now available for studying literary and other humanisitc works.  This will help get you started thinking about what kind of "mock project proposal" you might create for one of the later assignments in the course.
  2. Try out at least two different tools in an exploratory way.
  3. Take a screenshot or other "souvenir" of your tool exploration and post it on the course site (create a page called "Your Name - Explore Digital Humanities Tools Exercise" and put it in the folder Practicum Exercises - Exploring DH Tools).  

 


Class 12 Practicum Assignment:
Text Encoding
(required)

Go to Class 12 on Schedule

The purpose of this encoding exercise is to engage in just enough elementary encoding of text or other media in HTML to allow all students to engage in discussion about the underlying premises, concepts, and structure of text encoding.)

 

  1. Create a new page for yourself on the course site called "Your Name - Text Encoding Exercise," and put it in the folder called "Practicum Exercises - Text Encoding"
  2. When your new page is open, select the "Edit" tab in the top menu.  Then click the "Source" button in the editing interface menu to toggle from the GUI (graphical user interface) editing view to the source-code view that allows you to do plain-text encoding. (You can always toggle back to the GUI view for a quick check on your work or as a cheat-sheet for basic encoding of HTML features.) Be sure to "save" your work as you go.

     PBWorks - Source Code

  3. Encoding Exercise A: Using the source-code view as much as possible, create a simple web page with any content, images, and links you wish (subject, of course, to good taste and copyright laws).  The page should include at least the following features:
    1. Text formatted in basic ways (as headers, bold, italics, etc.)
    2. Text in paragraph structures
    3. Text in lists
    4. Links
    5. A table
    6. An image

Encoding Exercise B: CSS

Experiment with simple CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to adjust the format/style of various elements on your test page. (Due to the way this PBWorks web site for Student Work is established for our course, you cannot create a separate css stylesheet file or adjust the one that controls the site.  But you can use "inline" CSS--i.e., CSS contained in tags on your page itself--for simple experiments. For example,

    1. Adjust the alignment, size, location, color, or background-color, etc. of a paragraph by putting CSS in a paragraph tag.
    2. Create a box around a paragraph using the border attribute. Example:

      <p style="margin-left: 3em; padding: 1em; font-size: 115%; background-color: #cccccc; border: 1px solid #eb5500;">[your content]</p>

    3. Use a <span> tag around individual words or phrases to change their color, size, etc.

Encoding Exercise C: TEI

While we will not have time in this course to do hands-on exercises with TEI, students should take a quick look at the introductory material and examples in TEI by Example.  You can try your hand at TEI for a simple, short work of literature or other material if you wish. (See also additional learning resources on TEI)

 

For tutorials and beginner guides to HTML go to Digital Humanities Resources for Student Project-Building and look at the section on "HTML & CSS." Important: students who are beginners should not be intimidated by this assignment. Use the tutorials to learn the most basic concepts and try the most elementary encoding.  Your experiment doesn't even have to work; it can "fail" in instructive or interesting ways.

 


Class 13 Practicum Assignment:
Text Analysis 1: Google Ngram Viewer
(required)

Go to Class 13 on Schedule

  1. Experiment with the Google Ngram Viewer. (See About Ngram Viewer)
  2. Create at least one souvenir of your experimentation and post it on the course site (create a page called "Your Name - Text Analysis 1 Exercise" and put it in the folder Practicum Exercises - Text Analysis 1 (Google Ngram Viewer)").

 


 

Class 14 Practicum Assignment:
Text Analysis 2: Other Text-Analysis Tools (required)

Go to Class 14 on Schedule

  1. Experiment with at least one other robust tool or set of tools in the instructor'slist of "Digital Humanities Tools"--e.g., those included in the TAPoR, Booklamp.org, and Voyant (Voyeur) Tools sites. 
  2. Leave at least one souvenir of your experimentation on the course site (create a page called "Your Name - Text Analysis 2 Exercise" and put it in the folder Practicum Exercises - Text Analysis 2 (Other Text-Analysis Tools)").

 


Class 15 Practicum Assignment:
Text Analysis 3: Topic Modeling (choose 2 of the practicums for classes 15-18)

Go to Class 15 on Schedule

  1. Read through (and try if you wish) the lesson plan in Shawn Graham, Ian Milligan, Scott Weingart, "Topic Modeling By Hand" (from The Historian's Macroscope - working title. Under contract with Imperial College Press. Open Draft Version, Autumn 2013).
  2. Experiment with David Mimno's online In-Browser Topic Modeling (Note: the files for this tool can also be downloaded and run locally; download from GitHub here.)  Altermatively, you can download and install the Java-based Topic Modeling Tool on your computer for more control.
  3. Leave at least one souvenir of your experimentation on the course site (create a page called "Your Name - Topic Modeling Exercise" and put it in the folder "Practicum Exercises - Text Analysis 3 (Topic Modeling)").

 


Class 16 Practicum Assignment:
Social Network Analysis (choose 2 of the practicums for classes 15-18)

Go to Class 16 on Schedule

  1. Choose a very limited work or works (e.g., a chapter in a novel, a scene in a play or film) and analyze it manually in terms of any phenomena than can be described as a social-network structure of "nodes" and "links" (vertices and edges).  "Manually" means creating a tabulation of the data in something as simple as a word processor or spreadsheet and then using manual (or simple digital) means to draw a network graph.  (If you wish, you can also use your dataset as the basis for experimentation with a more advanced digital network visualization tool like Gephi.)
  2. Optional: If you wish, you can download and install Gephi (a network visualization tool often used in network analysis studies). Then use the instructions and materials in the following resource to experiment with Gephi: Jill Walker Rettberg, "Tutorial: How to Explore a Network Graph of Electronic Literature in Gephi" (2013) (for other Gephi help resources, see DH Resources > Tutorials> Network Visualization)
  3. Leave at least one souvenir of your experimentation on the course site (create a page called "Your Name - Social Network Analysis Exercise" and put it in the folder "Practicum Exercise - Social Network Analysis").

 


Class 17 Practicum Assignment:
Mapping & GIS (choose 2 of the practicums for classes 15-18)

Go to Class 17 on Schedule

  1. Choose any work, part of a work, or theme/idea that is significant in the humanities--past or present, traditional or experimental--and conceive of a way to visualize it in spatial terms or on a map that adds value by comparison with purely textual representations of the idea.  The mapping can be literal, abstract, or some combination.  (For example, read Ernest Hemingway's "Big Two-Hearted River" (1925) and use that as the basis for your practicum.
  2. Use any diagramming, visualization, or mapping tool to realize at least a sample portion of your idea.  If that is not possible in the time you have to learn the tool, then just draw by hand and create a digital image from that.  (See the tools listed in DH Resources > Tools > Visualization and DH Resources > Tools > Mapping
  3. Leave at least one souvenir of your experimentation on the course site (create a page called "Your Name - Social Network Analysis Exercise" and put it in the folder "Practicum Exercises- Mapping & GIS").

 


Class 18 Practicum Assignment:
Deformance & Glitch (choose 2 of the practicums for classes 15-18)

Go to Class 18 on Schedule

  1. Following up on the concepts of digital "deformance" and "glitch," choose a sample of humanistic work (part of a text, an artwork, etc.) and, using any of the methods and tools you have encountered in the course, deform or glitch it in a way that you think is intellectually interesting or otherwise has value. (See the instructor's list of digital humanities tools for a few deformance and glitch tools)
  2. Leave at least one souvenir of your experimentation on the course site (create a page called "Your Name - Deformance & Glitch Exercise" and put it in the folder "Practicum Exercises - Deformance, Glitch").

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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