South Texas History Project

Overview and Purpose In this innovative assignment, you will produce a digital museum exhibit on the history of work in South Texas. The goal is to document the family members’ or other community members’ daily lives from two generations ago, to write and interpret their stories, and to share them with the digital world. The exhibit will help teach the digital world about the history of everyday people as well as provide a source for future researchers. You will be practicing historical skills as you collect information and produce the exhibit. Upon successfully completing this assignment, you will have improved your information literacy and historical research skills, honed your writing for public audiences, and refined your argument-evidence approach to creating history.

Audience and Rhetorical Situation Since the final product will be available to everyone on the Internet, your writing and the larger online exhibition should target a broad public audience.

The Assignment Process In order to keep you on track and strengthen the final product, you will be submitting pieces as you go. The smaller graded components are designed to improve the final product—and your final grade. Additionally, you will be completing other assignments in ENGL 1302 and UCCP 1101 that will help you with this project and count towards your grade in those classes.

1. Short Essay on Interviewee (Due: 9/23 at 10:00 a.m.)

  • First, find someone to interview. You will be sharing their story in the online exhibition. This person must be separated from you by two generations (in other words, one of your grandparents or their brothers and sisters). If you do not have someone, please let Dr. Brown know and she will help you find a community member to interview. Your interviewee should have lived and worked in South Texas (any place south of San Antonio) for a large part of their life.
  • Once you have found someone, explained our class project to them, and they have agreed to an interview, write a one- to two-page overview of them. Who is this person? What did they do for work? Where are they from? How old are they? Include any relevant information you will need for the actual interview. Type out your answers and bring them to class.
  • Set up an interview for anytime between Friday, 10/7 and Friday, 10/21.
  • This section is worth 20 points and you will be graded on the following: Did your essay meet the length requirement of one to two pages? Did the essay include all relevant information from (b) above? Was the essay free from mechanical and grammatical errors?

2. Interview Preparation Worksheet (During UCCP 1101 on 10/3 and 10/5).

  • In your seminar class, you will practice your listening and interviewing skills as well as develop questions and prepare for your interview.
  • The worksheet itself will be completed during your seminar class, but also count towards your grade in history.
  • This section is worth 20 points and you will receive full credit if you show up to seminar both days and fill out the worksheet fully.

3. Interview (Between 10/7 and 10/21) and Legal Release Form (Due: 10/24 at 10:00 a.m.)

  • After preparing, conduct and record your interview. Be sure to get your legal release form signed, take a good photograph of your interviewee, and collect any historical photographs or artifacts.
  • You will receive full credit for this portion if you turn in a signed legal release form. This will be due, along with your Post-Interview Reflection, on 10/24 at 10:00 a.m.
  • This section is worth 20 points and you will receive full credit if you turn in a signed release form on time.

4. Post-Interview Reflection (Due: 10/24 at 10:00 a.m.)

  • After the interview, you should type a two- to three-page summary and reflection that addresses the following questions: What topics were covered in the interview? What did you learn about this individual, their work, and the history of work in South Texas? Did they share any interesting stories? What will you include in the exhibit?
  • This section is worth 20 points and you will be graded on the following criteria: Has the student crafted a thoughtful and well-written reflective essay? Did the essay meet the length requirement? Was the essay free from mechanical and grammatical errors?

5. The Exhibit (During HIST 1302 on 11/16).

  • After collecting your materials, we will put together the exhibit in class. Your section of the exhibit must include a 500- to 750-word historical essay as well as a minimum of two or three photographs.
  • You will be graded on your individual contribution to the online exhibit. There will be a separate grading rubric for this portion of the project.

6. Exhibit Reflection (Due: 11/21 by 3:00 p.m.)

  • On Monday, November 21, you will not have class. Instead, for HIST 1302, ENGL 1302, and UCCP 1101, you will post a short reflective essay on a discussion forum in the HIST 1302 Blackboard course.
  • Your reflective essay should be approximately 500 to 750 words and should address the following questions:
    • Why does history matter locally? In the United States? Why is it important to include everyday people and experiences in history?
    • What skills did you learn working on the exhibit? Reflect on the skills that you learned not only in HIST 1302, but also in your other classes (ENGL 1302 and UCCP 1101).
  • You will be graded on the following criteria: Has the student crafted a thoughtful and well-written reflective essay? Did the essay meet the length requirement? Was the essay free from mechanical and grammatical errors?

Due Dates:

  • Short Essay on Interviewee (20 points) Friday, 9/23 (in class at 10:00 a.m.)
  • Interview Preparation Worksheet (20 points) Monday, 10/3 and Wednesday, 10/5 (during seminar class)
  • Legal Release Form (20 points) Monday, 10/24 (in class at 10:00 a.m.)
  • Post-Interview Reflection (20 points) Monday, 10/24 (in class at 10:00 a.m.)
  • The Exhibit (150 points) Wednesday, 11/16 (during class)
  • Exhibit Reflection (20 points) Monday, 11/21 (online by 5:00 p.m.)

Taken from Dr. Brown's Blackboard page