By Michael Roth
Watching others talk about the projects they have worked on showed me that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach, but there are a couple similarities that exist among them all. The first is to be specific about what I want the project to do. Nate Sleeter described how he had one idea in mind for the content of his project, but as he did research he had to narrow it down in order for it to be manageable. Jeri Wieringa and Celeste Sharpe, however, wanted their project to teach students how to be better writers. They also had an issue with the scope of the project, both for the students’ understanding as well as their work as students completed the work. Both of these examples show that having the proper mindset about what the project is going to accomplish allows me as the developer to implement the best practices for success.
Another commonality I found was how much the students interact with the sources. A few of the projects seem to be in conjunction with an official course, which allows for more opportunities for dialogue than in an exhibit format. The issue I have in designing exhibits is that there are no assignments, so it is more difficult to gauge how effective the materials are in teaching the content. One of the things I can do is provide visitors with a mixture of types of sources (videos, photos, text) to showcase the different information that exist, and to ask questions about the material. As I design and develop my projects, I can find these types of sources early in the process, which I can then use to plan the scope of the overall content.