We will be using the web tool Hypothesis to comment on each others websites, providing feedback to team members and the other teams.
Before using it for peer review, each student will practice using the tool on a digital history website.
- Get started at the Hypothe.sis web site. You will need to create a user account with your name, e-mail, and a password. Activate your account by following the link in an e-mail they send you.
- Install Hypothesis on your browser. For Chrome, there is an add-on. For other browsers, you drag a Launch Hypothesis icon to your bookmarks.
- Once you have logged in, you can highlight text on any site and add comments to it.
- Join the Burning Idea group by following this link. Our annotations on sites will only be visible to members of the group.
Choosing a Test Site
Choose a site that covers an aspect of history that appeals to you. To find good sites, try:
- EdTechTeacher’s Best History Sites
- Teaching History.org’s Best of History Websites
- University of Delaware Library, Websites for American History and Websites for World History
Please note– Do not choose a problematic site that might be easy to critique. Choose one that you find appealing, and try to interrogate what it is that makes the site work well.
Analyze the Site
Spend some time on the site. Think about what it is about it that appeals to you. Then annotate the site, commenting not only on what your impressions are, but on how the web designers built the site. Think about the following, and use the bold text as tags on your comments.
- First Impressions – What drew you to the site? Which sections of the site did you go to first? Can you determine why you found this site appealing? What parts of it drew you in?
- Navigation – How easy is it to find your way around the site? Is there one way to look at the site’s organization, or is it flexible enough that you can maneuver in different ways?
- Content – How does the site break up its content? Are there large text blocs, subdivisions in the text, internal navigation on pages, or other ways of streamlining the reading. How does the way that the text is presented add or detract to the experience?
- Appearance – Does the site convey a sense of historical time or place in its web design? Does the use of fonts, images, audiovisual materials or color schemes add or detract to the site’s message?
- Citations – How does the site cite things? Are the images captioned (at the bottom of the image or somewhere else); how does it deal with footnotes or links to resources? Does it provide sufficient citations that you could pick up the research and learn more?
- ? – How does the site provide information about its creator(s)? Can you contact the author(s), comment on the pages, or learn more about the purpose behind the blog.
Later in the semester, we will use this tool for peer review of the draft sites.