Learning Objectives

In this class, students will be able to:

  • Develop a familiarity with diverse methods and processes of digital liberal arts and utilization of technological resources in research, data analysis, and presentation
  • Work together cooperatively and creatively
  • Conduct research in a variety of settings and media
  • Demonstrate application of critical analysis, written, and oral communication skills through the website and oral presentations
  • Gain an understanding of the course subject and content and to effectively communicate the content to the public using digital technology.

Course Requirements

Every student will complete the following:

  • Attend all class sessions and meet with professors as required
  • Participate in class discussions of readings, videos, and other modes addressing the course content
  • Participate in class workshops encompassing digital tools and research skills and strategies
  • Complete assignments as they are assigned
  • Post weekly progress reports on their own blog
  • Regularly report to the class detailing progress made on their project
  • Complete a website based on the contract negotiated by the student and the professors and share that website with the class and visitors through an oral presentation
  • Compose an explanation of how the project fulfilled the agreed upon contract including a reflection on the process of the project

Students are expected to attend all class meetings or view the class sessions online and meet with instructors as required.  Absences and other attendance issues will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.  All project drafts and the final product of projects are required to be submitted by contracted date due.  Assignments, including the final product, are considered late if turned in/posted any time after the appointed due date and will be penalized by one half letter grade per day.


Class participation includes substantively participating in daily discussions and in responses to class presentations. For each class for which there are readings/videos, students should also prepare a list of comments on the material (parallels; problems; factual questions; connections to past readings or to ideas from other classes) so that they have those points in front of them for the discussion. Although we have no current plan to collect these comments, we reserve the right to do so at any point during the semester.


Distance learning courses present unique challenges with regard to collaboration and communication. Some of the tactics we will use to bridge the distance gap will be blogs, discussions on Google Hangout or Skype, and use of other social media. Narrating the planning, research, and implementation processes via your blogs is a central part of the class and a way for us to measure your effort, your creativity, and your progress as digital scholars. Blog about your problems as well as your successes. Be sure to comment on each others’ blogs and help each other out. This is a community of people going through similar efforts that you can tap into, so do so. Weekly posts & comments are a minimum expectation of the class.


Final Grades

Final grades will be determined based on class participation (including blogging, mini assignments, and regular presentations to the class) (35%), on performance on the contract (5%) and project (50%), and on the quality of the final formal presentations on the projects (10%). Unsatisfactory performance will be reported mid-semester to your advisor on your home campus.  The seminar instructors, Dr. Cathy Moran Hajo and Dr. Rebecca Dierking, will transmit the final grade to your advisor, and she or he will enter the grade using an independent study option at your home campus.

Academic Conduct

You should know that if you cheat or plagiarize in this class, you will fail, and we will report the incident to our liaison on your home campus.  On the other hand, having friends or family read and comment on your writing can be extremely helpful and falls within the bounds of proper academic conduct (assuming the writing itself remains yours). If you have questions about these issues, then you should talk to us sooner rather than later.

Project Contracts

Each student will create contracts with Professors Moran Hajo and Dierking about their projects. The contracts are due February 28, though each contract does need to be approved & may need to be tweaked before approval. Each contract must include:

  • Mission statement (describe project)
  • Tools the student plans to use
  • Schedule of milestones (when critical pieces are ready to present)

NOTE: These contracts may be revised as the semester goes on, though only with good reasons and only after discussion with the professors

Regular Presentations (or Updates)

Starting in week 6, each individual will be expected to make weekly status updates in class on Wednesdays on their progress. Although some weeks 3-5 minute updates will be sufficient, every other week individuals will need to present a more thorough update. More details on when you will be responsible for a lengthier presentation will be posted later in the semester.

End of the Semester (Public) Presentations

At the end of the semester each individual will make a 8-10 minute presentation summarizing their project. More on this later in the semester.

Reflection post/defense of contract

In the last week of the semester, each person will be expected to write a brief blog post (~500 words) reflecting on your process and defending your project as contracted.


If you receive services through your Office of Disability Resources and require accommodations for this class, please speak with us as soon as possible to discuss your approved accommodation needs. We will need a copy of your accommodation letter. We will hold any information you share with us in the strictest confidence unless you give us permission to do otherwise. If you need accommodations, please consult with your Office of Disability Resources about the appropriate documentation of a disability.