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Oct 19 2011

Avatar of Molly Ruggles

Timelines as a Nexus for Pedagogy and Research?

What do digital timelines offer us? We see their potential both as a vehicle for understanding complex events in history as well as a structure to which students can contribute materials and scholarship.  In this way temporal and topical interrelationships are highlighted to make the material more attractive and enlightening.

We’ve had some success with using a publicly viewable timeline to support undergraduate scholarship.  But we’ve also come up against some challenges: What are the processes and standards we should use when publishing student scholarship? What are the optimum visualization tools for our material? Are there several?

Our tool is built to separate presentation (through a Flash applet on the web) from content (stored in XML). We want to learn more about how the content could be used by other tools, or how our visualization tool could be used to display content from other institutions.

And, although we’re psyched about publishing student research (and the corollary benefits and motivators it offers), do we need to distinguish visually between student scholarship and the scholarship of senior researchers in the field?

Thinking towards the future, we want to initiate a conversation on how to network and connect with others doing similar research in other institutions. How can we build a community of scholars and students around digital historical timelines?

Molly, with Elizabeth Wood and Ben Brophy

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About the author

Molly Ruggles

I work with faculty to bring educational technology initiatives into teaching and learning -- functioning as project manager, faculty advocate, designer, and technologist. For the past two years I've been a member of the Russian RevolutionTimeline Team.

I'm a Senior Educational Technology Consultant on the staff of MIT's Office of Educational Innovation & Technology (oeit.mit.edu).

Possessing tons of relatively useless degrees in music, this June (after 6 years of study) I'll receive my Masters in Library & Information Science. Woo hoo!

Permanent link to this article: http://newengland2011.thatcamp.org/10/19/timelines-as-a-nexus-for-pedagogy-and-research/

1 comment

  1. Sara Martin

    This sounds great to me! I come to THATCamp as a digital humanities novice and am hoping to gain insight into overall digital project management. Having said that, one digital project the Adams Papers has identified is to revamp the timeline on our website, currently linear, static, and content heavy. We don’t want to lose much of the existing content, but we need to find a cohesive and easily searchable way to deliver information that incorporates many individual and interconnected lives across a 150-year period. I’d be interested to learn of good models to research and what software tools people know of or have found useful.

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