Digital Public History Course Policies (2017)


T 3:00-5:40 in UL 4115P
OFFICE HOURS: T 1:00-3:00 or by appointment
EMAIL: JASKELLY@IUPUI.EDU (always include H547 as part of your subject)
PHONE: 317.274.1689



Digital History is a branch of the Digital Humanities concerned with the creation and critical application of digital technologies to further historical scholarship, develop scholarly communities, and present academic research to non-academic groups. It ranges from the basic aspects of digitization and website creation to social networking to GIS, text mining and analysis, quantitative corpus linguistics, database creation and management, data curation, and data visualization. This course will introduce students to the basic theory and practice of Digital History, especially as it relates to Public History. At the end of this course students will have a clear understanding of the potentials and pitfalls of Digital History, both in practice and theory.


Contrary to what you may have learned in secondary school, history is not a mass of facts waiting to be memorized and organized into a chronological narrative.  History is a discipline that requires its practitioners to exercise their critical and analytical skills to interpret the past.  Historians must be able to uncover and comprehend a wide variety of historical sources whether they are textual, visual, material, or aural.  Applying their understanding of these sources to various questions, which are themselves often the result of specific historical circumstances, historians do their best to approximate an objective representation of the human past.  

In this course, you are all historians.  Therefore, the assignments will encourage you to improve your ability to communicate effectively through writing and speech, to critically think about the course material, and to integrate and apply your knowledge in a variety of contexts.  This course will challenge you on many levels.


A list of required books is available here.  Each individual lecture lists both required and assigned readings.

The books below are not required for this course. However, I think that they should be on every student’s (and professor’s) shelf. I use them regularly to help formulate research questions, design projects, and craft essays and books. I would encourage you to own every one of these, which are inexpensive – especially if you purchase a used copy. If you work through them and use them regularly, they will help you become a better thinker and writer. Moreover, they will help give you insight into what your professors would like to see in your work, no doubt helping to boost your grades. I would especially suggest that you purchase the books marked with an asterisk.

  • *Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research, Third Edition. 3rd ed. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780226065663
  • *Cullen, Jim. Essaying the Past: How to Read, Write and Think about History. 2nd ed. Chichester, West Sussex ; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. ISBN: 9781444351408
  • Elder, Linda. The Thinker’s Guide For Students On How to Study & Learn a Discipline. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2011. Kindle
  • *———. The Thinker’s Guide to How to Write a Paragraph. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2007. Kindle
  • Elder, Linda, and Richard Paul. The Thinker’s Guide to Analytic Thinking. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2007. Kindle
  • Jr, William Strunk, E. B. White, and Roger Angell. The Elements of Style. 4th edition. Boston: Longman, 1999. ISBN: 9780205309023
  • McInerny, D. Q. Being Logical: A Guide to Good Thinking. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2005. Kindle
  • Paul, Richard, and Linda Elder. The Miniature Guide to The Art of Asking Essential Questions. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2005. Kindle
  • ———. The Thinker’s Guide to Fallacies: The Art of Mental Trickery. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2008. Kindle
  • *———. The Thinker’s Guide to How to Read a Paragraph. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2008. Kindle
  • *Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Eighth Edition: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. Edited by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. 8th ed. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2013. 9780226816388


While most students know what study habits will make them successful students, many of them do not apply what they know.  So, it is worthwhile to reconsider your study habits.

Time management is one of the most difficult things to master, especially when you have other responsibilities in addition to class.  So, when scheduling your courses, it is useful for you to know how the university, your professors, and even the government (in calculating your student aid eligibility) look at each course.  Taking courses is like having a job, and each course requires you to set aside a specific amount of time each week.  A rough guide to how much time the average student needs to spend on each course is studying 2-3 hours per every credit hour per week.  This is in addition to time in the classroom.  Thus, for a three-credit course, you should set aside 6-9 hours per week.  This is why a 12-15 credit course load is equivalent to having a full time job.

If you do not already use one, I highly recommend using a digital calendar as a time management tool. This will allow you to set aside time to study, manage your meetings, and in general make you more efficient.

Taking notes in class is another thing with which some students struggle.  The most important things that you should be asking yourself when deciding what to take notes on are:

  1. Why is this significant?
  2. How does this relate to the themes of the course/lecture?
  3. How does this relate to the other topics that we have discussed so far?
  4. What does the professor consider particularly important?

I may use PowerPoint presentations in class and post them after class.  It is important to keep in mind that the PowerPoint outlines are merely a guide, and you will have to take substantial supplementary notes in class (including, during in-class discussions)

The nature of history requires that you read and analyze primary and secondary sources on a regular basis.  You should be prepared to set aside time devoted to read each week.  Ideally, you will do your reading in small, consistent steps rather than last minute “cram sessions.”  Remember, some of your reading is relatively difficult and may take longer than you expected.  When reading, you should not mark large sections of your book with a highlighter.  This will be virtually useless to you when you need to discuss your reading and prepare essays.  Instead, you should take notes on a separate sheet of paper, noting the author’s thesis, historiographical significance, methodology, and main points.  You should be able to critique the work in addition to comprehend the work if you have read properly.

For more information on notetaking, see


You are responsible for all announcements that I make during lecture, on Twitter (#iupuidh), or on the course blog.  If there is any adjustment to the syllabus, I will announce it in class or through email.  If for any reason you do not attend the class, you are still responsible for any announcements that I make.  Be sure to contact a fellow student who is responsible and can relay the information to you.  You are responsible for checking your email, twitter feed, and course blog regularly.  You may email me for clarification on any assignments you may have missed.


If you do not know how to use any feature of Canvas, it is your responsibility to seek tutoring.  I will briefly cover some basics of Canvas in class, but if you do not understand how to use it, you should seek assistance from the University Information Technology Specialists (UITS).  Your fees pay for UITS, so be sure to take advantage of their expertise. Their contact information is as follows.

Phone: (317) 274-4357 (24 hours)
Knowledge Base:   Walk-up: Informatics & Communications Technology Complex (IT 129)
Live Chat: (24 hours)

For assignments that require Canvas submission, many students have found that they prefer to write their assignment out in Microsoft Word and paste it into Canvas.  That way, they can save a backup copy for themselves.

Some assignments may require you to listen to podcasts or watch videos.  All campus computers are equipped with the necessary software to view them. However, you may need headphones. You can use your own or rent a set from the IUPUI Library.

Other assignments will require you to work in programs outside of Canvas. All of these programs are free. You can access many of them on campus computers or download them at If you would like to access the programs on your machine, but you don’t want to download them, many are available through IUAnyWare at


The grade breakdown is as follows:

  • In-Class Participation / Quizzes: 30%
  • Weekly Assignments: 35%
  • Final Project: 35%
  • Extra Credit: 3%

Scale: A=90-100, B+=87-89, B=83-86, B-=80-82, C+=77-79, C=73-76, C-=70-72, D+=67-69, D=63-66, D-=60-62 F=0-59

I may be willing to assign an P/F, W, or I grade. Please consult with me directly and note the university’s policies for each of these grades are available at the IUPUI Registrar:

I will give you specifics about assignments during lecture and post the details online.

Your assignments and exams should be completed before class on the day that they are due. This means that you will need to upload them before you come to class. Once class begins, your assignment is late. Except for exceptional circumstances, there are no make-up quizzes, and you will receive zero if you are not in class to take them.

If you turn in your assignment late (once class begins, your assignment is late), you will lose 10 percentage points every 24 hours.  Note that extra credit assignments must be turned in on time.  I do not accept late extra credit assignments.  There are no extensions or exceptions to this policy.  If you neglect to complete any coursework, you will fail the course.  

If you cannot complete a required assignment due to extraordinary circumstances, it is your responsibility to contact me within 48 hours to discuss scheduling a make-up.  If I do not hear from you within 48 hours, you will receive a zero for that assignment, and if you do not complete the assignment, you will fail the course.  I expect official written documentation confirming your extraordinary circumstance.

If you cannot be in class when an assignment is due because of a scheduling conflict (e.g. if you will be attending a field trip or a conference), you must let me know by Week 2.  I expect official written documentation confirming your scheduling conflict.  After Week 2, I will not make exceptions to class policy.  Note that I do not consider a vacation a scheduling conflict.      

If you desire to dispute a grade, you may submit an explanation to me in writing. State your points of contention, your reasons for them, and give specific evidence to support your claim.  Upon review of your assignment, I reserve the right to raise, lower, or keep your grade the same.  If you are not in class on the day I give back your assignment, you must get your grade from me promptly.


This course meets once a week.  ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY!!!  You must arrive at class on time.  If you are not in class when I am taking attendance, you will be marked as absent. 

Generally, I will not make any exceptions to my attendance policies. However, I do understand that there are sometimes exceptional circumstances (accidents, emergencies, etc.). If you are late to class because of an exceptional circumstance, you must speak to me immediately after class. I will not make adjustments to my attendance/participation roster later in the semester. I will not make exceptions for difficulty finding parking.  Keep in mind that parking on campus can be difficult to find at times, so be sure to plan your commute accordingly.  There are a variety of parking options.  For more information see visit the IUPUI Parking website.

Since we meet only 15 times, it is essential that you attend class every day. However, I do understand that sometimes life is complicated and that emergencies arise. Therefore, you will be excused for missing one lecture for any reason. You do not have to inform me about the reason for your absence. After that, I will begin lowering your overall grade 3 points for each day that you miss (up to 30%, equivalent to the total of your participation grade).  Remember that unexpected events sometimes arise later in the semester, so don’t use your single excused absence without a good reason. There are no exceptions to this policy, except in the case of extraordinary circumstances.

A basic requirement of this course is that you will participate in class and conscientiously complete writing and reading assignments. Keep in touch with me if you are unable to attend class or complete an assignment on time. If you miss more than half our class meetings within the first four weeks of the semester without contacting me, you will be administratively withdrawn from this section. Our class meets once per week; thus if you miss more than two classes in the first four weeks, you may be withdrawn. Administrative withdrawal may have academic, financial, and financial aid implications. Administrative withdrawal will take place after the full refund period, and if you are administratively withdrawn from the course you will not be eligible for a tuition refund. If you have questions about the administrative withdrawal policy at any point during the semester, please contact me. For more information, see

For information on the academic calendar, late drop, fees, etc.,

Preparation and participation are integral components to success in this course. Make sure that you spend time reading and analyzing the required texts BEFORE you arrive at lecture. I expect each of you to share your thoughts throughout the semester. Discussions with your peers are some of the most entertaining and educational times you spend in class, so come prepared to debate. BRING YOUR READINGS WITH YOU!!!  If you would like to discuss readings with me, be sure to take advantage of my office hours. I expect you to be prepared to discuss the course themes, lectures, and readings during every lecture.  We will have discussions every day.

There are a number of campus-wide policies governing the conduct of courses at IUPUI. These can be found at:


Student Advocate
The Student Advocate Office is located in the Campus Center, Suite 350, and can be contacted by phone at 278-7594 or email at For more information, visit the Student Advocate website at

Adaptive Educational Services
Students needing accommodations because of physical or learning disabilities should contact Adaptive Educational Services, Taylor Hall (UC), Room 137:

Counseling & Psychological Services
Students who wish to seek counseling or other psychological services should contact the CAPS office by phone at 274-2548 or email at For more information, visit the CAPS website at


The classroom is a space for learning.  Therefore, it is every student’s responsibility to foster a productive educational atmosphere.  This means that cell phones, SMS and other messaging devices, and similar devices must be turned off and put away unless you are participating in the course backchannel or obtain special permission from me.  Reading materials from other courses must also be put away.  Use your computer only for taking notes or supplementing the discussion.

If you choose to do work that is unrelated to class (including, but not limited to, texting, checking Facebook, studying for other courses, etc.), you will receive a zero for participation on that day.  If I find that you repeatedly abuse this policy, I will treat it as a case of student misconduct.

If you are late to class, try to make as little a disturbance as possible.  If you need to leave early, please inform me before class begins and sit near the door to avoid disturbing your fellow students.

Anything you post online or say in class should conform to the standards of constructive dialogue. Here are a few helpful hints:

  • Do not dominate any discussion. Do not use offensive language.  
  • Be cautious in using Internet language. For example, do not capitalize all letters since this suggests shouting.
  • Never make fun of someone’s ability to communicate.
  • Share tips with other students.
  • Keep an “open-mind” and be willing to express your opinion – even if the majority of the class disagrees.
  • Think and edit before you push the “Send” button.
  • Using humor is acceptable but be careful that it is not misinterpreted. For example, are you being humorous or sarcastic?
  • Use correct spelling and grammar.
  • Be aware of the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.
  • When in doubt, always ask for clarification.

Adapted from Alma Mintu-Wimsatt, “Netiquette: Make it Part of Your Syllabus,” Journal of Online Learning and Teaching 6, no. 1 (2010), accessed 8 February 2015. (This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike License)

In cases of student misconduct in the classroom or online, I will follow the procedures outlined in

All lectures, PowerPoint slides, handouts, etc. remain under copyright unless otherwise noted.  Students may not make video or audio recordings of lectures without prior written approval. For more information, please see me.


I will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism. Cheating includes copying answers from another student or bringing notes to an examination or quiz. Plagiarism is using the words or ideas of another person in your work and presenting them as your own. I will fail you for either of these. Additionally, I will report you to the Dean of Student Affairs. Please refer to the IUPUI Student Code of Conduct: for information regarding penalties and procedures in cases of academic misconduct: cheating, plagiarism, etc.


Student Advocate
The Student Advocate Office is located in the Campus Center, Suite 350, and can be contacted by phone at 278-7594 or email at For more information, visit the Student Advocate website at

Adaptive Educational Services
Students needing accommodations because of physical or learning disabilities should contact Adaptive Educational Services, Taylor Hall (UC), Room 137:

Counseling & Psychological Services
Students who wish to seek counseling or other psychological services should contact the CAPS office by phone at 274-2548 or email at For more information, visit the CAPS website at

Also, have a look at the Syllabus Supplement offered by IUPUI Academic Affairs at



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s