Weekly Assignment Guide

Week 15 & Finals Week (Dec 5–16) ― DS106 Inspire & Final Project

We're coming to the end of our time together. :( We've done some exciting things, though, and it's time to recognize some of the most inspiring work that we've done, and to build on it in one final, culminating public project.

Due Wednesday, Dec. 7, 8am

Go to The Cover Page and read a few of your colleagues' Week 13–14 posts. Reply to at least two of them using Medium's annotating feature or send them a private message. (Two points: one point per reply. If you reply privately, you can simply tell me that when you fill out your self-reflection.)

Think back over the whole semester's work. What of your colleagues' work inspired you the most? What of your own work gave you the most satisfaction? Share two links to the #inspire channel on Slack: the single creative work of yours that you are most proud of, and the single work of one of your classmate's that most inspires you. For each, share a brief (approx 2–3 sentences) explanation of why you find it so inspiring. I will share these publicly on the course website, as a record of our best work, and I'll share it in my circles. If you do not wish your work to be shared publicly, or if you wish to be anonymous, please note that in the #inspire channel. (Two points: one per link/explanation.)

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template - Final. Copy the content from this Google Doc to the end of the Self-Reflection document you have already been working on. Note that the reflection question is different for this final self-reflection. Then follow its instructions to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. No need to re-share the document. (One completion point.)

Final project proposal. The self-reflection template also contains a form for final project proposals. Fill out this form with details about the kind of final project you would like to do. These can be any kind of major digital media project you would like to do that you are comfortable making public and that relates to our theme of "The Cover." Examples include a documentary video short that makes use of existing video, a podcast (series of several short audio or video episodes on a theme) that remixes existing content, a musical album remix/mashup, a movie mashup with excerpts from the original and a remake version, a graphic novel composed of GIFs, a dynamic website that randomly substitutes text in your favorite novel (a digital Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), a blog that compares a film scene with a music-less version and critically reflects on the difference in effect, ... anything you have been thinking about, anything you've been itching to do but haven't had a chance to do in our weekly assignments. In your proposal be sure to provide a general explanation of your project, list the specific things you intend to do, indicate where you will publish the work (preferably on your domain, or on a service like YouTube/SoundCloud and then embedded on your domain), and explain how your project relates to our theme of "The Cover." Include a list of approx. 4-6 elements that can be assessed as complete/incomplete. Your grade (like major assignments) will be an A for fulfilling all elements, B all but one, C all but two, etc. (Four completion points: one for general explanation, one for project details/assessment points, one for publication plans, one for "The Cover" explanation.)

I will respond to your proposals as quickly as I can on Wednesday and/or Thursday. Please keep an eye out for these replies, as any changes that need to be made to the project proposals will need to be finalized by Friday at 4pm, so you have sufficient time to complete the project.

Important note: Some of you will want to make big projects. That's totally fine. However, I have limited time to grade them. I'm hoping to spend no more than one full day (8 hours) grading final projects for this class. That means 20 minutes per student. In order to make that manageable for me, I'm asking that you limit your video/audio content to 10 minutes or less, and if you use images, text, or a mix of media, do whatever seems to be comparable to that 10 minute limit. You are welcome to go beyond that, if the project requires it or you just want to do it. But if you do, please tell me when you submit your work which 10 minutes (or less) I should assess. (Hopefully I'll have time to go back and watch/listen to/read the entire thing, but just in case things get hairy before the holidays, I want to make sure I can devote sufficient time and attention to everyone.)

Due Wednesday, Dec. 14, 8am

Final project

Post your finished final project to the venue you chose in your proposal. Provide the link to the finished project in your self-assessment/reflection document. (Project is worth 12.5% of the final grade.)

Final Medium post

Log into Medium.com. Write a short post (a paragraph or less) that provides some context to your project for a public audience, and link to/embed your project (please embed, if possible) in the post.

When you are finished publish your post and submit it to our class publication, The Cover Page. You can find instructions for publishing and submitting to the publication on our Resources page. (Worth one completion point.)

Total completion points (in addition to the final project): 10.

Weeks 13–14 (Nov 21–Dec 2) ― Battlestar Galactica

We bring our video unit to a close with a look at a cult classic, Battlestar Galactica. Creator Glen Larson had been pitching this show to network executives for years, but only after the successful release of Star Wars did he get a yes from NBC. The series premiered in 1978, and ran for a single year. Though it was not renewed, its status as a cult classic led to a more successful remake in 2003–08 on the Sci-Fi network.

The remake not only takes advantage of advances in digital technology to increase the impressiveness of its visual effects on a smaller budget (the original cost $1 Million per episode in 1978!), but it also made significant changes to the plot and characters. The Mormon allegory of the original (Glen Larson wanted to tell the story of his LDS faith in a techno-futuristic fantasy) was changed to a less specific religious backdrop on the remake. The robot cylons changed significantly in the remake (I'll not give the details away). Several key characters changed gender, race, even species, greatly changing the social and relational dynamic of the remake, and affecting the potential target audience. These changes and their effects on the storytelling and the audience make it a great focus to end our video unit, and the "content" of our digital storytelling course!

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, we're going to join two weeks together. Nothing is due until Monday the 28th, but note that both episodes of BSG we'll be watching are rather long, so you'll want to not wait too long to get started watching. They make great holiday watching. :)

Also, don't wait too long to get started on the video assignments. You have a lot of freedom of choice, choosing from the existing assignments in the DS106 Assignment Bank (or even creating your own). But if you've found that having that degree of freedom makes it difficult to know where to start, be sure to look through the assignments early and get a feel for what you might like to do.

Have fun!

Due Monday, Nov. 28, 8am

Go to The Cover Page and read a few of your colleagues' Week 12 posts. Reply to at least two of them using Medium's annotating feature or send them a private message. (Two points: one point per reply. If you reply privately, you can simply tell me that when you fill out your self-reflection.)

Due Thursday, Dec. 1, 8am

Do three Daily Create assignments from The (New) Daily Create website (preferably the ones posted on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). Upload it to Slack in the #dailycreate channel. (You may also share it on Twitter, following the instructions on the TDC website (or another public media channel), but you do not have to if you’d rather it remain private.) (Three points: one point each.)

Watch the first episode of both versions of Battlestar Galactica. The original version from 1978 (right after the first Star Wars movie was released) is streaming on Netflix. The 2004 remake is available on Amazon Prime. Watch the original mini-series, not Season 1, Episode 1. (I misread the pricing on this when I mentioned it before. The episodes of Season 1 are $2.99 each, but this miniseries is $12.99 to download from Amazon or $6.83 to buy on DVD. If you own/purchase/borrow the Season 1 DVD set, the miniseries is included.) Feel free to connect with each other on Slack to share the cost and watch in groups.

The remake changes some significant elements of the plot line, in addition to capitalizing on differences in technological effects available to them. For example, the original is an allegory for the Mormon faith of the show's creator. This changes significantly in the remake. There are also characters that change gender, race, even species from the original to the remake. All of these changes have significant impact on the story, and on the ability of fans of the original to anticipate where the remake is going as the story progresses. Pick two changes from the original to the remake, and write a short explanation in the #bsg channel on Slack of the impact of those differences on the storytelling potential of the two versions. (Two points: one point each.)

Go to the DS106 Assignment Bank and peruse the video assignments. These are marked with different levels of difficulty. Do five points worth of assignments, and provide a link to anything you do in the #assignments channel on Slack. You can do one 5-point assignment, five 1-point assignments, any combination that adds up to five points total. You may also create your own assignment, if there's something specific you've been wanting to do with video. Gauge the difficulty level based on the other assignments in the collection. Whatever you do, at least one assignment you do has to involve something related to our course theme of "the cover." Any remix/remake will do.

Due Friday, Dec. 2, 8am

In Slack, provide feedback or responses to five things your colleagues have posted in Slack this week. These could be Daily Create assignments, video assignments, or BSG posts, but please make sure that you have at least one of each kind. (I.e., don't do all Daily Creates or all Murrow annotations.) As usual, be substantive, supportive, and respectful. What do you like about it? What does it inspire in you? How can you add to it? How might you want to riff on it in your own work? (Five points: one point each.)

Due Monday, Dec. 5, 8am

Medium blog post.

Log into Medium.com. Write a short post (about 500 words is plenty, but I’m not counting). In that post, reflect on some aspect of this week's work that was particularly insightful or interesting to you.

Since this is a required public assignment, think about what insights you have, or what interesting materials you have to share, that might be of value to others outside the class. And while they will not be assessed for grammar, be sure to proofread carefully and only break convention purposively, so that you can have the best communicative impact possible.

When you are finished publish your post and submit it to our class publication, The Cover Page. You can find instructions for publishing and submitting to the publication on our Resources page.

Assessment: Weekly Medium posts count towards the Major Weekly Assignments portion of the grade (25% of the final grade) and will receive a letter grade. See the syllabus for the grading rubric.

Short self-reflection in a Google Doc.

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template Week 13. Copy the content from this Google Doc to the end of the Self-Reflection document you have already been working on. Then follow its instructions to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. No need to re-share the document.

Total completion points (in addition to the video creation and the Medium post): 13

Week 12 (Nov 14–18) – Good Night and Good Luck

Edward R. Murrow in London, 1941 (CBS/Getty Images)

I had planned to move into the realm of entertainment video this week. However, the election, and the various events that the election results have precipitated here and elsewhere in the world, have left me wanting us to do more than simply make something to help people "pass the boring hours between the cradle and the grave," as novelist and activist Cory Doctorow would say. Instead, I want us to focus this week on using video media to tell stories that make a difference in the world. Stories that "educate, ... illuminate, ... inspire" (Edward R. Murrow). So that's what we'll do. I hope that's okay. We'll still have time for entertainment-oriented video before the end of the semester.

So this week, we'll have our usual dose of Daily Create, Medium posts, and peer feedback, as well as a short reading to annotate. We'll also make a video following very similar parameters to last week, but with a more specific goal for those videos in mind than simply learning some new tools and techniques.

Due Thursday, Nov. 17, 8am

Go to The Cover Page and read a few of your colleagues' Week 11 posts. Reply to at least two of them using Medium's annotating feature or send them a private message. (Two points: one point per reply. If you reply privately, you can simply tell me that when you fill out your self-reflection.)

Do three Daily Create assignments from The (New) Daily Create website (preferably the ones posted on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). Upload it to Slack in the #dailycreate channel. (You may also share it on Twitter, following the instructions on the TDC website (or another public media channel), but you do not have to if you’d rather it remain private.) (Three points: one point each.)

Read Edward R. Murrow's 1958 speech to the Radio-Television News Directors Association. Though speaking to a different time and historical context, Murrow's thoughts on the effect of mass appeal on the quality of television and its impact on society is incredibly relevant to the internet age. His comments on the political implications of television are also relevant to the relationship between social media and our recent election. As you read this speech, annotate it with hypothes.is. Provide two annotations. First, find a statement that you think applies to the internet/social media and leave a public annotation that applies Murrow's thoughts to the internet. You can either comment on how the statement would apply if he were speaking about digital media, or you can critique it by saying how modern digital media allows us to get around his concerns. Second, leave a public annotation that connects Murrow's thoughts to our reading/movie/activities from two weeks ago (The Hunger Games and activist media). Again, you can note a parallel or note a way in which digital media changes things. We will be engaging others outside the class, so please be sure your annotations are public. Also, please include the tags DS106 and MarginalSyllabus. (The tag for the public group we'll be engaging.) Feel free to engage other commentors beyond the minimum class assignment. In fact, if you like to, you can substitute extra comments here for a couple of the Daily Create assignments if you like. (Two points minimum: one per annotation.)

Though not required, you may also be interested in watching the David Strathairn/George Clooney film about Edward R. Murrow, "Good Night and Good Luck" (streaming for free if you have an Amazon Prime account.) The film begins with an excerpt of this speech, and then chronicles Murrow's struggles as a television reporter covering the McCarthy hearings in the 1950s. It's powerful, and will give you good context for this speech, especially if you're not familiar with early Cold War American history.

Due Friday, Nov. 18, 8am

In Slack, provide feedback or responses to five things your colleagues have posted in Slack this week. These could be Daily Create assignments or hypothes.is annotations, but please make sure that you have at least one of each kind. (I.e., don't do all Daily Creates or all Murrow annotations.) As usual, be substantive, supportive, and respectful. What do you like about it? What does it inspire in you? How can you add to it? How might you want to riff on it in your own work? (Five points: one point each.)

Create a short video (preferably in iMovie). Like last week, this video should include the following:

  • At least 4 video clips or still images (whatever is most appropriate for your topic).
  • At least 1 transition effect.
  • At least 1 title (on its own title screen, or superimposed on one of your images/videos).
  • At least 1 segment where the audio has been replaced with something else.
  • No more than 30 seconds long.

Unlike last week, though, build on our work with Mockingjay and Edward R. Murrow to produce a video that seeks to accomplish some good in the world. Don't simply "entertain, amuse, insulate" but instead try to "teach, ... illuminate, ... inspire." Like before, a good source of free photo and video content that you can use easily is Pexels. Go to pexels.com for photos or videos.pexels.com for video. If you'd like to download video from YouTube, try out a tool like ClipConverter. (If iMovie doesn't recognize what you download, try changing the conversion format and trying again.) Be sure to attribute anything you use that isn't public domain.

One tip: you may find it helpful to download video from YouTube (such as a video from a historical news broadcast or documentary) and split the video from the audio in iMovie. Then you can add your own spoken commentary, sound effects, or music.

Once you've created your video, upload it to a service like YouTube or Vimeo and share the link in the #assignments channel on Slack. (Don't just upload the video to Slack. It will be a huge file, and difficult for people to download and watch.)

This video will count as a major weekly assignment. There are 5 bullet points above. Completing all 5 will result in an A, 4 a B, 3 a C, 2 a D, 0–1 an F.

Due Monday, Nov. 21, 8am

Medium blog post.

Log into Medium.com. Write a short post (about 500 words is plenty, but I’m not counting). In that post, reflect on some aspect of this week's work that was particularly insightful or interesting to you.

Since this is a required public assignment, think about what insights you have, or what interesting materials you have to share, that might be of value to others outside the class. And while they will not be assessed for grammar, be sure to proofread carefully and only break convention purposively, so that you can have the best communicative impact possible.

When you are finished publish your post and submit it to our class publication, The Cover Page. You can find instructions for publishing and submitting to the publication on our Resources page.

Assessment: Weekly Medium posts count towards the Major Weekly Assignments portion of the grade (25% of the final grade) and will receive a letter grade. See the syllabus for the grading rubric.

Short self-reflection in a Google Doc.

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template Week 12. Copy the content from this Google Doc to the end of the Self-Reflection document you have already been working on. Then follow its instructions to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. No need to re-share the document.

Total completion points (in addition to the video creation and the Medium post): 13

Week 11 (Nov 7–Nov 11) – Basic video editing

[rise], by Rhino Neal.

This week we turn our focus to creating video, and remain there for most of the rest of the course. I highly recommend using iMovie for your video creations. It is very easy to use, comes free with every Mac (including those for student use on campus), and the DKC tutors know it well. If you (like me) primarily use Windows, I still recommend using iMovie on the on-campus Macs if you can. Simple, powerful, free video editors for Windows are hard to come by. However, you are free to use whatever you like, including more professional software. Just be aware that my help, and that of the DKC tutors, will be primarily limited to iMovie.

Due Thursday, Nov. 10, 8am

Go to The Cover Page and read a few of your colleagues' Week 10 posts. Reply to at least two of them using Medium's annotating feature or send them a private message. (Two points: one point per reply. If you reply privately, you can simply tell me that when you fill out your self-reflection.)

Do three Daily Create assignments from The (New) Daily Create website (preferably the ones posted on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). Upload it to Slack in the #dailycreate channel. (You may also share it on Twitter, following the instructions on the TDC website (or another public media channel), but you do not have to if you’d rather it remain private.) (Three points: one point each.)

Find a television commercial that you find particularly emotionally gripping. Write a short description (no more than a single paragraph) of the technical features of the commercial that you think accomplish that emotional impact. Be sure to reference (at least) the following elements:

  • How many cuts are included in the commercial?
  • How does the audio (music, sound effects, strategic use of silence, etc.) support the visual imagery?
  • Which one shot strikes you the most? What about that shot is so gripping?

Post a link to the commercial, along with your written description, to the Slack #assignments channel. (One point.)

Create a short video (preferably in iMovie). This video should include the following:

  • At least 2 video clips.
  • At least 3 still images.
  • At least 1 transition effect.
  • At least 1 title (on its own title screen, or superimposed on one of your images/videos).
  • At least 1 segment where the audio has been replaced with something else.
  • No more than 30 seconds long.

The video can be a creative production on any topic of your choosing. Or it can simply be a collage of random things you found, with the focus just on learning how to use iMovie. Your choice. (We'll have more chances later to make/remix video.) A good source of free photo and video content that you can use easily is Pexels. Go to pexels.com for photos or videos.pexels.com for video. If you'd like to download video from YouTube, try out a tool like ClipConverter. (If iMovie doesn't recognize what you download, try changing the conversion format and trying again.) Be sure to attribute anything you use that isn't public domain.

Once you've created your video, upload it to a service like YouTube or Vimeo and share the link in the #assignments channel on Slack. (Don't just upload the video to Slack. It will be a huge file, and difficult for people to download and watch.)

This video will count as a major weekly assignment. There are 6 bullet points above. Completing all 6 will result in an A, 5 a B, 4 a C, 3 a D, 0–2 an F.

Due Friday, Nov. 11, 8am

In Slack, provide feedback or responses to five things your colleagues have posted in Slack this week. These could be Daily Create assignments, video creations, or TV commercials. As usual, be substantive, supportive, and respectful. What do you like about it? What does it inspire in you? How can you add to it? How might you want to riff on it in your own work? (Five points: one point each.)

Due Monday, Nov. 14, 8am

Medium blog post.

Log into Medium.com. Write a short post (about 500 words is plenty, but I’m not counting). In that post, reflect on some aspect of this week's work that was particularly insightful or interesting to you.

Since this is a required public assignment, think about what insights you have, or what interesting materials you have to share, that might be of value to others outside the class. And while they will not be assessed for grammar, be sure to proofread carefully and only break convention purposively, so that you can have the best communicative impact possible.

When you are finished publish your post and submit it to our class publication, The Cover Page. You can find instructions for publishing and submitting to the publication on our Resources page.

Assessment: Weekly Medium posts count towards the Major Weekly Assignments portion of the grade (25% of the final grade) and will receive a letter grade. See the syllabus for the grading rubric.

Short self-reflection in a Google Doc.

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template Week 11. Copy the content from this Google Doc to the end of the Self-Reflection document you have already been working on. Then follow its instructions to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. No need to re-share the document.

Total completion points (in addition to the video creation and the Medium post): 12

Week 10 (Oct 31–Nov 4) – Mockingjay & activist media

The Hunger Games, by Kendra Miller

This week we start to pivot from film remakes of books into the world of video production. As we have an election coming up, it seems a fitting time to explore the concept of activist media ― media with a cause. We'll read about the making of "propos" (Suzanne Collins's name for "propaganda films"), then watch a remake of that scene ― a video with a cause about making videos for a cause! ― and others in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1." Finally, we'll look for inspiring "propos" in our own culture. This week, we also return to the regular schedule of Daily Creates and Medium posts.

Please note that Mockingjay contains major plot lines involving people in psychological distress (PTSD, depression, and abuse tactics like gaslighting) and military violence. If you believe this may cause you distress for any reason, please contact me as early as you can, and we can work out alternate assignments.

Due Thursday, Nov. 3, 8am

Go to the #showcase channel in Slack and check out a few of your colleagues' new websites. Leave comments in the #showcase channel for at least two of your classmates telling them specific things about their sites that you found particularly creative or interesting. (Two points: one point per reply.)

Do three Daily Create assignments from The (New) Daily Create website (preferably the ones posted on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). Upload it to Slack in the #dailycreate channel. (You may also share it on Twitter, following the instructions on the TDC website (or another public media channel), but you do not have to if you’d rather it remain private.) (Three points: one point each.)

Read "'Mockingjay' and the Contradictory Message of 'Revolutionary' Media" on AlterNet. Then provide at least one annotation with hypothes.is, noting something in the article that you find particularly insightful, or which you feel is in need of correction or contradiction. Be sure to post your annotation(s) to our class group, ds106-the-cover. (One point.)

Read pp. 70–100 in Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins. (I will scan the UMW library copy and post it to Slack in the #mockingjay channel.)

Watch "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1." This is currently available to stream for free if you have Amazon Prime. I've also seen relatively inexpensive DVDs at Target in the past couple weeks. You can also rent a streaming copy of it from iTunes or Amazon. If you own a copy, plan on buying/renting one, or have an Amazon Prime account and are willing to meet with others for a watching party, please leave a note in the #assignments channel on Slack. (Note: there will be two more required films this semester, one of which is on Netflix, and one of which can be purchased on Amazon for $2.99, streaming. I've kept the cost lower than the syllabus suggested, but feel free to work together to share the load.)

After watching Mockingjay, post two things to the #mockingjay channel in Slack: First, post something you notice in the movie version of the scene from the reading. Make sure to read any posts that come before yours, and do not duplicate anything already posted. Try to find something about the film version that is effective, but not possible (or at least more difficult) in print. Second, post something you learned about activist media from another part of the movie. As the AlterNet article discusses, the movie is both an example of activist media and a commentary on (both good and bad) activist media. Your insight can be from either the content of the movie, or the way the movie is made. Again, be sure to read each other's insights and post something unique. (Two points: one point each.)

Finally, choose an example of a "propo" from our current culture that inspires you. This could be a political advertisement, a viral video, anything that uses video to try and rally people around a cause (preferably a cause that you find worthwhile). Post a link to it in the #assignments channel on Slack, along with a comment about why you find it particularly inspiring. Try to be as technically specific as you can (the focal point of the imagery, the use of music or sound effects, the rapid cuts, the altered hues of the film color, etc.). (One point.)

Due Friday, Nov. 4, 8am

Read your colleagues' annotations on AlterNet, and reply to at least one of them. Be sure to reply in a way that adds some new detail or insight. (One point.)

In Slack, provide feedback or responses to five things your colleagues have posted in Slack this week. These could be Daily Create assignments, "propos," or insights on activist media from "Mockingjay, Part 1." As usual, be substantive, supportive, and respectful. What do you like about it? What does it inspire in you? How can you add to it? How might you want to riff on it in your own work? (Five points: one point each.)

Due Monday, Nov. 7, 8am

Medium blog post.

Log into Medium.com. Write a short post (about 500 words is plenty, but I’m not counting). In that post, reflect on some aspect of this week's work that was particularly insightful or interesting to you.

Since this is a required public assignment, think about what insights you have, or what interesting materials you have to share, that might be of value to others outside the class. And while they will not be assessed for grammar, be sure to proofread carefully and only break convention purposively, so that you can have the best communicative impact possible.

When you are finished publish your post and submit it to our class publication, The Cover Page. You can find instructions for publishing and submitting to the publication on our Resources page.

Assessment: Weekly Medium posts count towards the Major Weekly Assignments portion of the grade (25% of the final grade) and will receive a letter grade. See the syllabus for the grading rubric.

Short self-reflection in a Google Doc.

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template Week 10. Copy the content from this Google Doc to the end of the Self-Reflection document you have already been working on. Then follow its instructions to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. No need to re-share the document.

Total completion points (in addition to the Medium post): 16

Week 9 (Oct 24–28) – Midterm projects

This week, we work on our own domains! UMW was one of the first schools to give students a "Domain of One's Own," on which to publish their creative work, for class or otherwise. A few years ago, this class (DS106) was instrumental in the pilot of that program, giving every DS106 student a domain, and asking them to post all of their assignments on the public web.

So far this semester, we've done most of our work in private. This week, though, we take a look back at all the work we've done, and showcase it on our own domains!

Before you get started, read this blog post by Alan Levine (former UMW employee and DS106 instructor): "Domains: Own, Value, Care, Time." No need to annotate, but it (along with some of the posts we read in Week 1) will give you some idea why we do Domain of One's Own, and what you might want to do with your domain.

Due Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8am

Think back over what your colleagues have produced this semester. What stands out as being particularly creative or compelling? Share a note in the #showcase channel on Slack for at least three standout creative works you remember seeing. If you can find it (probably via search), include a link to that specific post. And be sure to tag your classmate who made it, so they get your notification! This is a great opportunity both to affirm each other's work, and to receive input from others about what they really liked about your work. (Three points total: one per Slack post.)

Due Thursday, Oct. 27, 8am

Go to The Cover Page and read a few of your colleagues' Sherlock fan fiction posts. Reply to at least two of them using Medium's annotating feature or send them a private message. (Two points: one point per reply. If you reply privately, you can simply tell me that when you fill out your self-reflection.)

Due Monday, Oct. 31, 8am

Based on any notes you received for Wednesday, comments you received from me or from your classmates so far, and of course your own preferences, choose between 7 and 10 things that you created so far this semester that you are particularly fond of. (Your self-assessment document has links to everything you've produced so far, so if you are having difficulty finding it in Slack, Medium, Soundcloud, etc., check that document.)

Then create a website on your own domain that showcases those creations.

You all created websites several weeks ago on your domain. If that site is still waiting to be filled, now's your chance! If you have a domain that you have been using primarily for another class, or for multiple classes, please create a new one. (The best way to do that is to create a new subdomain and install a new instance of WordPress, Known, or whatever you plan on using into that subdomain. The DKC tutors and the Domain of One's Own Documentation can help you as you put this together.)

Make the site your own! Experiment with themes and layouts. Think through whether each creating should have its own page, or whether you want a single "landing page" that carries visitors through your creations. Make this site a representation of your own creativity. Something you would be proud to show not only your classmates and me, but your friends, family, even future employers and colleagues. Something that shows who you are and the amazing things that you can do with digital media.

Keep in mind that some of your creations will speak for themselves. Others will need some explanation. Though this site is an assignment, I am not your primary audience. This will be a public presentation of your work, so do your best to make sure that what you put there is intelligible and meaningful for a public audience.

Assessment: These will be very personal projects, so I want to leave a lot of flexibility in assessment. I'll grade them out of 10 total points: two for proper site installation, one for the personalization (just don't use the stock theme!), and one for each of the (minimum 7) creations showcased. (To get credit for each one, be sure there is a brief but sufficient explanation to give your viewers context.) What you post specifically, and how you layout the site is entirely up to you. Note that this project is worth 12.5% of your final course grade.

Have fun! And be sure to get started early. You'll want a lot of time to tweak things, as well as to seek help from me or the DKC if you need it.

Self-assessment.

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template Week 9. Copy the content from this Google Doc to the end of the Self-Reflection document you have already been working on. Then follow its instructions to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. No need to re-share the document.

Total completion points (in addition to the domain project): 6

Week 8 (Oct 17–21) – Sherlock, Week 3

This week is a short week, due to Fall Break. We wind up our study of Sherlock with film adaptations and fan fiction! We’ll forego the Daily Create assignments this week in order to lessen the workload.

Due Wednesday, Oct. 19, 8am

Go to The Cover Page and read a few of your colleagues' Week 7 posts. Reply to at least two of them using Medium's annotating feature or send them a private message. (Two points: one point per reply. If you reply privately, you can simply tell me that when you fill out your self-reflection.)

For Friday, you will be watching at least one film/TV adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles. You are free to choose any that you like, or have easy access to. There is one version available on Netflix (Benedict Cumberbatch & Martin Freeman). Others may be available via the UMW library or the Rappahannock Regional Library, or friends/family members may have a copy. Otherwise, you will have to pay to purchase or rent one on iTunes, Amazon, or another service.

By Wednesday morning, make a note in the #assignments channel on Slack of which film/TV version you are planning to watch, and note if you own it, plan on purchasing it, or have a streaming account (Netflix, Amazon, etc.) that includes it, as well as whether or not you’d be willing to watch in a group to keep costs down. There are a lot of spaces available in the HCC to settle in and watch as a group, and you can save each other some money. (Note, there will be at least one more film to watch on Netflix this semester, and probably one or two others streaming via Amazon Prime or needing to be purchased. Help each other out and/or get together in groups if you can, to save each other money.) (One point.)

By Friday, October 21

Watch at least one film/TV adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Due Monday, Oct. 24, 8am

Medium fan fiction.

Create a work of fan fiction based on The Hound of the Baskervilles. You are free to choose any genre or medium that you like. It can be a short story (and I do mean short!), a blog post by Dr. Watson, a photo essay, a series of GIFs, a game, a video clip, a piece of music, a work of visual art (that you photograph or film), … any genre you can think of. My only constraint is that it not be primarily audio-based, since we’ve done that twice now. Pick a medium you are comfortable with, or which you would like to get to know better, and make something special.

Note that fan fiction is different from a straight remake. Take a character, a place, an event, a theme, etc. from The Hound of the Baskervilles and tell a new story about it. You could tell the story of the criminal loose on the moor, of the prehistoric humans whose artifacts were left there, the early childhood of Hugo Baskerville, … even something/someone from a radio or film remake that wasn’t in the book (like the case of the glow-in-the-dark rabbit in the Cumberbatch/Freeman film). Anything you like. Just have fun with it!

Please do not make this a large undertaking, especially since this week begins with Fall Break. It should be more substantial than a Daily Create assignment, but less substantial than your radio scenes from last week.

When you are finished, create a post on Medium containing your fan fiction. (If you do something other than text, you may have to upload your media elsewhere, such as YouTube, and then embed it.) Publish your post and submit it to our class publication, The Cover Page. You can find instructions for publishing and submitting to the publication on our Resources page.

Assessment: Weekly Medium posts count towards the Major Weekly Assignments portion of the grade (25% of the final grade) and will receive a letter grade. See the syllabus for the grading rubric.

Short self-reflection in a Google Doc.

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template Week 8. Copy the content from this Google Doc to the end of the Self-Reflection document you have already been working on. Then follow its instructions to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. No need to re-share the document.

Total completion points (in addition to the Medium post): 4

Week 7 (Oct 10–14) – Sherlock, Week 2

This week we take our exploration of The Hound of the Baskervilles, as well as our major creative work, to the world of radio!


Due Thursday, Oct. 13, 8am

Go to The Cover Page and read a few of your colleagues' Week 6 posts. Reply to at least two of them using Medium's annotating feature (it works very similar to hypothes.is but requires no installation of any software, as long as you're logged in to Medium) or send them a private message (this shows up as an option when you highlight a passage). Note that unlike hypothes.is, when you annotate on Medium, it creates a new post in your feed that contains your comment and a link to the original. These responses, thus, are potentially more public than even public hypothes.is annotations. (Two points: one point per reply. If you reply privately, you can simply tell me that when you fill out your self-reflection.)

Do three Daily Create assignments from The (New) Daily Create website (preferably the ones posted on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). Upload it to Slack in the #dailycreate channel. (You may also share it on Twitter, following the instructions on the TDC website (or another public media channel), but you do not have to if you’d rather it remain private.) (Three points: one point each.)

Listen to the CBS Radio Mystery Theater broadcast of The Hound of the Baskervilles (1977). Then find another radio/audio adaptation, either online or in the library, and listen to that one as well. Share the link to your second adaptation in #assignments on Slack. (One point.)

Choose a scene from The Hound of the Baskervilles and create your own radio version of that scene. You can do this as an individual, or in a group of 2 or 3. (Please, no groups bigger than 3, so that everyone is sure to be fully involved in the process, and so that you can more easily find times to work together.) The audio scene should not be a single audio recording. It should be assembled from multiple, short audio clips (such as dialog, sound effects, or music) that are joined together using a program like Audacity or Garage Band (or a more professional app like Logic Pro or ProTools, if you already have the software and know how to use it). The DKC tutors can help with both Audacity and Garage Band, if you get started early enough to receive help.

Your audio scene should be between 20 and 30 seconds long and have at least 6 different audio clips stitched together. Include at least two of the following types of audio clips:

- clips from an existing radio adaptation of the novel

- dialog that you record yourself

- sound effects included in your audio editing program or found on the internet

- sound effects or background sound (rain/fireplace/etc.) that you create yourself

- music

You are welcome to simply place your 6 or more audio clips back to back, but I encourage you to attempt using multiple layers ― for example, placing a quiet track of a gentle rainstorm underneath dialog.

When finished, export your radio scene in a format (such as mp3 or WAV) that can be uploaded to SoundCloud, and then upload your radio scene to SoundCloud. Finally share a link to your radio scene in the #assignments channel on Slack.

This will be graded as a weekly major assignment. There are five bolded elements above. Assignments that fulfill all five will receive an A, four a B, three a C, two a D, and one or none an F. If you work as a group, all group members will receive the same grade, and it only needs to be shared on Slack once (but be sure to note everyone who worked on it).

Due Friday, Oct. 14, 8am

In Slack, provide feedback to three of your colleagues’ Daily Create assignments in the #dailycreate channel. As usual, be substantive, supportive, and respectful. What do you like about it? What does it inspire in you? How might you want to riff on it in your own work? (Three points: one point each.)

In Slack, provide feedback to three of your colleagues’ radio scenes in the #assignments channel. As usual, be substantive, supportive, and respectful. What do you like about it? What does it inspire in you? How might you want to riff on it in your own work? (Three points: one point each.)

Due Monday, Oct. 17, 8am

Medium blog post.

Log into Medium.com. Write a short post (about 500 words is plenty, but I’m not counting). In that post, embed the radio scene that you created and describe your process and key takeaway points from creating it.

Since this is a required public assignment, think about what insights you have, or what interesting materials you have to share, that might be of value to others outside the class. And while they will not be assessed for grammar, be sure to proofread carefully and only break convention purposively, so that you can have the best communicative impact possible.

When you are finished publish your post and submit it to our class publication, The Cover Page. You can find instructions for publishing and submitting to the publication on our Resources page.

If you worked as a group on the radio scene, each member should write their own Medium post.

Assessment: Weekly Medium posts count towards the Major Weekly Assignments portion of the grade (25% of the final grade) and will receive a letter grade. See the syllabus for the grading rubric.

Short self-reflection in a Google Doc.

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template Week 7. Copy the content from this Google Doc to the end of the Self-Reflection document you have already been working on. Then follow its instructions to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. No need to re-share the document.

Total completion points (in addition to the Medium post and the radio scene): 13

Week 6 (Oct 4–8) – Sherlock, Week 1

Baker Street Station, by Nigel Goodman

This week, we begin a three week unit investigating Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles and various radio and film remakes.

Due Thursday, Oct. 6, 8am

Go to The Cover Page and read a few of your colleagues' Week 5 posts. Reply to at least two of them using Medium's annotating feature (it works very similar to hypothes.is but requires no installation of any software, as long as you're logged in to Medium) or send them a private message (this shows up as an option when you highlight a passage). Note that unlike hypothes.is, when you annotate on Medium, it creates a new post in your feed that contains your comment and a link to the original. These responses, thus, are potentially more public than even public hypothes.is annotations. (Two points: one point per reply. If you reply privately, you can simply tell me that when you fill out your self-reflection.)

Do three Daily Create assignments from The (New) Daily Create website (preferably the ones posted on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). Upload it to Slack in the #dailycreate channel. (You may also share it on Twitter, following the instructions on the TDC website (or another public media channel), but you do not have to if you’d rather it remain private.) (Three points: one point each.)

Due Friday, Oct. 7, 8am

In Slack, provide feedback to three of your colleagues’ Daily Create assignments in the #dailycreate channel. As usual, be substantive, supportive, and respectful. What do you like about it? What does it inspire in you? How might you want to riff on it in your own work? (Three points: one point each.)

Read The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle. You can find it for free at Project Gutenberg, Amazon, or in print. Read any digital or print edition you like, but then annotate this online version of the book with hypothes.is, noting two passages that you think would make particularly compelling scenes in a radio broadcast remake of the book, and two passages that you think would make particularly compelling scenes in a film/TV remake of the book (four annotations total). (We’ll be exploring radio and film versions in the next two weeks.) Note specific aspects of the passages that you think will be interesting to see/hear in the remakes, and describe how you are imagining the sound and visualization of the scene. (You might even suggest how to make the sound or the imagery digitally!) Be sure to post your annotations in the class’s hypothes.is group (ds106-the-cover). (Four points: one point each.)

Then read through your colleagues’ annotations, and leave replies to at least two of them. Try to find some detail to add to the discussion. (Two points: one point each.)

Due Monday, Oct. 10, 8am

Medium blog post.

Log into Medium.com. Write a short post (about 500 words is plenty, but I’m not counting). In that post, share an interesting insight from the week relating to our theme of “The Cover.” For most of you, I imagine this will involve your reactions to the Sherlock novel and how you imagine a compelling audio or film remake would go.

Depending on how the TDC assignments and feedback went, you might alternatively want to write about something you learned from the different versions of the same assignment that you saw. Or you could remake one of your TDC assignments based on the feedback you received and the other versions you saw, and then write about what you learned from that.

Be sure to link to or embed an example of the work you refer to.

What you write about is up to you. But since this is a required public assignment, think about what insights you have, or what interesting materials you have to share, that might be of value to others outside the class. The focus of the writing can be analytical, critical, or entertaining, but try to make it meaningful. And while they will not be assessed for grammar, be sure to proofread carefully and only break convention purposively, so that you can have the best communicative impact possible.

When you are finished publish your post and submit it to our class publication The Cover Page. You can find instructions for publishing and submitting to the publication on our Resources page.

Assessment: Weekly Medium posts count towards the Major Weekly Assignments portion of the grade (25% of the final grade) and will receive a letter grade. See the syllabus for the grading rubric.

Short self-reflection in a Google Doc.

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template Week 6. Copy the content from this Google Doc to the end of the Self-Reflection document you have already been working on. Then follow its instructions to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. No need to re-share the document.

Total completion points (in addition to the Medium post): 15

Week 5 (Sep 26–30) – Musical covers (part 2)

Magnetic Tapes at the Factory, Jonathan Haeber

This week, we conclude our two-week unit on musical covers. We'll create our own remixes/remakes/breakdowns of existing audio artifacts.

Due Tuesday, Sep. 27, 8am

Get acquainted with the DS106 Assignment Bank. This is a resource created by instructors and students of DS106 courses at UMW and beyond over the past few years. Peruse the audio assignmentsChoose one audio assignment that you find interesting, and post it to Slack in our #assignments channel. (One point.)

Due Thursday, Sep. 29, 8am

Go to The Cover Page and read a few of your colleagues' Week 4 posts. Reply to at least two of them using Medium's annotating feature (it works very similar to hypothes.is but requires no installation of any software, as long as you're logged in to Medium) or send them a private message (this shows up as an option when you highlight a passage). Note that unlike hypothes.is, when you annotate on Medium, it creates a new post in your feed that contains your comment and a link to the original. These responses, thus, are potentially more public than even public hypothes.is annotations. (Two points: one point per reply. If you reply privately, you can simply tell me that when you fill out your self-reflection.)

Do three Daily Create assignments from The (New) Daily Create website (preferably the ones posted on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). Upload it to Slack in the #dailycreate channel. (You may also share it on Twitter, following the instructions on the TDC website (or another public media channel), but you do not have to if you’d rather it remain private.) (Three points: one point each.)

Review the audio assignments posted by your colleagues in the #assignments channel. Then create your own audio/sound/music-based assignment that connects to our theme of “The Cover.” Note that while it should involve sound in some way, it doesn’t necessarily need to involve music. It should involve some kind of remixing/remaking, in keeping with our class theme. Both design the assignment and do the assignment. Then, post the example assignment in a public place, such as SoundCloud, Medium, or your domain that you set up in Week 2. Finally, submit your assignment to the assignment bank (be sure to link to your example when prompted) and put the link to your assignment in #assignments on Slack so that we can all see it.

Assessment: This assignment will receive a letter grade and count towards the major weekly assignments. It contains four components (design assignment, do an example assignment, post example publicly, submit assignment & example to DS106 assignment bank). Successful completion of all four will receive an A, 3 a B, 2 a C, 1 a D, 0 an F.

Due Friday, Sep. 30, 8am

In Slack, provide feedback to three of your colleagues’ Daily Create assignments in the #dailycreate channel. As usual, be substantive, supportive, and respectful. What do you like about it? What does it inspire in you? How might you want to riff on it in your own work? (Three points: one point each.)

Also in Slack, provide feedback to two of your colleagues’ DS106 audio assignments. This can be feedback on the design of the assignment, or on their example. Same guidelines for feedback apply, though you also may have comments for improvement in future versions. (Two points: one point each.)

Due Monday, Oct. 3, 8am

Medium blog post.

Log into Medium.com. Write a short post (about 500 words is plenty, but I’m not counting). In that post, share an interesting insight from the week relating to our theme of “The Cover.” For most of you, I imagine this will involve something you learned from the cover/remix/remake assignments.

Depending on how the TDC assignments and feedback went, you might alternatively want to write about something you learned from the different versions of the same assignment that you saw. Or you could remake one of your TDC assignments based on the feedback you received and the other versions you saw, and then write about what you learned from that.

Be sure to link to or embed an example of the work you refer to.

What you write about is up to you. But since this is a required public assignment, think about what insights you have, or what interesting materials you have to share, that might be of value to others outside the class. The focus of the writing can be analytical, critical, or entertaining, but try to make it meaningful. And while they will not be assessed for grammar, be sure to proofread carefully and only break convention purposively, so that you can have the best communicative impact possible.

When you are finished publish your post and submit it to our class publication The Cover Page. You can find instructions for publishing and submitting to the publication on our Resources page.

Assessment: Weekly Medium posts count towards the Major Weekly Assignments portion of the grade (25% of the final grade) and will receive a letter grade. See the syllabus for the grading rubric.

Short self-reflection in a Google Doc.

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template Week 5. Copy the content from this Google Doc to the end of the Self-Reflection document you have already been working on. Then follow its instructions to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. No need to re-share the document.

Total completion points (in addition to the audio assignment and the Medium post): 12

Work ahead

Next week, we will begin a unit exploring book remakes, centered around Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles and various film and radio remakes. It's a short novel (117 pages), but a novel nonetheless, and we'll be reading it over the course of Week 6 (with minimal other assignment work). So if you have extra time now, you may want to get a jump on the reading. You can find various electronic versions of the novel for free here. Likewise, if you want a print copy, order now.

Week 4 (Sep 19–23) – Musical covers (part 1)

This week, we begin a two-week unit on musical covers. We'll explore some existing covers of old songs, and next week we'll create our own remixes/remakes/breakdowns of existing audio artifacts.

Due Tuesday, Sep. 20, 8am

Listen to Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett's album, "Cheek to Cheek". You can listen on Spotify with a free account or on Amazon Prime with a paid account.

The songs on this album are all classic jazz or big-band "standards". Pick one of the songs on the album and find another version of it. Find the oldest or the most different version you can. Some great places to look are YouTube (lots of old songs are converted to video with pictures or the album cover as the "video" content) or the 78 RPMs and [Wax] Cylinder Archive. Share a link to the song you chose in the #covers channel on Slack, and provide a short explanation (just a couple sentences) of why you chose it. Be sure to refer to at least one difference between the two that is musical or sonic (i.e., not just a change in lyrics) and the way that difference affects the impact/meaning of the song. (Things like different gender singers, high vs. low voice, changes in volume, instrumentation (piano vs. big band, sung vs. instrumental, for example), static, distortion, stereo/mono, even music theoretical things like major/minor, tempo, form, etc. if you know those things.) (Two points: one for the song, one for the explanation.)

Due Thursday, Sep. 22, 8am

Listen to some of your classmates' songs shared in Slack. Reply with a comment to at least three of them pointing out at least one additional detail that is different between the version shared and Lady Gaga's/Tony Bennett's version. Be sure to be specific in your description of the difference, and in how you think it changes the impact/meaning of the song. (Three points: one point each.)

Go to The Cover Page and read a few of your colleagues' Week 3 posts. Reply to at least two of them using Medium's annotating feature (it works very similar to hypothes.is but requires no installation of any software, as long as you're logged in to Medium) or send them a private message (this shows up as an option when you highlight a passage). Note that unlike hypothes.is, when you annotate on Medium, it creates a new post in your feed that contains your comment and a link to the original. These responses, thus, are potentially more public than even public hypothes.is annotations. (Two points: one point per reply. If you reply privately, you can simply tell me that when you fill out your self-reflection.)

Do three Daily Create assignments from The (New) Daily Create website (preferably the ones posted on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday). Upload it to Slack in the #dailycreate channel. (You may also share it on Twitter, following the instructions on the TDC website (or another public media channel), but you do not have to if you’d rather it remain private.) (Three points: one point each.)

Due Friday, Sep. 23, 8am

In Slack, provide feedback to three of your colleagues’ Daily Create assignments in the #dailycreate channel. As usual, be substantive, supportive, and respectful. What do you like about it? What does it inspire in you? How might you want to riff on it in your own work? (Three points: one point each.)

Due Monday, Sep. 26, 8am

Medium blog post.

Log into Medium.com. Write a short post (about 500 words is plenty, but I’m not counting). In that post, share an interesting insight from the week relating to our theme of “The Cover.” For most of you, I imagine this will involve something you learned from the musical covers. How hard is it to find old music? How do you decide what makes a significant difference between songs? What kinds of musical features tend to create big differences in emotional impact?

Depending on how the TDC assignments and feedback went, you might alternatively want to write about something you learned from the different versions of the same assignment that you saw. Or you could remake one of your TDC assignments based on the feedback you received and the other versions you saw, and then write about what you learned from that.

What you write about is up to you. But since this is a required public assignment, think about what insights you have, or what interesting materials you have to share, that might be of value to others outside the class. The focus of the writing can be analytical, critical, or entertaining, but try to make it meaningful.

When you are finished publish your post and submit it to our class publication The Cover Page. You can find instructions for publishing and submitting to the publication on our Resources page.

Assessment: Weekly Medium posts count towards the Major Weekly Assignments portion of the grade (25% of the final grade) and will receive a letter grade. See the syllabus for the grading rubric.

Short self-reflection in a Google Doc.

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template Week 4. Copy the content from this Google Doc to the end of the Self-Reflection document you made in Weeks 2 and 3. Then follow its instructions to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. No need to re-share the document. I should already have it from Week 2.

Total completion points (in addition to the Medium post): 14


Week 3 (Sep 12–16) – Breaking/remaking text

Graduation Day, by Okay Yaramanoglu

This week, we begin the "content" of the course! We start with text: reading, writing, breaking, remaking, reflecting, and writing again. How do digital tools enable us to do new, creative things with text?

For some inspiration, check out a text bot my boys (age 7 and 5) and I built, Green Eggs and Spam.

Due Tuesday, Sep. 13, 8am

Read the following pieces, and leave at least one hypothes.is annotation on each reading. Be sure to post your annotation to our ds106-the-cover group so that it is visible to the class, but not publicly available. Also, please tag your annotations with 'DS106'. (One point per annotation.)

Jesse Stommel, The Digital Humanities Is about Breaking Stuff
Jesse Stommel, What is Good Writing?: A Meditation on Breaking Rules and Grammar Pedagogy
Mark Sample, A protest bot is a bot so specific you can’t mistake it for bullshit

Go to The (New) Daily Create website on Monday and do Monday’s Daily Create assignment. Upload it to Slack in the #dailycreate channel. (You may also share it on Twitter, following the instructions on the TDC website (or another public media channel), but you do not have to if you’d rather it remain private.) (One point.)

Due Wednesday, Sep. 14, 8am

Go to The (New) Daily Create website on Tuesday and do Tuesday’s Daily Create assignment. Upload it to Slack in the #dailycreate channel. (You may also share it on Twitter, following the instructions on the TDC website (or another public media channel), but you do not have to if you’d rather it remain private.) (One point.)

Go to Tuesday’s readings and reply to at least one classmate’s hypothes.is annotation on each reading. Be sure to post to ds106-the-cover and tag it DS106. Be sure to reply with substance, something more than “I agree” or “I disagree” or an emoji. Though you can certainly include those! And when disagreeing, be sure to be respectful of each other. We’re in this together! (One point each.)

Due Thursday, Sep. 15, 8am

Make a Twitter bot!

You’ve already read about (and seen examples of) protest bots. But bots can be educational, artistic, or just silly, too. Audrey Watters has assembled a list of a number of interesting bots. Peruse these and start to think about possibilities for your bot. Think about what story you want to tell… or re-tell… or unravel. Share ideas and questions in Slack early in the week, and help each other out. (I’ll also chime in with ideas and feedback.)

When you’re ready to make your bot, load up this tutorial from UMW’s own Zach Whalen (Digital Studies). In another browser tab (or window), go to this link to make your own copy of the Google App Zach made that will help us create our bots.

Be sure to follow Zach’s instructions precisely. Also, start early, in case you get tripped up along the way. And I highly recommend that you reserve yourself a block of about two hours (without interruption) after you’ve chosen your source text to work on this. Some of you will finish much more quickly, others will take longer, but I imagine most of you taking 1-2 hours. If you follow the instructions carefully, work slowly, and avoid distraction while going back and forth between Twitter and Google, you should be fine. And the results will be really interesting!

A couple of things to note: Google changed a couple of terms since the writing of Zach’s blog post of instructions. If the instructions in the Google App spreadsheet have a different name for something than the instructions, go with the Google spreadsheet. Also, you’ll be asked to make a Twitter account for the bot. This should be a new account dedicated for the bot, not your existing account if you have one. Finally, making a bot that sends messages directly to people (via @ replies) is a violation of the terms of service (and not very friendly in most cases).

Assessment: Basically, this is an “it works” or “it doesn’t” assignment. If you successfully create a working Twitter bot, you get an A! If you hit a brick wall and simply can’t make a go of it, send me an email making the case for the grade you think you deserve based on the work that you did. Make that case in terms of what you were able to accomplish, not just how much effort you put in (though effort should count for something, too!). I’ll reply with my thoughts, but I’ll almost certainly go with what grade you proposed, if you made a decent case. But even better, if you hit a brick wall early enough in the process, reach out to me via Slack or drop by office so I can help you make it work.

Due Friday, Sep. 16, 8am

In Slack, provide feedback to three of your colleagues’ Daily Create assignments in the #dailycreate channel. As usual, be substantive, supportive, and respectful. What do you like about it? What does it inspire in you? How might you want to riff on it in your own work? (One point each.)

In Slack, provide feedback to at least two of your colleagues’ Twitter bots in the #assignments channel. As usual, be substantive, supportive, and respectful. What do you like about it? What does it inspire in you? How might you want to riff on it in your own work? But also, think if you can provide some manageable ways in which they might improve or enhance their bots. For example, suggesting more source text, an additional source to mashup, removing certain elements (offensive words, punctuation that is throwing off the bot, etc.), a cool image, etc. (One point each.)

Due Monday, Sep. 19, 8am

Medium blog post.

Log into Medium.com. Write a short post (about 500 words is plenty, but I’m not counting). In that post, share an interesting insight from the week relating to our theme of “The Cover.” For most of you, I imagine this will involve something you learned from your Twitter bot. Can you tell a story in 140 characters? Or does it take more tweets? If so, how do they work together to tell a story? Or if your bot focused on remixing existing text, what did the process and results reveal about the original text? Think back to the original readings and discussions about them if you’re having trouble analyzing what happened in your bot.

Depending on how the TDC assignments and feedback went, you might alternatively want to write about something you learned from the different versions of the same assignment that you saw. Or you could remake one of your TDC assignments based on the feedback you received and the other versions you saw, and then write about what you learned from that.

What you write about is up to you. But since this is a required public assignment, think about what insights you have, or what interesting materials you have to share, that might be of value to others outside the class. The focus of the writing can be analytical, critical, or entertaining, but try to make it meaningful.

When you are finished publish your post and submit it to our class publication The Cover Page. You can find instructions for publishing and submitting to the publication on our Resources page.

Assessment: Weekly Medium posts count towards the Major Weekly Assignments portion of the grade (25% of the final grade) and will receive a letter grade. See the syllabus for the grading rubric.

Short self-reflection in a Google Doc.

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template Week 3. Copy the content from this Google Doc to the end of the Self-Reflection document you made in Week 2. Then follow its instructions to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. No need to re-share the document. I should already have it from Week 2.

Total completion points (in addition to the Twitter Bot assignment and Medium post): 14

Week 2 (Sep 6–9) – Training

Stay active, by Kenny Louie

This week, we'll get our feet wet with the tools that we'll be using. A series of small assignments will help us all get oriented to the tools and networks we'll be using, and some of the types of media we'll be working with. Be sure to keep track of the due dates and submission instructions!

Do the following by Thursday, Sep. 8, 8am.

Install the hypothes.is plugin for Chrome and/or Firefox, and create an account. (See the Resources page for more details about hypothes.is.) Join the private hypothes.is group for this class using the link shared privately in Slack.

Read the following pieces, and leave at least one hypothes.is annotation on the pieces by Maha Bali and Audrey Watters. (Since Audrey is writing in response to Maha, you may want to read both before annotating either of them.) Be sure to post your annotation to our ds106-the-cover group so that it is visible to the class, but not publicly available. Also, please tag your annotations with 'DS106'.

The revised course syllabus
Jeremy Dean, "Introducing Hypothes.is for Education"
Maha Bali, “I Don’t Own My Domain: I Rent It”
Audrey Watters, “A Domain of One’s Own in a Post-Ownership Society”

In Slack, go to the #covers channel and share with us one of your favorite covers or remakes. It can be a song that covers another artist’s song, a different version of the same song by a different artist, a remake of an old movie, a movie adaptation of a book, a movie version of a musical, a movie adaptation of a graphic novel/comic book, a movie adaptation of a video game, a video game adaptation of a book/movie/graphic novel/comic book, a TV show adaptation of a book/movie/graphic novel/comic book, … You get the idea. Share with us your favorite, and be sure to attach an excerpt (text, image(s), a GIF, a video clip from YouTube/Vimeo) and explain briefly why you like it so much. I’ll try to draw on these for assignments throughout the semester.

Do the following by Friday, Sept 9, 8am.

Every student at UMW can sign up for a domain name and hosting space for free while they are here. If you haven’t already done so, go to umwdomains.com and register your free domain. Some important things to consider when signing up (from another DS106 course website):

A domain name is a just a fancy name for a URL or Web address. For this class, you will register a domain name (free through UMW’s Domain of One’s Own project) of your own. Check out some advice about choosing a domain name. It really should be about you and not this course. Once you choose your domain name, you need to register it and set up web hosting through Domain of One’s Own (login with your UMW netid/password). Detailed instructions can be found here. If you already have a domain through Domain of One’s Own, then you are one step ahead. For more details on how to navigate your web hosting account, i.e. cPanel (your control panel), creating subdomains, using Installatron, etc., we have extensive documentation here: http://docs.umwdtlt.org/umw-domains/signing-up-on-domain-of-ones-own/ Shortly after you sign up for your domain and Web hosting, you will receive an email requiring you to verify your domain. This is a legitimate email, and you must follow the instructions in it! If you do not, in two weeks, your domain will go into a state of “limbo” making your site basically unavailable.

Using the Installatron application installer at UMW Domains, install something in your domain or map your domain to a Medium publication. Wordpress and Known are two good options for sharing media created in this course. And note that while it sounds like pointing a domain to an existing site like Medium would be easier, it’s not. The medium mapping is more complicated than installing Wordpress or Known, and the tutors at the Digital Knowledge Center have a lot more experience setting up Wordpress than mapping to Medium.

Setup accounts for at least four of the following social media services (Google/YouTube and Medium must be two of them; otherwise choose services that you think would be interesting to explore in this course): Medium, Google/YouTube, Flickr, Soundcloud, Vimeo, Twitter.

On the readings for Thursday, reply to at least one hypothes.is annotation on each of the readings. Be sure to reply with substance, something more than “I agree” or “I disagree” or an emoji. Though you can certainly include those! And when disagreeing, be sure to be respectful of each other. We’re in this together! (One point each.)

On Slack, check out some of the covers/remakes shared by your colleagues. Give some positive emoji responses on the ones you know that you also would like to explore. (I’ll take this crude “vote” into account when deciding on future topics.) Follow up on at least one that you have never seen/heard/read before, and reply to your colleague who posted it with a substantive response. What do you like about it? What does it inspire in you? Be sure your reply includes at least one specific difference between the original and the cover that you find engaging (the piano chords replaced with a guitar riff; the cowbell replaced with an electronic beat; the introduction of a new character; the change of a character’s gender; etc.) and at least one specific creative idea it gives you (I’d love to mash up the music from the original with a scene from the remake; I’d love to make a GIF alternating images from the two versions; I’d love to record the song myself using elements from each version; etc.).

Do the following by Monday, Sept 12, 8am.

Short self-reflection in a Google Doc.

Open the following Google document: Self-Reflection Template. Following the instructions on the Resources page, make a copy of this Google doc and save it to your own Google Drive account (automatically included in the Google account you created, or probably already had, earlier this week). Rename the document "YOUR NAME Self-Reflection". Follow the instructions in the document to complete your self-reflection and assessment for the week. Then follow the instructions on the Resources page to share the document with me (with editing privileges) at kshaffer@umw.edu.

Completion points for Week 2

- Install hypothes.is
- Bali annotation
- Watters annotation
- Share a cover in Slack
- Register at umwdomains.com
- Install something in your domain (or map to a Medium publication)
- Social media signups
- Bali annotation reply
- Watters annotation reply
- #covers emoji "votes"
- #covers response
- Self-reflection

Total: 12 completion points.

Week 1 – Creating the course

collaborating, by John Freeland

Welcome to Digital Storytelling/DS106! This is your course. So while there are elements to the course that will be required in order to be consistent with the course description and general institutional requirements, a large part of the content, assignments, and assessment scheme will be determined collaboratively as a whole class. So this week, we'll largely be focused on a Syllabus Sprint ― working together to fill in the gaps in the course syllabus to line up with the goals and interests that you bring to the course.

Following are assignments for the first week that will help us get through that process. Nothing is due until Friday, September 2, but if you want to have any significant impact on the direction the course will take, you'll want to dive in right away and contribute to the discussion from the beginning.

Readings

To prepare for the Syllabus Sprint, please read the following:

Also, please bookmark and peruse the DS106 Handbook and some advice from past DS106 students. Not everything in these collections applies to our specific course, but they are generally very helpful.

Slack

Sign up for the class discussion forum, Slack. If you are registered at the beginning of the course, you will receive a notification email on or before the first day with information on signing up for Slack. If you did not receive one, please email me (kshaffer@umw.edu), and I will make sure you get one. Be sure to use a username that helps us identify you. For example, mine is @kris.shaffer (though @kris would have also been fine). Please do not use something that we wouldn’t call you in person (like your UMW login or other cryptic code). The above video (from a previous online course I taught) will help you get familiar with Slack.

Personalize your Slack account with a picture. Since we’re not meeting in person, and since this class goes at an accelerated pace, this (and a more personal username) will help us feel a little more comfortable and collegial with each other.

Make your own personal introduction. This is some little creative thing that helps us get to know something about you. It could be a 30-second video of yourself in which you give us your name as you’d like us to call you, and the goals, interests, and/or super-powers you bring to this course. It could be a photo of where you do your best creative work. It could be a GIF that describes how you feel about taking a course online. It could be a meme about what makes you interesting. Anything you think will help us get to know you a little better, and that won't take you more than 5-10 minutes to create. Upload your introduction to Slack in the #introductions channel.

Check out your colleagues’ introductions, and leave a friendly comment on at least two of them.

Syllabus Sprint

Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. -John Maeda

The following elements of the course are up for a collaborative decision this week:

Course theme. Take a look at what the syllabus says about the course theme. Then go to the #coursetheme channel on Slack to offer your ideas and respond to others.

Assignment types. Some assignment types are already determined and listed in the syllabus. Are there others that you would like to engage in? What kind of projects do you want to do? This will, of course, be determined in part by the course theme that we choose, and both the theme and the specific assignments will be determined by what you want to get out of the course. The syllabus links to some places to look for inspiration. Add your thoughts on this in the #assignments channel on Slack.

Workload. Under "Assignments and types" on the syllabus, a portion (albeit a significant one) of the traditional DS106 workload is listed. How much work should be added? How often should we do Daily Create assignments? What balance of reading/annotating/creating/writing is appropriate and in line with your goals for the course? How flexible should deadlines be? Add your thoughts on this in the #assignments channel on Slack.

Assessment schema. How will work be assessed? By whom? What will it be worth? How will grade information be communicated? I have a lot of thoughts about this, but I want to hear what you think will be best. Then I'll share my ideas, and we'll (hopefully) come to a consensus. Add your thoughts on this in the #assessment channel on Slack.

Anything else? What is missing? What are you uncomfortable with? Share any other ideas or thoughts you have about the syllabus and the course plan on the #miscsyllabus channel on Slack.

These ideas should all be provided and discussed on Slack by Friday afternoon, September 2. I'll mull things over on the weekend, especially if there are areas where we haven't reached complete consensus, make final decisions based on our discussions, and post the results to the syllabus on Monday, September 5.

Have fun! I look forward to seeing what we come up with!