This course is divided into four modules. Each module is worth 20% of the final grade. The final piece you will make is also, in toto, worth 20%.

A Frequently Asked Questions page is available - please do check this page often because I will update it as we go.

For each module, to obtain full grades, I expect to see at a minimum:

  1. collaborative reading of assigned readings, including perceptive and incisive responses to others’ annotations
  2. active listening and attention in lectures
  3. 1 major digital artefact you have made, complete with paradata
  4. complete and truthful logging of the process in the open notebook

If one of those aspects is missing (annotations, evidence of active listening in lectures, digital artefact with paradata, notebook), no points will be earned for that aspect.

Digital artefacts must have a paradata document. Both elements must be complete; otherwise no points for this aspect will be earned. A template you may follow, explaining all of the necessary bits and pieces, may be found in my github repository at When you are logged into github, you can take a copy by hitting the ‘fork’ button at the top right. Please examine that repo carefully. nb Your model may be too large for Github. In which case, upload it to instead, use hist3812 as a tag, and include the link to the model in your Github pages instead.

Each of those four aspects will be assessed on the grade scale “unsatisfactory - satisfactory - exceptional”. Numerically, this translates as:

Do not let ‘points’ distract you from the serious effort this course requires.

I will return feedback as soon as possible.

How to submit your evidence You submit evidence for each of these four aspects by filling in this online form which requires you to provide a link to your Hypothesis user page, your logs, your repository or other location for your digital artefact, and any other evidence you wish to submit. Fill in each prompt as appropriate. Evidence of active listing and attention in lectures for instance could be provided by a written reflection citing things said by your peers or points raised in discussion.

Note that I fully expect that sometimes things won’t pan out how you want/expect/hope. Document the things that fail all the while reflecting on how and why and what the fail reveals. This too counts as evidence.

Work is due by Midnight the Sunday before the next Module begins.

Late work will carry a penalty of 4 points per day.

Digital Artefacts, or, Things You Will Make

Module 1: Physical to Digital Copies

In this module, you will create a digital copy of an artefact, site, or building, from the Ottawa area. Choose wisely; you will continue to work with this target in the remaining modules. You will need to research 3d photogrammetry apps that you can install on your phone or on your computer. You will log the steps that you do in this process, the decisions you make, the challenges you encounter, and any observations you make about your target (especially in the light of our lectures, discussions, and readings). This information goes into your notebook. You will use these notes to write a paradata description of your artefact:

Documentation of the evaluative, analytical, deductive, interpretative and creative decisions made in the course of computer-based visualisation should be disseminated in such a way that the relationship between research sources, implicit knowledge, explicit reasoning, and visualisation-based outcomes can be understood.

Take care to document the background or ‘biography’ of your target. You might also find these works of use: Ottawa, an Illustrated History and History of Nepean.

Module 2: Digital Copies to Digital Things

In this module, you will translate the data from your digital object into some other kind of digital thing. This could mean remixing your object with another digital object; it could mean visualizing the underlying data; it could mean translating the data into sound. What is key is that it should be a translation that can only be effected by digital means. Again, you will log all steps, decisions, fails, and reflections into your notebook. You will use these notes to write another paradata document on the resulting creation.

Module 3: Digital Things to Digital Worlds

In this module, you will translate either the artefact from module 1 or the remixed artefact from module 2 into a game world. It could be a 3d photorealistic world; it could be a minimally blocky world like Minecraft. It could even be a text-based world such as those created by Twine. How does interacting with the artefact in the context of a digital world change what it is to know this artefact? Log all steps, decisions, fails, and thoughts into your notebook. Use these notes to write another paradata document on the resulting creation.

Module 4: Digital Worlds back to the Physical World

In this final module, you will use an augmented reality platform to place your digital objects back into the world. You will need to research the various platforms available to make this happen (for inspiration, see this entry from HeritageJam 2017) What does this do to how you tell history? How does it affect what it is to know the object? Log all steps, decisions, fails, and thoughts into your notebook. Use these notes to write another paradata document on the resulting creation.

Critical Making: A Portfolio

For the final 20%, you will pull together all the evidence from over the course that answers the key question we opened with. This work will be presented in a ‘fair’ - like format at the end of term, possibly in the Library’s Discovery Centre.

Now Read On: Schedule & Activities