HCC Final Project Reflection

After a semester of planning, organizing, and finalizing our project, we finally have a complete website. Our job was to document the history and development of the Hurley Convergence Center, and we used a contract to help us plan the steps. We started off defining the mission, so that the rest of our project could be focused with specific goals in mind. Our overall purpose was to bring awareness to the building’s features to, both the UMW community and those interested in joining our community. To accomplish this goal our team intended to build a website that would serve as a repository of documents and facts about the building, as well as host video interviews with the individuals primarily responsible for the HCC’s construction and development.

Initially, we met with Kyle Allwine from Admissions to get input on what they would like to see the website accomplish. We received helpful feedback from him which helped us focus more on the audience we would be presenting to. We then took a tour of the HCC to learn more about each room and some of the significant features and capabilities of the building, as well as conducted our own research ourselves. We then spent weeks conducting interviews with committee members who were involved with the development and decision making of the building. We used the Advanced Media Production Studio to film these interviews, after completing a training session which allowed each of us to use the room without staff supervision. We interviewed eight people total; President Richard Hurley, John Morello, Jerry Slezak, Martha Burtis, Cartland Berge, Hall Cheshire, Rosemary Arneson, and Jeff McClurken. Each of these interviewees gave us a unique perspective on all that went into the planning and execution of the building. We also conducted a video walkthrough of the rooms in the building that showcase its technology, features, and resources.

Our website includes a list of the student resources that building has, including a short explanation and video. We also made a timeline on the construction of the building. The video interviews we conducted, including transcripts, additional archives we obtained, and a bibliography crediting all those involved in the completion of our project, are also found on our website.

Overall, I am very proud of our final project. The website looks better and is more organized than I could have imagined. My main role consisted of setting up interviews by emailing the list of interviewees, and booking time to use the Advanced Media Production Studio during the times we needed it. In order to coordinate all of this, I began emailing prospective interviewees at the beginning of the semester to be sure that we would have enough time to interview everyone. Having more of a business background, I helped my group decide what audience we should aim our project at. I also assisted my group in the planning, organization and design of the final website. To date, our site has had almost 700 views, the most in one day being 164. I would say this is just one sign of the success for our website. I am proud to have been involved in a project that has such important meaning for my school, as well as me personally. The construction of the HCC was completed halfway through my college career, and it has made a significant impact on my academic experience. I am honored to have helped present the history of a building that has so much meaning to me, fellow classmates, UMW faculty and staff, and members of the surrounding community.

A link to our website is found below:

http://explorehcc.umwhistory.org

Presentation Prep

Tomorrow is the big day for our websites. My group spent the last few days making sure everything was fixed before the big presentation. We originally thought the edits would take a lot of time fixing, but we ended up finishing most of them Tuesday evening.

I honestly believe that the presentation tomorrow will be a piece of cake for all of us. Everyone in class was  assigned to give a presentation just about every week, so that experience will definitely make the final presentation that much easier. It’s almost like Professor McClurken planned this from the start.

I wish everybody luck and I can’t wait to see the final versions of the other websites

Last Weekly Update

So this is it… the website is done and looking good so far.  Final comments do not appear to have gone up yet (or at least, I did not see any when I was checking the site) so while I am waiting for that, I cannot help but feel that it has been such a short time since we began four months ago.  We got a lot done in that short time though, from the uploaded letters, to the videos, to the voice overs.  I’ll talk more about that in the final final post though. For now, all that’s left is the final presentation on Friday; while I am not looking forward to the formal aspect of it, the presentation itself should not be difficult.  I just need to rehearse and make sure I know what I am saying.  We have gotten this far, I am sure we can see this through to the end on Friday.

Completion of Final Project

After weeks of planning, interviewing, and collecting information, we have finally completed our final website. My group members and I are very pleased with how it turned out. The project turned out better than I even envisioned it. Our website is user-friendly, organized, educational, and aesthetically-pleasing. The next step is making final edits Professor McClurken gave us. These include grammar edits and adding appropriate source information. After that, we will be ready to present our project at the History and American Studies Symposium this Friday. We will discuss the process of how we put together our project, including the proposal, the tour of the HCC, the interviews, the HCC walkthrough, and the final website.

Done

Last week into this past weekend, we have completed and handed in our final website project. This semester went by so fast, so fast. I guess in part due to the amazing group, that had time flying by. The project was time consuming and some mornings/interviews felt cumbersome at first, but always managed to surprise. A building never seemed so intricate, then when you study its origins, features, and documentations. I hope that our work will, and can be used for many different aspects of future. We handed in our project over the weekend, and have received the corrections needed back. We have a lot of tidying up, with small or overlooked aspects. I am heavily impressed with the thoroughness Professor McClurken has taken for our web page. I am positive it will be that much more impressive and rewarding in the end. Can’t wait for what lies ahead.

Penultimate Progress Update

With the deadline for our project drawing near, I am happy to say that we are essentially done. The introductory video has been completed, as has the StoryMap, and the main body of the site, the uploaded and organized collection of Murray and Slaughter’s letters, has been complete for some time. We have made progress on preparing for the final presentation, and all in all, the only thing left is review remaining supplementary materials such as our bibliography that we’ve assembled for the project. Despite some delays in our originally intended deadlines, our project, ahead of the final deadline, is essentially complete.

Weekly Update 4/14

Well, this is it. With the project due Tuesday, we need to look over: the letters (which are all up on the site), the recorded letters (recordings are done, we just need to put them on the site), the StoryMapJS (mostly done, only a couple sites left), the intro video (recordings are done for that, it is currently in the editing stage on Final Cut Pro), and the bibliography (which has grown with the pictures in the intro video but is not too harrowing).  The bulk of the project which was simply uploading all the letters is done so we have completed the bare minimum.  At this point, we just need to complete all of the supplementary material and the bibliography to give credit where credit is due.  It’s been a long semester but it all comes to an end soon.  We’ll be ready by then, we just have a bit more to go…

James Monroe Video Interview Update

Over the past week, my group members and I edited all of the video interviews with the James Monroe Museum’s curator and director using iMovie. We initially wanted to use freeze-frames to show the details on the objects, but found it too difficult to match the video with the audio. The most time-consuming and difficult part of the video editing was adding the closed captions. Sometimes we would save our work only to later find that our most recent version had not been saved. However, we finally finished the video editing and uploaded the interviews to YouTube. We also embedded them in our website. Our website is almost complete except for the “About” page and the “Musket” page.

Gordon Update

Lately our project has been a lot of uploading and tweaking how we present the site. We got our timeline up and running on the site this week and that is running smoothly. We also are soon to make public our other completed summary pages after a final group review. Recently I also went ahead and installed Google Analytics just for fun to see if people actually look at our site after we present it. (For sheer curiosity)

We have also been getting a lot of invaluable help for a lot of people in this last week, especially including Suzanne Chase and Martha Burtis as we have been ironing out some technological processes. We also have been working through the diaries and checking to make sure that all of the transcriptions line up with the pages and there are no discrepancies.

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