2021 Assignments

Some debate here and not a consensus.  Slight preponderance for splitting evenly between 10% each, so we will go with that. (Dr. McClurken)

 Part I – Print (and its predecessors) — Colorizing Old Photographs as a group where it is an entire picture that can be put on the HCC wall if we can. Extra pictures to choose from (6-7) that we can colorize as a group. Could be attached to the timeline. 

  • What: Class would vote on pictures, groups would decide on the ones that were picked for the project on the Tuesday before to where the class discusses what kinds of pictures that we can use (Pre-1890). Each group will choose a picture that is voted upon on that Tuesday. They will work in breakout rooms on that Thursday and present the colorized picture on the following Thursday talking about the issues, differences, historical accuracy, et cetera. After everyone presents, we can vote on the “best one” to put on the HCC wall. Then all of these could be put on the Timeline at the end of the semester
  • Time: 2 days
      1. One day work in breakout rooms (All the digital stuff) — 2/25
      2. The other we present it in class (Zoom or not)–3/4
  • Before Class: We are put in groups and vote on pictures that were pre-decided and then we can start right away with them. Talked about what kinds of pictures that can be voted on and discuss what options are available for the picture editing
    1. Different picture ideas: On that first Tuesday we are put in groups and decide on a picture to colorize. Each group then votes on them.
  • In Class on the day we are presenting: Randomize for picking who goes and just talk about before and after with the process of colorizing it.
  • Evaluation Criteria: Historical Accuracy for the time period, Blog post on the process and what we have learned with it, presentation.

Part II – Early Networked Communication 

  • Propaganda campaign for an imaginary dictator/political figure (newspaper article, posters, political cartoons, radio broadcast/podcast)
  • What: This will be a campaign for the fictional dictator of Candyland, King Candy. Each group will have a different issue (political, environmental, social) and within each group they must use the three different modalities ( 1 newspaper article, 1-2 poster/cartoon, 1 radio broadcast/podcast). The entire class is working together to make the campaign successful on all fronts for King Candy. Dr. McClurken is King Candy and will determine if the campaign is successful. 
  • Before class (the Thursday before we shift to talking about the topic):
    • Create groups
    • Get information and assignment (political, environmental, and social) 
  • Time:  Assignment due and presented on the Website/Google sites(?) by Friday at 11:59 pm – the next week’s blog post is evaluating the campaign and how everything turned out.
    • Tuesday: Normal class discussion with the back half of class to brainstorm
    • Thursday: Normal class discussion with time at the end to address any questions 
  • Criteria: 
    • Displays a cohesive and put-together composition in favor of their topic
    • Clear argument and purpose
    • Grammatical composition and citations
    • Reflection via blog post 
      • Reflecting on and explaining your own piece, approach, and thought behind it
      • Reflecting on the overall campaign and the propaganda that other people produced. 

Part III—Broadcasting 

Live Tweeting Historical Event, whole class assignment where everyone is tweeting about the event. Take a class time to just look up certain events to be able to bring them up in the class live event. Cast a vote on one that we all like. The more hashtags the better.  Could be individual where McClurken picks the event and everyone tweets about it that could also lead to a discussion. Come up with our own tweets. Put the tweets on the timeline.

  • Time Frame: 2 weeks (One week to research your event and person, one week to create your tweets)
  •  Out or In Class: Out
  • Tools Required: https://www.tweetgen.com/, computer or other smart device with online access 
  • Choose a historical event
    • Topic Ideas: Lizzy Borden Trial, Signing of Declaration of Independence, Attack on Pearl Harbor, Gunfight at O.K. Corral, Trail of Tears, Lewis and Clark Expedition, Salem Witch Trials, NASA’s Moon Landing, One of Harriet Tubman’s Rescue Missions, Oklahoma Land Rush  –OR CHOOSE YOUR OWN?
  • Choose whose perspective to write from:
    • A nameless person of your chosen event, e.g., audience member at Ford’s Theatre


  • A known (named) person of your chosen event, e.g., Abraham Lincoln
  • MAYBE: A thing: e.g., anthropomorphize the first ten years of Harley Davidson’s motorcycle, telephone style, typewriter, etc.

(this is similar to the timeline assignments, but it’s in the format of first-person live-Tweeting)

  • Via Tweetgen, convey the narrative of your event with a minimum of 
    • 5 tweets
    • 2 hashtags 
  • Can be individual or group; each student is responsible for the role and creation of tweets for one person involved in the event. 
  • Grading Criteria 
    • Minimum five tweets
    • Accurate time stamps and dates (to better add to the timeline)
    • Be able to support the way you decide to voice your person, stay in character
    • Keep the tweets relevant to the correlating historical event (e.g. of irrelevant tweet: Today I got out of bed. #awake #needcaffeine) 
    • Correct narrative and main points of event (no alternative Hx)


Part IV — Information in the Digital Age: 

Create a social media profile based on a historical figure and tweet/post about the events throughout the course of their lives. Each person will use a variety of text, memes, gifs, etc. to react and provide context to at least 5 events in the person’s life. By interacting with other classmates (and historical contemporaries) on social media, we can examine the influences and the overall effect of media on communication. The entire class should pick a specific platform (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) so we can comment on each other’s posts and collaborate with each other. 

Each person should choose someone with ties to the history of communication, as far back as the printing press or as far forward as a modern-day figure. Each profile is a representation of the person and what their social media presence may look like today. This is an individual project with group components that require communicating with other members of the class. 

  • Out or In Class: Posts done out of class/Share in class
  • Length of Time: 2 weeks from creation to submission
  • Grading Criteria:
    • Grammar and language
    • Comprehensive profile
      • Name, five posts, important information about their life, profile photo
    • Citation of sources
    • Comments on peers (three comments)
    • Correct dates, names, and their uses


Part V — Looking Forward

Timeline projects a whole class cumulative assignment that focuses on what we have learned throughout the semester. Incorporating different assignments that we have done. Everyone contributes to the timeline.

Potential topics for the Class timeline assignment

  1.  Part I – Print (and its predecessors) 
  • Circa 3500 BCE: Cuneiform, the earliest discovered written language found in Sumer, began as a form of written communication. 
  • Circa 3000 BCE: Papyrus → “scrolling” from the video
  • Animal skins (parchment) and its movement from individual pages to a bound together book
  • Circa 105 BCE: Paper first came from China during the Han dynasty
  • The Diamond Sutra → first dated printed text found in China as a translation of a Buddhist text
  • Marco Polo and the printing of money (from China to Europe)
  • 1473 CE: The Constance Gradual → first printed music
  • King James Bible and translations of the Bible for literacy
    • Martin Luther/Reformation concept
  • Issues with Censorship and Revolution → Great Britain and America, France, etc. 
    • Common Sense by Thomas Paine
    • “The initial purpose and function of printing in the colonies was…to reinforce the top-down model of information diffusion that was characteristic of 17-18th century societies”(40)
  • Constitution → tear down the top-down model in favor of well-informed citizens
  • Committee of Correspondence
  • Federalist Papers
  • 1824 → Books begin to be bound in cloth
  • 1827→ The Birds of America by Audubon
  • 1829 → Braille is developed by Louis Braille
  • 1837 → Chromolithography
  • American Publishing  Centers → Boston, Philadelphia, New York, D.C., etc.
  • E-Books (As a mix of looking forward and a continuation of printing)
  1.   Part II – Early Networked Communication – 
  • Claire L. Evans: Broad Band. Introduction. 
  • Lifetime of Ada King, Countess of Lovelace
  • May 1892: Print ad seeking “computer”
  • Telegraph during Civil War
  • Communication in code between President Lincoln and field generals.
  • Telephones moving into private businesses and homes
  • Corporate monopolies on telephone systems (Downey 28)
  • Fashion trend setting from print, film, & photographs
  • Radio advertising 
  • Rise of regulations
  • Minority audiences
  • Yellow Journalism
  • NY World v. NY Journal
  1.   Part III—Broadcasting 
    • Early radio shows 
  • War of the Worlds panic 
    • Shows for Specific Demographics
    • Westerns (Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy)
  • Increased access to info for illiterate people
  • Est. of broadcasting networks and early regulations and enforcements
  • Radio shows transitioning to television/film
  • Early television shows/popular shows and films
  • Propaganda and tv/film advertising (WW2 film propaganda) 
  • Vehicles for Political and Social Commentary: M*A*S*H, All in the Family, etc. 
  1.   Part IV – Information in the Digital Age – 
  • Home Computers/Early Computers
  • Coding/Programs/Hacking Culture
    • Cell phones/Videogames
      • Apple vs Android/Xbox vs Playstation
    • Al Turing
  • Snapmap/Privacy (is an idea)
    • Data Mining by private companies
      • Google
  • Personal Computers/Social Media/Identity with Social Media
    • Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs
  • Identity in the Digital Age
    • Social Media Influencers
    • News Station/24 hour News Sites
      • Constant News about what is going on
        • MSNBC vs Fox