Asking Better Questions

The other night I had one of those eureka! moments that bring me joy and make me crazy. But mostly bring me joy.
As some of you know I've been trying to sort out how to track Queen's Men touring practices in the 1580s by teasing information out of the Records of Early English Drama dataset and looking at it on maps. I had some early success - 1583 record scraps offered what looks like a split tour during the summer months. I've been pinning the record scraps to an ArcGIS online map (and a pretty crappy job I did of it, too) and explaining away the vagueness of my plotting because I don't always have very specific geo references (aside from an extant guildhall here and there, for which I'm grateful.) Continue reading Asking Better Questions

Toward a better research project

The Armada Portrait, Wikimedia Commons

This week my ENGL 1102 students will begin presenting their short research projects. I've used this assignment twice before, but this time there are a few new twists. The project still involves the development of a class-wide knowledge base designed to help students better grasp the context of medieval and early modern culture and society, and is designed to reinforce best credible research practices. But whereas the past two iterations involved a complex of technological platforms and communication modes (oral presentation w/ PowerPoint or Prezi-based visual aids, complementary wiki entries, visceral Twitter feedback) this time I'm trying to streamline the process and experience. Students choose from this list of topics that relate to either Elizabethan or medieval England (as identified in the second tetralogy.)

Continue reading Toward a better research project