For Thursday (11/30)

First, a couple of deadlines for Thursday to be aware of:  1) your Wikipedia edits/pages should be live; 2) you should have your “How Not to Read a Novel/Narrative” report posted to a page in your blog.

Second, when we meet in the computer lab (HUM 401) on Thursday we’ll be installing and messing around with Scalar, a scholarly multimodal publishing platform from USC.  To prepare yourself, take a look at some sample Scalar books.  Then, browse through the Scalar user’s guide.  (If you want to get a head start, you can install Scalar on your ReclaimHosting site.  But, be sure to install the application into a new subdomain.  We did this with your WordPress installs, but if you can’t remember how we did the subdomain stuff, no worries.  We’ll do a step-by-step in the computer lab.)





For Thursday (11/16)

For Thursday, we’ll meet in the computer lab (HUM 401).  Let’s make sure all your Wikipedia pages are good to go.  Do you have at least two forms of feedback?  Have you revised your page draft to respond to feedback? Is your prose clear, direct, and error-free?  Are your page formatting and style correct? Our Wikiedu dashboard also suggests some other final considerations.

And, don’t forget to check out our “How to Not Read” assignment – – due November 30.  Bring any questions to class.

For Tuesday (11/14)

For Tuesday, let’s continue our discussion of “collective intelligence” and the “wisdom of the crowd” by reading some Clay Shirky – – here and here.

If you haven’t received two peer reviews from classmates on your sandbox/Wikipedia draft, let me know!

For Tuesday (11/7)

For Tuesday, let’s read an excerpt from Pierre Levy’s “Collective Intelligence.”  And, listen to James Suroweicki talk about the “wisdom of the crowds.”

By Tuesday, you should have a draft of your Wikipedia edit/article in your sandbox.  (I think it’s easier, if you’re editing an existing page, to copy the whole existing article to your sandbox and add your edits there.)  Before you begin moving your article/edits to a live Wikipedia page, you’ll need some peer review.  (See Week 9 on our course dashboard.)

There are three ways to get feedback on your edit/page before moving from sandbox to Wikipedia:

  • feedback from classmates.  See the instructions (again, on “Week 9” under “Peer review and copy edit”) on our dashboard.
  • feedback from content experts.  To solicit this feedback, click on the “Get Help” button in your sandbox and choose a content expert to peek at your work.
  • feedback from other Wikipedia student-editors.  To do this, go to Intertwine and click on the button that says: “Peer Review Session.”  Sign up for a peer review session.

Nota Bene: You will need two of these forms of peer review before you move anything to the live version of your Wikipedia page. Get started with peer review now – – to avoid last-minute difficulties.

For Thursday (11/2)

For Thursday, we’ll meet in the computer lab (HUM 401) to experiment with not reading  Horatio Alger (or any author).

To prepare for not-reading:

  • first, open up a document or grab a pad and pen to take notes on each step in our not-reading.  You should also save interesting Voyant results and Ngram views.
  • check out the Wikipedia page on Alger so you can get some sense of who he is and what his books are like.
  • head over to and download the text file for one of Alger’s novels. (I’ve already started on The Train Boy – – so you’ll have to choose a different novel.)
  • clean up the text file by eliminating all of the headers and footers and extraneous text, such as publication or publisher info, ads, etc.
  • upload your clean text as a .txt file to our shared Alger folder on Google and to Voyant Tools.
  • analyze the Alger text with as many Voyant tools as you can.  Keep notes on what you discover.  Since we already know something about Alger from Wikipedia, try to use this information to locate patterns in the novel.
  • next, download/upload all of the texts in our Alger folder to Voyant Tools.  Test your patterns against this larger corpus.
  • finally, explore the wider contexts for these patterns through Google’s Ngram Viewer.

When you’ve finished not-reading your Alger novel, write a reflective blog post that answers a couple of questions as fully as possible: what did you learn about your novel through your distant reading? what did you learn about distant (and/or close) reading by not-reading Alger?  Use images and charts from your Voyant/Ngram analyses to illustrate your insights.