Collaborative note taking

Since we’ll be working and learning together this semester, it makes sense that we should share notes.  Each week when the weekly post goes up on the course blog, I’ll link an open Google Doc like this one for shared note taking during and after class.  You don’t have to use or contribute to the shared notes, but I encourage you to for a couple of reasons:

  1. Taking clear notes on how to do something is the easiest way to learn it and remember it later
  2. Group note editing will help clarify for you and for others the steps to replicating what we do in class for later use in your final projects
  3. Think of it as writing our own instruction manual
  4. Edits are visible to everyone using the document immeadiately–ask a question and your classmates can answer.  I encourage you to write out your questions and leave them and the answers part of the doc, since you or someone else will probably have a similar question when we return for the final projects.
  5. Collaborative and group writing are important skills even outside of group projects and need to be practiced like other kinds of writing.  In addition to taking notes and asking questions, I encourage you to work together to rearrange and organize the group’s notes in ways that make the most sense (and discuss why you do so)

While I’ll make the docs initially, I consider them your space and I’ll be staying out of them unless someone asks me for clarification.  I won’t be grading them in any way, but I strongly suggest making use of them as a way to improve your final projects.  I also suggest making and sharing with each other tutorials or notes on specific topics like mapping, archival use, or who’s working on what topics if the day-by-day notes don’t meet the class’s needs.

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