Alternative Virtual Experiencing History Assignment

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This assignment is only for those students who have documented health or geographical limitations that prohibits them from participating in the group, on-site assignment. If you are in that cohort of students, you will “experience” Canada’s past through a virtual presentation of history.  The “Experiencing History Assignment” is structured around experiential learning outcomes. You are required to visit one of the virtual historic sites/museums listed on the Virtual Museum site (www.virtualmuseum.ca).  Please note that not all the sites listed in this Virtual Museum are suitable for this assignment; the Virtual Museum you choose must focus on people, events and places that had importance for Pre-Confederation Canada (ie: after 1867).  Before you move ahead with your research and analysis you must have your preferred historical site or museum pre-approved by me.


            Your Experiencing History Assignment will include:


1. A 1-page introduction that includes a clear statement of your position on the representation of history at the site.  You MUST make a clear, concise statement outlining your understanding of the ‘narrative’ that the site is trying to communicate.  What is its central ‘thesis’?  What specific ‘history’ is it telling and how is it relating it? 


2.  A 2 page analysis of the historical literature that might help you to interpret the site and its place within the broader context of CDN history.  Your research MUST include at least 5 academic library sources (peer-reviewed articles or books) beyond the resources found on the site’s web-page and their own published materials.  If you have any questions about what constitutes as “academic source” please submit your bibliography for my approval.  It is really important that you show your understanding of the arguments presented by these authors.    


3.  A 3-page “Critical Assessment” section where you will analyze how ‘history’ was presented at the site and in the published materials.  DO NOT JUST DESCRIBE THE CONTENTS OF THE SITE!  Everything that you interact with at the site is communicating something of the history that it is telling.  You must show with specific examples from your site how the exhibits and related materials represent a certain interpretation of the past.  Based on your research (#2 above), how does the site reflect broader academic opinion on your historical topic, issue or event?  What is being included?  What is excluded from the ‘story’ or ‘narrative’ of the site?  Does the site have any ‘negative’ or overly critical aspects to it or is it a celebration of community/regional/provincial/ ethnic/national pride?  What are the strengths and weaknesses of the construction of history that you observed?  Remember, everything you see, hear and interact with is specifically designed to communicate something of the past.   You can include pictures from the site as evidence but be sure they are translated into your document as low resolution photographs so that the files are manageable (also note that pictures do not qualify as “text”; you need to have 5 pages of text to fulfil the requirements of the assignment). 


4.  A 2 paragraph thoughtful conclusion that shows how the representation of history, and your analysis of it, relates to Canadian society today.


Virtual Museum I chose: http://enemyaliens.ca/accueil-home-eng.html

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