Parallel session 2, Thunderstorm 2.1 – POSTER
The timeline is a visual online resource populated with ‘stories’. The purpose of the timeline is to provide students with a resource that encourages knowledge and understanding of literary context. It is populated by library staff and students crowdsourcing the timelines, both in and out of the classroom.
The Cambridge Literature Timeline was developed for undergraduate students studying English Literature. Over the course of three years students will study all periods of literature from Medieval to Contemporary, and therefore placing authors within an historical context is crucial. What was happening around them when authors were writing is likely to be crucial to understanding and interpreting the literary content eg studying Alexander Pope without being aware of wider philosophical debate in the Enlightenment Period would be to their detriment. Examiner reports from the Faculty of English indicate that students regularly fail to understand the historical and literary context within which the author they are studying falls. Students themselves recognize that this information will help them, and frequently spend time creating their own timelines. An online timeline would provide a resource that they could return to time and again, and would be available for all students to access.
The software used for the timeline is tiki-toki and through the account we were using we could add student groups for editing content. Ownership of the content in the timeline – in order that the students would find information relevant and useful – led us to setting up scenarios where they could crowdsource the timeline (whether virtually, or as a group activity). Content would be moderated by library staff, and the timeline regularly promoted at the beginning of new courses. The results of the face-to-face crowdsourcing sessions along with subsequent engagement with the timeline will be presented in this poster along with examples of the student’s work.
We considered that the timeline could be used in a number of different ways with students and that the idea of crowdsourcing content in this manner could be utilized by others.