Digital Team Project

History 2081 Team Project

In this project, you will work in teams to create a digital project to teach your classmates about a specific process, institution, individual, or event in African American history since 1877. Your team will choose and research your topic, divide up tasks, create the project, and present it to the class during the scheduled final exam period on July 30th. This project is intended to develop the following skills:

  • teamwork
  • communication
  • research
  • critical and creative thinking
  • simple web design

Once you pick your topic, your team will use your research skills to find at least:

  • five secondary sources (two or more of these must be monographs)
  • five textual primary sources
  • ten non-textual primary sources (meaning images, videos, or objects)

Your team may also use course readings (except The Struggle for Freedom) as sources, but they will not count toward the required sources listed above.

Your team will then use these sources to do one of the following:

Option 1: Create a Google Sites Exhibit

Using Google Sites (, a simple website design platform, you will create an exhibit based on your research. The website should have a main page, a bibliography page, and at least five additional pages. The main page should describe the topic and its significance for African American history in a statement of at least 500 words. Your five (or more) additional pages should present your non-textual primary sources, with explanatory text that puts them in historical context. Each of these additional pages should have text totaling at least 200 words.

Option 2: Create a “Choose Your Own Adventure” Story

Using Twine (, a free, open-access tool, you will create an interactive story based on your research. Your story can be purely historical or historical fiction, but it must be grounded in your research. The first passage (this is what the individual pages in Twine are called) will be an introductory page of at least 250 words describing the topic and its significance for African American history, and the final passage will contain your bibliography of sources. In between, you must have at least 20 passages totaling at least 1250 words. These passages should creatively incorporate your non-textual primary sources

Along the way, you’ll have some benchmarks to help you stay on track:

  • on Tuesday, June 18, your team will turn in a half-page proposal of your topic
  • on Thursday, June 27, your team will turn in a list of your secondary sources and your five textual primary sources
  • on Tuesday, July 9, your team will give a two-minute update on your progress to the class

I am also working to schedule some computer lab time so that I can assist you with your projects. I’ll let you know when and if this happens.

Finally, by 5 PM on Sunday, July 28, your projects will go live for the world to see! If your team is making a Google Site, you will simply open up your site for public viewing. If your team is making a Twine story, you will e-mail me your file, and I will host it on my personal web site.

Then, on Tuesday, July 30, during our final exam time, your team will give a 10-minute presentation of your project to the rest of the class.

Teams will be graded as follows:

  • 10 points for the quality of the home page/first passage
  • 10 points for the quality of the analysis/use of primary sources
  • 5 points for satisfactory completion of the three above benchmarks
  • 5 points for the quality of the final presentation
  • 5 points for overall quality of the project

Each of you will individually be awarded up to 5 points by your teammates, for a grand total of 40 possible points on this assignment. The team with the best project, as determined by a class vote, will also receive an extra 5 points on their final grade. In the event of a tie, I will cast the deciding vote.

If you’re nervous about this assignment, don’t be! Both Google Sites and Twine are very easy to use, and there are video tutorials available for each:

Google Sites Tutorials (

Twine Tutorial #1 (

Twine Tutorial #2 (

Twine Tutorial #3 (

Want to see some examples of past work? Okay! Gleb Tsipursky, one of OSU’s esteemed history faculty, inspired this project. You can see examples of his students’ projects here ( (Note that the requirements for our respective assignments are slightly different.) You can see examples of Twine stories by University of Tennessee professor Chad Black’s students here (


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s