The thesis for this project-proposal is to examine the creativity of digital humanities and their activities within a school setting. Do digital humanities rely on creativity as much as other English courses and if so, where is the evidence to suggest that in recent years? Why are there seemingly few sources that have the two subjects (digital humanities and creative writing or creativity) in the same source? Could creative writing benefit or negate the progress of digital humanities? This project-proposal will propose a constructed, ideal class within a high-school setting, examining Frankenstein as an English subject and utilize digital sources and tools. Specifically, this class will also utilize creative-writing in most of the assignments for digital humanities such as a group project.
As presented in Battershill and Ross’s academic writing on designing classroom, activities can serve as exploration but require balancing integration and flexibility. As described in their textbook, “creative exploration in classroom activities is nothing new for instructors… the digital humanities offer new compasses and maps for such exploration” (Battershill, Ross, pg. 80). It is essential to be flexible with teaching and learning and thus instructors must find ways to integrate digital humanities (the teaching of digital tools) into a new generation. At the same time, the instructor must find ways to allow this exploration with students and their learning by creating the opportunity to see these old classics (Frankenstein) in a present-age setting and view. I would utilize these examples of classroom activity design (such as ‘character role-play or debate’ for example) but combine elements of creative writing to see how students react and display their results and findings to the classroom. Furthermore, it would be interesting to test the capabilities of the new student body as well as their adaptability with new technology in the digital age. To that end, I’ve come to the theory that activities for digital humanities can begin at the earliest stages before college. I’ve reached the position and idea that speculates that creative writing could be conducted through digital humanities and I would like to examine how such a relationship could benefit the classroom. If proven accurate, these modified digital activities for humanities could benefit the student’s learning of both technical and creative writing.
The contribution of this proposal could provide not only insight on the integration between creative writing and digital humanities, often viewed as two different areas of skill and thought (like fiction and non-fiction) but provide a glimpse of student engagement and the effect of social media of students as well. In recent years, there has been some research suggesting that student engagement has decreased over some time; suggested by Rajaratnam’s Themes and Patterns Explored in the Decline of Student Engagement: An Exploratory Case Study. Naturally, this would be an issue for teachers and students alike in education and the retainment of learning in all levels of schools. If students are detached from their learning environment, it has negative consequences on the student’s long-term future as well as the integrity of those schools. Furthermore, teachers should be supporting students to engage with others as well as their lessons, adding to these negative effects. These teachers are supposed to be mentors as well as supporting role models to their students. Some engagement, however, should be monitored by teachers as well. If left unchecked, students could engage with one another in a manner that could be classified as bullying (cyber or in-person) which should be avoided at all cost. For these reasons, it may prove fruitful for teachers to utilize creativity and engagement in groups while undergoing digital humanities to spark interaction that is safe and positive for all. To require the students to participate in groups creates the opportunity for personal development and create relationship with other group-members. To use creativity, the students create a positive learning experience and environment, and to express themselves to the group and class in an acceptable manner. It can also provide an opportunity for students to explore story-telling (or creative writing) at an earlier age.
If accepted, this proposal would develop a full lesson-plan designed to incorporate the two subjects, digital humanities with creative writing. The thesis of the project would be based upon the idea of creating a syllabus (or rubric of activities) planned out for this ideal class in theory. For the duration of this project, however, the proposal would only examine and record the results of one of the assignments. In this case, I wanted the project to employ a group project into this ideal class, digital activities utilizing creative writing by examining Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In this group project, I would essentially have groups of two or three high-school students work together in writing a script of dialogue that would serve as a hypothetical addition to the story of Frankenstein; using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social networking program. The students would role-play through a message-board or “text-messages” between characters. The characters would be engaged in an argument over being revived from the dead. As such, Victor (or “Victoria”) Frankenstein would be essential and one of the students in the group would have to play the role. A second member of the group would play the “revived” character by Dr. Frankenstein’s hand. The third member of the group could be the supporting character that would assist the group’s argument further. Together, the group would all have to be involved in the formation of the project, argument of the characters, and presentation of their findings and perspectives. As a result, this project would utilize creative writing through the dialogue script, and the project can display basic storytelling by exploring a possible variant of the original story of Frankenstein. The assignment would require using The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein as a template to how to present another perspective of a character other than simply Victor Frankenstein or the Creature for example. This would only be one of the activities that I’d plan and observe, implemented into the syllabus to be used in a real-life high-school English class.
The sources that I’ve chosen for this thesis and proposal are deprived from studies that examine creativity (or creative writing specifically) in academics or examine creativity in part of digital humanities now. I also intend to use common sources of Frankenstein for my main focus for the students while a more recent novel reflecting on a minor character (Elizabeth Frankenstein) as a secondary source called The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein. This would allow students to see how a different perspective can affect the understanding of a story as it is being told or otherwise experience from another character (other than Victor Frankenstein or the Creature). There would be referencing studies of digital humanities within the classroom to complete my understanding and develop the thesis as well. Furthermore, those sources of digital humanities in teaching would help develop the project and thus the activity itself. As expected, the activity would use social media networking sources of the student’s choice like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or others
In the next pages, this proposal will showcase the activity as well as the grading rubic for the activity as revised:
Which Character Would Dr. Frankenstein Revive Next?
To understand Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this assignment will require a group of two or three students to work together and role-play as Victor (or “Victoria”) Frankenstein along with any supporting characters of their choice. It is the present-age, Dr. Frankenstein has revived one of the other characters (Elizabeth, Justine, Henry, etc.) and a discussion is taking place over a social media network (Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, etc.). Consider these questions…
- Who did you choose and why?
- What are they saying?
- What are their reactions?
- What is the impact on the story?
Each group-member will represent a character in a public discussion over a social media network. Each group will be required to submit their scripts of dialogue to the teacher for approval, only relevant and appropriate language will be used for the project. Once approved, the group will be given until the date of presentation to revise and construct a presentation for the class. You will be graded on several different factors, provided on the grading rubric but it will be in font size of 12’ under Times New Roman of at least five (5) pages for the essay portion.
For optional extra-credit, you may provide visuals to go along with the presentation. For example, you could provide images (or “photos”) with each message or piece of dialogue to illustrate the conversation between characters with in-depth immersion into character. These extra-credits will be judged and administered by the teacher in addition to the final grade.
05/02 – selection of group members; followed by group discussion
05/04 – group discussion; work on script of dialogue
05/09 – submission of script to teacher prior to presentation
05/18 – presentation
05/21 – grades
Please talk to the teacher for any questions or concerns, and enjoy the activity.
Rubric and Grade Sheet
(5 – 0 points)
|Character Role-Play:||Taken the character’s personality completely,||Taken the character’s personality with precise examination||Taken the character’s personality with moderate emphasis on performance||Taken the character’s personality but with little clarity and lacked conviction||Taken the character’s personality with little to no understanding of the character|
|Effect on Frankenstein:||Anticipated how the story would change completely by the character’s revival||Anticipated how the strong of a change with an interesting, original theory||Demonstrated how the story may change partially, taking few aspects into account||Demonstrated how the story may change but lacks strong connection or reasoning||Guessed little to no change to the story by the character’s revival with no evidence or reasoning|
|Dialogue:||Exchanged with authenticity in speech while improvising present-age language||Spoken with authenticity in speech but lacked some improvising or melding||Exchanged between characters through lacked in smooth interaction||Spoken with minor infractions in character, improperly strung together||Little to no effort made into the speech between characters or not approved by teacher|
|Presentation||Engaged with the audience, explained their group project with clarity and distinction||Engaged with the audience and explained their group project but left minor details or caused errors||Presented in an agreeable manner through lacked some group participation||The group had trouble presentation, little to no effort in working together||The group made little to no effort in presenting their project, weak communication|
(common grammar, spelling, vocabulary, page-count, etc.):
|Well written, detailed. Exceed the requirements and the least amount of errors||Written with strong points. Met the most requirements and a few minor errors||A typical explanation. Met the average requirements and some errors||Lacking in reasoning. Met the bare minimum requirements with more errors than expected||Written with little to no explanation. Met the least number of requirements with numerous errors|
Final Grade: _____ out of 125 points
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