Create Your Own Unit (CYOU) Project
During your first section meeting, sections will be divided into CYOU Project Teams. Each CYOU Project Team will consist of around ten members. Teams may choose to design their units around the theme of their choice. It will help to visit the Viewing America CYOU Library. Before deciding on a particular theme, however, teams should think through the following questions:
- Does your theme fall within the peiod covered by the class?
- Does your theme complement the other units?
- Why is this particular theme important?
- Why should the class know more about it? That is, why does this theme matter?
The project teams that can answer these questions most convincingly will be the most successful. Once a theme has been chosen, teams will have to begin preparing their unit. Each team will elect a team leader and assign responsibility for each component of the unit. Each member of the team should sign his or her name to the portion of the assignment that they are personally responsible for.
A completed unit will include the following components:
- a one page executive summary (which may include graphics) addressing the questions asked above.
- reading assignment of approximately 50 pages
- review questions (roughly 3)
- background and context
- lecture outline
- film and film review
- archive with relevant and pertinent primary source data
- two or three Web site links to other sources for additional information on your team's topic
- Clear citations for the source of each item selected -- books, films, videos, URLs etc.
Units will be created using the a Wordpress installation provided by SHANTI. Students are responsible for creation and registration of the site at SHANTI, developing and populating the site, and managing all aspects of it's creation.
- Email a Word document (attached) of your Executive Summary to your TA by Midnight Monday, February 15.
- Each CYOU team will also make a group presentation in section of their project and argument.
- Your completed website must also be posted by 12 pm Sunday, April 24.
- The class will vote to determine which of the CYOU student projects is the best.
- Everyone must vote on their favorite CYOU before 5 pm Monday, April 25.
- A voting system will be available here: when projects are completed.
- The winning plan will be used as the basis for the lecture on Wednesday, April 27.
- This assignment will be worth 20% of your total grade.
Web Design Assistance
Contact the helpful and friendly people in the Digital Media Lab on the 3rd floor of Clemons in the Robertson Media Center.
But do not expect them to do your project for you; they'll only give you the tools to do it yourself.
To set up an appointment call 924-7286 or email email@example.com
CYOU project websites are generally created using Wordpress, Content Management System software originally created for blogging but now widely used for a variety of content. We use a version of Wordpress integrated with Collab by SHANTI.
What this means to you is that Wordpress makes creating a nice-looking website very easy without the need for any coding or specialized technical knowledge. Even better, all the work that SHANTI has puts in gets the whole thing set up painlessly without students having to worry about databases or hosting. (If you have an alternative CMS/web framework and host for your CYOU, please drop the digital TA a line)
To get started, follow SHANTI's Wordpress setup instructions.
After this, you should be able to reach the administration menu for your Wordpress site at http://pages.shanti.virginia.edu/your_project/wp-admin/ (fill in the URL with your project's name; the default is the same as the Collab site name, with underscores instead of spaces)
After that, read through and follow SHANTI's step-by-step instructions on Wordpress basic configuration. There is a large variety of different themes to choose from to "sklin" your website. Most of these are quite flexible in allowing a range of different colors and arrangements. Most are also optimized for blogging and periodic content updates (and accomodate features like calendars and text search) that are a bit more than what we'll probably need. But these can all be turned off or rearranged.
And now you're all set to get started! That was easy, right? The best way to continue is just to play with it. If you get stuck, Wordpress is popular enough that Google is a great resource for help. There is a pretty comprehensive official guide and plenty of third-party tutorials, videos, and tips and tricks. SHANTI also has some more great documentation on various subjects. Many of the entries in the How-To section are worth the read (for example, the one on how to Make Your Wordpress Site Less Like a Blog)
For more personal help, the Digital Media Lab on the 3rd floor of Clemons in the Robertson Media Center is a great resource to help provide the tools and knowledge to accomplish as fancy a CYOU as you desire. You can set up an appointment with them by calling 924-7286 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Digital TA will also be on hand to provide broad technical guidance and answer questions about the CYOU proejct specifically.
The Create Your Own Unit (CYOU) Library contains past student CYOU projects. As part of the course, each student will joins a team of his/her classmates to conceive and design their own Viewing America Unit. Professor Balogh teaches the winning CYOU project during the last week of class. The winning Unit is determined by popular vote.
|Hip Hop & America||Winner|
CYOU Winning Projects
The Create Your Own Unit (CYOU) Library contains past student CYOU projects. As part of the course, each student will joins a team of his/her classmates to conceive and design their own Viewing America Unit. Professor Balogh teaches the winning CYOU project during the last week of class. The winning Unit is determined by popular vote. Displayed below is a short-list of our past winners.