Assignments and Grading

We will be using Specifications Grading in this course. This method of assessment is designed to encourage you to take ownership of your own education. The final grade in the course will be based on the bundle of assignments completed at the Satisfactory level or higher. Each assignment will be evaluated Incomplete/Satisfactory/Excellent based on a rubric. Evaluations/grades will be posted on Canvas.

If you have a crisis in your life, please contact me to work something out so you can be successful in this course. This is a pandemic — I’m expecting people may have crises. We will work it out!

If you are mildly sick or have a lot of other assignments and need an extension, use the Token System (below). Please note each kind of assignment has multiple opportunities over the course of the semester, so you have some choice about which assignments/when they are due.


There are four types of assignments in this course. Each assignment will be evaluated with a rubric with comments from the professor. Everything will be assessed as “Satisfactory” or “Incomplete” based on whether it fulfills the stated learning goals. “Satisfactory” and “Incomplete” do not correspond to “Pass” and “Fail”. Instead, Incomplete translates best to “Not done yet”. You can revise your work using the token system (below). Satisfactory work that shows originality or complexity will be evaluated as Excellent and will earn extra tokens.


On the PRIVATE student blog based on weekly readings, websites, videos.

Each week will have student discussion leaders posting questions to the private course blog. All will respond substantively and carefully

Labs & Building Blocks

Exercises in each unit of the course introducing you to technologies of cultural heritage. Some foundational blocks are required to pass the course.


Your individual blog on your own website, under your name or a pseudonym, with a series of posts about the course materials. [But wait, you’re thinking: isn’t blogging so 2007? A blog is still a great entryway to writing on the web for a public audience. Software used for blogs is also often used to create websites for cultural heritage or digital humanities projects.]


Required for graduate students, optional for undergraduates. Develop a project about cultural heritage data that involves public or community engagement. Depending on your field, technical skills, and interests it could take a variety of forms: 3d model of a heritage artifact, site, or partial site; participate in & analyze a crowdsourced project; digital exhibit; wikipedia editing & analysis; research-based blog posts on an issue in cultural heritage data; a proposal for a more complicated project.

Specifications Grading

Students need to complete the entire bundle of assignments under each letter grade to earn that grade. So, for example, 9 weeks of Satisfactory Discussion + 2 weeks of Discussion Leader + complete Blog at the A level is still earns a C in the course. Students will have many opportunities to revise and resubmit using the Token System described below.

Discussion Leader2 weeks1 week1 week
Discussion (out of 13 wks)12 weeks10 weeks8 weeks6 weeks
Fundamental Labs & Building BlocksSyllabus
Unit Labs & Building Blocks4321
Blogging: undergraduatesa. 4 Unit Posts (2 from A-C, 2 from D-F) b. Critical-Analytical Semester reflection post c. Responses to other student blogsa. 3 Unit Posts (1 or 2 from A-C and 1 or 2 from D-F ) b. Critical-Analytical Semester reflection post c. Responses to other student blogsa. 2 Unit Posts (1 from A-C, 1 from D-F) b. either critical-analytical reflection OR responses to other student blogs1 Unit Post
Blogging: Grad Studentsa. 4 Unit Posts (2 from A-C, 2 from D-F) b. Responses to other student blogsa. 3 Unit Posts (1 or 2 from A-C, 1 or 2 from D-F) b. Responses to other student blogsa. 2 Unit Posts (1 from A-C, 1 from D-F) b. Responses to other student blogs1 Unit Post
ProjectCompleteCompleteMidterm Milestones Complete

Token System

Each student begins the semester with 3 tokens. Excellent work, attending special events, and other items on the syllabus earn more tokens.


Email or message through Canvas requests for extensions. If you have enough tokens (see your Token count on Canvas), assume the answer is YES even if you don’t hear back from me.

1 token= 12 hour extension on Discussion Leader, Discussion Responses, Lab/Building Blocks, Blog Post, or Project Milestone assignment due dates

2 tokens = 24 hour extension on Discussion Responses, Lab/Building Blocks, or Blog Post assignment due dates; can be used twice (not for Discussion Leader)

Revising and Resubmitting:

Email or message Dr. S within two days of assignment grades released on Canvas if you want to exchange tokens to redo/revise.

1 token= revise & resubmit Discussion Responses, usually due 48 hours after request made

1 token= if a Discussion Leader assignment earns an incomplete, you may request to be assigned a new date later in the semester if there are still days available.

2 tokens= revise and resubmit Lab/Building Block assignments, Blog Posts, Project Milestones (for grad students), usually due 48 hours after request made.