Collaborative projects and digital assignments

Collaborative projects and digital assignments

Digital assignment can provide an alternative to traditional research paper assignments or augment existing assignments by reframing students’ scholarly work through new and varied media. The McGraw Center provides support for the creation of multimedia assignments and partners with faculty throughout the semester to ensure the successful delivery of those assignments.

Course websites on McGraw Commons

The McGraw Commons is an online platform for websites related to Princeton courses. The Commons currently hosts the WordPress and Omeka platforms giving faculty a wide range of options for online publishing. WordPress, our primary tool for online coursework, is an easy-to-use, flexible, shared website creation platform that brings with it a broad range of possibilities for student writing, creative expression, commenting, and discussion. With the addition of ‘plugins’, some of which were created specifically to address the needs of Princeton courses, the Commons can serve as a platform for text, image, video and audio annotation, media collection and analysis, crowd-sourced tagging, and language learning.

Support for multimedia-rich forms of communication

The McGraw Digital Learning Lab in the Lewis Library Building is a technology-rich teaching space optimized for multimedia projects. With high-end computers featuring a curated slate of software tools for multimedia projects such as audio and video editing, graphic design, data visualization, 3-D modeling, and website development, as well as an audio recording booth for voice-over narration and music production, the DLL regularly hosts classes engaged in multimedia coursework and partners with faculty to support digital coursework and assignments. Through peer collaborations and student-run workshops, the DLL also serves as a hub for student engagement with multimedia technologies.

Maps, timelines, and digital narratives

Web-based, interactive, tools such as timelines and maps not only help to visualize data but also give students opportunities to contextualize learning. Intuitive tools such as Google MyMaps, TimelineJS, StoryMapsJS, and ArcGIS Online offer a wealth of possibilties for digital assignments. The McGraw Center’s Commons website platform also includes the wpGeo mapping tool that allows students to associate maps with their written assignments.

Connections in and out of class

Communication is at the core of any Princeton University course. Digital platforms and tools promote a shared learning experience through collaborative reading responses, asynchronous discussion, and multimedia annotation. Tools such as WordPress housed in the McGraw Commons, Campuswire, Piazza, Slack, and Yammer can greatly expand the possibilities for constructive dialog and creative expression.

Data collection and analysis

Easy-to-use yet powerful online tools such as Voyant Tools, Palladio, and RAWGraphs provide opportunities to visualize data in many different ways.