Each team member will comment individually on the entire site that your team has been assigned. (See the class schedule for the week of April 1 and your email for team assignments).
You will be using Hypothes.is to comment on your colleagues’ website. This site is a handy annotation tool that will allow you to highlight parts of the website and make comments that will help your colleagues improve their website. I have created a private group for each of the website annotations, and I will share the link with each group.
Create an account in Hypothes.is and use the annotate icon to comment on each page on your assigned website. Make sure that your comments are constructive and thorough. Below is a checklist of items you should look for and comment on for each page of the website:
- Home Page: Is it an attractive introduction to the site? Is there enough information on the page to tell the visitor what the site is about? Look at the menu. Do the tab/page titles make sense? Do subpages show up in a drop-down menu or other sub-menu? Are the tabs arranged in a logical order?
- Tabs: Then move through each tab/page and review the information offered. Does the page title correspond to the information offered on that page? Is there a good balance of text and image on the page? Do the images have captions, and do the captions give a clear description of the image and its source?
- Text: Proofread the text on all pages. Is the text/narrative well-organized? Does it provide an accessible and thorough story? Remember that the narrative is written for a different audience from a traditional research paper, but certainly the prose should be on the college level, and the author will still want to make a point and provide analysis. So, look for the point, look for analysis, and proofread for clarity, felicity, grammar, syntax, and spelling. However, don’t spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning up grammar, syntax, etc. Point out commonly-made mistakes, and make sure to give the authors some general comments about what they are doing well, and where their text could use improvement.
- Digital tools: Work through all of the digital tools. Click on all links, run through timelines, enlarge all images, to make sure that the images and tools work the way they should. If a link is broken or an image does not enlarge to a readable/viewable size, let the authors know. If images are very slow to load or are not properly positioned on the page, make a comment about that. Note that Hypothes.is cannot be used on Timeline JS or other “moving” tools. However, you can make comments about Timeline JS or StoryMap JS on the page on which the tool is embedded, or at some other logical place on the site. You could also create page comments for these dynamic tools.
- Images: Again, check to see that images that are meant to be enlarged can actually be enlarged. Can images be made large enough to easily view the contents? If the images are documents, are they readable? Do they load quickly?
- Source citations: Make sure that all sources are cited — both information within the text and all images and documents should be cited in Chicago Manual of Style/Turabian format. If footnote plugins have been used, check to see of links to citations work.
- Visual Appeal: Are all of the pages visually appealing? Do they offer a balance of text and image? Are the headings and captions well-positioned? Do you want to stay on the page/in the website long enough to read everything there?
This comment process is a formative one, designed to support one another and work toward the very best site your team can produce. We all want to be proud of our collective work in this class, so make sure you are giving your colleagues clear and supportive commentary. As you are reading through the site and commenting on the pages, remember to provide positive feedback on the parts of the site that you really like, along with the parts of the site that still need improvement. A quality annotation of the entire site will take some time, so make sure you budget your time so that you can provide thorough and meaningful commentary.
Complete all of your annotations by 5 p.m. the day before your in-person meeting (either April 1 or April 3). After 5 p.m., I will share the Hypothes.is comments with the website group.
We will then meet to give verbal feedback on the sites. (See the syllabus for the meeting schedule.)
If you have any questions, or if you get stuck with the Hypothes.is annotation process, let me know.