Experiments in scanning workflow for graduate seminars

workflow We have been working on a workflow for scanning reprints from books, and have made some progress. For the seminar in special topics for archaeology, Senses of Place, taught this semester by Ruth Tringham and Rosemary Joyce, the students are responsible for organizing the weekly reading into either physical form for copying, or in digital form for posting on the course website. There are over 20 participants in the course, coming from across campus. The general concensus is that it would be more convenient to have all of the readings in digital form for several reasons:

  • Of the 5-10 articles for each theme per week, only the main article(s) are printed for the entire class. The rest of the articles are copied just for the person assigned to write up a précis, even though they could be of interest to all.
  • Producing a digital archive of all the content would allow the organizers of the week’s seminar to work with the précis contributors, and to synthesize themes across authors.
  • This course is popular, but a tremendous amount of effort from a production standpoint. Developing a fast, easy digital framework for digitizing all of the content would free up the organizers and instructors to focus on the actual readings, write-up and organization.

Steps toward a digital infrastructure

Briefly, the steps for the actual work of collecting, copying (or scanning), placing (or posting) and announcing the reprints for a week are something like this:

  1. Instructor (Ruth or Rosemary) gathers the books, articles, online references together and puts them in the Archaeological Research Facility two weeks in advance of the seminar.
  2. The organizer copies the books, making a single copy of all articles, and
  3. If the student organizer opts to upload online versions of the content in PDF form, he/she must scan all pages and then produce the PDFs themselves.

Applying our Five-Star Hotel Service Architecture, the idea goes something like this…

What if the instructors came up with their reading list, and the content was in a digital form, ready to share from the start of class? What if we could make it dead easy to gather additional articles, rearrange the order of the readings, drop articles, add comments, print, etc?

Here is the product of this first attempt at developing a CMS around this course:

Here is the excerpt from the syllabus, with links to the articles in the online database:

**Ingold, T.
2000 The perception of the environment: essays on
livelihood, dwelling and skill. Routledge, London; New York. Ch 10 (172-188)
**Cresswell, T.
2004 Place: a short introduction. Blackwell, Oxford,
UK. 18-24 (everyone)
Merleau-Ponty, M.
2003 Phenomenology of Perception. Routledge, New
York. 240-283 (Pt2, ch1) (Nigu)
Tilley, C.
1994 A Phenomenology of Landscape. Berg, Oxford. Ch
1. (Rocky)
Lang, R.
2000 The dwelling door: Towards a phenomenology of
transition. In Dwelling, Place and Environment, edited by D. Seamon and R.
Mugerauer, pp. 201-213. Krieger Publishing, Malabar, Florida. (Nicole)
Shanks, M.
1991 Experiencing the Past: on the character of
archaeology. Routledge, London`.
http://metamedia.stanford.edu/projects/MichaelShanks/755 pp 99-143 (Colleen)
Thomas, J.
1993 The Hermeneutics of Megalithic Space. In
Interpretative Archaeology, edited by C. Tilley, pp. 73-98. Berg, Oxford.
(Anna H )
Relph, E.
1976 Place and Placelessness. Pion, London.(Anna R-B)

The database in built in Extensis Portfolio. It points to the optimized PDF documents that were created using Adobe Bridge’s batch workflow option, Create PDF.

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