The first thing that worked about this project was the handling of a nineteenth century material, what the whole project was about. It was incredible to be holding 200 year old paper and see what people of the time were interested in and what they were learning about.
Another thing I think was good about the project was being able to decide what exactly we wanted to do with our given material; what our group wanted to pull from it and present to the class. It really gave us all the opportunity to explore what was happening in the 1830s that made it into a magazine.
I also enjoyed the teamwork aspect of the project. Like most people, I shy away from group projects because one person usually ends up doing most of the work. However, it was nice working with a team where my ideas and opinions were heard and not put aside. The in class time to discuss our roles and deadlines worked out well.
Learning about other teams’ materials was interesting as well. It let me see how varied published materials of the nineteenth century were and how there was something for everyone. We got to see art, comedy, literature and weekly magazines, and I know there is a lot more we didn’t touch on that might be cool to bring into the project next year.
The first thing that didn’t work for this project was a lack of structure. Our team felt lost some of the time because we weren’t sure exactly what we were supposed to be doing. The roles for each person were clearly defined, and while I enjoyed the freedom to explore what we wanted to, it was difficult to pick and choose and expand on each person’s given part.
A second issue I had was feedback. Our group discussed what was working and what wasn’t with each person’s research, but I feel this project would work even better with feedback from the professor. We didn’t know if what we came up with was weak or strong and I think that could be helpful in the future.
For our team specifically, the presentation could have used some work. We used our fifteen minutes before everyone was able to say their piece. With everyone’s schedules, it was nearly impossible to find a time we were all free to actually discuss how we were going to do the presentation. Even with regular emails and texts, it was a tad choppy.
Another team specific problem we had was connecting back to our readings, as the project intended for us to do. We started out our research with the themes of nature and creation in mind so we could connect back to Frankenstein and our other assignments. Along the way, we focused more on the theme itself than how it related to readings.