I’m often frustrated by the lack of module description provided by the School of History when I’m picking my modules for the forthcoming year, so this week I’ve decided to give a run-down of MO3351 for the prospective ‘next-gen’. Fingers crossed they might stumble across this post then.
The module is 100% coursework. For us, that consisted of compiling 8 blog posts across the semester – like this – (two of which were peer-review comments) worth 20%, one ‘project proposal’ worth 10%, one ‘short essay’ worth 20%, one presentation worth 10%, and one 5,000-word project essay worth 40%.
Like all history modules, tutorials for MO3351 were structured around readings that provided useful information on the discipline’s various ‘sub-topics’. For transnational history, those could include ‘microhistory’, ‘global history’, ‘Actor-Network Theory’ and ‘Decolonization’ for example. MO3351’s differences, however, were in its provision of tutorial ‘skill sessions’ – ‘working with sources’ and ‘collaborative blog writing’. These were very useful, and have no doubt readied me more for my dissertation next academic year. Most tutorials involved elements of peer collaboration actually, and this was usually achieved via the medium of a google-drive.
One tutorial session, the ‘unconference’, was also dedicated to developing presentation skills that would come in handy for the marked presentation later in the semester. That too, was valuable: a nice way to ease into the practice of presenting information to peers in a concise and effective manner.
The biggest challenge provided by MO3351 (for me as it I expect has been for everyone else) has undoubtedly been the individual projects that we’ve been charged with writing. In total, what that involved, was choosing a topic to study in a ‘transnational’ perspective, researching that topic, and compiling a 5,000-word essay on it. As I write now, I’m still in the research phase. I would definitely argue that (as daunting as its been) this type of assessment has been very liberating, however. Never before at St. Andrews have I been afforded the opportunity to pick any topic of my choosing to study in a module.