Having (almost) complete four years of university I marvel at the fact that I have gone so long without a professor in any of my classes assigning a group project. This has meant that, for most of my university career, the only assessments I have submitted were individually-based essays, exams and the rare solo presentation. Due to this past experience I will admit that I came to this group project a little nervous but it is actually a refreshing change of pace. With this context in mind I would now like to outline what I have learned thus far as ‘Team Leader’ for the exhibit portion of this project.
The first key takeaway I gathered concerns the importance of scheduling. This means setting a clear deadline for when each team member has to finish a component of the project. The nature of the exhibit means that it is not something we can piece together the week before our launch date—the mere thought of this procrastination makes my hair stand on edge—rather it is best to break the project into little tasks that reduce this endeavour to manageable stages. As the type of person who needs to assign herself deadlines for completing work it was not too much trouble, in consultation with my teammates, to figure out a rough timeline for the exhibit. For example, on March 1st I hope our team will have come up with the content we would like to discuss in the exhibit as well as reach a firm consensus on all the pieces and objects that will go into the display case. Though this may sound like a large goal hopefully the upcoming reading week will provide enough time to accomplish this objective.
Another takeaway deals with the importance of communication across the various teams involved in this project. Not only it is crucial that the exhibit team members communicate amongst themselves but we should also keep in touch with the publicity and website teams to know what they have planned. As this exhibit is kind of a ‘spotlight on’ the manuscripts scholars, students and the general public can find on the website it is vital that we ensure our content does not overlap too much with this team. Also, as we would like people to actually see the finished product (the exhibit) it is crucial to maintain conversation with the publicity team. How can we expect the publicity team to get people excited for the exhibit if we keep all our information about the display to ourselves? Communication between every member in the Medieval Book team is vital for success!
As a conclusion to this post I just want to take a moment to appreciate the research and work everyone put into their Omeka entries. In selecting manuscripts for this exhibit my teammates and I are able to draw on the information about the folios provided by our classmates earlier in the course. One of the benefits to this group project has been the ability to watch as the information learned in the first term contributes to this term’s work!