No. 27: Electronic Texts and Images
19-23 July 1999
1) How useful were the pre-course readings?
1: Quite useful, but it was possible to start the course without an extensive background. 2: They were very helpful. As someone who is UNIX illiterate, I would have gained more from class demonstrations if I knew more UNIX commands. 3: They gave one a chance to scan items being covered. The readings really will not help until you start the course. Scan them. 4: They were a useful exposure to the subject matter of the course, and to more advanced aspects that one could anticipate. 5: Somewhat. It would’ve been better to have read all the TEI helpsheets before class started. 6: Very useful. 7: Though I believe they’ll be helpful in the long run, many were not very helpful this week - and since the quantity was staggering, I’d suggest a bit of trimming (eg recommending but not requiring the XML book). 9: I found the list well-chosen and relatively extensive. 10: Very, especially in developing queries to have answered. 11: Very useful.
2) Were the course syllabus and other materials distributed in class useful (or will they be so in the future, after you return home)?
1: Yes, insofar as this applies to this type of material, which relies on electronic rather than paper resources. 2: They were very helpful as concrete evidence of what was covered. 3: Everything was appropriate. 4: Useful for the future. 5: OK. 6: Very useful. 7-8: Yes. 9: The handouts helped early in the course, and the syllabus gave a good sense of the course schedule. 10: Yes. 11: Very useful, and they will be referred to in the future.
3) Was the intellectual level of the course content appropriate?
1: DS’s excellent approach to presenting the material - reiterating the points gave me a good overview both of the issues involved and the applications. 2: Yes. 3: Yes. Some things were beyond my understanding, but that’s OK. The programs and the methodology tie in together. Stick with it. 4: The course was taught at the level of the pre-course preparations. 5-7: Yes. 8: Yes. DS explained all of the concepts thoroughly, while also taking us step-by-step through the process of creating electronic texts. I learned a great deal. 9: If anything, too high (but better than too low). 10: For my own needs, more content issues and less concern for deliverability/
searchability. 11: Yes.
4) If your course had field trips, were they effective?
1: They were an appropriate addition to in-class activities. 2: Yes. 3: Special Collections and the Electronic Text Center. Yes, they were relevant to the course. 4: The visits to Special Collections and the Electronic Text Center were worthwhile (for exposure to the hardware and software). 5-7: Yes. 8: Yes. The visit to the Digital Imaging Center in Special Collections was informative. We had a chance to see the various digital equipment in use, and we had a chance to understand the process of creating electronic texts, the challenges, staffing requirements, &c. 9: Absolutely. Our trip to the Special Collections Digital Imaging Center was very interesting and helpful. 10: Very. 11: Yes.
5) Did the actual course content correspond to its RBS brochure description and Expanded Course Description (ECD)? Did the course in general meet your expectations?
1-3: Yes. 4: There was a very close correspondence, although there was no reference in the description to the collective nature of course projects. The latter, however, did not turn out to be a disappointment. 5: Almost. Would have been better to devote more time to EDA. 6-9: Yes. 10: Indeed. 11: Yes.
6) What did you like best about the course?
1: The breadth with which the instructor presented the materials, making it relevant through extensive reliance on his experience and knowledge of textual scholarship. 2: The instructor was very informative. Also, the hands-on tagging, parsing, &c. was very helpful. 3: Its usefulness. Seeing my work and my colleagues’ work put to use - being part of an ongoing project. The instructor is wonderful - he is quite knowledgeable and full of enthusiasm. The course provides insights and ways for us to hopefully handle electronic texts. 4: The course offered exactly what I needed in terms of an introduction to TEI, SGML and XML, with hands-on experience in their use. The instructor was excellent, explaining everything clearly and answering questions fully. 5: The subjects, the facilities, and the instructor. 6: The amount of detail covered, and the clarity of the instruction. The Electronic Text Center materials were great. 7: The instructor. DS is the most positive, informative, patient, and helpful man I think I’ve ever met. Wonderful! 8: DS is a very good instructor. His enthusiasm is contagious and his knowledge is impressive. The course was structured and balanced well. It covered a variety of areas from simple SGML tagging to project management. It gave me a thorough understanding of the process required in the creation of electronic texts and images. 9: The clarity of the explanations. 10: DS. 11: The knowledge and enthusiasm of the instructor.
7) How could the course have been improved?
1: This has been an excellent introductory course, which fulfilled my expectations completely. 2: If the course could have been extended past five days, I would have liked more hands-on experience, or demonstrations of some of the software mentioned in class (eg Dynatext). 3: More time! There is so much information given that maybe splitting the course into two segments (ie, design, then TEI/EAD implementation) would be helpful. 4: Offer another week for more advanced work, including more hands-on practice in imaging. 5: Materials distributed on the last day could be distributed earlier to make Friday less hectic. I would’ve liked to have seen more coverage of XML DTD creation, style sheet creation (Perl or Cascade), search engine and interface design, and SGML-HTML conversion processes. Maybe an advanced course on these topics could be offered in the near future. 6: A little more discussion of EAD. 7: After doing all of the readings, I would have appreciated getting into tagging and parsing earlier, and in more quantity. We need a second course as a refresher, for those of us who want to go deeper. 8: It was one of the best courses I have taken recently. The hands-on experience combined with lectures and projector-screen examples worked best. 10: A bit more hands-on. 11: More hands-on experience.
8) Please comment on the quality/enjoyability of the various RBS activities in which you took part outside of class, eg Sunday afternoon tour, Sunday night dinner and videos, evening lectures, Bookseller Night, tour of the Alderman digital/electronic centers, &c.
1: The organized activities provided a most wonderful opportunity to meet colleagues from a wide range of institutions. 2: The Sunday Afternoon Walking Tour was very helpful. 3: Sunday Night Dinner could be improved, although it was nice to meet people before getting wrapped up in classes. The evening lectures were good. 4: The quality of the Sunday Night Dinner and the evening videos was good - both the food, and the programs. I enjoyed the lectures. They were filled with information, as well as great wit. 5: Apparently, I missed a good lecture by Greer Allen. The other two lectures were not very enlightening. The Rotunda exhibit was very good. 8: A great opportunity to share impressions with other RBS students. 9: I enjoyed the speakers very much. There was no time for anything else. 10: Time was delightfully filled.
9) Any final thoughts? Did you get your money's worth?
1: There should be a follow-up to this course, or one that explores the social aspects of electronic publishing. 2: I would definitely recommend this course, and yes, it was worth every cent. 3: Yes, I got my money’s worth. It is a course well-worth the time for those of us who are truly interested in electronic text projects. Viewing Web sites before taking the course helps, and having some knowledge of the Web (design, language) also helps. 4: Got my money’s worth in full. 5: DS is knowledgeable about the subject. He is energetic and enthusiastic, has a good sense of humor, and is very responsive to the students. This is a good way to learn the management of electronic texts and images. 7: Yes, it was time and money quite well-spent. 8: Absolutely! I would like to return. 9: Advice: read as much as possible ahead of time. Absolutely worthwhile. 10: Rest well beforehand, and don’t plan on going to work the following Monday. 11: An excellent beginner course. I hope that an intermediate level course will be developed in future years. Yes [got my money’s worth].
Number of respondents: 11
|Institution gave me leave||Institution paid tuition||Institution paid housing||Institution paid travel|
|I took vacation time||I paid tuition myself||I paid for my own housing||I paid my own travel|
|N/A: self-employed, retired, or had summers off||N/A: self-employed, retired, or exchange||N/A: stayed with friends or lived at home||N/A: lived nearby|
There were three teachers/professors (27%), two general librarians with some rare book duties (18%), one rare book librarian (9%), one archivist/manuscript librarian (9%), one general librarian with no rare book duties (9%), one full-time student (9%), one museum employee in work not directly related to a library (9%), and one technical services employee who works with visual materials (9%).