I just took this class as an intense 5-day Maymester. We had a few assignments along the way, but they were all pretty much variations on a theme (actually, schema) so there’s not much point in breaking this post down into an entry for each.

The basic structure of the class was 2 hours of lecture followed by an hour in the lab in which we practiced one of the metadata schemas we previously learned about. This was good practice, to the point that I wish the entire course took place in the computer lab so that we could try out each scheme discussed as we were discussing it. Then again, they aren’t all so different, nor are the modes of input so different, that each one needs to have that kind of attention lavished on it.

In that vein, I wish we had had labs to practice other aspects of metadata, like specifications and crosswalks and best practices guides instead of lightly skimming over them at the end. Even if we didn’t go over examples in a lab, it still would have been nice to have gotten more focus on these in lecture instead of just throwing us into the deep end with graded assignments and whatever we could get out of the book… anything to have received a little more preparation for the final project. I’d like to know what this course is like (and what my impression of the material would be) when allowed a full semester. I can understand IST 511 being reasonably condensed to a Maymester, but not so much this one.

Another issue that was a condition of the Maymester timing: It was very frustrating to be, technically, halfway through the class and have absolutely no idea what my performance was like. We had assignments to submit on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and on Wednesday I had only one grade. For a fast-paced course with limited assignments that are all rather similar to one another (so ignorantly making the same mistake repeatedly is very possible), this was terrible.

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