Pedagogy Series: Featured Assignment

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By: Brooke Champagne, English instructor at The University of Alabama, and Amy Chen, CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow at the W.S. Hoole Library

Editor’s Note: This post is the second of a six-part series highlighting innovative special collections pedagogy. Read an interview with Brooke Champagne, the Division of Special Collection’s featured instructor, in our previous post.


Bryce box inside

Inside a Bryce Hospital manuscript box

Brooke Champagne, an instructor of English at The University of Alabama, taught two sections of ENG 103 honors composition this fall. She previously discussed her experience of using special collections in her classes in the first portion of this pedagogy series.

Champagne’s assignment is provided below as a PDF in order to show both instructors and special collections librarians an example of the content and structure of a successful assignment that uses primary source material.

Assignment: Champagne-Assignment

Amy Chen, the coordinator of instruction at W.S. Hoole Library, also developed a flyer of best resources to direct Champagne’s students to the collections that could be fruitful for further inquiry. This flyer was not intended to be exhaustive and students were not restricted to working with only the listed collections. Rather, the flyer was designed to be an introduction to the types of topics students could potentially chose as subjects as well as the diversity of collections contained in the Division of Special Collections. If students found topics that better suited their interests, both Champagne and Chen encouraged them to pursue those subjects. One featured student, Sarah Smiley, chose to work on Mary Dees, a person featured on this flyer. Shelby Gatewood, the other featured student, elected to write on the history of Bryce Hospital, a topic which was not included on the flyer.

While the following flyer is specific to the holdings at The University of Alabama, this type of document could be created on the holdings of another repository in order to guide students in a similar fashion.

Best Resources: Champagne-BestResources

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