CL3SIL-Digital Silchester

Module Provider: Classics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Matthew Nicholls


Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module will introduce students to the Roman city of Silchester, its archaeology, development, historical significance, and function. After developing the necessary software skills through class work and private study, students will produce two digital models of one or more elements of the ancient townscape, accompanied by written commentaries, for their assessed work.

•Understanding the history and archaeology of the Roman town of Silchester
•Learning digital reconstruction skills
•Creating a digital model of a part of the town for assessment.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to understand the layout of Silchester, its development over time, the appearance and function of its principal buildings, and the means of creating digital reconstructions of at least some of these, marshalling the various sorts of available evidence and coming up with credible and useful digital content.

Additional outcomes:
This module will also encourage small group work and informal oral presentation/discussion skills through seminar work. Students will significantly enhance their IT skills through familiarity with Trimble Sketchup modelling software and its integration with presentation tools like Word and Powerpoint. They will gain an appreciation of the choices and priorities facing the archaeologist and classicist as they attempt to understand life in the ancient past. Students will also use relevant web resources including bibliographies, online mapping resources, and archaeological and epigraphic sources.
The long term aim is to integrate student work into a complete model of the Roman town to be used for educational and outreach purposes.

Outline content:
The course will begin with introductory lectures, covering:
i) the history and archaeology of Silchester
ii) the nature of the digital modelling task envisaged and the methods needed to execute it.
Once students have become familiar with these areas we will move into computer skills seminar teaching in a computer lab; the sessions will be two hours long to allow us to cover the necessary material.
These seminars will be used to discuss progress on the two assignments, to cover ‘masterclass’ work in digital modelling, and to discuss questions of Roman urbanism and architecture. If time and funds allow, we will visit the site of Silchester or the Reading Museum Silchester gallery.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures and seminars

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4
Seminars 16
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 20
Project output other than dissertation 80

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The first assignment, due in at noon on the Wednesday of the reading week in the middle of the term and counting for 20% of the module mark, will be a small digital model with short written commentary (up to 1500 words) of an element of the site chosen by the module convenor. The longer assessment, due in at noon on the Friday at the end of the term and counting for 80% of the module mark, will consist of a large digital model of a suitable element of the site chosen by the student, with an accompanying written commentary covering such questions as methodology, date range, evidence, the choices and difficulties encountered in the reconstruction process, and what the model is able to show us.

Formative assessment methods:
May include informal presentation and discussions in seminar sessions.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
• where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
• where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
40% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission in August

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 27 April 2018


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