Course Exam—HERM 312/HIST 316

HERM 312 / HIST 316 (Heritage Research) is a three-credit heritage resources management course that is based on the premise that the principles of historical thinking and analysis are fundamental to heritage practice.  The course focuses on the practice, skills, and understandings of applied historical research.  HERM 312 introduces multiple types of sources of evidence ranging from documentary (including everything from textual and visual sources to oral interviews), artifacts, archaeological resources, buildings, and cultural landscapes.

Students should note that HERM 312 is a cross-listed course, meaning that it is a course that is listed under another discipline, HIST 316.  HERM 312 may not be taken for credit by students who have already obtained credit for HIST 316.  Also, students who complete HERM 312 / HIST 316 will not be eligible to register in HERM 512.

Heritage Research is made up of ten units, three assignments (analyzing visual images, learning to listen, and researching heritage building) worth twenty percent each, and one assignment weighing forty percent (a research plan).  The ten units within this course cover several interesting topics such as examining pictorial records, archaeological resources, and artifact-based resources.  There is no final examination for this course.  In order to receive credit for HERM 312 / HIST 316, students must complete all the assignments and achieve a minimum course composite grade of ‘D,” which is fifty percent.  All assignments must be completed and submitted before your final mark can be calculated.

Dr. Shabnam Inanloo Dailoo has been with Athabasca University since January of 2014 and has been coordinating HERM 312 / HIST 316 since joining.  Alongside HERM 312, she also coordinates HERM 301 (Introduction to Heritage Resource Management), HERM 322 (Heritage Collections), HERM 327 (Heritage Policy in Canada), HERM 339 (Conservation), HERM 342 (General Principles of Planning Historic Places), HERM 361 (Interpretive Programming), HERM 512 (Advanced Methods in Heritage Research), HERM 542 (Issues in Planning Historic Places), HERM 561 (Advanced Issues in Interpretive Programming), HERM 670 (Industrial Heritage), HERM 671(Documentation and Condition Assessment), HERM 672 (Heritage and Risk Management), and HERM 673 (Architectural Conservation).  She also teaches HERM 501 (Issues in Heritage Resources Management and supervises students taking HERM 491 (Heritage Certificate Practicum) and HERM 691 (Heritage Diploma Practicum).

I wanted to give Dr. Shabnam Inanloo Dailoo the opportunity to introduce herself to students, academically and personally, and so she shared, “I am Shabnam Inanloo Dailoo, Associate Professor/Director of Heritage Resources Management Program within the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Athabasca University.  I am based in Edmonton, Alberta.”

She continues, “I coordinate undergraduate and graduate HERM courses within the program, teach a graduate course, and supervise undergraduate and graduate practicum students who are completing their University Certificate or Post-Baccalaureate Diploma programs in Heritage Resources Management.  I am also the director of the Historical Resources Intern Program (HRIP) at Athabasca University.  The HRIP is an innovative partnership between Athabasca University and Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women-Heritage Division in which the University provides scholarly training in heritage resources management for interns working at various museums, historical places and sites operated by the Province.”

“I serve as Co-Chair of the National Trust for Canada’s National Roundtable on Heritage Education, and I co-coordinate the Canadian Chapter of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies.  I am also a member of the World Heritage Task Group of ICOMOS Canada (the National Committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites) as well as a member of the Virtual Museum of Canada Advisory Committee.”

Dr. Inanloo Dailoo concludes, “My research interests are cultural landscapes, nature-culture interrelationships, community engagement in heritage resources management, and World Heritage.  My current research examines cultural representations in Canadian Landscapes and the state of World Heritage Sites in Alberta.”

Dr. Inanloo Dailoo also described HERM 312 / HIST 316, for us, starting “In HERM 312 (Heritage Research), students will learn about the roles historical information and their analysis play in heritage resources management.  This course is centered in an awareness of the broad context of heritage resources management, but it focuses on the practice, skills, and understandings of applied historical research.  A revised version of HERM 312 opened in 2018.”

When asked to provide students a bit of insight to the structure of the course, she states “This course is an individualized course and students have six months to complete the course requirements.  The course includes ten different units each discussing different aspects of planning and implementing heritage research from identification, collection, documentation, to evaluation and interpretation of relevant heritage resources.  The course activities to be completed to receive credit include analyzing visual images, learning to listen, researching heritage buildings, and developing a research plan for a heritage resource.  Students are required to write a 1,500 word essay about film analyzing the visuals (after completing unit 4 of the course).”

She continues, “In the second assignment, students listen to selected audio interviews; they first critically review and analyze the interviews (750 words) and then write a short essay (750 words) summarizing the value of oral history as a research method, due at the end of unit 5.  At the end of unit 8, students write a report (1,500 word) about researching a heritage building at risk of demolition or remodeling (either selecting from photos provided or choose a building from their community).  The last assignment is about developing a research plan for a heritage place.  Detailed information about this imaginary place will be provided to students.  The plan should be approximately 4,000 – 5,000 words and is due two weeks after completing unit 10.”

As with any course, Dr. Shabnam Inanloo Dailoo believes that “students should ensure that they follow the course schedule to be successful in the course and complete the course requirements within six months.  A study schedule is provided in the course information as a guide.  The course activities / assignments could be easily completed within this timeframe.  Regular communication with the course tutor is really significant.  Student can reach out to their tutors and seek advice and clarifications throughout the course.”

As for advice, she states that “This course is an important course in heritage resources management or other Arts disciplines / majors such as history, archaeology, paleontology, art/architectural history, and other relevant fields.  Students taking the course, as part their University Certificate in HRM or as non-program students, and prospective students might be interested to know that as of July 1, 2018 AU has a new Heritage Resources Management Minor (BA-HRM Minor): “The Minor in Heritage Resources Management is designed to provide the tools to understand contemporary heritage conservation as a theoretical and applied field.  It offers an opportunity for students to add variety and depth to their studies and expand the scope of their BA Major fields.”

“The students in the University Certificate in HRM program can ladder their studies towards BA studies.”

She concludes, stating “This course will equip students with knowledge and skills required to conduct research for their assignments, term papers, and final projects in many disciplines.  It is highly recommended that students take HERM 312 early in their studies to benefit from research skills.”

As for what students will take away from HERM 312 / HIST 316, she states “The course introduces students to some of the formative issues and practices in heritage research.  They will gain a better understanding of the importance of research in multi- and interdisciplinary fields such as heritage resources management.  Students will learn how to identify, use, and analyze historic information from a wide range of documentary (both non- digital and digital) and non-documentary sources.  They also develop skills in developing research plans and exercise how they can undertake basic historic research on a given topic.”

She continues, “Also, students would have the option in one of the assignments to work on a local heritage resource, which provides the students with the opportunity to connect with their local decision-makers and serve their communities.”

Dr. Inanloo Dailoo concludes, stating “The course is developed in a way that includes many examples and visuals to help with the understanding of key topics and themes throughout the course.  The course readings and commentary are all relevant and focus on each unit’s topic.  As long as students follow the study schedule and continue communicating with their tutor, they would not face any particular challenge in completing this course.”

Whether HERM 312 / HIST 316 is a degree or program requirement of yours, or the topics discussed above are of interest to you, this course will have you learning several interesting topics surrounding the topics of heritage research.

[Editor’s Note: Dr. Inanloo Dailoo contacted us with some additional information to be added to this article since it’s publication.  These additions have now been incorporated into the document.]

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