Web Site

A Web Site should reflect the student's ability to use Web Site design software and computer technology to communicate a chosen topic's significance in history.

The historical research, analysis, and interpretation must be clear and evident to the viewer through the content and navigational structure of the site. The presentation should include primary materials, but it must also be an original production.

Web Sites are the most interactive of history fair projects. In designing the entry, the student should include elements that actively engage viewers in learning about the topic. These elements do not have to be technologically complex, but they should let the viewer participate in exploring the topic.

Web Site entries will use the NHD Web Site Editor Portal beginning at their school level. When a student first opens their individual Web Site project they will be asked several questions to set up their account. One of the questions is "CAN THIS WEB SITE BE PUBLISHED?" the answer is YES. This question and answer apply only to the NHD encrypted program the student is entering. All student personal information will remain private and secure, allowing permission for the Web Site to be published by National History Day ONLY. - HOWEVER, DO NOT put any entries on the Internet or another live program - this is in direct violation to NHD rules. Included inside the Web Site project will be the process paper and the annotated bibliography.

INFORMATION - the NHD Web Site Portal is ready for student access in late August or early September.

1. First and most important, the system for students to go online and begin creating their web sites using the NHD Web Site Editor (Weebly) is operational and requires you to do absolutely nothing at this time. The MAIN thing you need TO DO is inform your students that they MUST use the "NHD Web Portal" FOUND by going to www.nationalhistoryday.org
... Look for and select "Creating an Entry"
... Look under "categories" for the "Web Site" bullet
... Select the "Web Site" bullet line"
... Be sure to answer the question "can this be published" as "YES"
Being published applies only to NHD if you answer "no" it will block all outside access to judge your project

... No disks will be accepted! No printed material is required.
2. The second thing you need to know is that the existing Acuity Contest Management system will collect and track the web site information beginning when the teacher/student enters their project information while registering for regional contests. They must enter a very obvious and unique code found in the URL of the web site they have created using the NHD/Weebly Editor.
FROM HOTRHF: Remember - ALL Web Site projects that advance to HOTRHF HAVE TO BE advanced by or before midnight January 5 - THIS IS DONE THROUGH THE ON-LINE REGISTRATION WHEN THE "CATEGORY" IS DECLARED. When the sponsor/teacher selects Web Site as the category a pop up field by the category field asks for the 8-digit URL. Type in ONLY the 8 digits, the program adds the rest of the URL once it is "saved". Regional judging of Web Sites takes place starting IMMEDIATELY after the entry entry deadline date of January 5.

1.Please remember that Web Site entries must be completed and published before the lock out dates you have set. This means that you will want to give your web site category students a heads up about when the lock out date is and explain that their site must be finished and published beforehand.
2.Students and teachers often ask how they can see the MB usage of their site, since there is a 100MB limit. When they are logged in, they can "close" the Editor window and on that main page they will see the MB usage listed along with other data.
3.If a student has created their web site entry incorrectly on the standard Weebly site instead of NHD-Weebly (nhd.weebly.com),they will need to transfer the site over. They will need to contact their regional coordinator to do this. They should be sure to include the URL, email address, and username/password. Please note that this may take a day or so to complete, depending on how many requests and questions the tech support staff is dealing with.
4.If students and teachers want to download the web site, they can do so. In the "Settings" tab, choose "Archive/Un-publish" link. This will download the site as a .zip file. This will export the site contents which they could then burn to a CD or copy to the computer and view it when not connected to the internet. However, if the student has any blog pages on their site they will not be exported because they rely directly on the

Weebly database.

Below is some basic information about the NHD Web Site Editor.

To participate in the Web Site category, students will need to build their sites on NHD's Web Portal. To be clear: STUDENTS MUST GO THROUGH THE NHD PORTAL TO ACCESS THE NHD WEB SITE EDITOR THEY CANNOT GO DIRECTLY TO THE PUBLIC PROGRAM FOR WEEBLY.COM. All projects should have an 8-digit URL that looks like http://7384414.nhd.weebly.com
If your URL does not look like this CALL THIS OFFICE you may be in the wrong weebly program.

A full suite of site-building tools will be available with the NHD Web Site Editor. While third-party tools may be used to develop objects and components for an entry, the final code must be uploaded with the NHD Web Site Editor. All objects or components constructed with third-party tools (e.g. Dreamweaver, iWeb, MS Expression) must be portable to and function correctly with the NHD web site editor.

All hosting will be performed by NHD servers. The 100 MB size restriction on entries will remain. Students are free to begin building their entries as early as September, and will work on the same NHD web site as they advance through levels of competition. With the NHD Web Portal, students are free to access and work on their sites at any time other than judging periods, periods during which their sites will be closed to any editing.

IMPORTANT HOTRHF NOTE: Web Site projects now have a "PASSWORD PROTECT" option. DO NOT LOCK your Password repeat DO NOT LOCK your Password. DO NOT USE the Password Protect option. This option locks out the judges.

Guidelines and Tips:

  • Choose a topic. Your topic must be clearly relevant to the annual theme. One technique is to brainstorm or pool your ideas about possible subjects. The topic should be specific enough so that your Web site can explore it thoroughly. Also, be sure to choose a topic for which research sources are available to you.
  • Research your topic. Remember that good historical research requires using a wide variety of sources, including books, magazines, newspapers, and encyclopedias, as well as primary sources such as letters, diaries, oral history interviews, census records, and photographs. Record complete bibliographic information about all of the sources you use, so that you will be able to create an annotated bibliography in the correct form.
  • Look on the Web for a model of an informative, effective Web site that would be suitable to your topic. Use equipment and programs that you are familiar with or that someone can teach you to use effectively.
  • Create a Storyboard. When you have done your research and completed written material, divide the work into page segments with appropriate pictures, diagrams, etc., drawn in. This is often called storyboarding; a storyboard is a tool used by visual arts writers and directors to help them decide which picture, sound, and other audiovisual element will best suit the story. Your storyboard should display each page of your Web site. This will help you see which visuals fit best, which still need to be made, what audio segments need to be recorded, and what graphics, automations, or other elements need to be included. You can adapt the storyboard example for documentaries to plan your Web pages.
  • Run through your Web Site. When final scripting is done and the visual and audio elements are created and in place, make several trial runs. Make sure that every page of your Web Site is interconnected with hypertext links. Be sure that viewers will be able to navigate it successfully. Some problems to watch for and correct:
    • Web Site won't open or display information correctly
    • Too many pages or too many levels of links; viewers lose the flow of the story
    • Audio that doesn't match the visuals or written material
    • Not enough variety in visuals
    • Distracting animations and special effects. Your Web Site must communicate your historical thesis and demonstrate your research. Special effects which merely entertain your viewers will detract from the effectiveness of your project. Remember, this is a history competition, not a computer graphics festival.
  • Show your Web Site to others. Ask them for constructive criticism and their overall feelings about it, as well as comments on the historical content. Use their comments to help troubleshoot and finalize your production.
  • Finalize your process paper and your annotated bibliography. Check this Web Site for complete information on writing a process paper and creating an annotated bibliography.
  • Remember, the Web Site submitted for judging must be the student's own work. Parents, teachers, and friends may advise only. Advising includes assisting in locating information, evaluating project ideas, or reading and offering constructive criticism of written materials.

    HOTRHF Note: this page is current and up to date for 2014.