What is SHRIMP?

SHRIMP is a new educational medium currently under development at American Studies in Leipzig and Dresden. This interactive online reader contains all necessary texts, and it presents them as social hypertext. It therefore allows you to

  1. discover your own reading path following the many hyperlinks
  2. annotate the text with your own reading notes
  3. interact with your fellow students, tutors, and instructors by

To get the most out of SHRIMP, be sure to use all of these opportunities.

What makes SHRIMP special?

Students in the humanities deal with a lot of texts: mostly introductory texts, but also primary material as well as some theory. SHRIMP will be your online platform for reading and discussing these texts. Think of it as a wiki with many helpful links and some interesting further material. And, at the same time, think of it as a forum for you, your fellow students, and the module instructors for discussing the seminar content outside of the weekly class sessions.


Engaging your seminar materials as social hypertext has the potential of improving your learning experience significantly. Specifically, determining your own reading path and following links will stimulate your brain to process the material more thoroughly, to build a web of associations rather than just a string of thoughts. Annotating the text will make it easier for you, later in the semester, to find aspects that are important for you and it will facilitate in-class discussions. The comment function can help you whenever you are stuck, but it also helps to further activate the material, make you process it more actively, and understand how other people have read it. Taken together, your SHRIMP reading is meant to be more active than regular paper reading is. Last but not least, learning to read in a nonlinear fashion means practicing an important skill: cursory and exploratory reading will be important in your studies, and, most likely, in your professional life later on.

How about Privacy?

As with all web2.0 platforms, you will contribute your own content to SHRIMP: your comments and likes will be visible to everyone on the platform (that is, to participating students and instructors at Leipzig and Dresden). Your annotations, your markings, and content on your notepad, however, are private. Use them to work on the texts by yourself, make notes, jot down anything--instructors and fellow students cannot read them.

Whenever you write a great (public) comment or create an important connection we might save it for later generations of students so they can benefit from your thoughts. This will be your contribution to the evolution of LC-I. We will also use aggregate, anonymous usage data to improve the platform and the content.

Do I Have to Use My Real Name?

No, you may freely choose your own user name. To facilitate discussions, we recommend that you pick a nice, memorable name, but using a pseudonym can, obviously, also help with any privacy concerns you might have.

What's the Bigger Picture?

SHRIMP is a new medium, and we are still in the process of understanding and improving it. In the long run and with your help we want it to become a productive contribution to academic learning in general. It is thus imperative for us to get as much feedback as possible: We kindly ask you to tell us how you feel about SHRIMP; your ideas and criticism are more than welcome. They fuel our mission to create the best of all possible SHRIMPs. Let us know how things are working for you via email or via facebook. And most importantly, please participate in the various evaluations we offer. With your help, this is going to be great.

What next?

Log in and get to know SHRIMP. And if you like it, feel free to like us on facebook. It helps us spread the word, and it helps you stay in touch with the evolution of this new medium.