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Annotated bibliography for Digital Pedagogy

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Summaries mostly written by Emma Dawson as part of David Beck's Teaching Digital Humanities strategic project; some added/edited by David Beck.

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Coiro, Julie, Michele Knobel, Colin Lankshear, and Donald J. Leu, (editors), "Handbook of Research on New Literacies"

Routledge, 4 Apr 2014

This book acts as a review of research by leading digital literacy scholars from around the world, and is as up to date as possible with new technology (as of 2014). The authors intend this book to be used as a reference guide, directing readers to the central issues in a cross disciplinary context, with explanations of theoretical themes throughout; it is indexed as so, to best facilitate this handbook goal. The book is primarily aimed at scholars from the following fields: ICT, library and media studies, cognitive science, educational studies (in all its forms), and linguistics. However, the authors do state their hope that graduate students in all disciplines will also find this text a help during their studies, and to this end the final section of the book contains commentary by top scholars on a selection of relevant studies. These aptly show the merit of multiple interpretations of research and the various uses that outcomes could be put to; ergo this could also be of use to administrators, course directors and institution policy makers. The book is split into six sections as follows: (1) “Methodologies” – looking at current research on new literacies in an extensive variety of areas. (2) “Knowledge and Inquiry” - where several varying perspectives are examined on how it could be best to fulfil the potential of new media in regards to knowledge acquisition. (3) “Communication” - where the latest (as of 2014) research on new communication media is examined e.g. social networking tools. The roles of language and gender are also examined in this section. (4) “Popular Culture, Community and Citizenship: Everyday Literacies” - looks at research in online worlds such as gaming and fanfiction, as well as the issues surrounding the role of digital citizenship. This section also looks at collaborative work and projects. (5) “Instructional Practices and Assessment” – looks at classroom teaching and assessment in a new literacy context from early years education through to HE. (6) This is the section that sees the reprints of articles with critical evaluation and commentary. As a large and detailed handbook, this publication is highly effective. It would be a great reference text for anyone interested in the integration of digital literacy into many aspects of research, teaching, or even day to day life.

Greene, Jeffrey Alan, B. Yu Seung, and Dana Z. Copeland, "Measuring critical components of digital literacy and their relationships with learning."

Computers & education 76 (2014): pp.55-69

This article argues that there are two aspects of digital literacy which are crucial educational tools: the ability to search for and find good information, and the knowledge to know what makes this information good. The authors state that what makes good DL skills is “self regulated learning” (SRL) skills and “availing epistemic cognition” (EC). This study looks at how these two components of DL interact, through the use of “think aloud protocol” (TAP) with 20 UG students who were given the task of studying vitamins on the internet. There is a heavily referenced review of literature pertaining to the theoretical background of this study, including definitions of DL, self regulated learning epistemic cognition, relations between SRL and EC, measurement of SRL and EC and finally think aloud protocol. An overview of the study is given which details the aim of understanding college students’ learning gains whilst using the internet. The method of the study is subsequently detailed including information on the participants, procedure and the scoring rubric, before progressing to the data sources and the think aloud verbalisation and coding of micro level processes. The results look at how much knowledge was gained during the study. This is a highly technical analysis that would require background knowledge to fully appreciate. In conclusion, the authors state that their findings demonstrate how TAP data collection and the subsequent analysis can be “successfully applied by researchers to the study of complex learning behaviours when engaging science topics in the multimedia, hyperlinked contexts of the internet”.

Tue 03 Nov 2015, 12:46 | Tags: DH pedagogy, digital literacy, undergraduate

Antonio, Amy Brooke, and Tuffley, David, "Promoting Information Literacy in Higher Education through Digital Curation"

M/C Journal, Vol. 18, No. 4 (2015)

This article discusses the new generation of digital curation tools such as, and the implications these have on ensuring that HE graduates are equipped with the appropriate metacognitive skills so that they can successfully function in an increasingly digital workplace. The authors define digital curation as “the art and science of searching, analysing, selecting, and organising content” and state that by teaching it to HE students, it allows students to develop skills in the evaluation of web-based sources. The majority of the article examines a case study where first year UG ICT students use to “curate an annotated collection of resources pertaining to a particular topic”. requires users to critically evaluate material as it is collected, rather than just amassing it as other tools which claim to be for digital curation do; such as Pinterest. The method of the study is then detailed, including information on the two parts of the assignment; a traditional essay about an aspect of new technology, and an annotated bibliography. Students were asked to create a presentation on their chosen new technology and then curate content to assist the writing of their essay. Following the task, students completed an online survey regarding their experiences. These included demographic questions, qualitative answers and multiple choice answers – there were specifically on whether or not the task aided their digital skill development. The answers to each of the multiple choice questions are analysed by the authors in detail; but overall the picture presented is that most of the students believed that the task encouraged them to critically evaluate non-peer reviewed digital sources. However, the students were not necessarily confident in their ability to differentiate accurately between good and poor content. The authors use the results of this study to state that there is a strong indication of the “benefits of combining digital curation tools with formal content evaluation instruction.”

Tue 03 Nov 2015, 12:26 | Tags: courses and reflections, digital curation, undergraduate

Warschauer, M., & Matuchniak, T., "New Technology and Digital Worlds: Analyzing Evidence on Equity in Access, Use, and Outcomes"

Review of Research in Education, 34(1), 2010: pp.179–225

This article aims to show that although there is a widely held belief that cheap computers and internet access is narrowing the digital literacy divide in the US, that there is still (as of 2010) a gap in students’ home access to technology. The gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ is even greater in regards to abilities to use technology to its full capacity. The authors of this article compare the digital revolution to that of the printing press revolution in the extent that it has transformed people’s lives and the way in which students are taught. They state that it is this importance that demands equality of access in order to allow equal opportunities of social and academic development. The main body of the article examines statistical information looking at the implications (in terms of job prospects) for those who do not have as wide an access as others do. Also looks at is how access is supported or constrained by social factors. Following this, the question of use is addresses by an analysis of the variety of levels of deployment of ‘new media’ for education, entertainment and socialisation. After this, the authors address the question of outcomes by examining statistical information on academic achievement and involvement in technology centric careers. The final section of the article looks at a case study of “disparities of involvement in computer science study” which demonstrates who the issues of outcome, use and access are interlinked. In conclusion this article uses interesting statistics on demographics, internet speed and educational attainment to illustrate that there is still work that needs to be dome in terms of equality of access to the digital world. This will aim to ensure that sections of society do not unfairly miss out on the benefits of technology. The parting words of the authors stress the future problems that may arise in the testing of DL skills if the popular standardised tests for academic potential and attainment, continue to be favoured in the US.

Tue 03 Nov 2015, 12:22 | Tags: digital literacy

Chase, Z., and Laufenberg, D., "Digital literacies: Embracing the squishiness of digital literacy"

Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy,54(7), 2011, pp.535–7

This short article looks at what digital literacy is and how it can be taught. The authors also briefly address how a teacher might know if their students have acquired the DL skills that they have been taught. In the section “What is Digital Literacy”, the authors examine ow DL is not simply electronic reading and writing, as well as defining what being ‘literate’ practically means in the context of DL. This involves looking at the wider DL environment such as multimodal activities, authenticity and audience perception. An example from teaching history illustrates the authors’ point by looking at how in a US History course students examining the bureaucratic process can engage with written minutes, videos of meetings, website testimonials, message boards, automated phone systems etc. Through reading and comparing these elements, DL skills are developed organically. The section on how to teach digital literacy gives a step by step activity focusing on an element that frequently occurs in DL tasks: ‘truth telling’, the activity is laid out in detail and is regarding news stories from various media outlets. It highlights the potential depth of student exploration that could be used, and the wider lesson on the subjectivity of online sources. The aim of such lessons is to realise the potential of independent and interdependent student development. The article concludes with the authors stating the importance of learning digital skills, digital citizenship and digital evaluation, rather than students just being digitally literate. Needs of students may become increasingly “squishy”, but the skills learnt will enable them to adapt more adeptly.

Tue 03 Nov 2015, 12:18 | Tags: DH pedagogy, digital literacy

Burniske, R.W, "Literacy in the Digital Age"

Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Web of Science, 2008

The purpose of this book is to explain to teachers how they can incorporate digital literacy into their classes to aid their students’ learning and engagement with issues such as content analysis and perspective, as well as looking at the usefulness and validity of information on the internet. The book is useful for finding examples of class case studies, plans for teachers to follow on the incorporation of digital skills (such as online source evaluation), and examples of digital citizenship teaching opportunities. There are also examples for the deployment of the exploitation of digital tools for collaborative work. The introduction of the book looks at the definitions of ‘literacy’ and ‘digital’ and examines the overlap area of the Venn diagrammatic terms. The differences between competency and fluencies are also discusses here, along with the implications this has for the teaching of DL. The author states that the book is intended as a philosophical guide, rather than a ‘how to’ manual. Overall it aims to “look at ways to use networked technology and online learning environments for critical literacy skills”. A short overview of the chapters is as follows: (1) “Media Literacy: Broadening the definition of Computer Literacy” which proposes changing current definitions by teaching though a classic rhetoric, ethos, logos and pathos filter. (2) “Civil Literacy: The Cyber Pilot’s Licence” looks at the need to teach students the history and evolution of the internet, along with digital citizenship, responsibility and netiquette. (3) “Discourse Literacy: Beyond The Chat Room” which looks at online discourse in greater detail, including how to manage student’s unhealthy cyberspace habits. (4) “Personal Literacy: Discovering Oneself Online”, is a chapter that examines online identity and the role that DL plays in this. (5) “Community Literacy: Composing Ourselves in a Virtual Community” which further develops notions of online identity by examining digital storytelling and also looking at collaborative classwork. (6) “Visual Literacy: Websites, Rhetorically Speaking” looks at the authenticity of online sources including visual sources and how to teach critical evaluation of material to students. This chapter also includes guidelines for the analysis of web documents. Global literacy is also covered here. (7) “Evaluative Literacy: Peer Reviews, Electronic Portfolios and Online Learning Records” introduces the concept of a “hypertext writing workshop” and looks at how a writing journey and the composition process of DL can be pulled together. This chapter also looks at Online Learning Records and other alternative assessment methods. (8) “Pedagogical Literacy: Plugging Into Electronic Pedagogy” looks at the need for constant evaluation and re-evaluation of pedagogical strategies for teaching DL; answering the question “how do teachers use computer technology to teach literacy skills?” Overall, this book is best examined in a linear fashion, as each chapter builds on the previous, rather than as a reference book. It is engaging and entertaining as well as insightful and practical.

Tue 03 Nov 2015, 12:04 | Tags: DH pedagogy, digital literacy, interdisciplinarity

Simpsona, Richard and Obdalovab Olga A, "New Technologies in Higher Education – ICT Skills or Digital Literacy?"

Social and Behavioural Sciences Volume 154, 28 October 2014, pp.104–111

This journal article looks at the case for the incorporation of digital aspects of English for Academic purposes (EAP) into wider curriculums. This is to incorporate the skills in digital literacies into student development. The article begins by looking at some frameworks within the digital literacy field, most of which were influenced by the New London Group (NLG)’s ‘Pedagogy of Multiliteracy’. The two key frameworks examined are: ‘The Competency Framework for Teachers of English for Academic Purposes’ (focusing on the competencies of EAP teachers), and ‘The Can Do Framework’ (focusing on the competencies of PG students in HE). The main aim of the article is to argue for more inclusion of digital literacies within the pre-existing EAP curriculum, as well as the wider teaching of EAP. The authors look at the need for digital literacy across a range of student groups (traditional, mature, international etc) and how digital literacy would improve teaching and learning in HE. A summary of issues in DL follows this, such as the incorporation of new terminology, higher participation demands, multiauthor works and meaning making. The final part of the article focuses on DL in practice. Here the authors examine the central aspects of multiliteracy pedagogy and locates it in the wider EAP field. These aspects are identified as: (1) Situated practice – group collaboration with expert oversight (2) Overt instruction – traditional teaching but with a key reflective component (3) Critical framing – matching the teaching objectives with the learning objectives, and then reconciling this with the students’ objectives (4) Transformed practice – relying on the two previous elements to allow “contextualise assessment of learners and the learning process devised for them”. The authors conclude by looking at whether the teaching of DL can really be seamlessly incorporated into a EAP curriculum where the main instructor is likely to be a language specialist. Teaching students DL competencies is not likely to be assessed in the same current EAP linguistic/literary framework; and so would possibly require specialised separation for the most effective outcome.

Tue 03 Nov 2015, 12:00 | Tags: DH pedagogy, digital literacy, undergraduate

Yi, B. S., "A Comparative Research on Internet Usage Time and Digital Literacy of University Students in accordance with Their Major"

This article is a presentation of research which investigated computer literacy levels amongst Korean UG level students. The main purpose of the study was to look at differences in digital literacy levels between humanities students, and those whose degrees expect them to have higher levels of digital skills, such as in the computer sciences. The authors start the article with a short history of the information society, and then discuss the concept of Millennials as ‘digital natives’ and how this may impact upon their learning. Following this is a brief interpretation and breakdown of digital literacy indicators including: (1) the ability to recognise and apply community communication techniques (2) the ability to recognise and apply community information sharing (3) community ethics evaluation ability. This includes copyright and social responsibility. Following this, the methodology of the study is detailed, as is a break down of the results. The conclusion of this article states the findings of the study which are as follows: humanities students spend a far greater number of hours working online and using an array of digital tools, and these students has a greater awareness of the wider issues surrounding digital literacy. This included skill in sharing information and acquiring further information for critical reflection. Whilst these students of humanities express some difficulties in grasping the technical intricacies of the digital tools they used, they appeared more than confident to integrate them into their studies. The study showed that for the computer science students of this Korean University, that the wider community implications of how they utilised digital tools, were not something that they showed either familiarity with, or appreciation for. The author makes the following suggestions for the development of the measurement of digital literacy in UGs: (1) measurement should not be weighted in favour of students studying technical subjects, as there is more to digital literacy than the mechanics of tools (2) Standardisation of ability indicators should be developed for specific digital tools (3) The ability to adapt tools for new and evolving purposes should be recognised. Overall, the author calls for more work on the development of educational policy on the teaching of Digital Literacy at UG level; and this should involve interdepartmental collaboration if at all possible.

Radovanović, D., Hogan, B., & Lalić, D., "Overcoming digital divides in higher education: Digital literacy beyond Facebook"

New Media & Society, 17(10), pp.1733-1749.

This article explores the use of digital technologies among students and faculty at a Serbian University. It looks at how tensions around digital literacy levels on an institutional level can mean that technologies are not always integrated as smoothly and as extensively as would have been ideal. The authors look at these institutional tensions using the classic social theory of Max Weber, and demonstrate that the theory can be updated to now include immaterial resources, such as digital literacy skills. This empirical case study of the digital divide in Serbia’s HE shows how new technologies shape information, communications and collaboration dynamics within an educational environment; and that there is a growing divide within Serbia between the ‘haves and have nots’ of those students able to obtain digital literacy skills. The authors’ main argument is that “where students are routinely learning new technologies… professors remain reluctantly to consistently adopt”, then gaps arise that hinder teaching and learning. The main section of the article looks at the application of Weber’s theory to digital literacy skills; with emphasis being on the relationship between digital literacy and e-Learning technology. This is because, the authors argue, that these skills are more directly relevant to classroom experiences. There is also some discussion over whether the socio-economic backgrounds of the students makes a difference to their uptake of digital literacy skills during their early HE experiences. in interviews with UG students in Serbia, the authors found that many Millennials rate their own self-learnt skills very highly, but lament that the common view of their skills is that they focus too heavily on the entertainment aspects of social media, rather than constructive skills with digital tools. Almost all tutors interviewed held this view, and were dismissive of networking as a valuable educational tool. The article then illustrates the gap in teaching quality between digitally literate professors, and those who dismiss opportunities to acquire the knowledge. In conclusion, the authors state that there is a great ‘digital divide’ in HE in Serbia; and that this may be overcome through the natural progression of younger professors into positions of teaching influence. The main message that the authors appear to convey is that students in Serbia who obtain digital skills at university often do so despite of their professors, not because of them, and that these students excel in their post HE life more frequently. This article provides a useful contrast of the HE system in a country other than the UK or US, and how resistance among faculty in Serbia to embracing of digital literacy may cause difficulties for their students.

Tue 03 Nov 2015, 11:52 | Tags: digital literacy

Murray, M. C., & Pérez, J., "Unravelling the Digital Literacy Paradox: How Higher Education Fails at the Fourth Literacy"

Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology, 11., 2014

This article looks at the impact of the lag in digital literacy learning and teaching at many universities. Murray argues that “digital literacy is widely acknowledged as essential and germane in today’s highly competitive and global markets”; to the extent that she states it is a crucial life skill comparable to reading, writing and arithmetic. Murray calls for digital literacy to be “assessed, remediated and amplified” at a university level, rather than these important skills being just taken for granted or assumed to be adequate. The first section of the article examines definitions of digital literacy, before moving on to look at the evolution of models of digital literacy (including a useful diagram). Murray then looks at how the need for digital literacy has “become increasingly critical to success in any education discipline or occupation”. The adoption of structured digital literacy initiatives varies globally, but as these skills become increasing prerequisites for so many jobs, Murray states that Universities in the global West need to focus on conquering digital literacy teaching. The current state of affairs (2015) in Canada, the US, Europe and the UK is discussed before Murray sets out the methodology and results of her digital literacy assessment. This assessment was administered to fourth year undergraduates at a regional US university, and demonstrated the lack of structure in the teaching of digital literacy as well as vastly varying skill levels among students. The details of this study would be of great use for anyone seeking to conduct similar research. Murray concludes the article by reiterating the importance of digital literacy, not only to student satisfaction in terms of their employability, but also on a wider country level in terms of economic growth and competitiveness. She also emphasises the need to constantly re-evaluate what digital literacy skills are taught, as the field evolves so rapidly.

Lenhardt, Alison, K, "Digital Literacy and Undergraduate Humanities Research"

CEA Critic, Volume 76, number 3 pp.336-342

Lenhardt discusses her experience of incorporating digital literacy (mainly requiring students to work with digital image collections), during her time teaching at a small private University, where the library did not have many resources. She has found that many students know the difficulties in obtaining digital images, and if they are required to do so for an assignment, will often begin research for their projects far in advance. This tended to be with second year students onwards, who had found that the process had been left too late in the first year. Lehardt addresses the merits of this failure and a learning experience, but also considers the fact that more teaching and learning could have occurred in the students’ first year, had they been introduced and guided through the difficulties at the start of their time at University. There were some instances where students were more digitally literate and savvy than their teachers, yet did not know the proper academic procedure for digital research; and it is these media-consumed, millennials that need their teachers to engage with this technique gap, so that all involved can overcome it. The remainder of the article discusses the ways in which students should be introduced to digital resources as early as possible, so that they could access them effectively for present and future projects; as well as opening their minds to the idea that working in research need not be solitary work in a dust achieve. She wanted to use her assignments to influence her students’ perception on the new direction that DH research is going, though Lehardt did come across many difficulties in the assessment design for her courses.

This is a section of her assignment details (it is a Shakespeare related project):

The assignment asked the students to meet the following objectives: (1) to use the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Digital Image Collection, the National Portrait Gallery, or the Tate Britain so that they could gain more experience working with digital archives and researching how actors and/or artists have interpreted Shakespeare in different time periods. (2) To practice researching and writing about primary and secondary sources. (3) To write a five-to-six page research paper on an image(s) found in the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Digital Image Collection (or another approved site, such as the Tate Britain or the National Portrait Gallery). Students could choose to write on no more than two to three images or artifacts due to the short length of the paper. The Folger Shakespeare Digital Image Collection, the Tate Collections, and the National Portrait Gallery’s Collections are massive and daunting to sift through if one is a novice researcher. She therefore tested searches out beforehand and talked with the librarian about narrowing the scope of the assignment so that students did not get overwhelmed with the number of choices and images. Lehardt concluded that extensive scaffolding is needed to conduct such an assignment for most first year students, and that this could be gradually brought down by the time that a similar project was to be given to final year students.

Wosh, Peter J., Cathan Moran Hajo and Esther Katz. “Teaching Digital Skills in an Archives and Public History Curriculum.”

Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles and Politics. Brett D. Hirsch, ed. Cambridge: UK, OpenBook Publishers, 2012

Part of the NYU Public History Programme, these authors discuss how digital technology has fundamentally altered the archival, public history and editing landscapes through the use of new media and digitisation of analogue resources. Thus students need to be educated in the methods, skills and tactics to manage digital resources and integrate new media into existing industries that employ historians. The article continues to discuss, at length, the need to alter the way in which students need preparing for careers in archiving, public history, museum professions and historical editing. The emphasis is on the importance of incorporating digital skills into degrees, not only in theory, nor only at post-graduate level but with practical experience throughout their course. The chapter details the NYU archives and public history program’s experiences in reconfiguring a long-standing program and integrating digital skills throughout its curriculum. A detailed discussion follows on what type of course should be made core, and what type should be electives, before suggesting how internships could follow on from these classes, to utilise the skills in a ‘real world’ setting. There is a fascinating section entitled ‘Capstone Projects’ that discusses the assessment of digital projects and the challenges of integrating new technologies; rather than having a separate DH faculty, they work in a silos structure which they acknowledge has some weaknesses. The final part of the chapter is a discussion on student feedback about the curriculum changes, highlighting the generally positive response to the course, as well as concerns about a possible overemphasis on digital material and a shortage of possible historical content in the course – students were mainly worried that the digital aspect would overwhelm the other important aspects of learning how to work in archives and the like – mainly this was addressed with making sure the accreditation was balanced, through constant evaluation of the students’ needs.

Ullyot, Michael. “Hamlet in the Humanities Lab.”

English 203, Winter 2012. English Dept., University of Calgary

A module from the University of Calgary’s English Department that was taught in the Winter of 2012. It is devoted to data and critical reading within English Literature, and aims to teach students the use of digital tools, and how to use to discover new information about Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The format of the course was a humanities lab with half of the contact hours being dedicated to the hands on learning (and hopeful mastering) of digital tools. Emphasis appears to have been placed on the collaborative nature of using digital tools within an academic environment. However, the assessment breakdown shows that only 50% of the assessment was actually on the group work. Digital tools used in this module were: Wordhoard, Tapor, WordSeer, Voyeur and MONK. The module website includes details on all areas of assessment used in the module including: an encoding exercise, a twitter assignment, the two team projects, and the final (individual) paper. Grading boundaries and the course schedule are also included on this webpage, though the grade boundaries do appear to be standardised across the University of Calgary, rather than module or DH specific. There is also a link to the professor’s series of blog posts on various aspects of the course design, and a full outline of the course through Google Docs. The twitter feed of the professor is also accessible and highly interesting.

Thomas, Lindsay and Dana Solomon. "Active Users: Project Development and Digital Humanities Pedagogy."

CEA Critic.76.2(2014), pp.211-20

This article is based around the Research-orientated Social Environment (RoSE) project, funded by an NEH Digital Humanities Start Up Grant (2011-2012), as part of the University of California. Thomas and Solomon argue that research and scholarship in DH is currently (2014) values more than teaching, curriculum development and student learning engagement. They ask that more focus should be placed on pedagogical techniques, so that the researchers and scholars of the future can become interested in DH as soon in their academic lives as possible. The RoSE project started off with less of a focus on teaching but throughout its development found that the primary goal of the project should be looking at UGs as the main audience, especially in the classrooms of the humanities at HE level. RoSE looked at a student storyboard activity as a tool of investigating issues surrounding the DH for example ‘the future of books’ (the storyboard of this example is included in the article). Following student workshops, feedback on the limitations of the RoSE project was obtained in order to focus the final development of the project. Issues that arose included: concerns over the validity and accuracy of data that was obtained through student designed projects, who would oversee student contributions to database projects in regards to accuracy, as well as many practical technological concerns. Thomas and Solomon then discuss how the RoSE project can be interpreted as part of wider digital pedagogy. The article concludes that the most valuable insight of the project was how crucial it was to use UG students in the developmental process. It demonstrated how “iterative project development itself is a pedagogical technique”. By asking UG students to become involved, it altered the way they thought about not only the DHs, but as how much planning and development goes into how material is delivered to them in a HE classroom setting. The authors end the article with a call to others in the DH to see the value of experimenting and playing with pedagogy, more than educators currently find time to do.

Terras, Melissa. “Disciplined: Using Educational Studies to Analyse ‘Humanities Computing.”

Literary and Linguistic Computing Vol. 21 No. 2 2006.

This article begins by discussing whether or not Humanities Computing is a discipline; opinion (in 2006) was pretty evenly divided amongst those that the author interviewed. Terras’s main argument is that Humanities Computing will only truly mature as an academic subject if it moves away from any insular ideas, and becomes more integrated as a bridge between the humanities and computer sciences. Terras emphasises that Humanities Computing is an emergent discipline which may fail to grow into a fully-fledged academic subject if those involved do not become more “inclusive, international and interdisciplinary”. Terras uses the externalised viewpoint of Education Theory to show that Humanities Computing is more scattered as a tool used within humanities teaching, rather than a subject in its own right. The article also looks at Philip Jackson’s 1968 ‘Hidden Curriculum’ theory, to more fully comprehend how academics using Humanities Computing teaching methodology were passing on socialising messages about the technology to their students. The projection of messages on to students by tutors is examined in detail with reference to other educational studies scholarly works. Terras acknowledges that further investigation needs to be done into digital aspects of Jackson’s theory. This article must be read with an awareness of the fact that it was published in 2006, and can be used as a reference to see how far the DH has come in the past decade.

Mon 02 Nov 2015, 13:54 | Tags: DH pedagogy, courses and reflections, undergraduate

Sternfeld, Joshua. “Pedagogical Principles of Digital Historiography.”

Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles and Politics. Brett D. Hirsch, ed. Cambridge: UK, OpenBook Publishers, 2012

Sternfeld addresses the pedagogical challenge for digital history on how to accommodate interdisciplinary in introducing students to a field of new terminology, theories, practices and disciplines. This field now extends beyond historians and includes archivists, librarians, information specialists, computer scientists, engineers, scientists and linguists – the training of arts and humanities students at a tertiary educational level must now include practical training on how to survive in this environment. Digital literacy must move beyond teaching students how to construct a database, or write a blog, but how to work with those in other disciplines to develop technology to generate new lines of enquiry to challenge entrenched theories or draw comparisons across greater and greater amounts of data. Sternfeld structures his discussion around these three main principles of digital historiography: (1) Digital history works are representations, the product of subjective decisions that humanists characterize as interpretation. (2) Digital historical representations include both academic works, as well as non-academic productions that traverse media genres and audience groups; their unifying trait is their use of historical evidence. (3) Regardless of a representation’s scholarly or non-scholarly intent, evaluation requires a working grasp of relevant historiographical knowledge. The next section of the chapter discusses the execution of the course, including a discussion of the course syllabus, readings, assignments and examples of exemplary student work. Sternfeld then concludes with a brief exploration of how to apply digital historiographical principles in his ‘History, Media and Technology’ course in three areas: (1) history and information studies graduate curriculum (2) undergraduate history curriculum, including courses designed to teach practical skills in creating digital history (3) trans-disciplinary academic programmes. In all three of these areas, he has found that there are opportunities to merge the traditional with the digital, with the hope of sparking cross-disciplinary dialogue at all levels.

Mon 02 Nov 2015, 13:52 | Tags: DH pedagogy, courses and reflections, undergraduate

Singer, Kate. “Digital Close Reading: TEI for Teaching Poetic Vocabularies.”

JiTP: The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. 4 (2013)

This article is an investigation into the effects of digitally encoding literature texts on the teaching of close reading in an English Literature class. Singer argues that using digital tools and having students engage with their own encoding of texts should be a method of close reading, and work in addition to compliment the traditional practice of hard copy annotation. Singer then discusses the differences between teaching with HTML and TEI, for which examples are included. The main section of the article lays out the benefits that occur through having UG students engage in encoding as a close reading exercise. These include: digital highlighting which encourages sharing, refocusing reading, coming to terms with unfamiliar technical language and practices, discovery of unseen links, familiarity with a text due to the number of hours spent with it, and forced formal choices on categorisation. The remainder of the article discusses how working with TEI impacted upon Singer’s students’ learning experience. This includes analysis on how to successfully categorise and tag phenomenon in ‘experimental’ poetry that does not follow the format of other more traditional forms of poetry. Also, how to transfer classical terms in literature analysis effectively to TEI. Singer concludes that “as [her students] tagged and then colour coded their readings, [they] gained the editorial prowess and creativity to develop interpretive language beyond note or prescriptive terminology”; something that she decrees is perhaps more useful than what is gained from only a hard copy and ink highlighter pen.

Simmons, W. Michele. “Adapting: Online Learning Environments, Visual Pedagogy, and Active Learning.”

Innovations. Romantic Circles. 7 February 2012

This is an article on the effect on teaching methods from the move from print to screen as the primary mode of classroom communication. The author uses this article to specifically examine the increased opportunities and complexities that have been brought about as a result of the move to what they present as second generation digital learning (where first generation is just digitisation of previously printed textbooks, and second generation is interactive online material). The main difficulties that Simmons looks at involve the additional skills needed both to assemble online resources effectively, and then to use them. This includes how data is displayed, arranged, categorised, made searchable and made accessible online. The multimodal and multimedia elements of online teaching materials have created additional complexities for teachers, Simmons argues. The article then goes on to discuss how by increasing student involvement in the creation of interactivity of learning material, the activity itself becomes a teaching tool. This may be a way to more actively engage students in their own learning experience and perhaps interact with students whose learning styles differ from those that are traditionally targeted, with non-digital teaching practices. Simons then discusses the importance of having students analyse why a digital learning environment or tool is the way it is, including its strengths and weaknesses. This further analytical approach would prevent students, in theory, from just becoming passive consumers of the digital world. The article concludes by emphasising the earlier point of how the move to digital learning can reach students who cannot comprehend printed words on a page with as much ease as they can interact with a screen. (it appears that Simmons may mean such as dyslexic students, thought this is never specifically stated).

Mon 02 Nov 2015, 13:44 | Tags: DH pedagogy

Shillingsburg, Peter. "From Physical to Digital Textuality: Loss and Gain in Literary Projects."

CEA Critic. 76.2(2014), pp.158-68

This article focuses on the digitisation of so-called literary texts (poetry, drama, fictions etc) treated at works of art rather than cultural documents; highlighting the fact that standards of accuracy and precision for these works of art are different from the standards used for cultural documents or texts for linguistic analysis. Questions are raised over what is lost through the digitisation process, not just in terms of accuracy, but regarding the loss of context, for example, from a papyrus or parchments. Shillingsburg has taught students where is it not physically or realistically possible for students to physically engage with primary sources, so it is important to teach them what they are losing through only engaging with digitised representations. Does the integrity of a source need to be sacrificed for ease of accessibility? How do teachers convey this to a generation who see everything digitally? These are questions that Shillingsburg states that educators need to address. He goes on to discuss what exactly he believes makes a digital archive; stating that the text, or facts, alone are not enough. Images of the texts and sources are needed to make an archive trustworthy, in his opinion. Also, he states that the sources having no weight, smell or texture mean that digitised copies are rarely suitable for the best teaching, and that is before the errors that have been included in the digital copies during transcribing. Following this, Shillingsburg details at length the errors that could occur during digitisation. The conclusion states that all the elements that are lost during digitisations could be attempted to be rectified through extensive marking up of texts to include contextual information.

Swartz, Jennifer. “MySpace, Facebook, and Multimodal Literacy in the Writing Classroom.”

Kairos Praxis Wiki. Last modified 25 May 2013.

This is an extended blog post come wiki entry on using the increased social media presence in classrooms, to the advantage of the professor and to fulfil learning objectives. Swartz seeks to address students’ concerns that what they learn in a classroom will never be relevant to their real world experiences, by looking at social networking sites as part of her teaching on language and identity construction. Swartz discusses how the use of electronic media as a teaching tool has its own set of problems; including keeping students focused on the examination of these sites as texts and to analyse them as such. She deems that the most important lesson that can be conveyed to students is why they want to use the session to check what their friends are talking about online: that language construction, meaning and the evolution of these, does not occur in a vacuum. It is just that social media now makes this easier to see than it had been historically. Social media can also be used to investigate representation of identity; a topic that particularly interested Swartz’s students. Writing assignments for this class revolved around comparing how social media has changed writing, and how online writing choices can be impacted by the inclusion of visual images. Swartz concludes that she was pleased in the way that the use of social media as a teaching tool, allowed her students to think about the changing nature of language. Swartz states that she aims to evolve the activities within the class to include looking at how writing online may alter for an individual depending on what persona (public or private, social or professional etc.) that they are imbuing their text with.

Mon 02 Nov 2015, 13:34 | Tags: blogs, courses and reflections

Raabe, Wesley. "Estranging Anthology Texts of American Literature: Digital Humanities Resources for Harriet Beecher, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson."

CEA Critic. 76.2(2014), pp.169-90

An article centred on close digital analysis of the poetry taught in a chronological survey course of American literature, considering ‘digital humanities tools as a means to reconsider the anthologized texts of literary works’. Raabe uses the differences in the punctuation in various copies of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” to teach that through slight variants, the message of a text can be dramatically altered; and how are we to know which of these variants was actually what the author intended? Digital facsimiles, online transcriptions, and DH research tools that permit students to visualise textual variation allow students to review alternate versions of literary works as a classroom activity, even during undergraduate survey courses. Raabe discusses how he uses this pedagogy with examples including Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” and Emily Dickinson’s poetry manuscripts. The second half of this article discusses how the teaching of such a literature survey course has changed over the generations, and whether the teaching of anthologies is any longer relevant when students, trained as consumers, have instant access to a media-rich archive of all texts ever written. Raabe argues, in conclusion, that ‘One reason to introduce digital humanities skills to students of literature is to encourage them to think critically about such commercial trends and to seek opportunities for them to engage with literary texts in a wide array of material forms.’

Mostern, Ruth and Elana Gainor. “Traveling the Silk Road on a Virtual Globe: Pedagogy, Technology, and Evaluation for Spatial History.”

Digital Humanities Quarterly. 7.2 (2013).

This article is about a University of California course taught in the Spring semester of 2010 for undergraduates in the History department. The focus of the course was the historical phenomenon known as ‘The Silk Road’, and the students were asked to utilise spatial history principles and methods, and to use Google Earth to make atlases of the historic journeys. The authors use this article to argue that the best place of DH within the classroom (as of 2013) is within specifically designed assignments, which make use of students’ knowledge and interests, as well as tools that are easily accessible within usual teaching schedules. Continual evaluation of all aspects of the project allows the students to see the merits and flaws of the digital tools, as well as their own use of them within a scholarly environment. The majority of the article is given over to addressing he issues faced in interpretation in the spatial humanities; and how this can be analysed and in turn assessed within the work of UG students. The article then moves on to discuss how spatial literacy ad spatial thinking can be addresses in a classroom setting, before moving on to a narrative account of how the specific module in question was delivered, received ad assessed. The authors conclude that the students’ achievement of the learning objectives exceeded their expectations during the course, and that the course was extremely rewarding for all involved. This article would be exceptionally useful for those looking to teach a similar module, as the Appendices give detailed outlines of the Digital Map Rubrics used, along with other criteria used for the spatial reasoning and visualisation component, and finally the storytelling and integration sections. The second Appendix contains the responses given in the student feedback forms at the conclusion of the module, which illustrated how valuable the students found it.

Marsh, Allison C. "Omeka in the Classroom: The Challenges of Teaching Material Culture in a Digital World"

Literary and Linguistic Computing.

Museum Studies students, in Marsh’s experience, do not currently (2013) have a passion to engage with new DH technology, that now looks set to become the future of their chosen profession this article presents how Marsh introduced three years of her students to the merits of DH through a module on digital curation, as well as an online exhibit developed within a material culture seminar. Marsh uses Omeka, (the “free, flexible and open source web publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives and scholarly collections and exhibitions”) with her students to demonstrate how dimly technology can meld with their current studies. The questions March put to her students during this course were as follows: (1) What does material culture look like on the web? (2) How do you curate it? (3) How does the public interact with virtual objects? (4) What is the relationship between virtual and physical museum artefacts?. The article goes on to discuss how these questions were tackled by students, including the practical examples of how the students were taught to operate Omeka. Marsh also includes an example of how she chose to challenge and stretch those students who excelled at the use of digital tools. Marsh concludes that this paper is but a mere snapshot of what she intends to be a far larger 10 year project of integrating into Museum Studies the now essential digital skills that students require. She intends to follow up with her students as they look for, an take up, graduate work in museums to ding what skills and tools are needed in real scenarios. The question then needs to be more seriously addresses, Marsh argues, is how the necessary skills and technical techniques can be integrated into academic programmes to train the professionals of the future in the best way possible.


Mon 02 Nov 2015, 13:19 | Tags: DH pedagogy, digital literacy, museum studies, undergraduate

Mahony, Simon and Elena Pierazzo. “Teaching Skills or Teaching Methodology?”

Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles and Politics. Brett D. Hirsch, ed. Cambridge: UK, OpenBook Publishers, 2012.

This chapter explored what it is that should be taught under the heading of ‘Digital Humanities’. Here is presented five case studies, the experience of organising/teaching of which, means that the author argues for a focus on teaching new methodological approaches to humanities problems and issues, rather than just giving students technical skills. Students should be trained in collaboration and professional cooperation: an issue that has been facing educators for some time, and whilst may be linked to a rise in digital literacy, it has not arisen because of it. Social networking could be used to teach this, though this may require further exploration before being successfully and formally integrated into a curriculum. There also need to be an awareness of how Millennials have grown up: “the Google search has become ‘research’ and thus they need to be taught how to go beyond the ‘point and click’ that they have come to accept as the norm. The chapter then goes into detail of the case studies of the course delivered by The Department of Digital Humanities at KCL, which are as follows: (1) One day training in XML and TEI – targeted at academics engaged in collaborative research (2) One week intensive training on Medieval Manuscripts – aimed at PhDs and includes theoretical classes as well as practical application of digital tools (3) An UG course ‘Introduction to the Digital Humanities’ – takes students from a wide range of disciplines, often who lack motivation for truly engaging with technologies involving the use of angle brackets, with some taking the class just to fulfil credit requirements (4) An UG module on ‘Texts in the Digital Humanities’ – following on from the previous course, with students taking it to “modernise” their degree, or out of a genuine interest in the technology (5) A PG module on ‘Advanced Text Technologies’ – taken by students on the MA in Digital Humanities and also the MA in Digital Culture and Society; not usually taken by other PGs, but most of the students are far more motivated to take in the same material as the UG modules. There is also more emphasis on modelling and analysis than just technical skills. The author concludes that there is a requirement to teach research methodology using DH, not just skills. It also needs to be relevant to the students and grounded in their own research/study area interests in order to retain their attention. The chapter ends with the hope that the wider arts and humanities will embrace the usefulness of DH and the DH approach once they see how successfully it can help those who engage with it.

Johanson, Chris and Elaine Sullivan, with Janice Reiff, Diane Favro, Todd Presner and Willeke Wendrich. “Teaching Digital Humanities through Digital Cultural Mapping.”

Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles and Politics. Brett D. Hirsch, ed. Cambridge: UK, OpenBook Publishers, 2012.

Looking at UCLA’s 3 year Digital Culture Mapping Program sponsored by the W. M. Keck Foundation. The variety of topics that was seen in the final year projects that the students of this course submitted, showcases how DH skills can address a broad range of issues and interdisciplinary questions. The main tension that was faced during the delivery of this program was whether the Digital or the Humanities components of DH should be more dominant, or tackled first, when teaching through project based learning. This book chapters examines the conflicts that arose in the UCLA team’s delivery of its initial DH teaching (prior to 2011); mainly in regards to the variety of topic areas that mapping can be used to address, and the problems surrounding topic specific data collection methodology. The limits of a DH teacher’s knowledge (in either the digital, or the humanities section) when faced with a very specific project topic, must unavoidably be acknowledged, so that the best help can be sought to realise the full potential of the students’ resourcefulness when apply DH to their areas of interest. The chapter then proceeds to discuss the development of the UCLA program in detail, and looks at how the problems faced were tackled. This includes problems faced in the initial delivery of the program and the development of the three main pedagogical goals of (1) Teach the use and critical analysis of geospatial digital tools (2) Provide the tools for the students to contribute to, and develop their own, digital mapping projects (3) “teach professional vision”; a critical thinking approach to mapping. These goals were addressed as core components of the curriculum structure. The challenge was in integrating digital toolsets within detailed and appropriate humanities instruction. Practical demands were addressed, such as keeping up with the pace of change in DH mapping tool technology. A detailed explanation of the teaching and topic contents of the program follows, including the professors’ insight into how various teaching/learning tasks went. This is full of examples of task for students, though many are US or even LA specific. The program discussed in this chapter laid the foundation for the wider teaching (both separate and integrated) of the DH at UCLA: an UG minor was launched in 2011, along with a PG certificate.


Ives, Maura. "Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Hitting the Wall and Bouncing Back."

CEA Critic. 76.2(2014), pp221-4.

This article explores the ways in which the DG exposes the limits of existing disciplinary methods and pedagogical tools. Through the power of digital tools, manuscripts and texts can be reanimated and explored in new ways to allow students to see more of the text, yet at the same time, examine it closer. Ives explored this paradox in detail and then goes on to look at the ways in which students who do not fully understand the underlying assumptions about textual structures within HTML and XML might be frustrated by digital teaching, rather than having doors opened to them. Whilst it may be interpreted that it is the goal of all technology to erase limits, there must be a continued awareness that DH pedagogy is most productive when it provokes teachers and students to wrestle with the gap between what is available, what could become available or doable, and what is the best way to force interaction between the old and the new. The example Ives uses here, is from Sarah Ficke’s students who saw their technology fail when they were asked to use OCR on nineteenth century texts; they had to come up with another method to achieve the aim. Ives emphasises that ‘hitting a wall’ is not necessarily a bad thing for students or for their teachers. That it is from the possibility of things falling apart, that the most valuable teaching, learning and invention can arise.

Mon 02 Nov 2015, 12:42 | Tags: DH pedagogy, encoding texts, undergraduate

Howard, Jeff. “Interpretative Quests in Theory and Pedagogy.”

Digital Humanities Quarterly. 1.1 (2007).

This article discusses the gaming activity and literary form known as the ‘quest’. Focusing mainly on game theory, Howard uses this article to propose ideas on how ‘quests’ can be used in literature classrooms. He examines debates between narratologists and ludologists, where narratologists analyse games as works of storytelling, and ludologists maintain that games should instead be mined for the meanings inherent in the components related to play, such as rules and simulation. It is a debate of games vs storytellers, which many in an UG classroom will be familiar with. Howard then details various types of quests and how they arise in game formats; including how this relates to literary forms such as the hero narrative. Following this, Howard suggests ways that the understanding of quest elements can allow teachers of English literature to create assignments which have students transform traditional literary narratives into ‘quests’ in a digital game format. An example of this assignment is extensively detailed, in a descriptive narrative that includes formation, classroom delivery, student perception, assignment outcome, and finally assessment. Howard believes that through an activity such as this, student will engage more with the intricacies of storytelling within well-known works of literature. Students could also benefit from being encouraged to map the world experienced in literature into a simulated geographical space: this could allow a more realistic conception of the movements of the characters during the events of the story to be realised. Howard suggests that through the design and comparison of conceptual spaces, along with ‘real world’ locations within narratives, students could better comprehend how comprehend how various works of literature were constructed. This will reinvigorate the students’ interest, as well as making them aware of the relationship between digital storytelling tools, and their subject of literature, which they may have not thought of nor experienced previously.

Hawkins, Ann R. "Making the Leap: Incorporating Digital Humanities into the English Classroom."

CEA Critic 76.2(2014), pp.137-9.

This essay serves as a short introduction to the CEA Critic special edition focusing on the Digital Humanities. Hawkins praises the contributing authors to this edition and states that all involved in DH teaching to use the experience of these professors to further engage with UG students on this topic. It is through engaging students with texts in new ways, via DH tools, that they will become excited about exploring what once seemed dulled by overfamiliarity. This introduction ends with a encouraging cry to all teachers to utilise the DH tools available so that their students can reap the benefits.

Gold, Matthew K. “DH and Comp/Rhet: What We Share and What We Miss When We Share.”

The Lapland Chronicles. January 7, 2012.

This s a transcript of a talk given a the 2012 MLA as part of a session entitled ‘Composing New Partnerships in the Digital Humanities’. The topic of the talk is regarding a desire to increase the level of “communication and collaboration between digital humanities and writing studies scholars”. The talk beings with a short history of both disciplines marginalisation within the tradition subjects of academia. With writing studies being viewed as just a “service wing” of English, and DH being viewed as the technology enthusiast who “inhabited a corner” in various Arts and Humanities departments. Gold then moves on to discuss tech-rhet-listser, where conversations have shown that members of the comp/rhet community tend to misunderstand the DH as merely a digitisation project. This conception misses the following key components of DH: (1) The emphasis on collaboration (2) Work on network platforms and networked open source pedagogy (3) Openness in DH in terms of open source tool building and open access scholarship (4) The ‘eternal September’ of new student keen on taking part (5) The huge interest in DH on networked pedagogy (6) Interdisciplinary and multifaceted nature of DH. Gold believes that some writing scholars are missing an opportunity to share resources with the DH. The talk concludes with a plea for more openness and collaboration to enable clearer communication for the benefit of all.

Mon 02 Nov 2015, 12:36 | Tags: digital literacy, interdisciplinarity

Galey, Alan. "The Future of the Book"

INF 2331H, Fall 2010. Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

This is a PG course at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information taught intermittently from 2009 onwards. It considers “the histories and possible futures of books in a digital world”. This course is designed to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of every conceivable aspect of the book, and places a high emphasis on the use of digital tools to expedite and enhance analysis. All course texts were available in digital formal, and one of the core ‘readings’ included the playing of a video game. Assessment for the course was broken down into the following: 10% for participation (class discussions and debates), 20% XML encoding challenge (an introduction to digitally modelling print and manuscript materials), 30% report on the encoding challenge, and 40% on the final essay (a 14 to 18 page essay exploring a module appropriate topic). Academic integrity, in special regard to digital tools, is also covered in this class. The schedule for the class and assigned readings are all detailed on the module web page. Learning objectives for this course include a practical knowledge of XML mark-up and visualisation tools. Readings survey such topics as “the ontology of born-digital artefacts, critical assessment of digitization projects, collaborative knowledge work, reading devices (old and new), e-book interface design, text/image/multimedia relationships, theories and practices of mark-up, the gendering of technologies, the politics of digital archiving, the materiality of texts, and the epistemology of digital tools”.

Gailey, Amanda. "Teaching Attentive Reading and Motivated Reading through Digital Editing."

CEA Critic, 76.2 (2014), pp.191-99

This article discusses the use of DH in the teaching of English Literature, and specifically the pedagogical value of the digital tool Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). The merits and pitfalls of teaching with TEI are explored at length; not just the practical hurdles but the theoretical ones also. Negatives include, for example, convincing students that the time consuming and labour intensive task is worth it, even though it can be frustrating to beginners. Also that it requires relatable take home computers and a classroom licence for software that may be difficult to obtain for teachers who are the first in their department or institution to use this teaching/learning method. She then goes on to discuss the pedagogical benefits of attentive reading in that it offers a rigorous, systematic and somewhat flexible way for students to inscribe a view of the text onto the text itself. The students would often come across the difficulties of encoding during the process of the task itself, and as long as they were made aware in advance that they could account for them, and overcome them, then they tackled these difficulties well. Gailey also found that by letting students (or groups of students) chose their own aspect of a text to investigate, that they then could bring an individual focus to the text that might not have been widely explored before. Being forced to write a rational explanation for the focus of their project and what kind of critical lens inform it, adds to any assessment that could be made on the encoding itself, and including the development of customised tags, and methods for quality control. Asking students both to think about texts from a material or representational perspective and to contribute creatively to cultural knowledge is the hallmark of many digital humanities classes. Gailey concludes that rigorous digital editing in the humanities is currently based on TEI and whilst this may not always be so it is important as the market gives rise to new technologies and digitally inclined researchers develop competing standards.

For a great summary of Amanda Gailey’s experience of teaching close textual analysis, see for a sixty minute talk that she gave at the University of Kansas in 2014.

Fyfe, Paul. "Pedagogy Unplugged."

Digital Humanities Quarterly. 5.3 (2011)

Does digital pedagogy have to be electronic? This paper discusses the idea that digital pedagogy is too frequently conceived in terms of instructional technologies. Technology, at least in its electrified forms, can be a limiting factor in imagining how humanities instruction can be "digital": something to get your hands on, to deal with in dynamic units, to manipulate creatively. What might an electronically-enabled pedagogy look like if we pulled the plug? This paper surveys several examples to suggest that an unplugged digital humanities pedagogy can be just as productively disorienting as doing humanities digitally, and can potentially help students prepare for and contextualize their learning experiences with instructional technologies or in online environments. The most accessible example is of the close and distant reading of the Austin novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Depended on how it is counted, the term ‘pride’ appears between 6 and 9 times more frequently than ‘prejudice’. This is interesting in terms of the vocabulary choice of the author: where pride describes a character trait, prejudice is more of a relational term: changeable, situational, and more dangerous to accuse someone of. Looking at where in the novel the frequency of ‘pride’ occurs, it can be seen at three key character introduction points. At a distance, the reader can see the ‘hot spots’; moving closer, the reader can analyse their contexts; and somewhere in the middle we start to learn about the novel’s reformation of pride through Elizabeth’s perspective. Though there are criticisms of using this method to teach about a novel, there are many values. Particularly for students whose interface with digital texts and resources is driven by search engines or guided by keywords and text strings. Unplugging the search engine can help students perceive the limitations as well as the possibilities of what makes these engines run: pattern matching. A method such as this sharpens students’ attention to forms of analysis that explore the analogue and digital domains along a continuum. It helps students to interrogate the various kinds of readings they can do therein. And it reveals all of those kinds of readings as actively constituting critical interpretations. Fyfe then moves on to discuss various different teaching methods for integrating DH into a class schedule; for instance he uses an example he takes from Ramsay, Stephen. "On Building." Stephen Ramsay. 11 January 2011. Web. 13 July 2011. After working on programming on Mondays and Wednesdays, his class devotes Fridays to a theoretical text on new media or the digital humanities. But no one gets to read it in advance. Instead, on "No-Reading Fridays", the class takes turns reading, paragraph by paragraph, the text projected on the classroom’s screen. After two such Fridays grappling with Heidegger’s "The Question Concerning Technology", the class had covered only eight paragraphs, but Ramsay declares that "I truly think that this is one of most enlightening class discussions I’ve ever been a part of (either as a student or a teacher)." The format allows the seminar to flourish, and "the professor is only a very small part of what’s going on." Fyfe asks if this is different from a seminar where everyone works from the same edition of a physical book. He concluded that it is not, yet for a graduate course in digital humanities, where much of the attention is on the digital realm and on theories of new media, it is a chance for everyone to be on the same page — literally — where the page is projected on the wall. Because no one (save the professor) has read it before, the seminar reimagines real-time information processing in a very old fashioned way. This is what Fyfe terms ‘teaching naked’ as it is meant to be understood: using technology effectively, subordinating it to the pedagogical goals of the class.

Frost Davis, Rebecca, "Yes, but How Do You Teach Collaboration?"

 Liberal Education Nation. February 1, 2012.

The promotion of ‘teamwork’ is a key objective of most employers. Davis looks at the difficulties of teaching this skill to students in a way that is fair and assessable. She stresses that this skill will become increasingly crucial as we move towards a more digital world, and that it is the collaboration aspect of digital humanities that separates it from the more traditional humanities studies. The notion that those who work in the humanities are usually individual workers/researchers, and thus do not know about teamwork or good collaboration, is shot down as a stereotype. More value should be placed on the experience of collaboration, even if this results in failure; though teachers should be aware that some collaborative group work activities may be less valuable if they are more like an absolutist monarchy in terms of group dynamics, rather than a democracy. Davis concludes with a discussion on the grading of teamwork in an educational environment and links to the following rubric:  “This rubric is designed to measure the quality of a process, rather than the quality of an end product.”

Froehlich, Heather “On Teaching Literature To Computer Science Students.”

Heather Froehlich blog. 19 March 2014.

Here Froehlich elaborates on the challenges faced in her ‘Textlab’ class. This blog post focuses more on the Computer Science students and the issues which they faced. This begins with an account on how the students taking Computer Science as their degree course, may have ceased studying English, or indeed any Arts and Humanities subjects, at age 15. Thus they found it challenging to interact with the English texts during the course and to interact with the English students, to whom the reading of Shakespeare was second nature. Froehlich found that during group work, the Computer Science students took a very basic entry-level DH approach to the texts that they were given to analyse; presenting word frequency diagrams for example. Yet they lacked confidence in producing any kind of explanations as to why variations in word frequency may occur. This is an intermediary blog post with Froehlich theorising over what the final projects may teach her about her students and the teaching of this course. Again, following up on her findings would be of interest.

Froehlich, Heather. “On Teaching Coding To English Studies Students.”

Heather Froehlich blog. 29 January 2014.

This is a blog post on the author’s involvement in an interdisciplinary DH course called ‘Textlab’ at the University of Strathclyde (near Glasgow, UK) where the departments of English and Computer Science collaborate. The learning aim is to teach English students digital skills, and to give Computer Science students experience in aping their skills practically to a ‘real’ scholarly scenario. Froehlich uses this detailed and accessible blog post to explore the learning curve of the English students during the course, as well as what she learned and changed as a teacher of this course. The first step was in teaching English students computer coding, so that they had some understanding of the mechanics of the wider project. The English students struggled with this as they generally had very little coding experience. Froehlich describes how she dealt with the confidence issues of these students, and how practically she found it best to approach problems that arose when a student has no comprehension of how to engage with the computers. Froehlich sees her role as helping her students to understand not only what they are doing, but why. Her further experiences of this course would be interesting to follow further.


Ficke, Sarah H. "From Text to Tags: The Digital Humanities in an Introductory Literature Course."

CEA Critic 76.2 (2014), pp.200-210

This article is looking at the question of the role of the Dh in the UG classroom. Complex programing ideas can often make it seem that the DH would be inaccessible to UG humanities students; but this is not necessarily the case. Thus far professors at small US Liberal Arts colleges have found that were they to be interested in pursuing DH teaching, that they would face difficulties ranging from budget blocks to computer lab logistic impossibilities. They may even face questions on an institutional level about what integrating digital skills could mean for the identity of their institution. Even professors at lager research based universities may come up against some problems when attempting to introduce DH skills to early UGs. Ficke recommends that others learn from her experience and introduce DH skills in small areas within larger first year gateway courses. In that way, the standard learning objective outcomes of the course can be driven by digital assignments, without incurring too much upset to the wider institution. Ficke then proceeds to give examples of how this occurred successfully in their English course by using foundation DH skills such as close reading, amongst others. By introducing her students to the processes used to make familiar resources (such as GoogleBooks) and literary translations, Ficke found that students were keener to engage with the act of contributing to building resources themselves. It also became apparent the need to teach students about considering “digital texts as mediated objects”, which was an important exercise in collaborative skills and processes, as well as an introduction to the ethics of using digital tools. The article then goes on to discuss in detail some of the assignments and teaching methods used to softly approach DH with UG English students. Ideas used include analysis of why digital copies of the same widely available document may vary. Technological challenges with OCR were also investigated by students; with the idea being that the students would understand more from their failures in digitising old font, and thus appreciate the labour that goes in to accurate digitisation. Ficke concludes that she has proven that HE institutions do not need a dedicated DH department to successfully incorporate DH tasks into UG teaching. That it is choosing the right incorporation of DH into the right assignments that is crucial. Moreover, that any professor can do this, whether they see themselves as technically savvy or not.

Mon 02 Nov 2015, 11:50 | Tags: DH pedagogy, courses and reflections, undergraduate

Coad, David T., Kelly Curtis, Jonathan Cook, Dr. Katherine D. Harris; "BeardStair: A Student-Run DH Project History"

JiTP: The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. 4(2013). With Valerie Cruz, Dylan Grozdanich, Randy Holaday, Amanda Kolstad, Alexander James Papoulias, Ilyssa Russ, Genevieve Sanvictores, Erik White

This article is an extensively detailed picture of the work done on BeardStair: a project conducted by several MA students at a large public US university. It also provides a reflective history of the wider DH and the role that such projects can play in HE teaching. The research agenda of the project was to produce a scholarly digital edition of several rare books which had been anonymously donated to the San Jose State University Library. Those involved in the project believe that it yielded “unique implications for administrators, faculty, and students who are interested in building DH projects and fostering collaborative digital pedagogies”. The majority of this article is a narrative account of the foundation, initiation and continuation of the BeardStair project. This includes the difficulties that occurred with funding (including Kickstarter), development of legitimacy (defining what they were attempted to do and why it was important), retention of participants, and issues over proving accuracy. This account of the project is illustrated with screen grabs and digital images. These images enable a visualisation of the progression of the project from the initial discovery of the texts, through the ‘brainstorming on a whiteboard’ phase, to the development of a user interface on the webpage and final publication, so that others can share in the projects findings. The article concludes with a summary of what the students who participated in the project gained through their involvement. Not only in terms of DH skills, but also in the intricacies of project management and collaboration. These skills are transferable outside of academic, and demonstrated the intrinsic value of such projects to students.

Mon 02 Nov 2015, 11:48 | Tags: encoding texts, postgraduate, social media

Clement, Tanya. “Multiliteracies in the Undergraduate Digital Humanities Curriculum: Skills, Principles, and Habits of Mind”

Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles and Politics. Brett D. Hirsch, ed. Cambridge: UK, OpenBook Publishers, 2012.

 This chapter emphasises the importance of the UG curricula as an integral part of Higher Education, and presents a detailed account of where the DH is currently (as of 2012) in UG teaching, including delivery and possible assessment, as well as difficulties and thoughts on how they could be overcome. Clement starts with a critical take on Baeurlein’s 2008 article ‘Online Literacy Is a Lesser Kind’; arguing that Baeurlein assessment of ‘the web’ harming the intellectual achievement and potential of students, as a one-dimension and short sighted view of the benefits that the digital world have brought to education. If students appear more passive as a result of the introduction of digital learning techniques, then Clement decrees that this is more the fault of poor pedagogical approaches to DH, than it is the fault of the DH itself. To address critics of DH and confront the views of those who see it as a mere ‘bolt on’, Clement considers four aspects of the DH at UG level: (1) What – definitions of DH work (2) Knowledge production in DH (3) How – teaching this to UG in an assessable format (4) Who – which groups of people should or could take advantage of the growth n DH. These are addressed in this chapter by discussing three linked topics that influence the design of DH in the UG curriculum: (1) History of DH as an evolution ties to curriculum developments in the digital age; the origins of the name and the importance of this; going from DH as demonstrating a set of technical competencies at PG level, to a full and integrated awareness from day one of an UG degree. (2) The role of institutional infrastructure, and internal politics in DH program developments, highlighting the intensely situational nature of DH projects and subsequent assessment. (3) Current notions of digital literacy in UG education, including learning assessment outcomes. This final section includes a table of multiliteracies from the perspectives of: new media studies, humanities, sciences, gaming and literacy studies, and educational scholars. In this chapter, Clement presents a thorough, detailed and impressive account of the teaching of DH at UG level, which concludes with a call for transparency and collaboration to provide resources for all institutions to develop the DH as an educational community. 

Mon 02 Nov 2015, 11:44 | Tags: DH pedagogy, undergraduate

Chiodo, Carol. “Voyage to Italy – Travels in the Digital Humanities.”

Department of Italian Language and Literature. Yale University, New Haven, CT.

This is the module website and course description of a Yale UG course that focuses on the digital reconstruction of an early twentieth century journey to and through Italy. The aim of the course is for students to use archives to carry out extended individual projects to examine history and literary contexts of travels in Italy during the time period in question. This s a highly imaginative and engaging approach to teaching DH, in an intensively practical historical environment, with no prior programming experience necessary for the students taking the class. The learning outcomes for the students can be summarised as follows: (1) first-hand experience of the pros and cons of digital tools for use in historical investigations (2) obtain knowledge of the evolution of DH and digital tools, and become competent in the use of these tools (3) be able to critically think about the use of digital tools by yourself and others, and the extent to which this could influence the historical investigations of the future. The transferable skills expected to be obtained during this module are: TEI, text mining apps, georeferencing apps, organising tags, using WordPress, learning Boolean search terms. There is an emphasis on an appreciated of collaboration in a digital environment, though it appears that the bulk of the final assessment is based on an individual project, that is then fed back to the group.

Mon 02 Nov 2015, 11:41 | Tags: courses and reflections, undergraduate

Bonds, E. Leigh. "Listening in on the Conversations: An Overview of Digital Humanities Pedagogy."

CEA Critic, 76. (2014). pp.147-57

An overview of the main discussion points for those involved in the teaching of, or with, DH. These include pedagogical concerns such as teaching strategies, curriculum development and learning outcomes. The author experiences the difficulties around teaching DH to UG through the construction of classes for English students. Bonds found, through research, that the benefits for teaching UGs the DH fell into two general categories: (1) using DH on an institutional level to resuscitate funding and “save the humanities” (2) strengthen the employability potential of humanities graduates by empowering them with skills that could see them successfully enter a wider range of industries. These reasons alone, Bonds argues, is why DH instruction should become widely integrated into as many arts and humanities courses as possible. Though it may appear that Millennials are “digital natives”, they still require specialist DH instruction in order to use their skills in a constructive and productive manner. Bonds then discusses the link between DH and project based learning; and the interpersonal and technical skillsets that must be taught to UGs to make this teaching method a realistic option for successful learning. Using various scenario setups for teaching UG DH are then explored, such as museum based assignments. The article concludes that the DHs have now entered a phase of “organising learning outcomes” and actively applying these to classrooms. Bonds calls for the conversation on the teaching of DH to continue and for all those engaged in it to share their experiences so that everyone can benefit from progressions in the field.

Blackwell, Christopher and Thomas R. Martin. “Technology, Collaboration, and Undergraduate Research.”

Digital Humanities Quarterly. 3.1 (2009).

This article is written by two Classics professors from Furman University and the College of the Holy Cross. It looks at their experiences at teaching UG students whilst attempting to incorporate new advances in the DH into their traditional teaching model. Classics is focused on here as a sub-discipline within History and the wider humanities in general. The authors lament that the Classics teaching community have historically been disinclined to show an interest in activities that would come under ‘UG Research’. Traditionally UGs have been taught critical thinking and evaluation skills, along with persuasive essay technique, and general assimilation of facts during survey courses. For professors to reinvigorate the life of an UG student of Classics, it used to take an extraordinary amount of creativity and flexibility on the part of the professors and the HE institution. This can now be achieved, the authors argue, more easily than ever before through the introduction of DH tools and teaching/learning techniques. The main section of the article details, at length, how the DH have been incorporated by the authors into their UG teaching. Many examples are given, which are Classics specific (especially in regards to databases), though have some transferable learning objectives to wider historical studies. The article concludes that the growth in DH and wider technology has “lowered the economic barriers to academic publishing” and because of this, UG students can be encouraged to become authors themselves. Digital technology allows students to experience what it would be like as ‘real’ scholars which the authors of this article state, will not only breathe new life into the discipline of Classics, but will encourage new students (perhaps from outside the traditional applicant pool) to engage with the subject.


Björk, Olin. “Digital Humanities and the First-Year Writing Course.”

Digital Humanities Pedagogy: Practices, Principles and Politics. Brett D. Hirsch, ed. Cambridge: UK, OpenBook Publishers, 2012.

This chapter looks at what is termed ‘first year writing courses’ (akin to English language), at US universities, which are compulsory at most institutions unless students gain exemption through high SAT scores. These courses teach students how to write for university level assessment, but have little time to teach more than composition; content is sacrificed, and even more than that, analysis of content is left out entirely. In the modern digital age, the author asks, should digital communication not be the centre of such a course? This chapter then details a brief history of the movement from the 1990s onwards, to teach students to become involved with the production of digital literature, not merely a consumer. He details that there is now no space for separation of the Digital from the Humanities, if such first year writing courses to be taught effectively and efficiently. Universities need to overcome the limiting factors of the technical knowledge (or lack thereof) of 1st year UG students and instructors, the limiting time frame of these writing courses, and the availability (or again, lack thereof) of digital writing hardware and software. The author subsequently details theories and then examples of how computers can be exploited to update first year writing courses, and make them more relevant to the students’ wider tertiary educational experience. This includes the combination of qualitative and quantitative writing display and analysis: skills that students could transfer easily to other modules. Examples of projects and assignments are then detailed, mostly with an English Literature flavour. Getting students to engage with texts as data, not just words, provided deeper understanding opportunities, then looking at composition alone. The chapter concludes that using DH techniques and tools to teach such courses is a far superior way to achieve the desired learning outcomes. Though (as of 2012), funding for full uptake of using DH methods has not been as widespread as the author desires.

Birnbaum, David J. “Computational methods in the humanities" Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. (Autumn/Fall 2015)

A course to be run in the first term of the 2015-2016 year at the University of Pittsburgh; open to both UG and PG students. Course requirements include regular (preferably 100%) attendance due to the nature of the digital skills building learning schedule. Participation on the course blog site, discussion boards and completion of the tests/quizzes is required by all students taking the course. The course use designed specifically to give students the knowledge and skills involved in quantitative and formal reasoning with the context of the interests and needs of students studying and working in the humanities. There is no prerequisite at this time (Summer 2015) for programming knowledge. The am of the course is to use digital tools and techniques to “identify interesting humanities research questions’. The assignments for the course are the required readings, programming ‘challenges’ or ‘problems’, response papers and a large research project (conducting in collaboration). The module site goes into detail about how these will be organised and assessed, with qualitative indicators of the level expected. The weight of each requirement is as follows: 25% homework assignments, 15% taken from the six best test scores, 10% midterm ‘take home’ exam, and 50% on the final research project During the course XML will be taught along with several meta languages (W3C Scheme, Relax NG and DTD). The formal course outcomes are described as follows: “upon successful completion of this course students will be able to 1) identify opportunities for the application of computer technology to authentic research problems in the humanities; 2) analyse the structure of texts in the humanities and develop formal representations of those structures; and 3) write original computer programs to conduct research on those texts.”

Bellamy, Craig. "The Sound of Many Hands Clapping: Teaching the Digital Humanities through Virtual Research Environment (VREs)"

Digital Humanities Quarterly. 6.1 (2012).

DH is by its nature an interdisciplinary field, with researchers arriving from many diverse disciplines. The author defines DH as “the application and development of computational methods and associated tools to address research problems within the humanities”. Bellamy uses this article to convey his thoughts on how the skills of digital tools should be taught as ‘hard-interdisciplinarity’. Though the task may not be easy, the results of forging new research partnerships and uncovering new lines of investigation to problems within the humanities, makes the formulation of formal teaching methods infinity worthwhile. Bellamy argues that digital tools should not just be provided or made available to researcher in the humanities; but that those in the humanities should be involved in the developmental process. This could especially benefit students in the humanities, who may come to appreciate how knowledge, tools and teaching came to be; rather than just being passive observer-consumers in the classroom. Bellamy then discusses how the DH scholarly community should be collaboratively working to create interpretive frameworks to make sense of newly formed databases and digital libraries. Examples of projects where this occurred successfully are listed and detailed within the article. The article concludes that interdiscipliarity, much like computer technology and digital tools, need not anymore be learned “the hard way” – through necessity of piecemeal trial and error. Rather the students in an HE environment can now be taught DH as a discipline in its own rights and the area is now suitably advanced that the underlying decision making processes can be critiqued, not just teaching of the basic knowledge of how to work the tools adequately.

Fri 18 Sep 2015, 09:37 | Tags: collaboration, interdisciplinarity