Digital Humanities (rooted in Computational Humanities) field of humanistic practice that uses digital tools and methods to answer humanities questions. In more recent years we also see the use of humanities methods and modes of inquiry to interpret computational data. In the past decade or so, Digital Humanities has developed into a formidable field, and has managed to be one of the few humanities fields in which investment has grown: increased hires, institutionalization, and grant funding.
Digital Liberal Arts, grew out of Digital Humanities, but has positioned itself as a broader, more inclusive curricular innovation that centers digital practice as a method for helping students to develop within a liberal educational model that prepares them to deal with “complexity, diversity, and change” (AACU, LEAP-Liberal Education & America’s Promise).
AACU Identifies these as “teaching and learning practices” that help “increase rates of retention and student engagement”
First-year Seminars and Experiences
Common intellectual experiences
writing intensive courses
Of particular interest:
Collaborative Assignments and Projects
Capstone Courses and Projects
Balancing the imperatives behind the high-impact education, and integration of digital tools and practices so that in the end they both work together to best serve student learning and development
What I want to suggest here today, is that when working to develop digital assignments, research projects, that we’re considering the following:
Promoting undergraduate research
Help students develop digital literacies
Promote play, collaboration and problem solving (all skills that we want students to be able to take with them into future work places)
Foster digital citizenship
It’s not just a matter of adding tools to our classes. It’s easy to add tools poorly.
Additional 21st Century Literacies, what been called “Digital well-being” (Cathy Davidson and Howard Rheingold)
Dealing with info glut
Identifying fake news
Critical consumption of information
Learning, unlearning, and relearning
Controlling digital data
We all know that teaching is hard. It is iterative, and it is more so when you attempt to take on digital pedagogy.
Just know that you are taking a risk with each innovation, however small, and with risk comes the possibility of failure (but also success!), but either way, you will learn, adapt, and try again.
Assessment! We hate this term! But check in with your students! They can offer valuable feedback about what works, what needs more time, more development, etc. Involve them in the teaching and learning process. (notes)
Depending on how you teach, it may not may sense to use certain tools. If you already ask your students to annotate readings, then digital, collaboration tools like Hypothesis may be a good fit!
Balance the skills needed with course content. Sometimes a large project may require too much of you and your students, so it’s ok to use one tool/skill well over the course of a quarter. Ideally, this would be an opportunity for students to apply disciplinary knowledge, the tool should extend the learning of the content, and help build transferrable skills that they can build on later.
5. Integrate skills and concepts into your larger course structures, department, curriculum