Digital Pedagogy Keywords
Rebecca Frost Davis
Austin College Digital Humanities
Colloquium, February 20, 2013
#acdhcoll #nitle #digipedkit
• National Institute for Technology in Liberal
• NITLE helps liberal arts colleges integrate
inquiry, pedagogy, and technology.
• Future of Liberal Education
• Digital Humanities
Defining Digital Humanities
“By “digital humanities” we mean
learning about, with, and through
technology–making it, thinking
about it, including it in pedagogy
and institutional transformation.”
Globally Networked World
Global Network by Flickr User WebWizzard
• Linguistic (verbal)
• Explosion of data
• Exponential advances in computation storage
• Ubiquity of access, e.g., mobile devices
• Low barriers to artistic expression and civic
• Strong support for creating and sharing one’s
• Informal mentorship by most experienced for
• Members believe their contributions matter
• Some degree of social connection
Henry Jenkins, Confronting the Challenges of Participatory
Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century
The Long Tail
Small Liberal Arts Colleges
• Delivery strategies:
– Flipped classroom
– Hybrid learning
• Learning outcomes:
• Digital tools and platforms
impacting academic practice
• Digital Humanities
Principles and Politics, ed.
Brett Hirsch, 2013
MLA 2012: A project is born
Reader and Toolkit
• Reflective Essays about teaching
• Organized by discipline
• Remediation of digital into print
• Born digital
• Curation of Pedagogical artifacts
• Multi- & Cross-disciplinary
• Interactive living archive
Digital Pedagogy Keywords
What are your keywords?
#acdhcoll #nitle #digipedkit
Audience & Context
• Digital humanities
• Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
• Epistemological shift in disciplines
• How digital context calls for deep changes in
how we teach and learn
• Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of
Culture and Society (1975 & 1983)
• Defining discourse
• Building discourse across domains
• Revealing tensions
• Ability to work in a team
• Collaborative learning
• Participatory culture
• Group project
• Needed for liberal arts colleges
• Characteristic of Digital Humanities
Types of Collaboration
1. Students contributing to an existing project
2. Students participating in crowdsourcing
3. Students producing their own project
Wheaton College Digital History Project
• Kathryn Tomasek,
Associate Professor of
• History methods course
• Transcribing & encoding
• Partners: archivist,
Daily accounting of
reflect the many
business activities of
1828 and 1859
NEH DH Start-up
Financial Records for
Collaborative Research Assignment
• Stage 1: Background Reading in Secondary
• Stage 2: Transcription and Coding of Daybook
• Stage 3: Writing and Editing Episodes for the
• Stage 4: Writing a Paper Based on Primary
Google Doc for Collecting Data
Process Checklist for Integrating Digital
Humanities Projects into Courses
1. Connecting Course and Project
2. Scaffolding and Chunking
3. Collaborative Teaching
Lexomics, Wheaton College
• Computer science,
statistics & Old English
– Computing for Poets
– Connection (Computing
The Office Monkey by Flickr user Shaz Wildcat
Teamwork VALUE Rubric
Teamwork is behaviors under the control of
individual team members (effort they put into
team tasks, their manner of interacting with
others on team, and the quantity and quality of
contributions they make to team discussions.)
• Aspects of pedagogy?
• Play (screwing around)
• Text Analysis
New or Reinvented Methodologies
• Text analysis
Pedagogy in a Digital Context
New Locales for Pedagogy
• GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums)
• Play vs. Work
• Play and Failure
• Interface, Remix, Virtuality
• Race, Queer, Ability, Sexuality
• Collection not linear narrative or hierarchical
• Descriptive tagging
• Remix & Contribute
• Planned updates
What are your keywords?
Keywords & Curators
Ability MOOC Remix
Collaboration Multimodal Rhetoric
Community Play Sexuality
Composition Praxis Storytelling
Failure Programming Text Analysis
GLAM Public Virtuality
Information Science Queer Work
• Place-based / Mapping • Data
/ Geospatial • Visualization
• 3-D • Design
• Material culture • Activism
• Mobile • Touch / Gesture
• Interactive • Fieldwork
• Nonlinear • Gender
I want to begin with an illustration of the context for digital pedagogy.This anecdote gets at both the power of digital tools and the anxiety that are students won’t use them correctly—may in fact use them frivolously. My talk today will focus on keywords that help us understand this context for digital pedagogy and a resource in development to help us develop our digital pedagogy.
At NITLE or the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education we think about how small liberal arts colleges should react and adapt to this context.to advance the development of digital humanities at liberal arts colleges and promote the valuable contributions these colleges make to and within the broader digital humanities movement.Specific interest in integrating digital humanities into the curriculum
But also digital pedagogy as digital humanities
Motivation for DH at SLAC: educating citizens for a globally networked worldLet’s dig deeper into the context
Seen in Kathryn and Angel’s work, or think about Spencers Cat-shaped word cloud. Later today, Sarah will give us insight into how visual, space and gestural can combine to make meaning in museum exhibits.
Change in AgencyHenry Jenkins explains, “A participatory culture is a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices. A participatory culture is also one in which members believe their contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created).”Informal mentorship challenges the traditional model of formal education.
Networks enable participatory cultureReddit: social news & entertainmentDigital networks but also social networks
Homogenous vs. Heterogeneous networks: allows room for the micro-interest, customization, the small, the local
Remediation of digital into print or multimodal in verbalI often point to the irony that we advocate active learning but do professional development by lecture. Likewise, why should we teach digitally and write about it in print? most cases in which scholars have attempted to collect their pedagogical work into a coherent shape have been in the form of collected editions of text-based essays -- a second-hand form of analysis that is effective in presenting an instructor’s perspective on a class, but less effective in showcasing actual student work and highlighting the particular digital forms in which that work was done. Furthermore, such works typically exist in an isolated state, rather than in an open-access space dedicated entirely to the scholarship of teaching and learning. They also tend to privilege the physical classroom over emerging domains for hands-on learning, including the humanities lab, the library, and the open web.
Interacting around digital pedagogy using the methods of digital pedagogy The Digital Pedagogy Reader and Toolkit seeks to redress this situation by providing a radically new presentation of student work and model assignments that foreground the very aspects of networked communication that make digital pedagogy projects so compelling in the first place. In other words, as we talk about new pedagogies enabled by new digital methodologies, we will also seek to put those new methodologies in practice. If curation, remix, and mash-up have become new modes of composition then this collection should employ those modes. The Digital Pedagogy Reader and Toolkit will offer a new way of preserving assignments, projects, results, assessment strategies, experiments, tools, and student reactions. We will organize the collection by keyword—significant terms that point to trends and practices in pedagogy that cross disciplines. That’s what this talk is about—what should those keywords be and what resources do you already know that should be included. How can we uncover all the hidden projects that are going on so that we learn from each other?
I have a little exercise for you: think back to presentations by Angel, Kathy & Spencer. What did they have in common? What terms or themes kept popping up?Can you come up with terms or keywords that would link their work? Or thinking more broadly what should the keywords of digital pedagogy be? Write down five and later we’ll see how you did.Prize? I have some chocolate.
For example, the emergence of large data sets and the concomitant need to aggregate, manipulate, analyze, and visualize them has impacted humanists, social scientists, and scientists and requires new methodologies and pedagogies. In this shifting climate, The Digital Pedagogy Reader and Toolkit speaks to a wide, cross-disciplinary audience, one that is keenly concerned with how the digital context calls for deep changes in how we teach and learn.
Because of the challenges of communication across networks, domains, and disciplines I mentioned earlier, this collection will be organized through keywords. In his seminal book Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (first published in 1975), Raymond Williams explored words that embody our ideas. Keywords often represent a community’s shared discourse. But they can also reveal differences as they are understood and used differently in different domains. The advantage of a keyword approach for this project is that it will build discourse across disciplines. As our heterogeneous networks are increasingly linked, defining keywords that work across those networks becomes all the more important. Public:I recently ran into this issue at the AAC&U conference where I had organized a panel on undergraduates at public digital scholars. The title specifically hailed those in the undergraduate research community by using the words “undergraduate” and “scholars” and the civic engagement community by using the world public. While this strategy worked in attracting those groups to our session, it also revealed some differences in how we used these terms. My fellow panelists and I thought of the term public from the perspectives of public humanities and specifically public history, as Jeff McClurken shared the digital history projects his students created that became public exhibits for Mary Washington University. One of the audience members however took exception because he understood public scholarship as community-driven scholarship which serves the needs of and is driven by the community not the scholar. This anecdote is an instructive reminder to those working across disciplines and domains that vocabulary is not always clear.
So what does this look like? We mocked up an example for the keyword collaboration (did anyone have that one?) Let’s curate a keyword . . . Take a minute to think about it. How many times did you hear this one yesterday? In what contexts? When else have you heard it in connection with teaching, learning, research?
What discourses invoke this term?Employers tell us that the ability to work in a team is the number one skill they are looking for in potential employees.Active and collaborative learning is advocated for liberal education.Participatory culture implies collaboration across networks.Students think of the dreaded group project.Typically required for digital humanities work
Angel’s Soweto Historical GIS Project—dig deeper—what’s available openly? Assignments? Evidence of student work? Blog?
Models DH collaborationProjects that are too big for one person, one skill set, one perspective
Collaboration as interdisciplinary work
Collaboration as aggregation
Kirk Anderson, “Bringing Enlightenment to the Internet Age.” YouTube. September 15, 2009. [annotation: Kirk Anderson's students transcribed the 1751 Encyclopedia from French into English and posted the results to a project website] http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Uyqix9rpNn0Aggregation vs. collaboration
We saw other keywords yesterday.OUR PREMISE: Taken individually and in combination, keywords build up a detailed picture of the practice of digital pedagogy.
Some keywords, such as “multimodal,” “programming,” “storytelling,” or “text analysis” focus on new or reinvented methodologies enabled by digital tools and media.
Others, like “collaboration,” “community,” “failure,” “play,” “praxis” and “public” express how the character of pedagogy has changed in a digital context.
Still others, such as “community,” “GLAM,” “MOOC,” and “public” emphasize new locales for pedagogy beyond the classroom.
Several of our selected keywords form complementary pairs. For instance, “play” and “work” explore pedagogical resources surrounding the use of gaming in the classroom, while also providing resources that explore and theorize the labor involved in constructing gamed environments. Likewise “play” and “failure” both articulate an approach to learning that privileges process over final results. Other keywords, such as “interface,” “remix,” and “virtuality,” provide examples of teaching resources that explore the networked fabric of new media platforms themselves and together provide a multivalent view of the spaces in which networked pedagogical experiments occur. Additionally, keywords like “race,” “queer,” “ability” and “sexuality” resist assumptions that digital technologies and pedagogies operate outside material conditions. They also offer concrete examples of combining cultural criticism with technical competencies through teaching. Importantly, such combinations resonate with recent calls by Elizabeth Losh, Tara McPherson, and Alan Liu in Debates in the Digital Humanities (2012) to further interrogate the relationships between knowing and doing in digital humanities.
We have curators committed for the following—not a complete picture