Process Checklist for Integrating Digital Humanities Projects into Courses

September 13, 2012 § 5 Comments

In 2011 Kathyrn Tomasek and I co-taught several instances of our workshop on Integrating Digital Humanities Projects into the Undergraduate Curriculum. In the workshop, Kathryn shared her experience building the Wheaton College Digital History Project into her courses.   Together we developed this checklist to help other faculty and staff work through the process of integrating work on digital projects into a course.

1. Connecting Course and Project

  • What are the learning goals of your course? Where do they intersect with your project? (See this ProfHacker post by@samplereality on “Planning a Class with Backward Design“.
  • How does this project exemplify disciplinary practice?
  • What research methods does this project require?
  • What level of work is required for this project?  For example, are these skills that an incoming freshman has or can develop or does it require significant prior disciplinary knowledge? Can you define tasks at various levels?

2. Scaffolding and Chunking: Breakdown work required into chunks or pieces that can fit in your course & fulfill learning goals.

  • What kind of work do you want students to do? What tools or methods?
  • What materials would you like students to use? Primary sources? Historical documents? YouTube videos?
  • What can your students do at this level? (what skills do they bring? what can they be taught to do?) e.g., understanding difference between primary & secondary sources
  • What skills do they need?
    • technical?
    • collaboration skills?
    • manuscript reading?
    • discipline methods?
  • What preparation do they need to be able to do that?
  • What is the ultimate goal?

3. Collaborative Teaching

  • Who will teach these chunks?
    • e.g., day in the Archives
    • workshop sessions, e.g., technologist teaches coding; archivist teaches manuscript reading
  • How much class time do you need to devote?
    • hand holding
    • workshop sessions
  • How can you extract learning from group work sessions
    • extra survey tool at end of course
    • student self-reflection
    • class discussion
    • written pieces; video diary, blog post

4. Logistics

  • What are materials?
    • Where do you get them?
    • What preparation do they need before students get them? e.g. digital imaging to enable zooming
  • Workspace
    • What kind of equipment do students need?
    • Where can they get it in and out of class?
    • Do you need to reserve space? lead time?
    • Do you need special software? lead time?
  • Teaching Partners
    • What kind of preparation work do you need?
    • Who can do that work? e.g., slide librarian does imaging
    • What other skills need to be taught and who will teach them
    • What kind of teaching preparation do they need?
    • What kind of lead time do these collaborators need to do what needs to be done? When is their busy time? (lead time–previous semester)
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