Teaching Digital Humanities Methods Online: Blending cloud-based solutions with project-based learning to develop 21st Century skills

Watch This Session

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

We will explore how project-based learning can be used in an online learning environment to facilitate the development of digital humanities research skills. We will share pedagogical strategies to effectively use a cloud-based, text and data mining platform that have led to concrete learning outcomes in the form of student research projects. 


Extended Abstract

Amidst the ongoing changes in higher education during COVID-19, educators are now faced with creating a new set of digital course development practices to bolster student engagement, motivate students to learn, and provide the same rich contextualization of content that comes from a face-to-face learning environment.There is a growing need to effectively integrate digital and research literacy skills into courses, and an even larger need to discover how to do this effectively in an online learning environment. What tools are necessary to integrate digital literacy skills with critical thinking skills in an asynchronous or hybrid course? Moreso, how do we scaffold learning of such skills for a diverse range of learners? 

Against this theoretical backdrop, we will explore the concept of working with texts as data within the broader field of digital humanities, which can seem overwhelming to the novice. Barriers to entry include practical tasks such as gathering sufficient data to analyze, formatting it correctly, and choosing an appropriate tool to use for analysis from the myriad of options available - many of which require proficiency with a coding language like Python or R. The project-based learning environment using ‘out of the box’ tools provides an excellent framework for teaching text mining skills and methodologies.

In a chat with fellow practitioners, Dr. Sarah Ketchley, lecturer at the University of Washington and Dr. Lindsey Gervais, Digital Learning Manager at Gale, A Cengage Company, will discuss best practices and advice for creating such an environment  to integrate text and data mining methodologies while promoting learning outcomes in digital literacy and research skills development. 

We will use an app called Menti, to present the framework, course development assets, and student projects, while also allowing attendees to interact, respond and share their own thoughts on the pedagogical practices. Though this session is short and asynchronous, we will use this platform to still “be there” with participants as they are reviewing the session. 

Attendees will leave from this presentation with the following: 

  1. A framework for how to integrate research methodologies, like Digital Humanities text and data mining, into an online course 

  2. A review of how digital literacy and project-based learning can be incorporated into this framework

  3. Some course assets that model this framework and integration into an online learning environment