The term “digital humanities” can refer to research and instruction that is about information technology or that uses IT. By applying technologies in new ways, the tools and methodologies of digital humanities open new avenues of inquiry and scholarly production. Digital humanities applies computational capabilities to humanistic questions, offering new pathways for scholars to conduct research and to create and publish scholarship. Digital humanities provides promising new channels for learners and will continue to influence the ways in which we think about and evolve technology toward better and more humanistic ends.
As defined by Johanna Drucker and colleagues at UCLA, the digital humanities is “work at the intersection of digital technology and humanities disciplines.” An EDUCAUSE/CNI working group framed the digital humanities as “the application and/or development of digital tools and resources to enable researchers to address questions and perform new types of analyses in the humanities disciplines,” and the NEH Office of Digital Humanities says digital humanities “explore how to harness new technology for thumanities research as well as those that study digital culture from a humanistic perspective.” Beyond blending the digital with the humanities, there is an intentionality about combining the two that defines it.
digital humanities can include
creating digital texts or data sets;
cleaning, organizing, and tagging those data sets;
applying computer-based methodologies to analyze them;
and making claims and creating visualizations that explain new findings from those analyses.
Scholars might reflect on
how the digital form of the data is organized,
how analysis is conducted/reproduced, and
how claims visualized in digital form may embody assumptions or biases.
Digital humanities can enrich pedagogy as well, such as when a student uses visualized data to study voter patterns or conducts data-driven analyses of works of literature.
Digital humanities usually involves work by teams in collaborative spaces or centers. Team members might include
researchers and faculty from multiple disciplines,
data scientists and preservation experts,
technologists with expertise in critical computing and computing methods, and undergraduates
some disciplinary associations, including the Modern Language Association and the American HistoricalAssociation, have developed guidelines for evaluating digital proj- ects, many institutions have yet to define how work in digital humanities fits into considerations for tenure and promotion
Because large projects are often developed with external funding that is not readily replaced by institutional funds when the grant ends sustainability is a concern. Doing digital humanities well requires access to expertise in methodologies and tools such as GIS, mod- eling, programming, and data visualization that can be expensive for a single institution to obtain
Resistance to learning new tech- nologies can be another roadblock, as can the propensity of many humanists to resist working in teams. While some institutions have recognized the need for institutional infrastructure (computation and storage, equipment, software, and expertise), many have not yet incorporated such support into ongoing budgets.
Opportunities for undergraduate involvement in research, provid ing students with workplace skills such as data management, visualization, coding, and modeling. Digital humanities provides new insights into policy-making in areas such as social media, demo- graphics, and new means of engaging with popular culture and understanding past cultures. Evolution in this area will continue to build connections between the humanities and other disci- plines, cross-pollinating research and education in areas like med- icine and environmental studies. Insights about digital humanities itself will drive innovation in pedagogy and expand our conceptualization of classrooms and labs
The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative has just launched its 2018 Key Issues in Teaching and Learning Survey, so vote today: http://www.tinyurl.com/ki2018.
Each year, the ELI surveys the teaching and learning community in order to discover the key issues and themes in teaching and learning. These top issues provide the thematic foundation or basis for all of our conversations, courses, and publications for the coming year. Longitudinally they also provide the way to track the evolving discourse in the teaching and learning space. More information about this annual survey can be found at https://www.educause.edu/eli/initiatives/key-issues-in-teaching-and-learning.
ACADEMIC TRANSFORMATION (Holistic models supporting student success, leadership competencies for academic transformation, partnerships and collaborations across campus, IT transformation, academic transformation that is broad, strategic, and institutional in scope)
ACCESSIBILITY AND UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING (Supporting and educating the academic community in effective practice; intersections with instructional delivery modes; compliance issues)
ADAPTIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING (Digital courseware; adaptive technology; implications for course design and the instructor’s role; adaptive approaches that are not technology-based; integration with LMS; use of data to improve learner outcomes)
COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION AND NEW METHODS FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING (Developing collaborative cultures of assessment that bring together faculty, instructional designers, accreditation coordinators, and technical support personnel, real world experience credit)
DIGITAL AND INFORMATION LITERACIES (Student and faculty literacies; research skills; data discovery, management, and analysis skills; information visualization skills; partnerships for literacy programs; evaluation of student digital competencies; information evaluation)
EVALUATING TECHNOLOGY-BASED INSTRUCTIONAL INNOVATIONS (Tools and methods to gather data;data analysis techniques; qualitative vs. quantitative data; evaluation project design; using findings to change curricular practice; scholarship of teaching and learning; articulating results to stakeholders; just-in-time evaluation of innovations). here is my bibliographical overview on Big Data (scroll down to “Research literature”: https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2017/11/07/irdl-proposal/ )
EVOLUTION OF THE TEACHING AND LEARNING SUPPORT PROFESSION (Professional skills for T&L support; increasing emphasis on instructional design; delineating the skills, knowledge, business acumen, and political savvy for success; role of inter-institutional communities of practices and consortia; career-oriented professional development planning)
FACULTY DEVELOPMENT (Incentivizing faculty innovation; new roles for faculty and those who support them; evidence of impact on student learning/engagement of faculty development programs; faculty development intersections with learning analytics; engagement with student success)
GAMIFICATION OF LEARNING (Gamification designs for course activities; adaptive approaches to gamification; alternate reality games; simulations; technological implementation options for faculty)
INTEGRATED PLANNING AND ADVISING FOR STUDENT SUCCESS (Change management and campus leadership; collaboration across units; integration of technology systems and data; dashboard design; data visualization (here previous blog postings on this issue: https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=data+visualization); counseling and coaching advising transformation; student success analytics)
LEARNING ANALYTICS (Leveraging open data standards; privacy and ethics; both faculty and student facing reports; implementing; learning analytics to transform other services; course design implications)
LEARNING SPACE DESIGNS (Makerspaces; funding; faculty development; learning designs across disciplines; supporting integrated campus planning; ROI; accessibility/UDL; rating of classroom designs)
MICRO-CREDENTIALING AND DIGITAL BADGING (Design of badging hierarchies; stackable credentials; certificates; role of open standards; ways to publish digital badges; approaches to meta-data; implications for the transcript; Personalized learning transcripts and blockchain technology (here previous blog postings on this issue: https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=blockchain)
MOBILE LEARNING (Curricular use of mobile devices (here previous blog postings on this issue:
MULTI-DIMENSIONAL TECHNOLOGIES (Virtual, augmented, mixed, and immersive reality; video walls; integration with learning spaces; scalability, affordability, and accessibility; use of mobile devices; multi-dimensional printing and artifact creation)
NEXT-GENERATION DIGITAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AND LMS SERVICES (Open standards; learning environments architectures (here previous blog postings on this issue: https://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2017/03/28/digital-learning/; social learning environments; customization and personalization; OER integration; intersections with learning modalities such as adaptive, online, etc.; LMS evaluation, integration and support)
ONLINE AND BLENDED TEACHING AND LEARNING (Flipped course models; leveraging MOOCs in online learning; course development models; intersections with analytics; humanization of online courses; student engagement)
OPEN EDUCATION (Resources, textbooks, content; quality and editorial issues; faculty development; intersections with student success/access; analytics; licensing; affordability; business models; accessibility and sustainability)
PRIVACY AND SECURITY (Formulation of policies on privacy and data protection; increased sharing of data via open standards for internal and external purposes; increased use of cloud-based and third party options; education of faculty, students, and administrators)
WORKING WITH EMERGING LEARNING TECHNOLOGY (Scalability and diffusion; effective piloting practices; investments; faculty development; funding; evaluation methods and rubrics; interoperability; data-driven decision-making)