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Month: April 2016

Early Modern Digital Pedagogies Workshop

Early Modern Digital Pedagogies Workshop

On March 30, we held a workshop on early modern digital pedagogies, partnering with Heather Wolfe and Paul Dingman of the Folger Shakespeare Library. The conversations we had were really exciting and the group came up with some excellent strategies for working with digital materials in the classroom. We also collected a list of resources and links to digital tools that attendees had found helpful. The workshop schedule, which includes sample teaching materials and images from our discussions, is here.

To keep the conversation going and make these materials accessible to those who weren’t at the workshop, we’re posting them here. Please feel free to add your responses, additional resources & strategies, or any other thoughts in the comments. And, to all of you who attended the workshop and shared your ideas and enthusiasm, thank you so much!

Strategies and best practices for using digital resources in the classroom

Collaboration:
  • Having students work in teams can make difficult work go more quickly
  • Multiple students (or even a whole class) transcribing the same document is another effective approach, one that fosters comparison and can take some of the evaluation/correction load off of the instructor
  • Consider collaborating with other instructors as well—gather a group of people who are interested or look into partnering with another class
Dealing with difficulty:
  • Be prepared to offer a lot of support, especially in getting students set up, and be prepared for some frustration as well
  • If you can, spread the work out so it doesn’t feel overwhelming (for example, ask students to transcribe a few lines each class over a whole semester)
  • Do a terminology inventory; make sure that students are confident using the terms that are relevant for the project
  • Another approach is to let students choose between a “DH option” and an alternative, so that digital scholarship feels like something students get to do, rather than something that they have to do
  • Emphasize “the beauty of the messiness” and let undecidability be a thing that the class can work with
Fostering ownership:
  • Let students choose their own texts/persons/research objects to work with and encourage them to feel a sense of ownership and expertise
  • Help students to see themselves as important contributors to a public body of knowledge
  • Have a conversation about what it means to be an owner in a community, and think about the TEI as a community-constructed authority
Theory and pedagogy:
  • In transcription assignments, ask students to think about the entire publication process, not just marking the text up; make publication an intellectual problem for them to consider
  • Physical objects can be a jumping-off point for discussing the mediations that have to take place before students access a text from a digital archive—that is, for a physical object to become a digital object
  • Bring the rationales to the surface—get students to articulate and debate the rationales that are guiding any relevant aspects of the digital work and make those rationales visible

Resources and tools

Welcome!

Welcome!

We’re happy to welcome readers to the Women Writers Project’s blog. Despite the fact that blogs are a bit late-20th-century, we’re excited about starting this one. We’ve just finished up a few major projects and are about to start on some new ones. And, since the project will turn 30 in just another year or so, it feels like a good time to invite readers more directly into our discussions. Please join us here to learn about new developments, get a more detailed view of our work, and share your own thoughts and questions.

This blog will be a space where we can share work in progress, reveal interesting details about specific texts and encoding problems, and explore ideas for new features in Women Writers Online. We’re also planning to provide updates about the work we do, including additions to Women Writers Online, Women Writers in Context, and Cultures of Reception (coming soon). We’ll also post announcements about upcoming workshops and seminars, as well as any research or presentations that we publish or grant proposals that we submit.

We welcome guest posts on any topic related to the work of the WWP, including descriptions of research or teaching that uses the WWO collection, reports from WWP events, reflections on early women’s writing and/or text encoding, or updates from related projects. Contact us (wwp[at]neu[dot]edu) if you’d like to contribute!