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

  • 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

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