Turning “Online Learning” into “Digital Humanities”

I’d like to propose a general discussion session about teaching online and hybrid classes that are not explicitly about DH but that would be enriched through incorporating DH approaches and methodology. I taught my first fully online class–a GEC survey of American Literature–last summer, and I fell into what is probably a common trap: cramming a fairly traditional f2f course into an online medium. Moreover, I found the students uninterested in learning any new technology to enhance the experience. It was a revelation to learn that these particular students didn’t want to have an innovative experience; they wanted to tick the course off their list of requirements. So how do we use the digital humanities to make online learning something other than the educational equivalent of Jiffy Lube? ┬áMy hope for this discussion is a kind of “show and tell” in which participants share strategies and philosophies for enhancing online classes in a variety of disciplines. This can take the form of demonstrating the technologies through which courses were constructed (as well as finished products), along with discussing the pedagogical considerations motivating individual choices. How do we create collaborative and individual assignments that incorporate DH approaches into online and hybrid courses? How do we do so while maintaining a balance between conveying content and teaching the technologies necessary to utilize DH strategies? How do we create “buy in” from students, especially nontraditional or technologically inexperienced ones? As a novice in this area, I have lots of questions and very few answers, but I’m willing to share whatever I can.

Categories: Teaching |
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About callahan.138

I am new to digital humanities, having taught one online course and looking to expand my knowledge of the field and get ideas for enhancing my courses and my own research. In my "day job" (non-digital), I research representations of race and adoption in American literature and culture. Technology--in the form of blogs, websites, and documentaries--are increasingly part of the way that knowledge about adoption is created. I recently published a book with Michigan UP, called _Kin of Another Kind: Transracial Adoption in American Literature_, and my current research examines adoption and other anomalous families in literature and documentary film.