Collaborative Digital Pedagogy for Digital Literacies in Humanities Classrooms

Anita Say Chan
asaychan@gmail.com

Comunicación larga
Humanidades digitales – pedagogía y currículo


Innovative advances in educational technology have made a wealth of new tools and platforms available to college students and instructors alike. A vast number of commercially developed solutions and tools can help users organize, process, visualize, and digitally communicate information. Moreover, academic and research institutions increasingly develop new tools and platforms specifically for instructional use. Although new digital tools and platforms produce new opportunities in pedagogy, they also present an emerging challenge: the increasing normalization of deploying new and under-tested digital tools in classroom instruction. Many of these tools have new technological features that hold clear promise for educational application, but only a few will prove to be "disruptive" game changers in instruction or eventually stabilize as instructional staples. This situation presents challenges for campuses and educators alike. What are the benefits and complications of using under-tested tools for pedagogical ends? How should faculty design students' course work when tool performance might be uncertain and intended learning outcomes contingent on tool use? And what degree of student engagement with tools should educators reasonably expect when there's no guarantee that students are learning skills for the next major disruptive technology — that is, the "next BIG hit"?

Here, a strategy is explored for addressing these questions in humanities instruction by developing digital pedagogy practices that

This is particularly valuable for humanities instruction, where curricular structure, facilities, and pedagogy are often oriented less toward tinkering and lab-like practices than those in science, engineering, and technology. It's also valuable to developers and designers of educational technologies, which are often promoted as finished solutions prior to user testing through sustained classroom applications. Insights are drawn from a collbortive pedagogical experience between a media studies professor and digital humanities librarian in an interdisciplinary collaboration to design coursework for two undergraduate courses in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Media and Cinema Studies Department.