Digital Redux: THATCamphp Inspired Teaching Ideas

This past weekend, I attended THATCamp Hybrid Pedagogy, a really wonderful gathering of like-minded teachers and tinkerers that gave me a better understanding of how doing DH at the CC can get done.

First of all, the tortured humanists stayed home or kept their torment as a sidebar.  The prevailing attitude could be summed up as, “Ok, so what can we make or do? How can we do it? What would be cool? What would work?” Intellectual work embodied in the Google doc, the tweet, the map, the mini-MOOC, the astronomy tool (you must visit the astronomy tool). Brainy, humanistic fun with a fully engaged group of young and not-so-young (ahem) scholars.

Not that Polly Anna was present–in fact, I really could feel the frustration and worry from those up and coming scholars whose core work is collaborative and hasn’t yet fit into the byzantine tenure metrics that were never that straightforward anyway but are a few years from acknowledging the intellectual labor of DH through tenure and promotion. But still. The work.

I still intend to revise the Google doc we developed during our session on how we might bring DH to community colleges and SLACs (as I was to learn that day small liberal arts colleges). In that session, Jesse, Meg, Keri, Tony, Mary and I brainstormed how we might collaborate to build a curricular path to DH at the lower-division levels and scaffold into four-year degrees, working in both directions.

But what I really came away with from that weekend was how so much of what folks are doing in hybrid pedagogies with DH tools is really not far from what some of my CC colleagues are already doing in brick-and-mortar, including my own offline teaching.  So I took out my (f2f) Shakespeare class “box assignment” menu that I hand to all my literature students at the beginning of class, and I quickly thought through how I might digitally redo them.  I posted my ideas  in a Google doc here. Of course, now the hard part comes–teaching these and developing the real step-by-steps, but that will come.

HT to Peter Rorabaugh for suggesting I post this and that other Campers do the same. Take your classroom practice and flip it, DH-style. And see what turns up. And share it. What can we make or do? How can we do it? What would be cool? What would work?

4 thoughts on “Digital Redux: THATCamphp Inspired Teaching Ideas

  1. Carrie Padian

    Wow, I really love the changes you’ve made to the assignments, especially inviting students to work with blog posts, facebook status updates and video. I really look forward to hearing how it goes!

  2. Pete Rorabaugh (@allistelling)

    I was so excited to see your box assignment redesign come across Twitter a couple of days. It made me realize the slow consistent work that I and many of us have done over the last year(s) to make our pedagogy more hybrid, to respond to digital identities, literacies, and opportunities. Thank you for wrapping some language around the conference for all of us (we’re still working on an article at HP). Maybe this assignment collection could be part of what we do when we come back together on Nov. 4 ( to tidy up the loose ends of our ideas.

  3. Doc McGrail Post author

    Thanks for prodding me to blog about it–I probably would have put it off until it was no longer fresh in my mind! See you on Nov. 4th–I’ll see what else I can dig up and digitize by then.

  4. Doc McGrail Post author

    Thanks, Carrie. I intend to blog about all my Digital Humanities lab experiences this year. The challenge with converting to digital will be CC students’ preparedness for some of these. The f2f assignments were so accessible, to everyone. That was the rationale for having them in the first place–tapping into everyone’s different ways of knowing. Adding the digital layer will motivate some but I can already see this term in my Women Writers class that it frustrates others (older students, students with no internet at home, no computers, etc.). Short-term, though, bringing DH to the CC involves getting faculty to use what they already know and extend it. So that’s a first step….

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