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Teaching with Digital Scholarship Tools and Methods

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Teaching with digital scholarship tools and methods can be a powerful approach to involving students in new forms of research and critical inquiry. Student-engaged digital scholarship encourages students to conceptualize, produce, and communicate research in dynamic ways, and opens up possibilities for new types of scholarly work and public conversations.

Project and Assignment Ideas

Following are just a few possibilities for student-engaged digital scholarship. We're happy to talk with you about these or other options to incorporate digital scholarship and open pedagogy into your classes in support of student learning.

  • Build digital collections and exhibits in Omeka
    Bring images, video, and commentary together in Omeka, a robust website platform designed for public and open digital collections and exhibits. Add-on features include plug-ins for mapping, timelines, etc. Omeka is available through the UW Librares' Digital Scholarship Platforms service.
  • Showcase student writing and creative work with "SPLOT" templates in Wordpress
    SPLOTs (Simplest Possible Online Learning Tool) are easy-to-use and visually interesting Wordpress templates that can showcase creative work and provide a platform for interaction with class questions or discussion topics. SPLOTs are available through the UW Libraries' Digital Scholarship Platforms service.
  • Create an open access zine or book using Pressbooks
    Publish an open book, zine, or other text-based project with your students. Easily include images, video, and interactive elements with add-ons such as H5P. Easy-to-use platform based on Wordpress and available through the UW Libraries (ongoing pilot).
  • Conduct digital oral history research
    Digital oral history research connects students with communities and provides lasting documentation of people and events that is not captured via other research methods. In this time of pandemic, digital oral history is being done successfully in other areas of the UW system via zoom.
  • Develop social justice digital archives
    Social justice archiving is a meaningful and enduring way to document events, experiences, people, and organizations that may be under-represented in the historical record, or that may be lost to history entirely in spite of their importance and impact. Students are often energized by gathering and describing archival content related to their interests and activism. Archiving work can be an opportunity to connect student priorities with scholarly practices and community-based learning.

Tips for Faculty

  • Plan your project at least a quarter in advance
    This will give you time to develop a syllabus with scaffolded and meaningful assignments that contribute to student learning goals and the overall digital scholarship project.
  • Connect with the Library
    We can partner with you to 
    • think through ideas for project and assignment design
    • teach students about copyright, public scholarship, metadata, rights and responsibilities in open environments, and related concepts
    • choose the right digital scholarship technologies to support your learning goals
    • and more!
  • Practice the technology
    Spending time with the technologies you choose to use with students will help you design projects and assignments that effectively leverage technology to enhance student learning, rather than creating extra work and barriers. The UW Libraries regularly offers workshops in tools such as Omeka and Pressbooks, and we can point you to other training options as well.
  • Review the Library's Open Student Work Guide
    Working openly online with students presents unique opportunities and challenges. This guide to open student work can help you familiarize yourself with issues related to working openly with students, and effective and ethical approaches to this work.