Session 7

Friday 11:30 - 13:00

High Tor 3

Chair: James O'Sullivan

Reflections on the development and implementation of an introductory MOOC for DH methodologies.

  • Simon Mahony,
  • Tessa Hauswedell,
  • Ulrich Tiedau


Since 2011 the Department of Information Studies at UCL has offered the highly successful MA/MSc in Digital Humanities that regularly attracts highly qualified PGT students, often with advanced degrees in other humanities and heritage related subjects; around 50% of these are overseas students with the rest mainly from continental Europe. With no current DH undergraduate programmes, there is no direct route into this Master’s and so all applicants demonstrate a willingness to take on new challenges in an area that is new to them. A significant number are mature students with many years of professional experience and this programme is a unique opportunity for CPD and skills development.


Following on from an initial Open Educational Resources project, external funding has been secured for the creation of more open teaching resources and is being used to set up an introductory postgraduate level MOOC on FutureLearn. The MOOC will be suitable for those wanting to find out more about our collaborative and research-based approach to DH in a massive open online context and will enable learners to preview high quality teaching resources and the UCL teaching and learning experience.


This presentation will report and reflect on what has been learned from the process of designing and delivering the MOOC, which draws on examples from recent and ongoing research projects (e.g. from ‘ASYMENC’, a large-scale text mining project of digitised newspaper collections for cultural and historical enquiry). In addition, it will reflect on how the experience of direct student involvement can be fed back into our campus based modules. Employing graduate students, with academic time limited to the design and development of resources and activities, provides them with practical hands-on experience of developing and delivering teaching and learning resources and to integrate research into their training. This is closely aligned to the principles of the UCL Connected Curriculum where students learn through participating in research as part of their studies and impact on the development of innovative practice in campus teaching.


Collaborative Digital Humanities training: the CHASE Arts and Humanities in the Digital Age (AHDA) programme

  • Paul Gooding,
  • Francesca Benatti,
  • Matthew Sillence

Open University

The growth of Digital Humanities places increasing demands on postgraduate researchers to develop skills beyond their disciplinary boundaries.  We will present the experience of developing a DH training programme for students of the Consortium of the Humanities and Arts South-East England (CHASE), a Doctoral Training Partnership comprising nine UK universities, organised around a three-day residential school followed by a series of optional one-day workshops and a two-day residential school across two locations, the Open University in London and the University of East Anglia in Norwich. We will reflect on three key issues for designing a cross-institutional DH training programme.


DH tools and methods are not embedded in undergraduate or postgraduate syllabi at most CHASE institutions, and many students embark on PhDs with limited awareness of them. AHDA addresses this, but it exists alongside training provision in CHASE universities, is not formally accredited, and requires a high level of commitment. These factors result in a high participant attrition rate. We will invite discussion on how to use AHDA as a springboard to develop a holistic programme of DH training covering the student journey.


We will outline the aims, content and structure of the programme and the affordances offered by including a residential and group work element in the programme. We will discuss the rationale behind the choice of sessions with particular reference to the need to support Early Career Researcher development in both Digital Literacy and DH.

Finally, there is a significant opportunity afforded by the programme’s ability to foster closer collaboration with CHASE partner institutions in the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums sector. In particular, we will discuss how our collaboration with the British Library in 2014/15 led to the active participation of BL doctoral students and staff in the 2015/16 iteration as both participants and teachers.