Smart Cities

Smart Cities are conceptually interesting for Digital Humanists because most of the universities we infest are in cities, so the first thing we meet when we walk past the gates of the ‘Ivory Tower’ is the bazaar of the modern city. Since sometime on 2009, according UN figures cited in Anthony Townsends new book, “Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the quest for a new utopia”, the majority of the world’s population live in cities.

Hunting Frank O’Connor

The Digital Humanities team at UCC are hosting a tools and methods workshop for the phd class this weekend, and we are using data about Frank O’Connor, the Cork writer, as the thematic glue to link the various sections on TEI/XML, Databases, visualisation and social networking. Preparing for it I’ve sent some time hunting for data on his early years in the 1901 Census, and the BMH witness statements. Continue reading “Hunting Frank O’Connor”

Starting a war….

This term I did a little experiment with some readings on contemporary networked warfare and learning in my HI2007, War, State and Society option. I staged the discussion in the first week to see if different sequences of readings might produce different discussions. It didn’t, but it was an interesting week. Continue reading “Starting a war….”

I wonder how many people googled ‘Shikari’ Today: Writing with Students

It all started in a pub, as the best  Irish projects do. I was sitting in the back of the Franciscan Well, smoking my pipe, having a pint of their  microbrew stout and tweeting, as one does, when I saw and retweeted a call for papers for articles on evaluation for the Journal of Digital Humanities.  I  didn’t actually plan for anything to come of it, but a bunch of our MA students grabbed the idea, and the next thing I knew, we agreed to write and submit a paper. As a result, over 10 days, we drafted, edited using Skype and Google Docs, and submitted, a good paper. Continue reading “I wonder how many people googled ‘Shikari’ Today: Writing with Students”

Love in a cold climate: Assessment of Digital Artefacts in an Irish University

Last week a group of us set out to write a piece  on assessment and evaluation of digital material in response to a call for contributions to the Journal of Digital Humanities. We began by writing fast stream of consciousness pieces which we later merged and edited into a single piece – that process is described in another post. This is the initial piece of fast writing which I did for our writing project, of which the final version appears online here

My engagement with assessing digital artefacts in academe is driven by the problem of grading the digital work being produced in our Phd and MA programmes in Digital Arts and Humanities

Continue reading “Love in a cold climate: Assessment of Digital Artefacts in an Irish University”

Evaluating Digital Scholarship: Experiences in new programmes at an Irish University

Mike Cosgrave, Anna Dowling,  Lynn Harding, Róisín O’Brien & Olivia Rohan


While we have used digital research in teaching at University College Cork for many years, the central role played by digital artefacts in the new Digital Humanities programmes is a relatively recent addition. This pivotal shift  is new for both staff and students who, by the nature of new media technologies, cannot benefit from generations of received wisdom on assessment and evaluation. In this piece, we undertake a frank and personal investigation
from both a pedagogical and scholarly perspective. Continue reading “Evaluating Digital Scholarship: Experiences in new programmes at an Irish University”

Communities of Practice: Walking the Walk 2012

Communities of Practice in Digital Scholarship (DH6001) is a core module in the Master in Digital Arts & Humanities here in UCC, and I feel the group are more than ready to  break cover from the institutional VLE and “walk the walk” in public, even if no one much is watching! For next Monday’s seminar, rather than circulating readings among the group and having discussion in the room, we are going to do something different – we’ll still be in the room together playing with some technology but a lot of the substance of the discussion will be public. Continue reading “Communities of Practice: Walking the Walk 2012”

To the man with a hammer, every problem is a nail

Encouraging students in university to reach beyond the traditional disciplinary boxes is a significant problem – our education system makes practically no effort to look across the traditional disciplinary boundaries. Some US universities have experience with common first year programmes that focus on problems  in an interdisciplinary space in which students can explore different disciplinary modes of investigation in an integrative way. Simply copying their programmes would, I think, properly meet the needs of our undergraduates. How then  might we design first year courses which encourage students to work on questions rather than in disciplines, with a distinctively Irish flavour? One pet course I have had in mind would use the Great Famine as theme. Continue reading “To the man with a hammer, every problem is a nail”

Harvard “Exam” “Cheating” Scandal rumbles on

The Great Harvard Cheating Scandal of 2012 rumbles on, with more details emerging which make it seem to me that it was neither “cheating” nor was it an “examination”.  Regardless of what the official course syllabus stipulates, contradictory guidance from a professor and 4 teaching assistants, along with accepted practice and failures to catch this sooner, lead me to believe that Harvard will have to drop the allegations. I doubt if we will ever know the full detail of this specific case, but it touches on general issues of course design which I want to comment on. Continue reading “Harvard “Exam” “Cheating” Scandal rumbles on”