DH1003 Introduction to Student Learning in the Digital Age

This is the start of a learning arc exploring being professional knowledge creators in the digital age. Here we look at the digital tools and methods we can use to locate, evaluate, own and use knowledge: the process of research, analysis and writing, where ‘writing’ can involve telling the story in many different ways. This first year course focuses on personal learning ecologies; the second year course widens the focus to knowledge creation and management in general

Assessment is a portfolio, built up through weekly readings, discussions and exercises, and submitted at the end.

NB This page is currently a work in progress, as I extract topics, readings and discussion prompts from inside our closed LMS into an open page. So far, I’ve mainly extracted the practical strand


The first week of a new course is somewhat daunting, so I try to start  light, with some definitions of Digital Humanities, a discussion of what ‘interdisciplinary’ means and with a look at the range of topics and areas which can live inside the ‘Big Tent’.  For discussion, I ask the learners to introduce themselves, and indicate which areas within the field they consider interesting. I set light readings on a range of topics to get people onto the discussion boards at the shallow end, as it were.

2. Research: Getting past the first page of Google

This week there are several things to do:

a. Think about how you search for information on the web now – make some notes. Then

b. Read any two of the Biddix, Head or Colon_Aguirre articles and compare what they have discovered to your experience – how is it different? what can you learn from this article. (At this point, you should not spend more than an hour on each. Later, as your ability to dissect academic papers improves, you will cut this time – think of it as the reading version of ‘Couch to 5K’). Post these reflections in the discussion thread

c. Sign up for Zotero and use it to capture the results from some searches on a topic of interest to you.

Head & Eisenberg, “What Today’s College Students Say about Conducting Research in the Digital Age“, PROJECT INFORMATION LITERACY PROGRESS REPORT FEBRUARY 4, 2009.

3. Evaluation of Sources

We live in an age of ‘alt-facts’; “fake news” and conspiracy theories in which evaluating the quality of information on the web is now a critical skill at which we need to excel. Here we will look at examples of evaluation criteria from a range of academic libraries and writing centres, as well as the verification processes used by professional media.

The practical work for this is to

a. Devise your own set of criteria for evaluation of sources

b. Apply those to at least 5 sources on a topic. Find a range of sources – at least 2 should be academic, but some should be non-academic and you should include at least one bad source.

Share both a and b in the discussion thread

4. Gamification, Game Based learning and Active Reading

This week will look at Readings on Game based Learning, annotation of pdfs,

5. Sensemaking I – Mindmapping & Knowledge Cartography

6. Sensemaking II – Literature Reviews and Argument Mapping

Final Reflection