Initially, I conceptualized this webinar as an attempt to articulate a pedagogical move beyond the traditional paper. As an English instructor, I (Rachel Willis) am often struck by how inadequate a paper can be in terms of figuring out what students know. I have recently begun offering live grading for students, and this practice reinforced for me that many students can articulate ideas in conversation beyond what they produce in writing. Academic papers do not always assess what we want to assess—content knowledge, critical thinking, and communication skills. Instead, we might find in an academic paper evidence of ways that a different racial or ethnic background manifests in communication, or poor time management, or learning disabilities that make writing difficult, or a student’s ability to conform to white middle class conventions, and more. As a result, my current DH interest is in modeling and teaching knowledge production that moves beyond traditional ways of knowing and assessment.
Additionally, the work Julie Sorge Way and I do is informed by the ideas of Roopika Risam specifically and the concept of decolonizing DH generally. In preparation for this webinar, we discussed ways that we might put these ideas into practice as DH scholars, as HASTAC fellows, and as professors teaching ever-changing populations of students each semester. We decided to focus on using digital tools as an alternative to traditional pedagogy, but we also wanted to offer tips for using those tools in inclusive and practical ways. Acknowledging that technology and digital tools do not function neutrally and often reify the structural oppression of marginalized groups, we also asked how we can use digital tools in order, to stick a rather hefty name on small practices, to decolonize our little corners of academia.
Continue reading Webinar Recap: Making Meaning with Digital Tools– Practical and Inclusive Strategies on HASTAC’s site. HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) is an interdisciplinary community of humanists, artists, social scientists, scientists, and technologists changing the way we teach and learn.