The first week of classes is almost over, and we have survived and intense and exciting first week of Digital Humanities. The Minor in DH at Western University has started with the super interesting “Programming My Digital Life”, taught by Bill Turkel (History), and the walking model of the new humanist, and “Digital Creativity“, taught by myself and an incredible group of TAs.
We have set up “Digital Creativity” (watch the video here) with all the elements of a MOOC within our own MOOC platform at CulturePlex Courses, although in fact the course is being offered to students at Western in two modalities, in class and on-line. The total number of students is around 80, so we decided to test our capabilities to design and deliver such new and large courses in the Humanities.
So far, the experience has been superb. The level of energy and enthusiasm in the classroom is very high, there are many talented students willing to contribute and providing great ideas to the class, and I am fully confident that the real case assignments that we have prepared will get us in to another level. Besides, students are very happy about using a mobile app to do the homework on their own phones, and it is a great chance to test our Dr. Glearning platform!, already available in the App Store and Google Play.
At the same time, The CulturePlex Lab has turned into a production set where we are learning as we go about live streaming, MOOC’s infrastructure, recording, “nuggets” and quizzes, … Here, the level of excitement is very high and we are leaning a lot.
In the next few days we will open the registration for the MOOC version of Digital Creativity, which will be, as the name says, to anyone in the world. At the same time, and working with our partners in Latin America and Spain, we will also open up a MOOC version of “El Humanista Digital” so that we build up on the efforts to develop a Spanish speaking community of digital humanists.
Do I see a dark future for the Humanities? A big NO! Students are interested, they want to learn, and there is a lot to teach them. We just need to talk to them in their language and their media. They are on board. Are we, humanists?