Developing Public-Facing Digital Projects in the Undergraduate Humanities Classroom

Developing Public-Facing Digital Projects in the Undergraduate Humanities Classroom

MSU Teaching and Learning Conference
May 10, 2023

Presentation Description/Proposal

Undergraduate students in the Digital Humanities curriculum are given the “project” as the orienting point of evaluation and critique across multiple courses. While the introductory course challenges students to create a project of their own as individuals, the Seminar course is oriented around collaborative and ethical project management Over the semester, the class works as a group with the instructor to create three projects, with self-reflection essays following each project’s completion. Project work emphasizes iteration, effective communication, and process over product. 

Students from the Digital Humanities Seminar course will showcase the projects they created and will reflect on their learning experience. Each public-facing project focuses on different audiences, engaged distinct source material, and supported unique goals. Two of the projects worked with a non-profit organization (Monuments Men and Women Foundation) to showcase their material and create visibility for their work. For these projects, students met with the Foundation President to learn more about the organization and to ask questions that informed the project work. The students developed the project aims and final products independently in order to support the Foundation rather than upon the request of the Foundation (e.g. this was not a ‘client’ relationship). The third project gave students free reign to explore a topic on local MSU or Lansing/East Lansing history.

This presentation will help faculty from across disciplines envision how they can implement project-based activities to promote student engagement and deep learning. Presenters will share avenues for instructors to learn about digital humanities methods and approaches to pedagogy if they would like to incorporate these methods into their own courses. There is opportunity in doing so, because when students create public-facing work as a team, they are empowered to participate in larger conversations in society.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *