|Reassessment Presentation topic for all pathways
Create a presentation based on a summary of the following text, together with your own brief response to the opinion expressed therein:
|Teaching the Humanities with Digital Resources
The average undergraduate course is a mixture of lectures, seminars, the odd tutorial, and much working on one's own or in small groups armed with a reading list. The reading list contains books, chapters of books, articles. These are kept in the library on shelves next to other books, other periodicals. The students might confine themselves to the specified item on the reading list or, if they've managed to crack the library system, browse elsewhere in the section or in entirely different sections. A great deal of browsing goes on in the humanities.
Many of the items on an undergraduate reading list will have been written by academics for academics to disseminate their thoughts. They will, however, have been recommended for reading by students. The majority of digital resources have been constructed (or advised upon) by academics for their peers. Do they, however, appear on undergraduate reading lists? The probable answer is on the whole no, they do not.
The future, one suggests, lies in convincing the academic world that digital resources are like printed resources. Digital resources, like their printed counterparts, are the source of ideas, discussion and exploration. Digital resources are excellent browsing resources, perhaps more so than traditional libraries and those other chapters not specified on the reading list but there in the book in front. Computers may not be much good at assessing the strengths of a students' argument but they are particularly fine at giving a quick answer to the wanderings of a student's mind. Students can do research on the fly and maybe even enjoy it.
Digital resources, the electronic publication of traditional scholarly research, will continue to increase even if resources specifically for teaching do not (resources largely for schools not included). How then best to exploit these resources in the teaching of undergraduates? First, they can treated like books which are in the library which students may use if they feel so inclined. Second, specific sections of a resource may be identified on a reading list with the opportunity to browse the rest of the resource if one feels so inclined. Third, we could try harder than this and attempt a middle way between the floating digital resource and the all too specific courseware application.
This extract taken from source: Teaching the Humanities with Digital Resources
Dr Michael Fraser
(Paper delivered at the Digital Resources for the Humanities Conference, July 1-3 1996, Somerville College, Oxford)