Miriam Posner (UCLA) has published a post on redesigning the Introduction to Digital Humanities course she teaches. Posner notes that how and why she reworked the syllabus of the course might be valuable to others and shares her rationale:
My version of DH101 is about developing a humanistic attitude toward data. To me, that means the ability to hold in one’s mind simultaneously the value of any particular dataset and its inevitable poverty, compared with the phenomena it purports to describe. I want students to be able to “work” with data — that is, to analyze, visualize, and map it — but also to retain a perpetually critical, interrogative stance toward it.
Posner’s course materials and rethinking could be of particular interest to librarians designing DH courses and workshops. The emphasis on humanistic data is illustrated by a new reading list, and new roles within the class – Posner mentions that grouping students by skill level tends to lead to more equitable division of labor and more learning opportunities: “Experience has taught us that in groups of varying technical abilities, the technical work tends to gravitate to the more experienced students, just out of convenience and efficiency. We want students to push each other and work together.” Students in DH101 will also be able to choose which content management system to use, and whether or not they will preserve their projects after the semester is completed.