There has been a great deal of discussion in the news lately about the cost of colleges texts and rightly so. But not all Open Educational Resources are created equal, and most have been aimed at introductory classes or at replacing textbooks. That can be quite helpful, but that doesn’t always meet the needs of upper-level undergraduate or graduate history classes.
I propose a session in which we talk about existing openly available resources for teaching history, identify the key components in good resources, discuss the possibilities of working with students to create openly available resources of our own, and collaborate on a Google doc to share those ideas.
An iron law of DH software is that it is easier to use than to install. Philip Guo has memorably identifed the problem in a post titled “Helping my students overcome command-line bullshittery.” I’d like to talk about ways teachers, whether at the undergrad or the grad level, use to overcome this problem. How do we get students into the real work (necessary complexity) while avoiding as much as possible the unnecessary complexity of installing and configuring software? Or, in some cases is there pedagogical value in understanding how computers really work, such as by dealing with the Unix command line?
I can explain what I’m planning to do with my graduate class using RStudio Server this semester, and I hope that others have their own techniques.