THATCamp AHA 2012–Teaching Digital History

Schedule and Links for THATCamp AHA 2012 Workshop on Teaching Digital History

Jeff McClurken, University of Mary Washington



  1. Introduction
  2. Digitally inflected versus digitally centered history courses
  3. Overview of my own Digital History course
    1. Goals
    2. Class structure
    3. Projects
  4. Finding syllabi for other digital history courses
  5. Discussion of key issues for creating a Digital History Course
    1. Digitally inflected content class or digital history class
    2. Group vs. individual projects
    3. Student technical skills
    4.         Link to a sample version of student skills survey that I use
    5. (Related) What tools will you offer them to use?
    6. Single tool vs. multiple vs. toolbox
    7. Finding the right sources/projects/approaches
    8. Grading the digital history project
    9. Explaining to your colleagues (and your students) why this is relevant
  6. Workshop your own classes (in small groups)
    1. Discuss your priorities/goals
    2. Address the major choices discussed in issues section.
    3. By the end, try to have a
      1. Title
      2. Key goals (2-3)
      3. Major assignment and/or project and/or structure for the course
      4. Decision on Individual vs. group projects
      5. Brief justification for why your department/school needs this class.
    4. If time, share with neighboring groups.
  7. Final thoughts



Session Links (Add your own in the comments)

  1. Examples of Digitally inflected courses
    1. US History in Film, History of American Technology & Culture, History of the Information Age
  2. Adventures in Digital History — HIST 471C3
    1. 2008 Course Site; 2010 Course Site; Spring 2012 site (under construction)
  3. Class components
    1. 2010 Class Syllabus
    2. Sample Group Contract
      1. My ProfHacker piece on using Student Contracts
    3. Digital Tool Kit
      1. “digital toolbox” for students to use – UMWBlogs (WordPress), Omeka, Simile/Timeline (now also available as a WordPress plugin), basic video/audio editing tools, YouTube, Flickr.
  4. 2008 Projects
    1. Historical Markers Project
    2. UMW Alumni Project
    3. James Farmer Project
    4. James Monroe Papers Project
  5. 2010 Projects
    1. UMW Images Project
    2. Life and Legacy of Mary Ball Washington
    3. James Monroe’s Letters as Minister to France
    4. City of Hospitals: Fredericksburg in the Civil War
  6. My blog posts on the course (and other digitally inflected courses)
  7. Student Reflections on Digital Projects/Blogging
    1. Be sure to check out Elle W.’s detailed semester account and the Mud Pit’s wrangling with WordPress at UMW (with a little teasing of the professor at the end…), while the post title says it all about this student’s reaction to the end of the semester and of blogging in this FSEM course.
  8. Other Digital History Courses
    1. Lisa Spiro’s presentation on and collection of 134 Digital Humanities syllabi (60+ are history courses)
      1. DH Education Zotero Group
    2. Clio Wired at GMU; Digital History Seminar at UVA
  9. Links related to our discussion topics
    1. Example of Individual Projects contributing to greater whole
    2. My ProfHacker post on Students as Tech Mentors
    3. History Engine is an ongoing project requiring low technical skills, individual project (that contributes to larger whole).
    4. Jointly created rubric for grading DH project

  1. Links that come out of our Workshop of new classes
    1. Any???
  2. Other links relevant to teaching a digital history class
    1. Jeremy Boggs, Three Roles for Teachers using Technology
    2. Brian Croxall, Teaching Digital Humanities
    3. Amy Cavender, Integrating a Digital Project into a Class (Part 1 & Part 2)
    4. Tanya Clement, Digital Literacy for the Dumbest Generation – A Working Bibliography of Undergraduate Programs Inflected by the Digital Humanities in 2010
    5. From Writing History in the Digital Age, edited by Kristen Nawrotzki and Jack Dougherty —
      1. The Wheaton College Digital History Project: Undergraduate Research in a Local Collection (Kathryn Tomasek)
      2. Towards Teaching the Introductory History Course, Digitally (Tom Harbison and Luke Waltzer)
      3. Learning How to Write Traditional and Digital History(Adrea Lawrence)
    6. From Hacking the Academy, edited by Dan Cohen and Tom Scheinfeldt —
      1. Boone Gorges, On the communal v. the individual student voice
      2. Mills Kelly, You Were Warned, on Mills Kelly’s class on The Last Pirate



Have you created a new digital history class?  Add a link to your course site/syllabus in the comments.