The new academic year has arrived and a lot has been going on behind the scenes to enhance the learning experience of on-campus and remote learners in 2020/21 and for years to come. With the majority of staff and students working from home, much of university life – from seminars, working groups and research conferences to team meetings, cake breaks and crafternoons – has essentially become virtual. Could this be an opportunity to explore new ways and new tools to teach that can bring real value to the future student experience and enables students around the world to continue to study and engage in a learning community? The answer is yes.
Creative and tech-savvy Digital Learning Developers have collaborated with lecturers to prepare engaging teaching resources and module pages on the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE) across all colleges and subject areas. Module conveners took the opportunity to design clear, informative and streamlined content and revamp course material through personal videos, image galleries, cloud documents for collective editing and virtual activities such as weekly Q&A chats, quizzes and virtual gratitude walls to foster class spirit.
New team member Emma Sherriff, outside the DH Lab
A warm hello to our blog readers, my name is Emma Sherriff and I am the newest addition to the Digital Humanities (DH) team. I am embarking on my DH journey at the beginning of an exciting new era of digital research, collaboration, and preservation for the College of Humanities; and ahead of the official opening of the Digital Humanities Lab on 23rd October by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith.
My experience at the University of Exeter to date has involved supporting the work of Postgraduate researchers, as a member of the Doctoral College. My former role led me to discussions with the DH team around how the Lab can offer specialist expertise alongside cutting edge equipment, creating an opportunity to engage with, and connect an existing body of researchers across disciplines and themes. I am pleased to be involved in shaping the planning and delivery of training, digital projects and technical support in my new role.
Hannah Petrie works in Digital Humanities Archives and Documentation in the College’s Digital Humanities Team. Her expertise includes working with archived data, documenting research projects on the web, and text encoding with TEI. She is currently contributing to an XQuery- and XSLT-based text archive system as part of an AHRC research project. She attended this conference along with two of her colleagues from Exeter: Graham Fereday from the Digital Humanities team, and PhD student Helen Angear.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities conference in Manchester, along with my colleague Graham Fereday and Exeter PhD student Helen Angear. DCDC is a national conference organised by The National Archives and Research Libraries UK.
This was the first time we had attended the DCDC conference, but judging by the conversations I had in the networking sessions, we were far from the only ones attending for the first time. My colleagues Graham and Helen were also presenting a paper in the Linked Open Data session, about our project Hardy’s Correspondents, digitising the collection of letters written to Thomas Hardy held at Dorset County Museum. Our talk was about reviving the conversations between Hardy and his correspondents by collating the two sides of correspondence for the first time, using TEI/XML text encoding within an eXist-db database to recreate that conversation. The talk was videoed, and, since I originally published this post, has been made available to watch on YouTube (‘Reviving epistolary conversations: linked data and dialogic approaches to letter collections’ in the conference schedule):
DCDC16 | Reviving Epistolary Conversations – University of Exeter