Integrate Digital Humanities into Courses Easily

Scholarly research has evolved to fit today’s technology-driven interdisciplinary studies. Since academic institutions began to digitize primary source material, there has been a growing responsibility for college and university faculty to teach students how to access and analyze it. Teachers, librarians, and students alike know the maxim of the digital age: “If it’s not online, it doesn’t exist.”

The Gale Digital Scholar Lab was developed to make digital technology work for everyone. The Lab transforms the way researchers and students access and analyze Gale Primary Sources and provides a better understanding of research methods and the technology behind them. Our goal is to help faculty integrate digital humanities into their courses in a simple, intuitive way. The Lab grants college and university students easy access to the world of advanced research methodologies.

Gale Digital Scholar Lab was designed for students at every level. Advanced researchers can move beyond the boundaries of traditional humanities study, while novice researchers and undergraduate students can easily navigate the platform. The Lab provides an intuitive workflow, engaging content, and an extensive instructional scaffold. It’s an outstanding tool for students who are new to digital humanities.

To further support the teaching and study of humanities through digital technology, the Gale Digital Scholar Lab also includes a Learning Center with “Beyond the Lab” instructional materials to help professors develop coursework and apply digital tools in the classroom. Learning materials include course outline samples, end-to-end project outlines, sample assignments, and project templates. Find out more about the curriculum materials available in the Learning Center and download a sample.

Put Our Digital Humanities Curriculum Materials to Use

  • Sample Syllabi

    Our digital humanities curriculum guides serve as course models that show how to incorporate digital humanities (DH) concepts and activities into traditional DH courses. University professors can develop special topics courses for humanities or related fields, like social science. The templates provide examples of course scope and sequences that integrate key phases of the Lab workflow into a potential final project using only the Lab

  • Digital Humanities Learning Objectives

    Consider what students are learning as they work through digital humanities course concepts and activities. How can you support students using a different approach in the classroom? We’ve provided a table of learning objectives relevant to each phase of the Lab. This helps undergraduate and graduate students hone in on specific digital humanities skills and content objectives, then complete each phase and framework relevant to their digital humanities curriculum. The learning objectives are organized into two categories, basic and advanced. This promotes growth in digital humanities research and scholarship and acknowledges the importance of proficiency in the technology. 

  • End-to-End Project Outlines

    One of our goals is to facilitate the teaching, learning, and execution of end-to-end projects using digital tools. So we’ve created two digital project outlines. The first is a bite-sized, mini-project outline for basic achievement of Lab and digital humanities learning objectives. The other is a complete, hands-on, full-scale project outline for advanced studies in humanities and related sciences.

    Both outlines leverage the end-to-end workflow of the Lab, but in two respective formats. For example, students can use the mini projects to show a prerequisite understanding of the Lab or leverage them into an introductory course as a culmination project.

  • Sample Projects

    Our three sample projects are structured around the Lab’s “Build, Clean, Analyze” workflow. Each project gives university students, instructors, and librarians several completed project models that are situated within the context of a narrative format. Students can now be facilitated through the digital humanities (DH) research process. They can also receive expanded information to deepen their understanding of each phase of the research process and the related methods and technology.  

    Sample projects are designed to promote the importance of inquiry-based learning for the best digital humanities and research practices. As a result, instructors are now equipped with guided models of the Lab research project workflow as well as a parallel critical-thinking supplement to prompt discussions for students around higher-order thinking objectives for projects. Humanities instructors can use each project as a model individually and break down each phase, review the scholarly process, and discuss the outcomes as products of specific topics or archives.

    In addition, the expandable text within the sample projects allows instructors to take a deeper dive with undergraduate and graduate students in each phase of the digital humanities workflow—provoking thought around important questions, alternative research questions, and extra steps in the academic process that might help students advance the project. 

    Because no digital humanities assignment is the same, instructors can use our sample digital projects together to compare and contrast differences across content, research questions, clean configurations, tool setup, and visualizations. The critical-thinking supplements help show undergraduate and graduate students these contrasts and, as a result, illuminate the research process. The sample humanities projects can also serve as content supplements with corresponding syllabi units and be broken down with each unit, then reviewed as a whole culmination project to connect to Lab learning objectives.