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Digital Humanities Award Winners Transform Class Assignments

Saskia Coenen Snyder and Shelley AJ Jones, winners of Digital Humanities Course Development Stipends for 2016-2017, both saw the stipend as an opportunity to enhance course assignments and underscore learning objectives. Saskia Coenen Snyder teaches History of the Holocaust, HIST 380, as part of the regular history department course curriculum. While the course has been highly popular among USC undergraduates, Saskia felt it was time to “modernize” it and incorporate new digital components into the course material, into class assignments and into the students’ overall learning experience.

Rather than being presented with almost exclusively print-based sources by their professor, students will become historians in their own right, finding, selecting, and evaluating digitized source materials on the history of genocide. Saskia will make use of the technical support of the Center for Digital Humanities and Center for Teaching Excellence to create a class web page that allows students to submit weekly postings to their own digital journal while being able to read and comment on those of other classmates.

Shelly Jones will use her stipend to revise a class assignment for PALM 493, South Carolina Studies. She currently assigns an image archive paper that presents formal argumentation for the inclusion of one image from the South Carolina Digital Library into course materials. Shelley plans to revise the assignment to require students to submit at least six images with captions that include citation, historical position in relation to course materials and questions for discussion.

Shelley is excited by the potential of the new assignment to empower students to shape their and their classmates’ experience of the course. The course development stipend will allow her to work with Center for Digital Humanities staff members to identify the best tool to curate and share digital images, to develop clear instructions for using the technology tool and rubrics for grading. Shelley often tells her students that their perspective of the State is as valid as their published textbooks’; this digital assignment will prove that to be so. Learn More