Digital Pedagogies: The Role of the Instructional Designer

By Veronica Armour

As the Digital Humanities (DH) and digital pedagogies movements mature the need for effective DH pedagogy and digital literacy skills at the undergraduate level has increased.  When  teaching and learning emphasizing digital skills through DH methods takes place early in the undergraduate experience it provides a foundation for students to build the skills needed for a 21st Century workplace: collaboration, creative and critical thinking, content creation, and digital literacy.  If we look to where teaching, learning, and digital technology converge at liberal arts institutions, the strength of the Instructional Designer/Technologist role is revealed for its unique overlap of pedagogy and technology that supports teaching and learning across disciplines.  This presentation will explore the role of the Instructional Designer/Technologist as a guide and facilitator in the integration of DH and digital literacy in core curriculum and interdisciplinary collaboration.

While tools and technologies are ever changing the niche position the Instructional Designer/Technologist plays has remained constant.  The cornerstone of the role is the balance of  teaching and learning methodologies with the integration of technology.  Diverse projects for the Instructional

Designer/Technologist involving DH and digital literacy include:

Digital humanist that is looking to incorporate a DH project or methodologies within an established course

Training faculty and students on how to use DH and other digital tools

Guided workshops in design thinking

Professional development in best practices in DH and other digital pedagogies

Work with faculty in guiding students to become critical thinkers about the role of technology in their world and their work.

Develop interdisciplinary courses and programs that deploy digital pedagogies and tools.

The presenters will engage participants in a discussion throughout the session regarding the role of the Instructional Designer/Technologist and how faculty can work with them as they incorporate digital skills into their courses.  By way of example, two case studies of the Instructional Designer role within the liberal arts university will be presented.  The first case study will take a micro look at engaging with individual faculty members and students as a one-time guest lecturer to introduce DH tools and digital literacy skills to a class section.  The second case study will take a macro look at supporting a campus-wide DH project that aims to include all students.  Participants will be able to discuss how the two case studies might be applicable to their own teaching, faculty development programming, curricular design, and/or collaboration with the Library at their institution as well as bring faculty/student research to a higher level through best practices in DH methodologies.

The session will also offer a short digital literacy activity that focuses on creating an environment in which students are able to create a digital presence that will evolve with the student beyond graduation as a way to model how these objectives can be met in the parameters unique to liberal arts institutions.

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