The Social Network of Early English Drama: A Digital Humanities Lesson Plan

By Adam Rzepka

The Folger Shakespeare Library’s recently launched Digital Anthology of Early Modern English Drama (DA) provides searchable, encoded, digital editions of 403 English plays first staged in London between1576 and 1642. A central task for participants at the Folger’s 2016 summer workshop “Beyond Access: Early Modern Digital Texts in the Classroom” was to devise pedagogical uses for the Digital Anthology. Our team focused on the metadata that the editors of the anthology attached to each play—its chronology, author, printer, publisher, and the theater company that initially staged it—in order to foreground an aspect of these dramas that is crucial yet very difficult to teach at the undergraduate level: the social network in which they took shape, simultaneously, as performances and texts.

In this lesson plan, students use metadata about plays in the DA to construct network models linking the producers and performers of play texts. Students conduct research into the communities that their models map, and use this research to draft arguments for in interpretation of the play (whether a printed edition or a staged production) that in some way reflects the way it took shape in those communities.


A Multimodal Digital Approach to Qualitative Research

By Jennifer Kingma Wall

This Spark session will briefly overview the concept of Creative Analytic Practices (CAP) (Richardson, 2000) as a qualitative research method, and will explain how integrating digital technology through a multimodal digital approach to a CAP qualitative study can provide new approaches and modes for meaning making as well as produce different understandings of the research process and product.  The bulk of the presentation will focus on sharing examples of students’ work, which use multimodal digital approaches to qualitative case studies, and describing how this approach changed their research process, interpretations, and products (videos, video collages, and audio mixes vs. traditional academic papers). The goal is to provide a quick picture into how and why professors might want to incorporate a multimodal digital CAP lens to teaching qualitative research, and more broadly, any teacher in the humanities might consider incorporating multimodal digital work into their traditional assignments.

Session Overview: The structure of this brief Spark session will include:

      • A brief introduction to the concept of CAP as an approach to qualitative research.
      • The introduction of digital technology and multimodal approaches as new ways to approach a CAP qualitative study.
      • A brief overview of a case study project from a Masters of the Art of Teaching course in which students had the opportunity to work with digital technology and multimodality through a CAP lens for their mode of representing their research findings.
      • The bulk of the presentation will show samples of students’ CAP projects, which include video projects, video collages, and audio remixes, while discussing some of the benefits for the students of learning about and working from this orientation toward research, including a deeper understanding of their role of as a researcher, more work on reflexivity and exploration of subjectivities, more attention to the work of representation of the participant, and a new understanding of how modes of meaning impact the presentation of findings.

Takeaways For The Audience:

  • An introduction to a particular method of qualitative research (CAP) and ways that digital technology can be used with it.
  • Samples of course projects that allowed for multimodal digital CAP work, which produced unique presentations of the research findings as well as deeper student learning about qualitative methods.
  • Audience members who teach qualitative research as a part of their courses will have a glimpse of a new approach for coursework
  • Other audience members working in the humanities or social sciences might use this type of technology integration as a model and consider revising traditional assignments within their field to multimodal digital work. The presentation links conceptually to digital humanities, in which digital tools are used in the humanities as alternative modes of meaning making beyond written words, with the recognition that traditional print modes are no longer the exclusive or primary mode for knowledge production and distribution.

Innovative Project Based Teaching and Learning Experiences Infusing Literacy

By Jennifer Pankowski and Sharon Medow

This collaborative presentation will highlight projects infused in undergraduate and graduate education courses centered in the area of literacy and blended with the humanities, the arts and technology. These projects used inclusion of all types of learners to address content knowledge with the use of storyboards, innovative technology based poetry and the use of avatars. Our work with students begins in the classroom but has the potential to be as far reaching as one allows it to be. When faculty create innovative assignments to address multiple components for literacy, students become highly literate. Through the use of collaborative practices between students and faculty, we have developed several approaches to both writing enhanced course development and preparation for various high and low stakes writing requirements. With a focus on understanding multiple intelligences and the role they play in addressing multiple types of literacies in interdisciplinary courses that infuse the arts, humanities and multiple technology applications.  Our unique courses become a gateway into effective writing for students looking to pursue careers in multiple areas, from education or accounting and many others.

Structure: Our session will provide an interactive multi-media overview of 3 student projects from courses that infuse literacy, artistic creativity, the humanities and technology in education.  We will provide descriptions of projects, assignments, share models of students’ work samples, assessment protocols and reflections of the integrated learning experiences.  Students often complete coursework along-side students with disabilities, and different academic levels (undergraduates with graduate, even inviting high school students to attend and participate). Innovation also includes addressing old circular content in a new way, for example breathing new light into a Dr. Seuss poem through the use of technology. Attendees will be invited to participate in collaborative discussions, share ideas, experiences, comments, inquiries and recommendations.  We will invite attendees to note their accrued knowledge and engage in small group tasks, resources and successful applications of teaching literacy across disciplines. Attendees will see fexperience hand the methods for creating these assignments.

Outcomes: Participants will learn about innovative instructional methods infused in both graduate and undergraduate interdisciplinary education courses centered in the disciplines of literacy, humanities, the arts and technology applications

Participants will be encouraged to actively engage with the presenters and attendees sharing ideas, resources and additional exemplary applications of teaching and learning literacy infused with technology and inclusion of all learners across disciplines.

Participants will network and share recommendations for exploring and infusing literacy themed learning experiences both for classroom instruction and beyond into the daily lives of these students who represent all majors across the university.

Participants will receive handouts of our presentation, resources, and ideas for infusing literacy across disciplines.

Keeping the Focus on Quality in the Digital Learning Environment

By Jennifer Mathes

In 2011, the Online Learning Consortium, known for the Five Pillars for Quality Online Education, introduced the Quality Scorecard for the Administration of Online Programs to support institutions looking for a research-based tool that could be used to comprehensively assess the effectiveness of an online program. Since launching the scorecard (and updating it in 2014), hundreds of higher education institutions across the country (and around the world) have used the tool to quantify measures of quality. Recognizing a need to take a deeper dive into critical indicators, the OLC has recently introduced more resources in the Suite of Quality Scorecards to evaluate course design, faculty engagement, and other areas Educational institutions can use these free tools to effectively evaluate and validate the quality of an online or blended learning program to accreditors, regulators, and other stakeholders. Using the research-based, Quality Scorecard also provides institutions with best practices from experts in the field that can be used when building a new program or sustaining an existing one. Participants will learn how these resources can be implemented at their own institution.


What’s Mine is YOURLS

By Kimberly Abrams

Hyperlink management is critical to website functionality because a site with dead links is not fully operable for the end user.  In educational institutions, links used for marketing, course materials, library resources, social media, and other uses can be laborious to maintain in a consistent fashion.  Often links are long and unreadable.  In order to streamline link maintenance and improve readability for end users, an open source short link manager called YOURLS was implemented at an academic library.  In contrast to proprietary shortening services like and, YOURLS also operates as a  link database manager. Long URLs are shortened into compact readable formats on a hosted short domain,  With YOURLS, URL updates for existing resources can be done in one place, negating the need to update all instances of a URL on different platforms. Short links are easier for the user to remember and can be used and tracked through various forms of promotion on social media, email, and printed material.  This workshop demonstrates how to implement a short link domain and server, as well as the benefits of this service.

What students reported they learned by playing role playing games

By M.O. Thirunarayanan

A survey of students was conducted in a large public research university that is located in a metropolitan area of the United States. The proposed presentation will discuss the results of the survey regarding what students reported that they learned as a result of playing role playing games.

The proposed presentation will highlight the results of the survey for about 50 percent of the time and then initiate a discussion for the remaining 50% of the allotted time.

Participants will be encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas regarding the results of the survey that will be presented during the first half of the proposed presentation.

Participants will find out what skills students reportedly learned as a result of playing role playing games and also be able to share their ideas and thoughts with the presenter and others who attend the session

MarsU: A Statistics Game to Supplement Learning

By  David Simkins

MarsU: This project introduces a web-based game for learning developed generally to enhance learning of statistics concepts among visual learners, and specifically to improve learning outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing students. The game is intended to be played by students in a statistics course, and is considered a supplemental exercise to help support and enhance learning. The game focuses on the first concepts in introductory statistics, population and sample. While maintaining that focus, it by necessity touches on many other statistical concepts including probability and statistical inference. The game stands on its own, but the hope is to develop a series of games that will supplement the entire semester curriculum in introductory statistics.

The game takes place on Mars University, or MarsU, where the player, an incoming student, seeks to propel her chosen candidate to win the student government presidential election. The game uses realistic statistical formulas and modeling to produce polls of student voters, allowing students to target their marketing to specific groups and to poll targeted or general student body polls to further refine their campaign.

Increasingly learning games researchers are looking to develop games within or to work with curriculum. While multimodal learning is an effective teaching tool, it is most effective when applied to complex concepts and systems (Mitiri Group, 2008). Learning games that incorporate role play are generally themselves more complex systems requiring more time to learn the game, which can enhance but can also interfere with learning (author). The goal of this game is to make use of the advantages of digital role play and complex, contextual systems to give players enjoyable, engaging, and playful to learn.

This talk and demonstration will show the game while walking through the process of development. If we have the opportunity for hands-on play and discussion, that would be best. Otherwise, this can be conducted as a talk with the game used to highlight features of learning design.

The goal of this presentation is to highlight some of the affordances of learning game design in this environment, particularly in taking a STEM subject and presenting it for visually-dominant learners (visual learners and DHH students). We will also discuss some of the challenges in this approach to learning, including scope creep, focus on learning goals, and the effort to create playtesting possibilities to enhance the learning opportunities and level of engagement in the game.

Look Mum! No Courses! Reimagining a Games Development Education

By Robert Grigg

What would you do if given the chance to completely restructure your games program? New ways of how upcoming generations learn, game industry changes, governmental restructuring and demands of university management coincide to create a perfect storm. Drawing from teaching experience and success of project and problem based learning components of our traditional program led to further research into how we could improve while moving to a student-centered learning approach.

Feedback from student roundtables, surveys from industry and university management, and the influence of learning models such as student centered learning and learning objects, helped form a new model called role based learning. We present the journey of moving from a traditional course based teaching approach to a new novel role based education where project success is separated from student success, and the individual growth, learning and self-reflection is the focus even though they work within groups.

The results show a significant increase in student contact hours, one to one contact time with staff and an overall study success increase of 11%. In addition, results from an investigation comparing the two systems, from both a student and staff perspective, identify integral supporting processes for the new challenges faced.

Structure of the session:
The session will share motivating circumstances behind the educational changes and results from the collected data. From inspiration of existing educational models, and our experience with each of them, we will go on to detail the core of the new educational model and how it contrasts with our old educational approach.

We then present the experience of our transition to a role based learning. This includes a tour of the supporting education platform created and the lessons learned.

Then we will show the latest results contrasting the old and new educational systems, for both staff and students. The session will conclude presenting the new challenges faced, resolution plan, and an open discussion.

The model of role based learning, the integral processes to deliver it and how this led to a positive energized feedback culture which replaced a secretive competitive one amongst students.

The steps to changing to a role based educational approach from a traditional educational approach.

A check-list of challenges to watch out for, effective supporting processes and associated resolution planning.

A case-study example of how you can employ existing software to assist in making it even more successful.

Applying the Principles of Learning Science to Online and Hybrid Course Design

By Elliott King

A fundamental axiom of online education is that teachers should not mechanically translate existing courses into an online format.  In that case,  how should new or ongoing courses be reshaped for the online environment? The answers come both from the nature of online education itself and from a body of research from cognitive psychology and cognitive science that provides insight in the way people actually learn.

Freed from the constraints of time and space, as well as the deeply ingrained expectations of both teachers and students, online and hybrid education provides a more flexible palette upon which evidence-based ideas about learning can be integrated into course structure and design.  The opportunity to deliver learning experiences that may result in measurably better outcomes  than in typical face-to-face only classrooms represents one of education’s greatest potential benefits.


RA-based Didactic Games for Biology Teaching

By Leidys Contreras Chinchilla and Deiner Restrepo Duràn

This paper presents the design and development of a mobile application based on augmented reality (AR), as a teaching tool to support learning in the area of biology students from elementary school. The RA is a technology that combines elements of the real world with elements of virtual world in real time, this is done by using markers (image), which when focused with the camera of a mobile device, display multimedia content (objects 3d, text, videos and other.).

For the realization of this project began with the review of applications with RA in various environments, then a survey was conducted  between teachers to the school selected for the development of this project in order to identify areas and most critical themes, which led to the design of an application to support the teaching of biology area. Finally, a prototype was developed and tested among students and teachers of selected school.

With the development of this project it was evident that the RA as a teaching tool improvement the learning of topics of Biology, because students can learn in an interactive and fun way, so as to achieve their attention.

The presentation is a workshop style talk where the participants can interact with the mobile application