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Competences in Digital Humanities (BBN-DIG-001)

During the 2019-2020 spring semester, the Centre for Digital Humanities at Eötvös Loránd University launched an introductory course with the aim of providing students with a basic set of DH skills. The course began as a pilot project, during which we could test the trial version of the learning material within hybrid circumstances: the lessons were held in a computer room, where students had to read through the modules, and could reflect on both their content and the attached practical tasks afterwards.   

During the elaboration of the course itself, we focused on two equally important aspects. (1) Since it was clear right from the beginning that the target audience would be made up of students of humanities, we intended to provide our students with learning material suitable for them: hence, while explaining the mechanisms of certain digital tools, we focused on their history, and / or literary, artistic, cinematic depictions, etc. (2) Also, since the course was intended to be a course on digital humanities, adequate emphasis had to be placed on the practical side of the project as well. 

The course was made up of eleven moduls, which were thematically based on each other to a large extent. One of our main goals was to provide students with current scholarly literature, both Hungarian and international, on the given topics (with 6 or 7 passages per modul) At the same time, we made good use of multimedia tools (images, excerpts from movies or from educational films, etc.). In our case, the role of multimedia goes far beyond mere illustration. On the one hand, if narration is segmented by such content, it will feel more familiar to “digital natives”; on the other hand, multimodal education helps improve digital skills: it prepares students for using digital media and handling complex learning and working environments, and it directly improves digital literacy.  

As the eLearning platform makes the subtle monitoring of students’ performance difficult, we used so-called quiz exercises in order to check the participation of students. The questions they were asked provided us with information not only on  how well they managed to learn the content of the given module but also on what kind of hardships they faced during their work.

The thematics of the course:

1. What is digital humanities?

Definition, history and relationship of digital humanities with the humanities and digital sciences. Digital humanities research at Eötvös Loránd University.

2. Information overload, information management, information literacy

An overview of the most important basic concepts related to information literacy (data, information, metadata, hypertext).

3. A brief history of the digital medium

The creation of the World Wide Web and the presentation of its different types (1.0, 2.0, 3.0).

4. Resources

Types of resources and recent difficulties in finding resources. Online repositories.

5. Digital science

The legal aspect of the use of resources: copyright, plagiarism and related digital humanities methods.

6. Big Data and Smart Data

Introducing the technology of Big Data and Smart Data.

7. Digitally generated content and web archiving

Examining the essential differences between digitally generated content and their analog counterparts. Preserving the past of the web, and the benefits of archiving it from time to time.

8. What is artificial intelligence?

The definition of artificial intelligence, the history of its creation and its relation to the human intellect.

9. Digital Cultural Heritage

The concept and procedures of digital cultural heritage.

10. What is network theory?

Getting acquainted with the basic concepts of network theory (relational systems, vertices, edges). Network theory in the humanities (prosopographic studies).

11. City and digital technology

The smart city. Geographic Information System. Heat map in urban space. 3D modeling of cities and buildings. Impact of digital technologies on urban space.

Contributed to the preparation of the course:

Editor-in-chief: Gábor Palkó

Editor: Ádám Smrcz

Others: Aslihan Karabulut, Veronika Szabó, Eszter Szlávich, Mária Timári, Gábor Oláh (module 11), Patrik Mravik