Students as innovators: a digital humanities and GLAM sector collaboration to produce new web-based content through student led projects


Friday, April 16, 2021: 2:00pm - 3:30pm - - Paper Session

Katrina Grant, Australian National University, Australia, Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller, Australian National University, Australia

Published paper: Students as innovators: a digital humanities and GLAM sector collaboration to produce new web-based content through student led projects

This paper will share the success of research-led teaching and GLAM sector collaborations developed as part of the Digital Humanities (DH) teaching program at the Australian National University. This collaborative project offered a shared solution to two distinct problems. For teaching in DH we found that students, while fascinated by the GLAM and DH crossover space, struggled to evaluate the challenges and affordances of digital resources developed for collection-based research and engagement when studied in the abstract. The students were unfamiliar with the pragmatics and realities involved in working with materials from the GLAM sector as they came from diverse academic backgrounds (computer science, linguistics, engineering). For our GLAM partners, project deadlines, organisational structures, and, most importantly, budgets constrained innovative work with digitised collections.

The pilot program ran across two courses in DH, one with the National Museum of Australia that focused on development of web-based educational resources, and one with the British Library Labs where students could develop a project focused on any of the following: Research, Artistic, Community, and, Teaching/Learning.

This pilot program has now become a permanent fixture of our teaching. It has offered a productive way for a small research centre to engage with a range of GLAM partners, and offered them the chance to see how to use collections in the digital space, from marketing to games to advanced research projects. Meanwhile, students in DH from diverse backgrounds are shown the opportunities for future work pathways in GLAM, and exposed to not just the technical challenges of digital project development, but the social and institutional ones as well.

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