ILE Reflective Essay #1

Before our conversations on the definition of digital humanities, I thought DH was a collection of information given to a person and turned into several digital format. Over the span of the week, my definition changed drastically. After discussing possible definitions of digital humanities with the other fellows and librarian partners, my definition has changed into something more multidimensional. My current definition of digital humanities revolves heavily on the process rather than the rapid process creating digital forms of information passed and not researched. Digital humanities is focused on the research and goal of public education through digital formats like websites.

I recall a conversation where we discussed the importance of research during the process in digital humanities. During this conversation, I was shocked at the authors interpretation of digital humanities. Research is probably the most important aspect of digital humanities because it guides the project. If the end goal of a digital humanities project is to teach and educate, the researcher must be well versed in their project. My definition of digital humanities changed after that conversation because I began to see my misunderstanding of digital humanities. My original definition of digital humanities incorporated a small amount of the academic side, but I ignored the importance of a complete understanding of the research project.

Another aspect of digital humanities that I have encountered is the justification for the decisions I will make. This is something I am having a difficult time with. This week I struggled with a slight shift in my main idea – I have collected a lot of good information and I keep finding more, but I reached a point where I could not justify the grouping of my information. We then had a workshop on user experience and target audiences which was relieving. Instead of looking at the project as the creator, I was able to look at it through possible personas interacting with my work. I benefited from the workshop because I was given permission to step away from the project and I had to think of it as someone that has never heard my project.

Digital humanities, to me, is about research of the chosen topic to create accessibility and understanding for those that might not have direct access resources. My favorite aspect of digital humanities is the possibility of failure without a number or letter assigned to my final product. As a college student, we are able to explore areas that we are interested with limitations. We have to make sure that our products do not significantly affect our class grade and we have to cater to the professor. My goal is to cater to more than one person which is nice because the feedback becomes more of an average rather than something that is pointed. I am sure my definition of digital humanities will change as I learn more, but I am happy with my current definition and I am open to having the definition change over time.

One Reply to “ILE Reflective Essay #1”

  1. It’s disappointing to me how much emphasis is placed on grading and assessment in higher education, to the fault that some of our students are just working for the grade, not for the pursuit of knowledge and their own betterment. We’re glad to have this space you can do this in here.

    This summer you will have several opportunities to talk about your work with lots of new audiences and engage with different users. It’s scary to open yourself and your work in this manner, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.

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