Prepare to be underwhelmed.

Course Audit Feedback 2

In which I awkwardly try to explain my thoughts, part two.

Taking this course as audit-only meant that my anxiety about getting a good grade was significantly eased, but it also meant that there was a risk I would feel like I was putting a lot of work in for no reward. HOWEVER, I was very happy to be learning things hands-on, and being able to hit “publish” on my Word Press post for the week and see the end result of my work was honestly extremely satisfying. The sort of weekly checklist was wonderful for me, selfishly, because I felt really accomplished at the end of every week (sometimes late; my apologies).

My main obstacle coming into the course was a lack of knowledge about the digital world in general. I feel like I am still in the middle of a huge learning curve, even as the class has completed. That being said, I looked at the list of my published posts and realized that I am leagues ahead of where I was in January. Not only do I know more about Digital Humanities for my own use, but I have also gained skills that directly enhance my work as a Research Assistant in a paying job. And, in my own ideal career, understanding metadata and being able to handle even the basics of some webpage design will help me immensely.

The first of only two real critiques I have is that, as I mentioned in my last feedback post, a video or written step-by-step process for every task would have helped me out with time management within this course. I do still feel kind of overwhelmed, because this course was a tiny slice of the world of Digital Humanities, and there are a few concepts I am still having a hard time grasping fully. While I appreciate this course is only one semester long, I wish there was a version of it that was split over two semesters, just to slow down the process and break up the steps even further — maybe a streamlined intermediate course that is one semester long, and a beginner-level course that is longer; or an ENGL101 and ENGL201 connected series of courses, where the 202 is the same subject but “levelled up.” (I know the world of course development is pretty convoluted, not to mention you’d probably need multiple instructors to cover all of these, so I don’t even know if this is possible.)

Second, I am always extremely anxious about internet etiquette and properly navigating creative rights of images and other information, so a more in-depth conversation about that topic would have been greatly appreciated.

Apart from that, Grant’s help behind the scenes was wonderful and he was always very happy to help. (*I have been unsure if I should write these posts to Grant directly or to an unseen third party; my apologies if I am just being weird.) I am extremely, genuinely grateful for the help, especially considering I was audit-only; as a sort of ghost in the course, I was a very annoying ghost with a lot of questions.

A final thought not on the course specifically, but on the English program at UNBC: because of society’s immersion in the digital world, I am really surprised that UNBC doesn’t have a larger offering of courses focused on the digital arts.

Actually, all disciplines would benefit from studying Digital Humanities, not just the arts.

I would genuinely argue for a Digital Humanities class to become a mandatory part of the first-year curriculum as a 100-level introductory course. It is bizarre to me that it seems like everyone is talking about, for instance, AI, but there is no structured discussion about AI, nor about creative rights on the internet (beyond proper MLA citation of written works, I mean), or digital avenues of storytelling, in the English department. A workable knowledge of Digital Humanities would be invaluable for everyone.

I am using the same photo as I used for my last Audit post because it felt right.


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