ARCS Team Presents Poster at Educause ELI Conference

Image of poster presented at ELI conference. It shows the timeline of our implementation of Scalar into a digital humanities course on Zora Neale Hurston. It also shows student feedback and some of the instructional design recommendations we made.

The Academic and Research Computing Services (ARCS) team presented a poster titled, “Digital Humanities: Integrating Scalar into an Undergraduate American Studies Course” at the Educause ELI Conference on Feb. 21 in Anaheim, CA.  

The team investigated students’ experience using Scalar, an open-source scholarly publishing tool that can be used to create media-rich content, in LIT 179X Zora Neale Hurston: Theories of Race, Science, and Art. This course was taught by Professor Isabel Balseiro, who received a Digital Course Development Grant from the Mellon Foundation. The team helped with the course design and taught two workshops on Scalar for the students when the course was taught in Spring 2018 and Fall 2018. We also conducted two rounds of interviews to learn about students’ feedback on the Scalar component of the course. Based on the students’ feedback we were able to make several instructional design recommendations.  

Overall, the team believed that Scalar served as a valuable tool for teaching the course with its features such as media integration, visual display of classwork, writing collaboratively in non-sequential order, and easy integration of creative components (Google Map, Timeline JS, etc.). The research concluded that scaffolding strategies are particularly important when integrating a tool like Scalar. The team hopes that the data-based instructional design recommendations they provided for integrating Scalar could help both students and instructors accrue greater educational benefits. They ultimately aim at pointing out best practices for integrating this tool into the broader ecosystem of Digital Humanities. 

If you have any questions or comments about this research, please contact the ARCS team at arcs-l@g.hmc.edu.  

ARCS team members are: 

  • Elizabeth Hodas, Senior Director, ARCS
  • James Sadler, Instructional Technologist  
  • Yi Luo, Instructional Designer  
  • Aashita Kesarwani, Scientific Computing Specialist 

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