What is the definition of digital scholarship?
Research and teaching that is made possible by digital technologies or that takes advantage of them to ask and answer questions in new ways.
What is digital scholarship at BC?
In 2015, we received a grant to begin a Digital Humanities working group on Bridgewater’s campus. It was designed to be a space where we could encourage digital scholarship in the humanities. It would bring professors together who were using these digital projects in their classes. Even at the beginning, we realized that the humanities part of the name was very limiting. Some of the professors in business, the sciences, communications, and other non-humanities disciplines were also utilizing the same tools as their humanities brethren. We made a conscious choice to expand our group, beyond the traditional boundaries, and accepted any faculty who was interested in these digital teachings. This led to unique opportunities for collaboration and a discovery, that while “digital humanities” was not front and center on campus, it was very much alive in the classroom.
What’s in a name?
This year we decided to change our name to include other departments than just the humanities; we chose the more general term “Digital Scholarship.” This formal name change better reflects our mission to transition to digital ways of learning. While the discipline and the content can vary between departments, it is the experience of the student, and their exposure to projects beyond the traditional term paper, that defines digital scholarship at BC.
A key insight to our group is the idea that the scholarship is shared beyond the classroom. Students are given an opportunity, through technology, to create a project who’s audience is beyond the faculty member and their classmates. They are adding to the overarching scholarly community of their discipline by creating material that has value once the final grades have been published at the end of term.
What does the Digital Scholarship Working Group do?
We provide support for faculty members who are designing digital projects for their students, along with supporting those same students as they complete their assignments and publish their work to the world. We are a group that provides inspirations for collaboration and support for trying new things. We share what works and what does not: allowing experienced faculty, who have been experimenting with digital scholarship for years, the opportunity to share with faculty new to the idea of digital projects. We represent departments from a variety of disciplines and share our various experiences in order to advance digital scholarship on campus.
The Working Group creates informal meeting spaces, along with formal workshops and expositions, so that our members can share their projects with the wider college community. We also help to provide areas where student work can be showcased throughout the school year, and partner with the end of year expo, ASPIRE, to help highlight digital projects. The Group is also working with the library to find ways to archive and store exceptional digital projects so that students can have access to their projects as they build their portfolios after leaving Bridgewater.
Want to find out more?
To get more information, go to our Get Started page to find out how to get in contact with Emily Goodwin and Cori Strickler, our Digital Scholarship Gurus. They are happy to help incorporate digital scholarship into your classes. If you are already using digital scholarship in the classroom, contact our gurus for support.