Contributing to #dariahTeach Platform and ‘Intro to DH’ course
The #dariahTeach venture I am currently working on for my Internship is a project that is funded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union. This essential project is in the process of
developing an online platform for teaching Digital Humanities through an array of carefully selected educational videos. The current videos have a thematic approach which focuses on the question of ‘What is Digital Humanities?’ and also explores ‘Digital Humanities in Practice’ which examines and explains the theoretical and methodological aspects of DH.
This Practicum will provide me with real-life experience during the second semester. I will participate and contribute to the development of the new platform through research, embedding the current videos onto the new platform and adding metadata to them. Secondly, I will collaborate with another intern on the aspects of interviewing and filming of an expert the digital humanities field. I will also edit this video using video editing software such as Pinnacle Studio, Adobe Premiere. The final part of my Practicum will be a white paper that will reflect the research I intend to do on the best practices on delivering educational videos that explain and clarify any ambiguities that may currently exist among people interested in the field. I hope to make new suggestions with my research that aid in future developments of the structure of the platform and most importantly, the content.
PROGRESS: STAGE ONE
The first stage of my Practicum involved watching all twenty seven videos in the digital humanities series from the AFF archives. Each video recording was fifteen minutes long, and the total video footage added up to six hours and forty five minutes, so I watched the videos over a few days and not one after another. I repeated the process again, but this time I transcribed them and added time-coding to separate the questions from the answers. I did this for two reasons, firstly, I wanted to fully absorb and digest the conversation, and secondly I wanted to use the time-coding in relation to making a short video at a later date using appropriate and relevant footage from the videos in question.
The problems that I encountered during stage one was minor. I wanted the interviewee to repeat the question he/she was being asked at the start of their answer. On occasions, the interviewee did not repeat the question. This would have repercussions during editing, one would have to cut the interviewer’s question from the footage and the video’s context would be lost, which would confuse the audience.
I also looked out for lighting errors, positioning, and good clarity in the responses to the questions. I thought the content of each video was very academic and might pose a problem for those not knowledgeable in the subject matter.
PROGRESS: STAGE TWO
I decided to concentrate on my first deliverable which was due before March 17th 2017. This involved examining and analysing the ten videos that are already online from #dariaTeach channel on YouTube. I created a spreadsheet for all the important metadata needed for each of the ten videos. For example, I included video description, biography, author/s, date & place, keywords, references, methodology, copy-write and creative commons. I then proceeded to watch each video numerous times until I extracted the data I needed for my spreadsheets. In addition, I also gathered data from the institutions that the academics in the videos are affiliated with.
The problems I had in stage two were also minor. The main problem for me was and still is the time-factor involved and the laborious nature of my practicum. I feel that one cannot and should not try to rush such a job, because one can easily make mistakes that can impact on the #dariahTeach project and the reputation and integrity of all involved. So I have deliberately taken my time and put a lot of effort into delivering an error free project that solidifies Maynooth University’s good reputation and standing in academia.
PROGRESS: STAGE THREE
I am currently working on stage three of my internship which involves the transfer of metadata from the spreadsheets I created onto the new #dariahTeach platform. This metadata will be converted to HTML and will be included in the fabric of the new platform, which will soon be accessible online. The main challenge in this task is making sure that all the metadata is correctly presented and error free.
PROGRESS: STAGE FOUR/FIVE/SIX
I have not embarked on these stages yet, so I can only regurgitate what I intend to do. In stage four I will collaborate with another intern and we will select footage from the twenty seven videos in the AFF archive which will focus on a new topic ‘What is Textual Scholarship’. This new video will be four/five minutes in length and will discuss the new topic in detail. This new video will also be added to the new #dariahTeach platform along with its metadata. In stage five I will also collaborate with the same intern in filming, editing a new video with a specially selected topic which I do not know yet. This video will also be added to the platform along with its metadata. The final part, stage six, will be a research white paper which will bring my whole experience together and disseminate the results of my research into the best practices and a critical evaluation of some of the practices and decision making aspects of the project. I will also try to suggest new policies for the evolution and success of the new platform.