Developing and Managing Courses with Basecamp and Qualtrics

I propose to have an April 25 Talk session to discuss and share how Basecamp and Qualtrics can be used to develop and manage courses.

Basecamp is a project management tool that allows teams to manage workflows, track time, and share project-related resources. Qualtrics, a data collection and analysis survey tool, supports a variety of research both in the business environment and at every major university in the US; it can also be used to create robust surveys, assignments, assessments, and other course tools.

I will share how a busy undergraduate and graduate course design and support team at the University of Florida uses both tools to not only develop courses, but also manage them. I will also detail our best practices and learnings for using both tools. I hope that this sharing leads to a discussion of how Basecamp and Qualtrics can be used for other facets of course development and management, as well as additional ways they might be used to support and manage other types of projects.

Categories: General | 5 Comments

Transforming Online Language Learning

Gillian Lord & Jesse Gleason
Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies (UF)

In spite of technology’s growth in many aspects of academia, language learning programs still tend to view digital delivery as an afterthought rather than a starting point. As a result, the tools used in language programs and classes do not take advantage of the available technologies to motivate and engage students. We propose that we need to rethink the role that technology can play in the teaching and learning of foreign languages, and that we need to design pedagogical materials from the ground up, conceived of and implemented for digital environments from the outset. In this session we review the fundamental principles that have guided the creation of two different online environments for beginning Spanish: UFO’s Beginning Spanish I course, which recently won an Online Excellence Education Award in the area of Student Engagement, and Enchufes, the first-ever native-digital beginning Spanish learning “text.” We then highlight the features of these two programs and discuss their development and implementation. Participants will work through and engage with core elements of these platforms, and will gain experience with the tools they use, such as  videoconferencing software, collaborative word processing tools, and others. We will showcase how these programs promote learner autonomy, emphasize communication and engagement and, in sum, are working to transform online language learning.

Categories: Session Proposals, Session: Talk, Session: Teach, Teaching | 3 Comments

Humanities Software Development: Data Mining and Writing Studies


We will provide a short introduction to the software project called MassMine–an open source software, developed by academic/humanities researchers, for use within the academy. The software has been used to data mine Twitter and this data is being analyzed as the basis for a publication about trends, media ecology, and the concept of cybernetic “attention.” Our short presentation will explain how the software project resulted from limitations in currently available tools for conducting academic research on social media. The goal is for introduction to lead to engaging and innovative dialogue about the prospects for humanities software development, the ongoing task of understanding how/why data science/mining may present useful methods for research in the humanities, and/or how software development and data science may be integral to the research of “writing” (any form of inscription or multi-modal composition) as it occurs within an ever-changing and restructuring media ecology.

–Nicholas M. Van Horn will be co-presenting/collaborating remotely for this session


Categories: Coding, Data Mining, General, Research Methods, Session: Make, Social Media | 4 Comments

Constructing the Transcontinental Railroad: The Digital Photographic Archive

Glenn Willumson, School of Art & Art History;  Richard Freeman, Smathers Libraries

Supported by a library mini-grant, this project is a collaborative venture between the library and the School of Arts and Art History to make the photographs of the construction of the first transcontinental railroad available to the public.  Professor Glenn Willumson digitized the original large-format (10 x 13 inch) glass-plate negatives made, by Andrew Russell, photographer of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1868 and 1869.  Richard Freeman, University of Florida’s anthropology librarian, oversaw the creation of the website, which makes approximately 190 of his 240 photographs widely available for the first time.  Equally important, the website will be dynamic, encouraging interactivity with its viewers in hopes of gathering knowledge associated with the photographs–about photography, railroad technology, the mid-19th century West, the growth of cities, the extent of Russell’s documentation, and the location missing photographs from this body of work.  It is hoped this digital photographic archive will be a first step in a larger digital project that will make the almost 1000 stereographs of the railroad construction available to the public and prove to be a model for future collaborative efforts on campus and with users throughout the world.

Categories: Archives, Collaboration, Crowdsourcing, Libraries | 2 Comments

Computing Infrastructure in the Era of Big Data

What are the needs for infrastructure that researchers in the humanities have?

What problems do they encounter that they cannot resolve on their own?

What would help collaboration with “outsiders”, i.e. the engineers and scientists who have been using computers for a while?

What infrastructure is available?

Where do you find out about it?

What is the role of the libraries in connecting researchers in the digital humanities with the machinery of computers, networks and disk drives?

Categories: General | 1 Comment

HathiTrust Research Center: a Tutorial

I will be presenting on the HathiTrust Research Center and how to use its beta research portal.

The HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) is dedicated to providing computational access to published works in the public domain and, in the future, on limited terms to works in-copyright in the HathiTrust Digital Library ( The HTRC is a collaborative research center launched jointly by Indiana University and the University of Illinois, along with the HathiTrust Digital Library, to help meet the technical challenges of dealing with massive amounts of digital text that researchers face by developing cutting-edge software tools and cyberinfrastructure to enable advanced computational access to the growing digital record of human knowledge.

This session will provide an introduction to using the HTRC portal for basic text mining investigations ( Attendees will learn how to build a workset from the HTRC corpus, apply the textual analysis tools provided in the HTRC portal, and generate visualizations such as word clouds and statistical frequencies.


Categories: Data Mining, Text Mining | 1 Comment

Grants Preparation…it doesn’t have to be painful

Find out how to avoid wasting time preparing proposals that may not be feasible. This session will breakdown the process developed to support librarians in their pursuit of grant funding, and to build a successful grants program at the Smathers Libraries. You’ll learn how to interpret grant guidelines, facilitate brainstorming, and determine feasibility prior to writing the proposal—all of which will save hours of struggling and heartache..(1 hour)

Categories: General | 1 Comment

What’s the backstory… Collaborating with Strangers workshops?

CoLAB Planning Series® workshops have been facilitated since 2002 and have served over 1740 participants in nonprofits and academic institutions. Learn the keys to creating engaging and creative connections using methods that build on asset-based community development, appreciative inquiry and other methodologies. We will experiment with a short demonstration of how quickly you can get to know what’s most important to the mysterious colleague sitting next to you. (45 minutes)

Categories: General | Comments Off on What’s the backstory… Collaborating with Strangers workshops?

Move Around the Room

Move Around the Room is a fun facilitated ice-breaker to meet participants during short 1-2 minute conversations. This session is best used at the start of a conference to assist participants in getting acquainted with each other in an engaging and interesting way. While moving around the room, each participant will find a partner and exchange answers to a question provided by the facilitator. After five rounds (5 different questions with 5 different people) participants then help to introduce participants at the beginning of the conference. (1 hour-if we do introductions for 30-40 participants?)

Categories: General | 1 Comment

Cosmos(ology): A Digi-Hum-Sci Exploration

I get the digital humanities. I like and support the digital humanities. What I’d like to explore is when does “DH” work start to cross over into science and social science work, and if that is the case, when do we start to talk to scientists and social scientists about transforming some of their work into digital projects? (What is the standard product of a scientific research project? The final published article in PDF? There must be more…)

I think it’d be really helpful to the continued growth of digital scholarship broadly defined if we began to think about ways to apply traditional humanities skills (critical inquiry, close reading) to research problems and questions in scientific fields. Or, when could we, instead of becoming hackers and big data guru’s ourselves, pull a scientist into our DH research groups as a partner? What would make this collaboration valuable to all parties? Is this even probable? I think we’re often halfway there with GIS and visualization, but there may be more.

My point of view is obviously thinking about where the library could situate itself as a connector between the two sides of the academy, and how might a “digital scholarship center” involve itself in more than just digital humanities projects. Partially inspired by this post in DH Q&A, and the fact that I’m the Psychology Liaison at Florida State and really want to work with those researchers on new, cool, interesting things.

Inherent challenges? Tenure.

Inherent opportunities? Actual interdisciplinary work (not just historians working with English folks and librarians).

This session could be an addendum to these from other THATCamps:

Maybe some readings?

Categories: Collaboration | Tags: | 2 Comments

Creating, Managing, and Preserving Digital Archives

This session aims to explore what Laura Millar calls the challenge of creating, managing, and preserving digital archives in a dynamic digital environment. In an effort to think about approaches to preservation and access, especially of primary or material source projects, and the life of digital archives in general, this session aims to examine such topics through two lenses.

One, a digital initiative call Digital Archiving Resources (DAR) and the kinds of general issues its contents raise, for instance, about provenance, access, and best practices for building and long-term sustainability.

A second lens through which to address issues of representation and trends in preservation is an examination of the specific relations between public and private archive practices and the role of memory and user participation in sites like the September 11 As archivist Barbara Craig observes, the appraisal of records – that which makes something memorable and worth preserving—is complicated by the disparate meanings and functions of the archived objects. Preserving the memories of the donors while also providing the larger social and cultural context requires a broad and ethical understanding of memory that is both challenged and strengthened by user-generated content.

Categories: Archives, General | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Welcome to THATCamp Gainesville, a Digital Humanities unconference.

THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp) is an informal and free unconference where you can discuss digital projects, learn skills, and brainstorm DH initiatives.

Browse through the list of session THATCamp Gainesville proposals below this post! If you are ready to propose your own session, please go to the Propose page, and follow the link included there. After you publish your post through that link, your session proposal will appear below. Session proposals don’t have to be sent to the organizers for review. Each session lasts for an hour, and usually involves a short presentation and then a group discussion.

If you are not yet ready to propose a session, please feel free to comment on other posts here. Comments let session organizers know that others are interested in that conversation.

You don’t have to propose a session in order to attend THATCamp Gainesville.

If you are attending THATCamp Gainesville to learn about something, please use the link on the Propose page to let others know. THATCamp is about pooling together our resources and skills.  Fellow THATCampers have expressed an interest in learning or talking about these topcis. Please a post a proposal if you can facilitate a session on these topics!

Tools for mark up, text mining, analysis/modelling, how visualizations are used to present complex materials, effective hybrid course tools, use of Twitter in and out of classrooms, how are libraries contributing to and shaping DH, incorporating technology in teaching and research, the “digital scholarship office” model, SEO, incorporating cultural significance into the tech sphere, TEI, public scholarship, Omeka, Drupal, Zotero, Linked Data, crowdsourcing, design in DH projects, software that converts metadata, data analysis from a mathematical perspective

Please don’t forget to Register!

Categories: General | Comments Off on

Project Management Best Practices

Even simple projects in digital humanities involve complex decisions at many different levels of granularity, and managing those decisions adeptly is an art in and of itself. What encodings will work for your documents and keep working when conditions change? What editors will you use to prepare the documents? What metadata tagging and storage systems will bind those documents into collections? How will human users access the collections? What interfaces can other projects leverage to interact with this project? Even before those questions, what needs does the project address, what is its scope, what controls govern its progress, and how does it draw in and keep stakeholders? After the go-live date, how do you determine whether your project was a success? How do you keep everything in focus without losing track of either the details or the big picture? Managing a project means not just getting-it-done but providing for goal-setting, planning, guidance, and evaluation, and doing so without getting in the way of the research. What are the current best practices for managing a digital humanities project? What frameworks and tools help you define, meet, and evaluate your goals?

Categories: General | 1 Comment

Florida Digital Humanities Commons: What? Where? When? Why?

I’m proposing that we use THATCamp Gainesville to continue an important discussion began at THATCamp Florida 2014, namely: how can institutions across the state of Florida (the 3rd most populous state in the U.S., with a “high tech corridor”) join together to support and promote DH work and collaborations? Such a collaborative could have a number of benefits, such as: sharing the unique resources and expertise at different FL campuses, demonstrating the wealth of DH work in Florida for policymakers, directing K-12 educators towards class resources, and showcasing the importance of the humanities in building robust structures for online education. What kinds of projects would the FL DH Commons support (e.g., yearly graduate training intensives, peer review of DH projects). Please come and share your thoughts about what you need, and how we can band together across the state to provide it. The network could be launched at THATCamp Florida 2015.

Categories: General | 3 Comments


Participants will learn basic processes of creating exhibits, including content selection, best practices, design and presentation considerations, and guidelines for writing labels.

Original content created by presenter will be shared, including label writing tips and templates, sample timelines, and exhibition proposals. Both physical and online exhibitions will be discussed.

Categories: Archives, Collaboration, Copyright, Libraries, Museums | 1 Comment

Digital Library of the Caribbean and Digital Humanities research and teaching

I’m proposing to have a session discussing and sharing about the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC, in terms of the dLOC community, example work and activities for research and teaching with dLOC, and ways to be involved with dLOC specifically as well as how to apply lessons learned from the dLOC model for other digital humanities and humanities activities.

Categories: General | 2 Comments

Welcome to THATCamp Gainesville: April 24-25, 2014 at UF, in the Smathers Library and Library West

THATCamp Gainesville: April 24-25, 2014
University of Florida, Smathers Library (Smathers Library, formerly Library East, on UF Campus Map) and Library West (Library West on UF Campus Map).

THATCamp Gainesville will be based in UF’s Smathers Library (1A and the new Judaica Suite, which can be accessed through the Grand Reading Room on the second floor) and Library West (rooms 211, 419, and 429).

Please see the campus map for getting around UF’s enormous campus.

See the travel page for more on travel.

Categories: General | Comments Off on Welcome to THATCamp Gainesville: April 24-25, 2014 at UF, in the Smathers Library and Library West