The recurring issues of this semester have been 1.) everything I submit is very late and 2.) I don’t know what digital humanities are.
Thankfully, one of these was resolved, and it was the one I expected this course to remove from my troubles. ENGL201 has opened my eyes to entirely new (to me!) area of academia, which has been right under my nose the whole time. I have seen databases and digital humanities projects before, but didn’t have a name for the field of study that produced them.
The best part of ENGL201 was being introduced to Storymap.js and Timeline.js, both of which are wonderful tools I hope to use again in the future. Hypothes.is is also an incredibly useful tool and one I will be using in the future to keep notes on my sources, as most of them are online and it’s a waste of time to print them out or to copy down paragraphs to remark on. The metagames were a riot, and I’ve traded in the numerous word games on my phone for StupidBot, and can feel like I’m accomplishing something while I play.
That being said, the overall structure/presentation of the course was confusing. There really weren’t enough details available on the assignments, especially the final one – I’m pretty sure I missed the mark entirely as I don’t have an actual… presentation of a sorts to hand in. But the only programs we were introduced to were timeline and storymap? Were they sophisticated enough to make a final project on? I assumed not, but I don’t really know. I also say this knowing I should have asked more questions in advance, but it’s good to know for writing the syllabus next year.
[A disclaimer about these next 2 paragraphs: I am not in with ARC, and I did not ever contact anyone for help regarding my learning issues or making the course more accessible, as I did not want to be a bother. I am the one to blame for that, if there’s anyone to ‘blame’ at all! But, if these issues could be considered in the future for other people, that would be great.]
I also never received an answer to a question I asked twice in the Town Square on Mattermost, which was what day and time each week was due at. While it may seem like it wouldn’t matter since I am late 99% of the time anyways, part of that was not being given a due date. I have ADHD and the lack of structure makes it even more difficult to work. I was also told I’d be receiving DMs regarding some of my (late late late, sorry!!!) annotations, which never came.
The reading content of the course was excellent! I especially appreciated week 3’s “A Society, Searching.” I also liked week 1’s “Digital Humanities for the Rest of Us” and it’s commentary on accessibility….. but it’s a little ironic; because I did find the viewing and listening in the course to be a bit heavy. I have auditory processing issues as a part of the aforementioned ADHD. Youtube autogenerated captions are terrible, and podcasts have no subtitles available. Accessibility in academia can’t just be about the ability to access articles – it also has to include the ability to interact with course materials.
I’m excited to take the rudimentary skills I’ve learned in ENGL201 and expand and apply them elsewhere. Thanks for the semester. 🙂