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The Binghamton DHRI was held May 28-31, 2019. The 17 participants included faculty members (tenured, tenure-track, and visiting), graduate students, and recent PhDs. They were affiliated with the following Harpur College departments: Asian and Asian American Studies, Comparative Literature, Romance Languages and Literatures, English, History, German and Russian Studies, Geography, Africana Studies, Anthropology, and Sociology, as well as Social Work and Teaching, Language, and Educational Leadership of the College of Community and Public Affairs (CCPA). All participants were accepted by application and were required to attend all four days of the institute.
The daily program balanced lectures, hands-on workshops, and small group breakout sessions focused on specific issues. Topics included foundational skills such as the command line, Python, HTML, and CSS, as well as platforms and tools, such as Tableau, ArcGIS online, AntConc, and Scalar.
AssessmentBefore the start of the DHRI, participants were asked to assess their familiarity with the topics that were to be taught and daily exit tickets were issued to gauge the efficiency of each day's sessions. The results showed that participants who claimed "I don't know what that is" or "Familiar/Aware" for certain topics were either "Familiar/Aware" or "Proficient/Knowledgeable" at the conclusion of the DHRI. This was particularly evident for topics such as "Command Line," "Metadata Schema," "Data Cleaning," "Python," and "Topic Modeling." At the end of the DHRI, several participants were confident that they were "Very Knowledgable" for topics such as "Digital Humanities Scholarship" and "Open Access." On the final day, when asked if they would recommend the Binghamton DHRI to a colleague, 100% responded "yes" (the other choices were "no" or "maybe"). Participants also indicated their avid interest in continuing to develop skills in these areas with the guidance of mentors. They also expressed the intention to apply these skills to their current and future research projects, and in the classroom setting.
Comments from ParticipantsParticipants offered more focused comments in their daily exit tickets and in messages to the organizers. The following are anonymous or anonymized excerpts from those comments.
In regard to particular tools and sessions:
- "Learning Command Line was quite exciting to think about how to organize, name, share, etc. vast numbers of files and folders. I was also very excited about the discussion concerning Metadata and thinking about how to apply it to my own project!!"
- "This finally opened up the potential of visually representing my Excel spreadsheet in ways that make sense and would be appealing to a broad audience."
- "Probably the most useful thing was learning the basics of Python."
- "I think scalar and Esri are the programs I would like the most hands-on workshops with next, although I would definitely attend a weekly or biweekly coding workshop that took place over several weeks or months. The coding and command line still seems very intimidating to take on myself, but the other GUI or more user-friendly programs give me confidence that I can go out and play with them on my own."
- "I would be interested in doing a workshop specifically focused on more sophisticated uses of Tableau, ARC-GIS and OpenRefine and their application to my specific project. I'd like time to really work on the data while having access to experts who I could consult."
- "[The DHRI] was a fantastic thing that educated me not only about technology but about how to be a contentious and thoughtful academic in the digital age. A truly invaluable experience."
- "Thanks for an amazingly generative week. I have so many new ideas not only for my own research but also my teaching. I'm aware of possibilities I didn't know existed a week ago. I'm very grateful for this opening up."
- "This was a great experience. I wish we had even more time together. I most enjoyed the workshops that resulted in project-based activities. Of course, there are different types of learners but, at least in my case, doing is the best way to learn. I appreciate having had the opportunity to participate in this DHRI and hope this is only the beginning of my DH education."
- "It's fun and collegial; great to work across departments."
- "We need DH to fulfill our mission as a public ivy! Please support this and give us more training."
- "Excellent!!! Nancy’s and Amy’s leadership, and the team that they brought together, all amazing, encouraging, knowledgeable, and versed in humanities needs, thinking, way of working. Great collaborative spirit. This has benefitted everyone, and we hope the university will support this robustly!"
- Binghamton colleagues will be participating in "Digital Scholarship: Opportunities and Challenges," a conference to be held at the University at Albany, October 11, 2019. This conference was organized by University at Albany, University Libraries and Binghamton University Libraries as a collaborative effort to highlight Digital Scholarship on SUNY Campuses.
- To learn more about Digital Humanities at Binghamton, contact Amy Gay or Nancy Um.