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Niall Winters

University of Oxford
An interdisciplinary approach to learning design in the digital humanities
01 May 2022 -
30 June 2022

Niall Winters is Professor of Education and Technology at the Department of Education, University of Oxford and a Fellow of Kellogg College. His main research interest is to design, develop and evaluate technology enhanced learning (TEL) programmes. At Oxford, Niall co-Directs the Critical Digital Education Research Group and is Programme Director for the MSc Education (Digital and Social Change).

Research Interests

Learning Technologies; Digital Humanities; Global Health; Artificial Intelligence; Social Justice.

An interdisciplinary approach to learning design in the digital humanities

This collaborative project will address three key questions:

  • How do digital representations act as pedagogical tools to support the interpretation of artefacts (e.g. manuscripts)?
  • What are the key challenges in the uptake of digital resources by faculty for teaching in the digital humanities?
  • How can projects take advantage of the latest technical developments in human-computer interaction to better support engagement with digitised artefacts?

The role of technology in digital scholarship in the humanities is well established. While there have been a number of excellent exemplar projects, overall, those with a core focus on education have been underutilised. The inherent complexities of interdisciplinarity in the digital humanities has led to cases where new and interesting tools and resources have been siloed (within education) or faced not-insignificant socio-cultural barriers to uptake. This discord has produced a situation where technocentrism, coupled with minimal use of learning theory, has meant that education projects can have little to show in terms of improved humanities insights; innovative technologies then have become a solution in search of a problem. Research will focus on developing an interdisciplinary digital humanities case study examining pedagogical approaches to contemporary literary debates on the French Revolution. A prototype design of an interactive digital resource will be developed following a standard human- computer interaction methodology. This resource will act as a “tool to think with” to elicit key understandings and challenges of the interdisciplinary development process. This will result in the generation of nuanced insights into the inherent complexities of socio-material interdisciplinarity, which can account for the heterogeneity of practices, multiplicity of participants and ontologies. Furthermore, the underpinning pedagogical principles and modular approach to user interaction will be applicable across any interaction-based digital humanities resource. In this way, the case will act as an instantiation of generalisable practices for design and development.

Key publications

Denton-Calabrese, T., Mustain, P., Geniets, A., Hakimi, L., & Winters, N. (2021) Empowerment beyond skills: Computing and the enhancement of self-concept in the go_girl code+ create program. Computers & Education, 175, 104321.

Winters, N., Eynon, R., Geniets, A., Robson, J., & Kahn, K. (2020) Can we avoid digital structural violence in future learning systems?. Learning, Media and Technology, 45(1), 17-30.

Winters, N., Langer, L., Nduku, P., Robson, J., O'Donovan, J., Maulik, P., Paton, C., Geniets, A., Peiris, D. and Nagraj, S. (2019) Using mobile technologies to support the training of community health workers in low-income and middle-income countries: mapping the evidence. BMJ Global Health, 4(4), p.e001421.

31 May 2022 10:00 -
31 May 2022 13:00,
Technology in Education: A Case for the Digital Humanities

Contemporary period (1789-…)
World or no region