5 repositories for online pedagogic resources

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been collecting resources that I’ve come across on social media and elsewhere. These 5 websites all offer really useful collections of resources and advice on approaches to teaching and learning during the pandemic:

British Library digitised image from page 80 of "London (illustrated) . A complete guide to the leading hotels, places of amusement ... Also a directory ... of first-class reliable houses in the various branches of trade"

I’d love to be able to add to the list, so please send through any suggestions, either here or on social media!

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A brief update to let you know about some impending less-brief updates!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything to this blog. Life, you know, took over, so time has been at a premium. That doesn’t mean that we’ve not been busy with digital education projects here in History at Lincoln – it’s just that we’ve not had much chance to share our work on this blog. Given the ‘current context’, it seemed like a good time to give a few updates.

For the past two years, we’ve been especially busy in contributing to the development of a new resource annotation and collaboration tool called Talis Elevate (developed by Talis, a company offers a bunch of library-related online services). I was initially attracted to the tool because it replicated some of the approaches I’d tried with social bookmarking services in the past (for research papers, see here and here). My colleagues and I have found Elevate to be a powerful tool for supporting student learning, especially in text-based disciplines such as History (although it has much broader applicability). I’ve collected a few materials here and hope to add more soon. Do get in touch if you’ve any questions, especially if they pertain to the use of Elevate in History teaching.

In addition to updating you briefly on recent work, I wanted to signal that over the next few weeks I’ll be writing some more posts on the current situation as we move out of emergency lock-down teaching to considering what to do during the next academic year (and how to do it). I’ll start with some reflections on my experience over the past 2+ months, before giving you an overview of the results of a couple of surveys we’ve done of the staff and students in the School since we finished teaching.

As a taster, here’s a word cloud showing frequency of responses to the question ‘How would you describe (briefly) your experience of the shift to entirely online delivery of teaching and learning since March?’.

Word cloud - transition to online teaching

NB – we had 39 responses to the survey…

More soon!

Posted in research, Social bookmarking, survey, Talis Elevate | Leave a comment

Working with the British Library’s Digital Content, Data and Services in your Research and Teaching (University of Lincoln)

Working with the British Library’s Digital Content, Data and Services in your Research and Teaching (University of Lincoln)

Organised by British Library Labs, History UK, and the School of History and Heritage at the University of Lincoln as part of the British Library Labs Roadshow (2018).

To register for this free event, follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/working-with-the-british-librarys-digital-content-data-and-services-for-your-research-university-of-tickets-44675592901

Hundreds of thousands of digital items and objects are being created and collected for researchers to use such as digitised manuscripts, sheet music, newspapers, maps, archived websites, radio programmes, performances, TV news broadcasts, and artworks, as well as the more expected items like scanned versions of books.

This wonderful cacophony of content is having a significant effect on how institutions like the British Library support the research and teaching needs of their users. Will people discover new information when they no longer have the restriction of viewing a single page from a single book at a time? How can the British Library build systems that provide a coherent route across its content, regardless of whether it is a televised news report or a unique signature drawn in the margins of a map? How can we use crowd-sourced information, computer vision and machine-learning techniques to provide people with better tools to evaluate and interpret the context of the item? How can we exploit animations and interactive infographics to better convey the information found in our holdings? This is the research space that British Library Labs explores and we want to encourage researchers to work with us and share their research questions and innovative ideas around this.

This event will include a series of presentations exploring the digital collections – at the British Library and elsewhere. Presenters will examine how they have been used in various subject areas such as the Humanities, Computer Science and Social Sciences and the lessons we have learned by working with researchers who want to use them. This will be followed by discussions and feedback around potential ideas of working with the British Library’s data. The Roadshow will showcase examples of the British Library’s digital content and data, addressing some of the challenges and issues of working with it, and how interesting and exciting projects from researchers, artists, educators and entrepreneurs have been developed via the annual British Library Labs Competition and Awards.

The BL Labs team is keen to learn about the services researchers, teachers and others would like to see developed at the British Library to support Digital Scholarship and there will be a presentation around some ideas that we have been developing. Delegates will be invited to discuss and give feedback, suggest improvements and present their own ideas.


Date and Time: Wednesday 16 May 2018, 12:00-17:00


Cost: Free


Location: Room AAD2W18, Art, Architecture and Design Building, University of Lincoln, Braford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS, UK.


Map: Please refer to the following link, which details how to get to the event: http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studentlife/maps/



12.00: Lunch

12:30: Kate Hill (Lincoln) – Introduction and Welcome

12:40: Mahendra Mahey (Manager, British Library Labs) – What is British Library Labs? How have we engaged researchers, artists, entrepreneurs and educators in using our digital collections

13:00: Bob Nicholson (Edge Hill) – Remixing Digital Archives

13:30: Eleni Kotoula (Lincoln) – Digital Heritage at the Crossroads: Visualization, Virtualization & Fabrication

14:00: Sharon Webb (Sussex) – The Sussex Humanities Lab and Extending DH into the Classroom

14:30: Break

14:45: Melodee Beals (Loughborough) – Oceanic Exchanges: Building a Transnational Understanding of Digitised Newspapers

15:15: Hazel Sadler (Lincoln) – Digital technology in museums and the communication of research and exhibitions to the public

15:45: Jennifer Batt (Bristol) – When what you’re looking for isn’t there: working with digitized collections of historic newspapers

16:15: Discussion – developing Services for BL Labs at the British Library

16.45: Conclusion and wrap up

17:00: Finish and wine reception sponsored by History UK


Speaker Biographies

  • Jennifer Batt is Lecturer in Eighteenth Century English Literature at the University of Bristol; her current research focuses on the poetic cultures of periodicals.
  • H. Beals is a lecturer in Digital History at Loughborough University, specialising in the interaction between migration and media. Her research concentrates on the practice of scissors-and-paste journalism, an unofficial process of viral news dissemination in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and her website, ScissorsAndPaste.net, allows users to track textual reuse across an expanding number of online databases. Her current project is Oceanic Exchanges, which explores how newspapers transformed the international into the local by linking digital newspaper collections from around the world and exploring the role of digital curation in historical research.
  • Eleni Kotoula specialises in digital heritage, mainly in advanced computer visualization, digital imaging, 3D recording and modelling, virtual reconstruction and 3D fabrication, with an emphasis on the development of novel computational approaches for restoration, preventive conservation, investigation, analysis and display of artefacts. Eleni holds a BSC in Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art from the Athens University of Applied Sciences, MSc and PhD in Archaeological Computing from the University of Southampton.  Prior to her current research fellowship at the School of History and Heritage, University of Lincoln, Eleni completed postdoctoral research at the University of Central Lancashire and Yale University.
  • Bob Nicholson is a historian of Victorian popular culture and a Senior Lecturer at Edge Hill University. He works on the history of jokes, journalism, and transatlantic relations. He tweets @Digivictorian and @VictorianHumour.
  • Hazel Sadler is an MA student at the University of Lincoln, studying for the MA in Historical Studies. She has been designing an app that aims to encourage further on-site and off-site engagement the Imperial War Museums’ research and collections.
  • Sharon Webb is a Lecturer in Digital Humanities Lecturer in the Sussex Humanities Lab and the School of History, Art History and Philosophy. She is a historian of Irish associational culture and nationalism (eighteenth and nineteenth century) but has also studied computer science at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Sharon has practical experience with digital archiving and digital preservation, and has contributed to the successful development of a major national digital infrastructure. Sharon’s current research interests include community archives and identity, social network analysis (method and theory), and research data management.


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Another publication about Making Digital History project


Another publication about Making Digital History, specifically about the use of Xerte to develop students’ capabilities in creativity, is now available. It was produced in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Salford and can be accessed here:

Reference: Kutar, MS, Griffiths, M and Wood, J 2015, Ecstasi project : Using technology to encourage creativity in the assessment process , in: UK Academy for Information Systems (UKAIS) 2015, March 2015, Oxford, UK

Abstract: The notion of creativity has attracted increasing attention in Higher Education in recent years, and is seen to be of importance in a variety of disciplines, not just those which are closely associated with the creative industries. This provides a challenge to educators to understand how the concept can be incorporated into student learning and assessment. This paper introduces the Ecstasi project, which is studying the creative learning journey of students in two different disciplines and institutions, on modules which use an inquiry-based pedagogy. The students are encouraged to creatively utilise information technology to develop artefacts for their assessed work. A key challenge is the assessment of creativity, which we consider this using the dimensions of person, process and product. The paper discusses creativity and its assessment in HE, presents preliminary results from the on-going longitudinal study, and considers the role of technology in this process.

Posted in digital literacy, Dissemination, E-learning, history, Humanities, Learning objects, Lincoln, Making Digital History, Salford, Xerte | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Twittering Students – Using Twitter in Teaching Literature

I have been experimenting with using Twitter in my teaching this term at the University of Lincoln, on two separate American studies modules, level one and two respectively. The way this worked was relatively straightforward: I set up individual Twitter accounts for each module and requested that students follow the module account on their already established Twitter account, or sign up for one if they didn’t already have one (this was quite unusual, our students generally all had Twitter accounts already set up, and were very proficient at using them!) Based on weekly texts, I tweeted helpful questions, hints and small portions of analysis before every weekly seminar. I would occasionally post pictures and other forms of media that were pertinent to that particular text (for example, when tweeting about Tennessee Williams’ memory play The Glass Menagerie, I provided photographs of set design, images of different actors portrayals of the characters, and even links to videos demonstrating the enactment of certain scenes – all extremely important to understanding the dramatic text).

Students were required (although not assessed upon) to tweet at least once upon the set text – and the bounds of what could be tweeted was very loose. Students tweeted their opinions, themes and motifs they had noticed and occasionally hyperlinks to other resources from the web. I requested that the student tweet the module account by using the module accounts’ twitter handle. When I received the notification that someone had tweeted the module, I would retweet the text onto the account and generally favourite it. This collated all students tweets onto a central web page.

I found that using Twitter was a dynamic and exciting use of social media in teaching and learning. Students were able to voice their opinions in an unencumbered but very accessible arena. Students generally were very plugged into the system of tweeting, most students being notified of tweets on their smart phones immediately, and able to formulate responses immediately as well. I found that it was also beneficial to re-feed the Twitter platform in seminar settings. I.e –I would bring up the Twitter page on the overhead projector at the beginning of class for the students to see, and single out particular Tweets and ask the student who had written it to discuss it and perhaps expand upon it. This amounted in a sort of cohesiveness between the experience of seminar instruction and out of class student learning.

Generally students loved the inclusion of Twitter in the modules. Students claimed they would like to see the innovation in other modules, with notable enthusiasm:

“I found it really helpful and engaging and it was so helpful to see other people’s views as well as Muzna’s comments and views – they gave me lots of ideas. I got the idea for my essay from the tweets!”

“I liked seeing other people’s opinions on the texts and seeing their feedback next to mine. I’d love to see it for future modules, I think it helps to interact with the module and connect with the texts.”

It’s something I intend on keeping on in future teaching. Here is a link to the Twitter account for a level one module titled ‘Making Americans’


In future, I would like to experiment with using Twitter within the classroom, as well as outside of it. I would like to think through how we might use social media in real time, in some sort of structured activity. What that would look like specifically is something I am yet to explore, but I imagine it might be a dynamic and interesting use of a form of digital media that is both familiar and accessible to our students today.


Posted in Humanities, Learning objects, Lincoln, Media, social media, student as producer, Student research, Teacher Education, web2.0 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment