E-learning in qualitative disciplines

What happens when the discrete and quantifiable in e-learning meets the amorphous and qualitative in the humanities?

Over the last ten years, technological research tools for qualitative disciplines have been enthusiastically explored.

However, academics in these same disciplines have often been reluctant to engage with learning technology. Many see e-learning – particularly assessment tools – as more suited to quantitative disciplines, or fields with less ambiguity.

The readings below touch on the ‘digital humanities’, and two specific areas of assessment, but we hope the debate will range more widely. Read as many as you want – the ones at the top of each category offer a start-point to the topics. All should be available for free.

Digital humanities

Cohen, Patricia (2010) ‘Digital Keys for Unlocking the Humanities’ Riches.’ New York Times 
Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/arts/17digital.html

Kirsch, Adam (2014) ‘Technology Is Taking Over English Departments: The false promise of the digital humanities.’ The New Republic
Available at https://newrepublic.com/article/117428/limits-digital-humanities-adam-kirsch

http://whatisdigitalhumanities.com/ – refresh a few times for some different definitions

Multiple Choice Questions

Renzo, Adrian (2014) ‘Multiple-choice questions in the Humanities: a case study of Peerwise in a first-year Popular Music course.’ In B. Hegarty, J. McDonald, & S.-K. Loke (Eds.), Rhetoric and Reality: Critical perspectives on educational technology. Proceedings ascilite Dunedin 2014 (pp. 560-564).
Available at http://ascilite2014.otago.ac.nz/files/concisepapers/173-Renzo.pdf

Clarke, Sophie; Lindsay, Katharine; McKennab, Chris and New, Steve (2004) ‘INQUIRE: a case study in evaluating the potential of online MCQ tests in a discursive subject.’ ALT-J, Research in Learning Technology Vol. 12, No. 3
Available at http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ821511.pdf

Automated Marking

Human Readers (2013) ‘Professionals Against Machine Scoring Of Student Essays In High-Stakes Assessment’
Available at http://humanreaders.org/petition/research_findings.htm

Simsek, Duygu; Sandor, Agnes; Buckingham Shum, Simon; Ferguson, Rebecca; De Liddo, Anna and Whitelock, Denise (2015) ‘Correlations between automated rhetorical analysis and tutors’ grades on student essays.’ Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Learning Analytics And Knowledge.ACM, pp. 355–359.
Available at http://oro.open.ac.uk/42042/8/LAK15ShortEmbeddedFonts.pdf

Rose, Kalia (2013) ‘Automated marking: bad for essays?’ The Guardian. Friday 24 May.
Available at https://www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2013/may/24/automated-marking-bad-for-essays

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