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Possible at Any Size: Inclusive Pedagogy in the Digital Humanities Classroom (ACH 2023)

Posted in Digital Humanities, and Percolating Ideas

Presented at the Association for Computers and the Humanities Conference, 29 June – 1 July 2023, Online.


Over the past three years, the number of mental health, housing, food, and health-related challenges increased dramatically among students in response to overlapping and intersecting crises in the United States and abroad. During times of upheaval, it is more important than ever to employ inclusive pedagogical practices that welcome and honor students from all backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, ability levels, ages, care responsibilities, and transfer or commuting statuses. A common misconception is that inclusive strategies are only possible in small classes, but I demonstrate that they are feasible even in large, complex DH courses. Drawing on feminist and critical pedagogy, I present three key interventions with specific practices that have made a demonstrable difference for my students and that easily transfer to courses in the Digital Humanities and beyond: 

(1) Shared authority and responsibility for learning through low-stakes activities that ask students to share their own experience and expertise as we co-construct knowledge.

(2) Inclusive participation opportunities through high-flex course designs that enable students to participate in-person, virtually, or catch up via a recording while all contribute to a shared Google Doc for each class.

(3) Inclusive assignment and assessment design, such as frequent, low-stakes assessments, as well as writing assignments that begin with a draft and revision opportunity in the classroom and that students submit following the class meeting.

Alongside the interventions, I present findings from informal and formal instructional evaluations and student check-in surveys from large DH courses that support the efficacy of these inclusive practices. 

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