The Libraries Digital Scholarship Centre, which opened in August of 2019, has now been open for about six months. This winter term, DSC staff are excited to finally be offering a full calendar of workshops that are free to all members of the University community.
The workshops have been organized into several “series” or streams of learning. Digital Scholarship 101 is a series designed to expose participants to different aspects of scholarly work that make use of digital tools. These include topics such as Text Analysis, Project Management, data cleaning with OpenRefine, Geospatial Data and an introduction to Metadata.
Dr. Harvey Quamen, DSC academic director, leads several of these workshops. He describes his Computational Thinking workshop as an “exploration of what computers can do for us”. It includes an exercise, where participants use cubelet robots to learn an understanding of programming data, or in another activity, participants learn about reverse engineering by tracing back the errors in a medieval manuscript. According to Dr. Quamen, learning how computers ‘think’ essentially helps with digital work, it gives you the ability to troubleshoot as well as think about new ways to use computers in scholarship.
Another series, that is just beginning this term, is the Research Communications series. These workshops will focus on the challenges of communicating research. Being Strategic aims to give participants analytical tools for making research communication plans, and Design and Presentation will provide practical skills for creating impactful presentations and posters. In the future, the hope is to eventually grow the Research Comms series to include topics in areas such as digital photography and media production. Also, the DSC makerspace is open to the U of A community, and certification workshops for using the Laser Cutter, Cricut, 3D printers and scanners are now being scheduled regularly.
Teaching is a primary mandate of the digital scholarship centre so these workshops are just the beginning of what will become regular activities in the centre. The intent is to offer introductions to technology and concepts that are not universally taught as part of traditional university courses. Our hope is that by attending a workshop, students, staff, and faculty can gain news skills and insight that they can then translate to new research and discovery.
To see the full listing of DSC workshops visit the DSC workshop calendar. Also if you have ideas about workshops you would like to see offered please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org