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Frequently asked questions

 

I am not sure if ‘Digital Humanities’ is what I do?

The research community at CDH is diverse, spanning the ‘traditional’ humanities disciplines as well the social sciences and computer science, and increasingly the biomedical and physical sciences. Previous Methods Fellows have come from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds including History, Computer Science, Archaeology, Education and Sociology. 

If you are interested in teaching people how to do excellent research in the humanities and social sciences using digital tools and methods, supporting the community in research software engineering, or you want to explore the impact of the digital turn in communication on human culture and society, we’d like to hear from you. 

 

I am still doing my PhD. Can I apply?

Yes, we are happy to consider applications from PhD students, provided you can demonstrate relevant experience in delivering teaching or training.

 

Which groups of learners should my proposed course be aimed at? Will they be beginners or advanced?

The majority of our current programme is aimed at PhD students, post-doctoral and other academic researchers, but other participants have included e.g. librarians, archivists, software developers and communications staff. 

We are keen to expand the depth of our programme so we will be happy to consider proposals for teaching advanced sessions (provided that there is likely to be a large enough pool of prospective applicants among University staff and students). 

At the application stage, we do not require a very detailed proposal as the content of the course will be worked out in collaboration with CDH Learning Programme staff.

 

Do you have a minimum or a maximum number of participants for a course to run?

We do not have a formal minimum attendance, however, we will work with Methods Fellows to identify topics that are likely to attract at least 10 participants. We aim to run sessions with an attendance of around 15 participants. This may be smaller for informal and alternative learning experiences.

 

I don’t have an academic role in the University, can I still apply?

We welcome applications from colleagues in academic-related and professional staff roles for Methods Fellowships.

 

I am employed by a College or the Press and not the University, can I still apply?

Yes, you can apply - our definition of the University includes the Colleges and CUP.

 

What kind of time commitment do you expect from Methods Fellows?

The content delivered by Methods Fellows through our programme is generally the equivalent of six hours of live teaching, usually delivered as four hours in the classroom (whether virtually or in-person), plus a further two hours of supporting participants through asynchronous teaching (eg by replying to queries by email on Moodle) and/or 'office hours' virtual or in-person drop-in.  We calculate the preparation time for these teaching hours on a 7 to 1 ratio. This preparation time would include meetings with the Director of CDH Learning or other CDH staff to discuss the content and its relationship to the programme.

For RSE Methods Fellows, the Fellowship proposal should cover the delivery of a programme of activities that will involve a similar total number of hours (48 over the course of the academic year). This could include running a series of networking sessions or drop-in sessions to exchange skills and good practice, a mentoring scheme or developing pair programming activities. 
 
Methods Fellows are also very welcome to attend other CDH events.
 

I have other teaching or work commitments during the period of the Fellowship. Do I need to be available at specific times?

We can be flexible about the timing of your programme content depending on your other commitments. We understand that a Methods Fellowship is usually something that people do on top of another full-time or part-time job.

 

How do I know whether you will have access to the software/equipment needed to teach my course?

We encourage proposals for teaching which are not wholly dependent on access to a specific tool or platform, but which impart the general principles, approaches and concepts underpinning the method in question, or that use generally available software.  If you do want to teach using a specific type of software please consider whether the University already has a licence for using it (check here – requires Raven log-in: https://software.uis.cam.ac.uk/), or if it is free to use (or has low-cost options for personal use and a free trial).

 

Can you help with finding suitable datasets for teaching purposes?

Yes. We are building up a set of datasets based on the University Library’s digital collections for use in teaching. We can also advise on other sources of teaching datasets (have a look at the Programming Historian, and The Carpentries for example).

 

Which platforms are you using to deliver remote teaching currently?

During the University closure, we have been reformatting the Learning Programme for remote delivery, using a combination of video delivery using Zoom and Teams and self-guided materials hosted on Moodle for participants to work through in between sessions. We also use Google Drive to facilitate participant access to large datasets or collaboration tools for teaching. 

 

Who will own any online learning content that I produce for CDH Learning Programme courses? 

You will not have to sign away your rights in the teaching materials you produce for us, and you can continue to use them in any way you please. However, in alignment with the University’s general policy on intellectual property, we will ask you to either grant CDH a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual licence to retain the credited material for the use of members of the University or to apply an appropriate Creative Commons license which covers this scenario. 

If you want to go down the first route, this means that you give us permission to keep your teaching materials on digital platforms accessible to University members beyond the year when you have taught your course as part of a library of resources for future learners, but the University would not be able to publish online or disseminate more widely, nor ‘remix’ your materials or incorporate into new works without seeking further consent. If you are happy to license your work for wider use beyond the University we encourage you to use a Creative Commons license of your choice. 

If you wish to create recordings of your lectures or as part of your course materials please read the University’s lecture capture policy here. In line with this policy, we consider lecture capture as entirely voluntary.