Digital Liberal Arts

What does the Digital Liberal Arts Working Group do?

The Digital Liberal Arts Working Group at Ursinus (or DLA@UC) promotes conversation between the liberal arts and twenty-first century technologies. The Working Group’s purpose is to:

  • Foster experimental thinking and understanding
    • Validate new approaches to teaching and research/scholarly work and bridging the teacher/scholar divide
    • Expose students more directly to subject areas: experiential in terms of unveiling method & messiness (complexity)
    • Maintain flexibility in engaging a constantly shifting area
    • Create a culture of accessibility
  • Support the integration of digital technologies into planning of courses/research teaching
    • Provide training and help students, faculty, and staff acquire necessary tools
    • Build and expand digital literacy (data management practices)
  • Advance the digital liberal arts beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries
    • Introduce/integrate tools into multiple disciplines
    • Create bridges for genuine interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration
    • Balance practical and theoretical skills and concerns involved in digital work
    • Foster student professional development
  • Document & promote digital initiatives on campus
    • Promote/make visible contributions across campus
    • Collaborate with Library/IT to support faculty & student projects
    • Encourage open source/open access where possible & practical

What do the Digital Liberal Arts Fellows Do?*

Digital Liberal Arts (DLA) Fellows have two major roles on campus.  Fellows partner with faculty interested in adding or enhancing digital components to their current teaching.  Fellows can support assignment design and support in-class technical workshops.  In addition, each Fellow holds weekly resource hours, during which students currently taking courses that integrate these assignments can seek Fellows for technical assistance.  

DLA Fellows can offer support in a range of digital tools, but they have particular strengths in:

  • Mapping tools (QGIS – ArcGIS coming soon!)
  • Digital curating tools (Omeka)
  • Film editing (Shotcut) and audio editing/podcasting (audacity)
  • Digital storytelling tools (TimelineJS and StorymapsJS)
  • DLA Fellows are currently training to use Wordpress, Amara (captioning tool), and to do several other types of web design.
So what don’t DLA Fellows do?
  • While they are eager to support workshops, faculty are expected to be part of those workshops (e.g., they can’t teach class for you, though they are happy to meet with you beforehand to help you feel comfortable with a particular tool);
  • While DLA Fellows are eager to consult with students, they cannot teach a tool top-to-bottom in a one-hour session;
  • DLA Fellows do not complete the digital parts of a course or an assignment for students or faculty.
How do I access the DLA Fellows?

Faculty should contact Kara McShane, the DLA Fellows coordinator, or Christine Iannicelli, the Instructional Technology Librarian, to be matched with a DLA Fellow for workshops or consultations.

Students can meet with a DLA Fellow in Myrin 124 during their office hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2-3 or Thursday from 5-6.

If students can’t make those times, they can also make an appointment with a DLA Fellow using this link:

*The DLA Fellows are funded for the 2017-2018 year by the Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts (PCLA)