Digital Modeling for a Project-Based Research Class



Thursday, September 18, 2014 -
1:00pm to 2:15pm


Blagg-Huey Library

Texas Woman's University

About This Session

In the recent publication “Digital Humanities Pedagogy” (2012), many contributing authors drew attention to the benefits of project-based learning. Scholars such as Matthew Gold, Stephen Ramsay, Virginia Kuhn, and Vicki Callahan presented their case studies as examples of how a class, focused on a single, semester-long project, could be used to teach multiple digital tools and research methods to students.

The idea for this tutorial stems from a project by Dr. Jorge Bravo and Erik Shell, which included a full digital reconstruction of the Pergamum Altar as it stood in Asia Minor during the Hellenistic age. The project required the use of digital archives, OCR, network visualization (e.g. Gephi with overlay), and the digital modeling software Sketchup in order to create the final model.

In this tutorial I will present the Pergamum project as an example of how a class that uses a project-based model as its final assignment can be used to expand students’ research toolkit. Such a project requires them to think critically about archaeological reports that contradict, about how some spatial organizations affect the purpose of a building, and, ultimately, about how to argue for their final version of the model and what that model tells us about the culture in which it was built.

By introducing scholars to project-based learning, with this project as an example, I hope to present a useful pedagogical method to those interested in integrating Digital Humanities into their classroom.


Erik Kenneth Shell

Erik Kenneth Shell is a student and Undergraduate T.A. at the University of Maryland College Park. He holds a B.A. in Classics (Spring 2015) and a B.A. in History (Spring 2015), and has served as a reviewer for Digital Humanitites Quarterly and Senior Reviewer for Anemoi. He is a member of APA and the Digital Classics Association.

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