PG6011/DH6014: Digital Skills for Research Postgraduates in the Humanities and Social Sciences

This one-day intensive workshop is a team-taught module designed, delivered and examined by Paul O'Shea and I in University College Cork.


  1. This course provides professional training for postgraduate students in the humanities and social sciences. Framed by recent discussions on the future of academic scholarship and publishing, it introduces students to a range of digital skills and key concepts for online publication of a range of texts / contexts / materials within the humanities. Geared towards key issues of employability and academic dissemination, skills include:
    TEI, XML, HTML, Social Media as a marketing and dissemination tool, crowdsourcing/group sourcing, transcription, and engaging with a digital archive.
  2. Paul and I decided that it was important to integrate social media into this module as well as the other digital tools we intended to explore in class. To this end we live-tweeted the class and invited students to participate. We also decided to integrate the crowdsourcing project, Letters of 1916 into our curriculum to give students a practical introduction to crowdsourcing as well as hands on experience with transcription and XML.
  3. Following introductions, we asked students to consider these questions:
  4. Working in groups, we asked them to enter their answers and comments into a Google Doc which would then be shared on social media platforms. This also gives them a useful collaborative tool in which their discussions could continue after the workshop if they felt they had more to add:
  5. To prepare for this discussion we had asked students to read Kathleen Fitzpatrick's Planned Obsolescence before class.
  6. We also raised the issue of the traditional dissertation versus new digital approaches. To this end, the following video as well as #remixthediss provide useful introductions:
  7. What Is a Dissertation? New Models, Methods, Media
  8. Following this, we turned our attention to industry-focused skills:
  9. The importance of social media for dissemination and collaboration was also discussed. We considered the pros and cons of blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram,, and LinkedIn for developing online career-focused profiles: