Digital Scholarship Institute returns with new options to participate

Brock University’s Digital Scholarship Institute (DSI) is back for a second year, this time with new offerings to help reach a wider audience.

The DSI was launched last year as a three-day immersive workshop for Brock instructors to learn about technologies available to them to create interactive and impactful assignments for their students.

Held from Tuesday, May 3 to Thursday, May 5, the institute will be fully online to accommodate hybrid work and teaching schedules and will include three multi-day stream options, each covering sophisticated tools for a particular purpose. Participants committing to one of three ‘long stream’ options will stay with the same cohort of colleagues throughout the three days of the DSI and learn extensively about the topic they choose.

Alternatively, instructors unable to commit to the three-day options can attend new ‘short streams,’ with each stream requiring only a two-hour time commitment. Participants can choose to attend more than one short stream.

Led by the Digital Scholarship Lab, the DSI is a collaboration between the Brock University Library, the Centre for Digital Humanities and the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI).

Digital Scholarship Librarian Tim Ribaric said last year’s DSI garnered great enthusiasm from participants, which he and his fellow organizers are hoping to recreate this year.

“With shorter sessions and a larger pallet of tool offerings this year, we’re hoping to appeal to a wider audience,” he said. “Digital scholarship is an emerging area that is yet to be really defined, so the goal of this institute is to introduce Brock instructors to how the digital scholarship world can fit into our environment. This often means using new techniques and tools in classes and research, such as computation and visualization.”

Ribaric said last year’s DSI saw great successes as instructors applied what they learned at the institute to the classroom. For example, Associate Professor Keri Cronin had her students use CollectionBuilder to create online exhibitions that illustrated the visual culture of 19th century Niagara. Students learned about basic coding and metadata and a new way to communicate results.

“Instead of getting students to write an essay or complete another traditional assignment, Keri encouraged her students to present information in a creative way that now lives on beyond the end of their class,” said Ribaric. “Students had the opportunity to work with digitized materials directly without needing to learn a lot about programming or HTML code. The platform did a lot of that work.”

CPI Associate Director Giulia Forsythe is impressed with the creative and innovative assessment strategies faculty have implemented to enhance and showcase student learning. She encourages instructors to attend this year’s DSI.

“Whether you want to tweak something cool you already tried or aren’t even sure where to start, the DSI is a fun opportunity to explore digital tools with supportive colleagues,” she said.

To learn more about Brock University’s Digital Scholarship Institute, including long and short stream options, schedules and registration, visit the DSI 2022 homepage. Questions can be emailed to

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