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Digital Scholarship Services

Critical Digital Pedagogy

Digital pedagogy involves the integration of digital scholarship tools and methods into the classroom, but more importantly it develops skills in the critical analysis of digital tools, methods, and culture. Digital pedagogy provides instructors and students an opportunity to think differently about course materials and methodologies.

Key Texts

Ethical Collaboration

Because digital projects in the classroom often require students to contribute unpaid labor to faculty projects (students are, in fact, paying to do so), facutly should be intentional about how they engage with their students and be transparent about the use of their labor. These are some resources to help faculty frame those discussions, and to help students self-advocate.

Lesson Planning

The Planning Process

The planning process varies between projects, here are some general stages of planning:

  1. Planning
    • Consult with collaborators (subject librarian, technical specialist, community members, teaching assistants, etc.)
    • Define the scope and resources needed for the project
  2. Execution
    • Set up dates for outside instructors to visit and work with the class
    • Set aside class time to learn any tools or technology
  3. Evaluation
    • Design or find a rubric to evaluate the process and the product (see sample rubrics)
    • Decide how to attribute outside support and sustain the final product 

Here are some key questions to answer:

Class Size: How many students are in your class? Will they working independently or in groups?

Project DescriptionDescribe a brief “elevator pitch” of your proposed project: Why is it worth doing? Why is this digital assignment a better opportunity than existing alternatives?

Learning Objectives and OutcomesWhat are students gaining from this assignment? What would you like for them to learn?

Project ScopeDefine the boundaries of your project: What will this project include? What will it not include?

TimelineHow long will this project take for students to complete? How much in-class time have you scheduled (instruction and collaborative works sessions)?

Technology: What technology will you need to teach these skills? What technology will your students need to complete the project? What technology training will be necessary for instructors and students?

FERPA: What is your plan to obtain students' consent to public disclosure of their enrollment in the course to participate in the project?

Support & Roles: What elements of the project will you need outside support for? What are the concrete skills and support the library is offering for this class project? How much notice do library faculty or staff need to adequately support students in your class?

Project SustainabilityIf there is a lasting online component, who will maintain it, where will it be hosted, and for how long? Does this plan conform to University policies for retention of student records/work? When will the project be deprecated? If your students will be using this work as part of a long term portfolio, who will archive their work? Who will have permission to continue to edit and access it?

Support Acknowledgement & Project PromotionHow will library and other support be recognized? Can we include this project on our projects page? Would you like us to promote the project on social media?

Consultation and Support

The library is here to partner with you to imagine, plan, and teach effective digital projects in order to innovate in the classroom and beyond. However, we have limited capacity to take on projects each semester, so get in touch in advance! 

The library is not typically able to take on extensive teaching commitments or technical support for students outside of class. If you're considering implementing an innovative assignment in your class, it's best to involve librarians early in the planning process to figure out the best way to collaborate.

If you approach the library to support a substantial project, you may be required to complete a project charter or agreement based on the key questions above. Not only are these questions great for planning your class and scope, but completing them ahead of a consultation will also help streamline library collaborations. Please plan accordingly - digital projects may require 4 to 6 weeks of planning and coordination prior to the start of the semester for library staff to be fully involved. The earlier you contact us, the better for you, your students, and librarians.

Please email Digital Scholarship Services with as many of the answers to the above questions as possible to get started. You may also wish to consult with your Subject Librarian for research and information literacy instruction for your students.


Portions of this guide were freely adapted from the UNC University Libraries Digital Pedagogy guide.