• Offered by School of History
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject History
  • Areas of interest History, Digital Humanities, Heritage Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Amanda Laugesen
  • Mode of delivery Blended
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

What does it mean to practice history in the digital age? How are digital technologies shaping the way we conceptualise the past, design and conduct historical research, and communicate our findings? What does digital history offer in terms of innovative and substantive new ways of understanding the past, andhow has it changed the way society ‘consumes’ the past?

Exploring these questions and more, this course introduces students to the theory and practice of researching, writing, and presenting history in a digital world. The course is built around three main threads. The first of these-- the pedagogy of digital history-- explores how digital technologies have impacted the production, consumption, and preservation of 'the past' in modern society, and the wider theoretical and methodological issues facing historical study in a digital age. A second thread-- researching in a digital environment-- focuses on the development of skills and abilities in using digital tools and the Internet in historical research, while the third thread--producing history in a digital world-- will give students the opportunity to apply digital methods to their own research, and experience in writing and producing history for the web through the design and execution of a small web-based project.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a basic critical understanding about how digital technologies have impacted the researching, writing, and consumption of history.  
  2. Use digital methods, approaches, and technologies to locate, access, and use information.
  3. Critically analyze the potential of digital history tools, methods, and resources.
  4. Work in a small collaborative, deadline-driven environment, to plan and execute a small digital project.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to produce historical narratives in media other than conventional writing.

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial participation (10%) (LO 1,2,3,4)

Web site/digital exhibition OR online research tool review 1,000 words (25%) (LO 1,2,3,5)

Essay of 2,500 words (40%) (LO 1,2,3,5)

Web-page design and construction 750 words (as part of group project) Each group will also make a 10 minute class presentation on their projects. (25%) (LO 1,2,3,4,5)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


3 contact hours per week for 13 weeks (mixed lecture/tutorial/workshop format). Students will be expected to spend an average of seven hours per week outside these contact hours to prepare for tutorials, research and write the essays.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 36 units of ANU courses towards a degree, or with the permission of the convenor.You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed HIST6237.

Prescribed Texts

Digital history is a discipline that is in constant evolution. The bulk of scholarly work on it is also available on the Internet, with blog posts and open-access journal articles appearing regularly. Accordingly, while a reading brick of key readings will be available through the course website and the library, this will be supplemented by Online texts and resources that subsequently become available as the course progresses.

With this in mind, students will be encouraged to make suggestions for further readings they discover, such as blogposts and articles relevant to their Online projects, via Twitter, via the class hashtag.

It is also recommended that students follow some established hashtags in the field: #digitalhumanities, #digitalhistory, #digitalheritage, and #dhist (there are more). Twitter can be one of the best resources for keeping up to date with what is going on in the field.

Preliminary Reading

  • Daniel J. Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig, Digital history: a guide to gathering, preserving, and present ing the past on the Web. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006: Chapter 1: "Exploring the History Web"
  • Dan Cohen (http://www.dancohen.org/2010/01/07/is-google-good-for-history) and Paul Deguid (http://www.hnn.us/blog/122000 (video 6:37)) from the American Historical Association panel discussion 'Is Google Good for History', 7 January 2010.
  • 'Interchange: The promise of Digital History', Journal of American History, September 2008, Vol. 95, Issue 2, p 452-491.

Assumed Knowledge

The course does not assume any prior knowledge of digital history or digital heritage. Competency with computers and the Internet is, however, expected.  




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
8808 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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