• Offered by Research School of Humanities and the Arts
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Humanities
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, Digital Humanities
  • Work Integrated Learning Projects

Digital technologies have infiltrated nearly all aspects of our existence, covering each natural and cultural urge from ordering food, checking our banking details, finding a partner, or paying our taxes. Our interactions with new digital and computational technologies affect how we think of ourselves and our cultural heritage, both individually and collectively; they influence the ways in which we interact socially and politically; and, they affect how we determine public and private spaces in an increasingly connected world. Our digital legacies even outlast our lives, preserving some part of us even once we are gone. Regardless of the level of involvement, we are all living in the digital era. This course engages the students to discuss some of the key ways in which the digital has affected our lives, and what it really means. We examine different manifestations of human culture as it occurs online, pulling in examples from social media, the cultural heritage sector, even the Dark Web. We examine the ethical implications for collecting data about people, critique the ways in which information is presented and retrieved online, discuss popular trends and online behaviours, and tackle questions related to some of the less pleasant aspects of online culture. In order to do so, we need a thoughtful, ethical, critical, and interdisciplinary approach to the study and development of technology. Technology should be understood together with, and in the context of, understanding humanity. Understanding the technology alone is not enough, we need to understand how technology and humanity interact.


Examples of topics and methods covered: Crowdsourcing, Social media analysis (social networking, sentiment analysis, etc), AI and ML methods and problems, Gaming and gamification, Linked Data and Knowledge Representation, Tech utopias/dystopias, Privacy and trust online, Ethics, research, data etc

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. understand digital culture and society;
  2. apply computational methodologies to their own research, writing and project development;
  3. understand a range of theoretical and methodological arguments relating to society and culture in the Digital Age;
  4. express their ideas and understanding about computational methodologies for the analysis of digital society and culture using a range of different media;
  5. have the confidence and capacity to trial, upskill and evaluate a range of digital tools and methods; and
  6. understand how to develop a plan for a research project using computational methods and digital publication.

Work Integrated Learning

Projects

Students are expected to critically evaluate not only their computational tools, but also the data they work with, and to create a new digital resource that has been thoughtfully developed with a critical understanding of how both society and technology affect it. Students typically work alone (although this could also be a group assignment) to find, access, and evaluate a data source, such as a real-world dataset from data.gov.uk. They are expected to familiarise themselves with the data, and to critically evaluate it for bias, omissions, etc. Students are then required to find a methodology or tool they can similarly critically evaluate for strengths, limitations, transparency, etc. This often requires the students to learn how to use that method or tool, so they can successfully evaluate its functionality. Students also create a digital resource, which they also need to critically evaluate in terms of the data and the methodology and their suitability. Students must create plans and write reports, as well as present on their findings. The core (transferrable)skills students acquire on this course are: Ability to apply their disciplinary knowledge to a complex problem space; ability to understand the inherent nature of data being always retrospective; to be able to discuss the subjectivities and biases (not always negative ones!) that affect the way data is collected and presented; to be able to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their chosen digital tools and methods.

Other Information

No specific prior knowledge or technical skills are required, this course welcomes students from a range of diverse disciplinary backgrounds.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Critical evaluation digital tools or methods (1000 words) (25) [LO 1,5]
  2. Critical evaluation digital project or resource (1000 words) (25) [LO 1,3,4,6]
  3. Plan for development of Digital Resource ( 1500 words) (20) [LO 2,3,4]
  4. Digital Resource ( 2500 words equivalent) (20) [LO 2,3,4]
  5. Class presentation (5 to 6 minutes 800 words) (10) [LO 1,2,3,5,6]

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.

Workload

130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks of weekly seminars

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

NA

Preliminary Reading

Halford, S., Pope, C. and Carr, L. (2010) A manifesto for Web Science. Erickson, John and Gradmann, Stefan (eds.) At Proceedings of the WebSci10: Extending the Frontiers of Society On-Line   Proceedings of the WebSci10: Extending the Frontiers of Society On-Line, United States.  26 - 27 Apr 2010.  pp. 1-6.

Hall, W., Hendler, J., & Staab, S. (2017). A manifesto for web science@ 10. arXiv preprint arXiv:1702.08291.

Programming Historian - The Programming Historian is a peer-reviewed academic journal of digital humanities and digital history methodology. It publishes tutorials that help humanists learn a wide range of digital tools, techniques, and workflows to facilitate research and teaching.

Fees

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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
14
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
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
8041 21 Jul 2025 28 Jul 2025 31 Aug 2025 24 Oct 2025 In Person N/A

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