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Digital Commons Events

Interested in seeing what digital tools your colleagues are using in their research and teaching? Ready to roll up your sleeves and learn to use a particular technology? See below for a list of upcoming events where faculty can learn about digital tools and technologies useful for their research and teaching.

(Looking for information on past Digital Commons events? See our event archive.)

Fall 2021 Events

Spotlight Event: Teaching with Wikipedia

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Center for Teaching
  • Spotlight Faculty: Brooke Ackerly, professor of political science, and Kristin Michelitch, assistant professor of political science
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, September 21st, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Location: Digital Commons, Room 200 (upstairs)

Brooke Ackerly and Kristin MichelitchWikipedia is home to over 55 million articles. The website is a valuable source for information, but it also has systematic knowledge gaps, as well as biases toward historically privileged perspectives. Vanderbilt political scientists Brooke Ackerly and Kristin Michelitch have been working to correct these gaps and biases by engaging their students as Wikipedia contributors.

Students are, in fact, the ideal Wikipedians according to Ackerly and Michelitch, given their access to scholarly resources and support from faculty and librarians, as well as their “semi-expert” status. Thanks to resources from Wiki Education and support from Vanderbilt librarians, these faculty have integrated Wikipedia into their teaching and seen benefits not only to Wikipedia, but also to their own students’ learning.

In this spotlight event, Ackerly and Michelitch will share their experiences teaching with Wikipedia. They will be joined by their Vanderbilt Libraries collaborators, Cliff Anderson and Mary Anne Caton. The course-based assignments and extra-curricular “edit-a-thons” they’ve used can be adapted by faculty in a variety of disciplines.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, students, and postdocs.

REGISTER here.

Digital Presence: Web & Social Media

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, VU Communications and Marketing
  • Facilitators: Jaclyn Antonacci, senior social media specialist, and Lacy Paschal, executive director of digital strategies
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, September 29th, 11:00am to 12:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

This “Digital Presence” workshop is open to any Vanderbilt faculty member interested in gaining a better understanding of how to use web and social media platforms to promote their work and research, reach key audiences, become more well-known as experts, and more. A faculty member who is well-versed in utilizing web and social media will join us to share expertise.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs.

REGISTER here.

Professional Productivity: The Care and Feeding of Email

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Vanderbilt Information Technology
  • Presenters: Robert Talbert, professor of mathematics at Grand Valley State University, and Damon Miltner, information systems manager, Vanderbilt IT
  • Date and Time: Friday, October 1st, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

Headshots of presenters Robert Talbert and Damon MiltnerThere’s just too much email. That’s a reality of working in the modern research university. But faculty don’t have to be overwhelmed by their email. There are strategies for managing one’s email, for using email efficiently as a tool to get important things done.

In this very practical professional productivity workshop, we’ll hear from Robert Talbert, professor of mathematics at Grand Valley State University and Vanderbilt PhD alumnus, about the workflows he uses to get to “inbox zero” on a regular basis. And we’ll hear from Damon Miltner from Vanderbilt IT about time-saving tools and features available in Outlook, the email tool provided to faculty by the university.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs.

REGISTER here.

Digital Presence: Academic Podcasting

  • Sponsor: Digital Commons
  • Panelists: Ed Cheng, Hess chair in law; Kate Stuart, assistant director, Office of Career Development; and Amy Hill, doctoral student in German and comparative media analysis and practice
  • Date and Time: Thursday, October 7th, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

Why start a podcast as an academic? In this “Digital Presence” panel, we will learn about three academic podcasts, each with a different mission and audience.

  • Members of the academic podcasting panelLaw professor Ed Cheng is the producer of Excited Utterance, a long-running podcast featuring interviews with scholars in his research area (evidence and proof).
  • Kate Stuart produces the Beyond the Lab podcast and YouTube series for the Office of Career Development at the School of Medicine, featuring biomedical sciences PhD and postdoc alumni discussing their careers.
  • Amy Hill is a doctoral student who serves as teaching assistant and digital projects coordinator for the spring 2021 course, Monuments and Memory, whose students produced a class podcast, Now This Is Monumental!

Join us to hear the origin stories of these three podcasts and to learn why and how you might start a podcast to advance your scholarship, teaching, or disciplinary service.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, postdocs, and students.

REGISTER here.

Designing Effective and Engaging Research Posters

  • Sponsor: Digital Commons
  • Facilitator: David Wright, Stevenson professor of chemistry and dean of sciences
  • Date and Time: Monday, October 11th, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Location: Digital Commons, Room 200 (upstairs)

Headshot of David WrightConveying your research in a clear and compelling manner through a single poster is a communication challenge. How can the visual design of a poster, with its combination of text and images, summarize complex research findings? And how can your poster complement and enhance your verbal presentation of your work? Join us for this workshop on research poster design led by chemistry and communication of science and technology professor David Wright, whose lab has designed multiple award-winning research posters.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, postdocs, and students.

REGISTER here.

From Concept to Launch: Getting Your Podcast Off the Ground (or Up to the Next Level)

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Center for Teaching
  • Facilitator: Rhett McDaniel, assistant director for digital media, Center for Teaching
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, October 12, 1:00pm to 2:00pm
  • Location: Digital Commons, Room 200 (upstairs)

Digital Media Lab Logo

Podcasts are more popular than ever. If you’ve thought about making your own, now is a great time! Producing academic podcasts around your course topics will help your students learn and provide you with resources that can be reused each semester. In addition, your podcast would be accessible to the nearly 118 million podcast listeners all over the world. Even if you have already started your podcasting journey, this session can help generate fresh ideas to make your podcast even more engaging.

In this session, you’ll not only become familiar with the hardware and software required to create a professional sounding podcast, but you’ll also learn about other important aspects of successful podcasts like finding sources for music and sound elements, uploading and storing audio files, listing your podcast on Spotify and Apple, and designing your podcast artwork.

The session will conclude with a tour of the CFT’s new Digital Media Lab. This facility includes an audio production suite, which is available to instructors for making their own podcast.

REGISTER here.

Professional Productivity: Calendar Like a Pro

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Vanderbilt Information Technology
  • Presenters: Corbette Doyle, senior lecturer in organizational leadership, and Damon Miltner, information systems manager, Vanderbilt IT
  • Date and Time: Friday, October 22nd, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

Headshots of presenters Corbette Doyle and Damon MiltnerCalendaring is hard. Between planning your work week, scheduling meetings with students and colleagues, and carving out time to get stuff done, faculty calendars fill up fast. How can you fit everything in? And how can use your calendar strategically to be more productive?

In this very practical professional productivity workshop, we’ll hear from Corbette Doyle, senior lecturer in organizational leadership, about the tools and approaches she uses to managing her calendar, including her recent switch from TimeTrade to Calendly. And we’ll hear from Damon Miltner from Vanderbilt IT about scheduling and time management tools in Outlook, the email tool provided to faculty by the university.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs.

REGISTER here.

Close Reading, Far Reading: Using Text Analysis in Research and Scholarship

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Center for Digital Humanities
  • Panelists: Mark Schoenfield, professor of English, Rebecca VanDiver, assistant professor of African and African American art, and Pedro Rodriguez, postdoctoral fellow in data science and political science
  • Date and Time: Monday, October 25th, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Location: Digital Commons, Room 200 (upstairs)

Headshots of text analysis panelistsBetween born-digital texts and the digitization of archival texts, researchers in the humanities and social sciences now have digital access to large bodies of written materials. How might this access enable both new questions and new answers to old questions? What tools and techniques can faculty and scholars use to see patterns in collections of digital or digitized texts? And how we train computers to understand the meanings encoded in these texts?

Join us for a panel of faculty and researchers who are learning and developing text analysis techniques to practice both close reading and “far” reading. Their work will provide inspiration for new approaches to your scholarship, and they will recommend ways to get started with text analysis methods.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, postdocs, and students.

REGISTER here.

Presentation Design for Research and Teaching

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Writing Studio
  • Facilitator: Megan Minarich, assistant director, Writing Studio
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, October 27th, 2:00pm to 3:00pm
  • Location: Digital Commons, Room 200 (upstairs)

Death by PowerPoint. We’ve all sat through a conference presentation or lecture where the presenter put their whole talk on their slides and then read their slides aloud to the audience. It’s not pretty. And there is a better way.

How can you combine spoken delivery with slides or other visuals to communicate your work and inform your audience? Doing so takes careful attention to the design of your presentation, integrating form and content. Join us for this workshop on presentation design for research and teaching, led by Megan Minarich, assistant director at the Writing Studio.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs.

REGISTER here.

Digital Humanities Working Groups

The Center for Digital Humanities Working Groups for the 2021/2022 academic year are open and organizing their first meetings. These working groups are for anyone on campus interested in Digital Humanities, from absolute beginner to advanced practitioner. Below are the five working groups for this year, the names of the organizers, and a link to an interest form which you can use to get in touch with the organizers and sign up to get updates on when the group is meeting.

  • 3D Models and Immersive Environments DH Working Group (Melanie Forehand) – Sign Up Here!
  • Black Studies and DH Working Group (Brandon Byrd) – Sign Up Here!
  • Digital Collections Working Group (Mickey Casad) – Sign Up Here!
  • Text Analysis Working Group (Danielle Picard and Mark Schoenfield) – Sign Up Here!
  • Game Studies and DH Working Group (Derek Price) – Sign Up Here!

R Lessons

  • Sponsor: Digital Scholarship and Communications
  • Instructor: Steve Baskauf, data science and data curation specialist
  • Dates and Times: Wednesdays, 1:00pm to 2:00pm, starting September 1st
  • Location: Eskind Biomedical Library Training Room (EBL 010)

These lessons allow learners to develop programming skills as part of a group of learners working through the curriculum together, or on their own and at their own pace. We are planning to offer in-person lessons, although it is possible to participate remotely via Zoom. Advance registration is required to participate remotely and recommended to participate in-person.

One cycle of beginner lessons will be offered during the fall semester on Wednesdays from 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT, September 1 – October 6. The lessons are designed to get you started using R through the popular RStudio interface. They will introduce the basic R data structures and will teach the basics of manipulating data, calculating basic statistics, and making simple plots.

An intermediate level introduction to data visualization with ggplot will also be offered during fall 2021 on Fridays from 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT, September 3 to October 8. This hands-on lesson series will quickly get you started using the R library ggplot to create data visualizations. These lessons assume that you have a basic familiarity with R and RStudio. However, those with no background can still participate by trying and modifying the provided code examples.

For more information about all DiSC R lessons including the schedule of sessions, venue, and registration details, visit the course website.

GitHub Lessons

  • Sponsor: Digital Scholarship and Communications
  • Instructor: Steve Baskauf, data science and data curation specialist
  • Dates and Times: Tuesdays, 1:00pm to 2:00pm, starting September 7th
  • Location: Eskind Biomedical Library Training Room (EBL 010)

During fall 2021, the Office of Digital Scholarship and Communications (DiSC) will be offering a short series of lessons on managing websites using GitHub. This hands-on series of lessons will quickly get you started creating a free website using GitHub Pages. These lessons assume that you have a basic understanding of GitHub. However, those with no background using GitHub are welcome to attend since they can quickly catch up by watching a few introductory videos to get them started interacting with GitHub using the GitHub Desktop software (command line NOT required).

We are planning to offer the lessons in-person, although it is also possible to participate remotely via Zoom. Advance registration is required to participate remotely and recommended to participate in-person.

For more information about these lessons including the schedule of sessions, venue, and registration details, visit the course website.

Python Lessons

  • Sponsor: Digital Scholarship and Communications
  • Instructor: Steve Baskauf, data science and data curation specialist
  • Dates and Times: Wednesdays, 1:00pm to 2:00pm, starting October 20th
  • Location: Eskind Biomedical Library Training Room (EBL 010)

These lessons allow learners to develop programming skills as part of a group of learners working through the curriculum together, or on their own and at their own pace. They are designed to get you started using Python in Jupyter notebooks and teach the basics of the Python language.

One cycle of beginner lessons will be offered during the fall semester on Wednesdays from 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT, October 20 – December 1. We are planning to offer the lessons in-person, although it is also possible to participate remotely via Zoom. Advance registration is required to participate remotely and recommended to participate in-person.

For more information about all DiSC Python lessons including the schedule of sessions, venue, and registration details, visit the course website.

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