PhD Student to Participate in Digital Humanities Summer Institute

Will Fenton, Ph.D. Candidate in English, has been accepted to participate in the New York Metro American Studies Association 2015 Summer Institute on “The Digital City: New Approaches in the Digital Humanities.” According to NYMASA: “This four-day institute seeks to enhance innovative research, teaching, and scholarship in American Studies by creating a dynamic environment for learning about new digital technologies that are transforming teaching, research, scholarly communication, and preservation.”
The project Fenton brings to the institute is an outgrowth of one he conceptualized and presented as a HASTAC scholar last spring: a gamified syllabus for Comp II. Fenton's interest is not so much to integrate video games into the course as it is to apply their pedagogical strategies to the classroom. He aims to integrate peer assessment and contextual feedback; increase student engagement and decentralize class authority; and create a space where students can safely—and generatively—fail. To that end, he has adapted his Comp syllabus using four gamification features: skills, objectives, quests, and points systems. While he is developing his curriculum using several excellent models, Will believes that the NYMASA institute will help him to anticipate logistical challenges before he puts his new curriculum into practice.