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DH@UVA, U.Va.
Your Portal to the Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia

FAQ for Elective B:  DH Project within a Non-DH Course 

Contact:  Rennie Mapp (mapp@virginia.edu),  Administrative Director of the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities 

Q: What is the Option B Elective?

A: Elective B is a course that, while not officially designated as a DH Certificate elective, qualifies as credit toward the DH Certificate because the student completes a DH project as part of coursework A signed DH Elective Agreement between instructor and student is required, and should be completed and uploaded to the student's folder on the Graduate DH Certificate Collab site no later than three weeks after the semester start date.

For faculty:

Q: I am not an expert in the methods used in the digital humanities.  How can I expect to evaluate a DH project?

A: A student’s DH project should fulfil the objectives of your course.  The DH Faculty Advisory Committee will evaluate the digital methodology of Elective B projects; your role is to evaluate how effectively the student has worked within the intellectual framework of your discipline.

Q: If I am well acquainted with digital methodologies within my discipline, may I evaluate the technical side of my student’s work?

A: Absolutely.

Q: I’m not sure whether I’m comfortable with this process and I’d like to discuss it further.  Would it be possible to meet with someone from the DH Certificate program?

A:  Please reach out to Rennie Mapp, Administrative Director, at mapp@virginia.edu, or Alison Booth, Faculty Director, at booth@virginia.edu

For students

Q: How do I know whether a course qualifies as a DH Elective B?

A: Some Elective B courses are listed on the DH Certificate Courses page.  If you don’t see the course you’re interested in there, ask the professor if they would be willing to accept a DH project in lieu of some portion of their regular course assignments.

Q: If the professor agrees, how do I ensure that we share an understanding of what work will be involved?

A:  The DH Elective Agreement Template is designed to ensure that student and instructor share expectations about course requirements. It should be filled out, signed by both instructor and student, and submitted to the DH Certificate Administrative Director (mapp@virginia.edu) no later than three weeks after the start of the semester. 

Q: Are there any additional requirements?

A: There are two additional requirements.

  1. Students must schedule a scoping meeting with a Scholars’ Lab advisor or with a similar expert before submitting their Elective Agreement (the actual meeting may take place later).
  2. Fulfilment of Elective B requires a supplementary 1-3 page paper or blog describing the methodology used to create the DH project; this paper does not count toward course credit, but rather serves as partial fulfillment of the Practicum portfolio requirement. It should be uploaded to your DH Certificate Collab folder.

Q: Can I submit the DH Elective Agreement later in the semester? 

A: Not unless the circumstances are unusually mitigating.  DH projects require advance planning and collaboration with others, and it is inconsiderate of everyone involved to delay the process until late in the semester.