FARMINGTON HILLS—Gale, the Farmington Hills-based information management firm, announced the addition of instructional support to its Gale Digital Scholar Lab with the launch of a new integrated Learning Center.
Users now have a learning framework that provides step-by-step instruction that helps them navigate and learn throughout the Lab’s workflow. Gale officials say the learning center creates a new structure for teaching best practices, research principles, and the iterative nature of digital scholarship, in a manner that’s teachable and repeatable, putting research and learning first.
Studies show that methodologies such as text mining and data visualization are enhancing the teaching and scholarship of humanities at colleges and universities, with libraries often driving this effort. The lab’s new Learning Center makes the process more accessible to a variety of users by walking them through the text mining and visualization workflow.
Features of the Learning Center include:
- Embedded Video Tutorials: videos are readily accessible to users through core stages in the workflow (Build, Clean, Analyze), providing users with step-by-step walk-throughs of functionality as well as thoughtful commentary related to text and data mining best practices.
- Interactive Sample Projects: provide users with several completed project models that are situated within the context of a narrative format. Users can now be guided through the core research process while benefiting from expandable tips, tricks and guiding questions that promote the importance of inquiry-based learning for best digital humanities and research pedagogical practices. Faculty now have ready-made primary source-based research assignments they can easily use or modify to incorporate digital humanities work into their courses. Sample projects also provide users with the structure to effectively search primary source and archival content, embedded glossary definitions and instructional videos to provide self-paced learning opportunities for novice to advanced users.
- Thinking Critically Supplement: this feature helps support teaching and learning of the critical learning objectives of ideation and interpretation necessary for digital scholarship. It is incorporated in each project ensuring it is relevant to the research questions, process and outcomes, while also considering what can be done beyond the Gale Digital Scholar Lab with that given topic.
Coming later this summer, Gale will introduce the first phase of its content upload capabilities. This will enable users to upload and analyze local text files within the Gale Digital Scholar Lab platform along with their Gale Primary Sources holdings.
“Gale Digital Scholar Lab is widely seen as a platform to introduce textual analysis and digital information literacy to users at many academic levels both in and outside of the classroom,” said Marc Cormier, Gale’s director of product management for the humanities. “We created the Learning Center to provide faculty and students the guidance to understand and execute each stage of the Lab’s text analysis workflow, putting learning at the forefront of the platform.”
Since its launch in September 2018, Gale Digital Scholar Lab has experienced significant growth globally. Over the last year and half, its customer base has more than doubled across five continents. Some of the world’s top colleges and universities are using the Gale Digital Scholar Lab to advance their digital humanities programs including: John Hopkins University, Yale University, University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, Monash University, University of Edinburgh, Nanyang Technological University, Peking University, University of California—Berkeley, University of Adelaide, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Utrecht University.
The Gale Digital Scholar Lab is a cloud-based research environment designed to transform the way scholars and students access and analyze Gale primary source materials by offering solutions to some of the most common challenges facing researchers in the digital humanities today. By integrating an unmatched depth and breadth of digital primary source material with some of today’s most popular digital humanities analysis methods, Gale Digital Scholar Lab provides a new lens to explore history and empowers researchers to deepen our understanding of the world and how it is represented in the written word.