"Crowdsourcing" the Humanities
One of the early projects supported by Humanities Writ Large, Humanities on Demand, allowed ACLS Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor Michael P. Ryan the chance to experiment with students contributing content for a course on "viral" narratives. "Generally, humanities instructors unilaterally choose the content of their syllabuses -- and rightly so. After all, we are the experts," he explained. "But this solitary method of course construction does not reflect how humanists often actually teach." Within most humanities classrooms, he notes, faculty members apply a more student-centered approach, where students are viewed not as passive receptacles of instructional data but as active contributors
In addition to deepening student engagement in the course because they were able to help shape its content (the instructors made selections from student contributions as well as providing their own material), it allowed the faculty members to explore with students messages they thought they understood.