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Beauty and the beast: New approaches to teaching computing for humanities students at the University of Aberdeen

Holland, Simon and Burgess, Gordon (1992). Beauty and the beast: New approaches to teaching computing for humanities students at the University of Aberdeen. Computers and the Humanities, 26 pp. 267–274.

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This paper reports on the history and development of a new undergraduate course teaching Computing for Humanities Students at the University of Aberdeen, and assesses some new teaching approaches developed on the course. It is noted that teaching computing to humanities students has sometimes been viewed with suspicion by both Computer Science and Humanities Departments. The two camps tend to fear, for different reasons, that issues and practices important to their disciplines will be compromised or watered down. Humanities students are often lacking in enthusiasm for computers. This paper describes an attempt to reverse any such attitudes on the part of staff and students and to take undergraduates considerably beyond mere word processing and computer literacy. Various methods and techniques used in the course are presented and their value assessed. The importance of using a consistent computer interface to helping students form a stable conceptual model of computers is considered. The value of teaching more about Human Computer Interaction and Artificial Intelligence than is usual in Humanities Computing courses is considered. A number of lessons are drawn from the course.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 1992 Kluwer Academic Publishers
ISSN: 1572-8412
Keywords: education; human computer interaction; artificial intelligence; computing; humanities
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 59796
Depositing User: Simon Holland
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2019 09:20
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2019 21:34
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