B. Activities Planned

B.1 Activities to be undertaken during the funding period covered by this application

This report lists activities planned from September 1997 until September 1998. Common activities for the whole project include the following:

Activities planned in the subprojects are the following:

Computational linguistics and language engineering

At the Area Committee meeting at EACL in July 1997, a definitive choice will be made from the following innovative activities which are now being preliminarily planned:

Textual scholarship and edition philology

The name of the area (previously textual scholarship and repositories) is changed to Textual scholarship and edition philology. The activities planned are:

History and historical informatics

History of art and aesthetic disciplines

Purpose and objectives

B.2 Current objectives

The main objective of ACO*HUM is to analyze the use of new technologies in Humanities scholarship in Europe, identifying opportunities, problems, and good practice with respect to the integration of advanced computing. More specific objectives are:

Humanities education: needs for change

  • to analyze the extent to which humanities scholars need advanced computing methods for working with language, literature, history, logic, art, music, etc.;
  • to research how humanities students can better be prepared for the professional world where our languages and cultures will increasingly be manipulated by information technology;
  • to research how institutions are addressing the teaching of new skills in advanced computing in their traditional humanities disciplines;
  • Humanities education: innovation in curricula

  • to facilitate the strengthening of advanced computing content in Humanities programmes through European collaboration;
  • to identify learning modules for cross-disciplinary humanities programmes with a broad agreement on advanced computing content, means of delivery and learning, and potential uses;
  • to identify learning modules strengthening specialized computing in individual humanities disciplines;
  • Humanities education: new processes for learning

  • to facilitate student mobility and the availability of teaching competence in advanced computing;
  • to increase the accessibility of computational resources for humanities scholarship (e.g. language data, text repositories, historical databases, digitized art collections);
  • to collaborate with ODL projects in order to promote the integration of accessible humanities resources in distance learning modules.
  • B.3 Current planned outcomes

    The expected outcomes consist of dissemination of good practice; exchange of information through meetings and conferences; reports, inventories and other written material; improved accessibility of computational resources; collaborative structures; new strategies for humanities learning; ODL test courses; curriculum recommendations; increased awareness among humanities teaching staff, students, employers, and public bodies; and a platform for addressing current and future issues.

    B.4 Project approach

    The common pedagogical approach insists on setting a focus on the development of `hybrid skills' among students graduating in the humanities. Participants in the ACO*HUM network will discuss new didactic models incorporating advanced computing in theoretical and applied study modules. Priority will be given to the incorporation of an innovative approach to teaching and learning, e.g.the use of network-based computational resources for language and culture.

    To ensure the feasibility of the project and modularize its activities, the project has in its initial year focused on four pilot areas within the Humanities which have already been strong in their incorporation of advanced computing, although not yet Europe-wide:

    With respect to these areas, the approach strongly consists of the identification of best practice and making the results, consisting a.o. of analyses, recommendations, and shared resources, available Europe-wide.

    During the next years, the TNP will make a strong effort to transfer the methodology to the whole humanities by spreading best practice to other humanities disciplines including Non-European languages (see separate application), cultural studies, archaeology, music, art, logic and philosophy, and religion and biblical studies. We have established initial contacts with the TNPs in archaeology, arts and music, and established a common interest in joint activities. These plans will be actively worked out during 1997-1998.

    The proposed increasing coverage of the humanities is clearly dependent on a proportionally increasing financial support.