This project has sought to incite discussion about the uses and perceptions of the Digital Humanities in teaching and learning at McMaster University. Participating faculty and graduate students within the Faculty of Humanities demonstrated a wide variety of opinions about, uses of, and potential benefits and challenges of the Digital Humanities, offering useful preliminary information about DH’s ability to enhance Humanities based teaching, learning, and research. The diversity of responses parallels the wide range of definitions, uses, and benefits of the Digital Humanities seen in the existing research.
Unique to our responses is a focus on Digital Humanities and accessibility. While this is perhaps not surprising, as this topic was the focus of an interview question, it is nonetheless noteworthy that participants shared similar sentiments about how Digital Humanities tools can be used to support both financial accessibility and accessibility for students with disabilities (e.g., by increasing the flexibility and adaptability of instruction). At the same time, the initial questions raised about the experiences different learner groups might have with DH pedagogies are essential, and warrant further exploration. Further research concerning this topic would help to nuance our understanding of how Digital Humanities can be implemented to improve accessibility and of the resulting impact on students’ experiences in the classroom.
We also acknowledge the limitations of this study, especially concerning the small number of participants. Future studies with a larger data pool will help to refine and give a broader understanding of some of the trends observed in our data. As well, future studies might consider the impact of gender on student perceptions of Digital Humanities, explore further the different disciplines within the Humanities and their respective uses and perception of DH, and ask further questions about Digital Humanities and accessibility in the classroom.