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Hossam Ahmed receives Comenius teaching grant for Digital Humanities track

A better integration of Digital Humanities into study programmes, so that students develop their digital skills as well as possible. That is what Hossam Ahmed wants to achieve in the coming years. He received a senior Comenius Fellowship to develop a digital programme for students.

The coming years, Ahmed gets to spend a total of € 100,000 on his project. ‘One of the goals of the Faculty Board is to highlight the Digital Humanities. After all, such technologies enable us to see new connections and to process much more data. In addition, they are useful for graduates, because they are valued on the labour market and show that the humanities contribute to society. That is why I want to find a way to integrate the digital humanities more in the various study programmes and to streamline the programme standards in that area.’

Everyone at their own level

In order to reach that goal, Ahmed will develop a digital learning environment in which students can practice with digital skills at their own level. ‘I want to create a uniform design, but within that design I want to find a way to offer individualised instructions. Some students only know how to swipe through their phones, while others are already quite advanced when it comes to digital technology. I want all of them to have a relevant learning experience, both in terms of content and difficulty.’

Succes story

A pretty big task, also because the various study programmes use Digital Humanities in different ways. At first, Ahmed will thus focus on International Studies, where the programme will be used at Middle Eastern Studies and Asian Studies. ‘Technologically, the project is a pretty big challenge. In theory, during a semester five students might all do different things. That is why we have to create a lot of material while at the same time making sure that quality is guaranteed. I am looking forward to creating this infrastructure, but practice will tell how it works. Hopefully, it will be a success story that other study programmes can also participate in.’

Comenius teaching grants

The Comenius teaching grants are funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and are administered by the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (Nationaal Regie Orgaan Onderwijsonderzoek, NRO), a subsidiary of the Dutch Research Council (NWO). A Comenius Senior Fellows grant consists of € 100,000 with which lecturers can realise their vision and plans for innovations and improvements in their study programme.

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