Open DigLit: Opening datasets to advance digital literacy

The main goal of Open DigLit is to build tools that will enable faculty to simply and easily develop course assignments that will develop the digital literacy of students in social science courses.
The main metaphor of the project is the student laboratory. Student laboratories are used in science and engineering education to provide students with the hands-on experience of observing how knowledge taught in the classroom applies in the “real world”. Similarly, the Open DigLit laboratory enables students to “get their hands wet” and experience hands-on how big data are used in the social sciences to better understand social phenomena, and to advance theory. As students deepen their understanding of the specific subject matter, they also develop important digital literacy skills which are important for succeeding in the knowledge society. Furthermore, such exercises can be used to deepen students’ understanding of the potential and the limitations of “big data”, to promote a more critical approach to data mining, and more.