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Digital Pedagogy - A Guide for Librarians, Faculty, and Students

This guide is meant to inform the user about Digital Pedagogy. It includes information on educational theory, a collection of case studies, and resources relevant to the study of digital pedagogy.

What is Digital Pedagogy?

What is Digital Pedagogy?


Digital Pedagogy is a difficult term to describe, as its definition varies. The Digital Pedagogy Lab, the educational outreach branch of Hybrid Pedagogy, an open access, peer-reviewed journal that combines critical pedagogy and digital pedagogy to arrive at the best social and civil uses of technology and new media in education, defines Digital Pedagogy in the following way:


“Digital Pedagogy is precisely not about using digital technologies for teaching and, rather, about approaching those tools from a critical pedagogical perspective. So, it is as much about using digital tools thoughtfully as it is about deciding when not to use digital tools, and about paying attention to the impact of digital tools on learning.”


In his introduction to the MLA Digital Pedagogy Unconference (2013), Brian Croxall offers a very enlightening discussion around digital pedagogy. He defines it very broadly, stating that it:

is the use of electronic elements to enhance or to change the experience of education.”

He gives the examples that these “electronic elements” can range from a powerpoint presentation, to full on MOOCs, to flipped classrooms. It can include blogging assignments, use of social media in the classroom, forking syllabi with Github, and getting students to use digital tools to test out ideas.  It is an attempt to change teaching and learning in a variety of ways through the thoughtful use of technology.

Please see Rebecca Frost Davis's presentation, "Big Ideas in Digital Pedagogy," presented as the opening plenary session at the Digital Pedagogy Institute 2014.

The Emergence of Digital Pedagogy

History and Emergence of Digital Pedagogy

Croxall states that discussions and attention for digital pedagogy has grown by leaps and bounds in recent history. This is demonstrably through the fact that in the last three to five years, through the following:


  1. Emergence of journals: Hybrid Pedagogy, Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy,

  2. Organization of specialized THATCamps

  3. Growing interests by professional associations such as the MLA

  4. Week long conferences and workshops focusing on best practices (Digital Pedagogy Lab, Digital Pedagogy Institute, DHSI (two separate courses on digital pedagogy are on offer in 2016, and moving forward)


In 2015, in preparation for a  Digital Humanities panel at MLA 2015, Jesse Stommel created a timeline focusing on Digital Pedagogy, with the goal of tracking parallel (intersecting) histories of edtech, digital humanities, and digital pedagogy. This timeline offers a great overview of how educational technologies, as well as denoting the development of crucial educational texts that have also emerged concurrently.

In the preface to his timeline, Stommel refers to several definitions of Digital Pedagogy, including the one mentioned above by Croxall. He points out  Katherine D. Harris description of the components of digital pedagogy, which she borrows from the “mainstays of Digital Humanities,” which she described during a Digital Pedagogy NITLE seminar which she delivered in 2012. She states that: “collaboration, playfulness/tinkering, focus on process, and building,” are the key components of Digital Pedagogy.