ENCODE: Bridging the <gap> in Ancient Writing Cultures
ENCODE is a three-year (September 1, 2020 - August 31, 2023) Erasmus+ Strategic partnership for higher education, funded by the EU, aimed at bridging the existing gap in the teaching/learning domain of ancient writing cultures between the peculiar humanistic training and the now essential digital competences required for study, research and employment.
It brings together six partners: Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Julius Maximilian Universität Würzburg, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Università degli studi di Parma, Universität Hamburg, Universitetet I Oslo.
Digital transformations in the cultural heritage sector have empowered the work of curation, made it easier for people to use cultural heritage for education, research, creation and recreation, and contributed to an open and knowledgeable society. Specialized disciplines in the humanities like papyrology, epigraphy, paleography, dealing with ancient written artefacts, embraced digital change developing tools for new forms of participatory research and collaborative publishing: these innovations require new competences and training both for graduate students and researchers in the rapidly evolving field of Digital Humanities and AI, in order to prepare new professionals contributing to preserving and giving access to the intercultural heritage of ancient texts spelled in multiple ancient languages and writing systems.
ENCODE is grounded in the research-training experiences of other transnational initiatives, some of which already involve team members of the partners’ organizations: it primarily relies on the transnational EpiDoc community, and also considers experiences of other transnational initiatives such as Papyri.info, the Digital Corpus of Literary Papyri, Trismegistos, EAGLE, and SunoikisisDC.
ENCODE target are: graduate students in Ancient History, Archaeology, Classics, Cultural Heritage, Digital Humanities; stakeholders in the fields of cultural heritage curation, digital collections of artefacts and texts, and digital publishing; academics in the relevant disciplines.
Three objectives, touching societal, educational, institutional needs respectively, are set:
- to promote collaborative, participatory and intercultural digital approaches to ancient written heritage through new professional profiles and focused training of skilled graduates;
- to strengthen the crucial cooperation between higher education and cultural heritage institutions supplying materials for teaching and self-training to academics and providing stakeholders with support services;
- to meet learning needs of graduates in the field of highly specialized digital skills applied to the study of ancient writing media in old European, Asian and African languages through innovative teaching modules. From a methodological point of view, these modules are built around the following key principles:
a. they will be based on an internationally shared definition of learning outcomes;
b. they will use innovative pedagogies, enabling mutual learning among trainees and teachers, lifelong learning for both, and research-based learning;
c. they will enable modular integration into courses in various forms (including distance learning practice, blended, e-learning), according to training needs and contexts and they will bear future development and implementation according to evolution of technologies and training practices;
d. they will foster the inclusion of the training sets inside the university study curricula, increasing attractiveness through ICT-enriched learning and real-world-applications.
At the end of the project the modules will be made available online so that they may be used, implemented and customized according to different European contexts and teaching/learning needs.
1. A shared definition of needed digital competences of graduate students in the programmes focusing on written cultural heritage: this will orient transnational training activities and constitute the base for strengthening the cooperation between higher education institutions and stakeholders.
2. Design and test of innovative and customizable teaching modules, basic and advanced, improving participatory and intercultural approaches to heritage as well as educational initiatives aimed at fostering intercultural dialogue. Training design in the vast area of digital content production, collaboration and advanced re-elaboration is aimed at supporting academics with innovative teaching and learning strategies to promote a new method of skills development and a closer contact between research and teaching.
3. A full guide to the teaching modules, including a MOOC, that will enhance the importance of innovative digital training and digital applications, including AI, in the academic and professional environment.
4. A platform for alumni community and stakeholders/employers. The Platform will help in assuring a constant and dynamic contact among different actors: employers, institutions concerned with digital curation (libraries, museums, publishers), professionals active in Museums and Libraries, alumni, prospective students who want to start their studies in the area of ancient history, languages and cultures, academics who design curricula and training modules, so to assure a constant updating of the competences description, the design of related training modules and its implementation.
Fore more information visit https://site.unibo.it/encode/en