My gateway to ODDs here in North America was, like so many other TEI things here, via Syd and his wonderful bank of WWP slides, but I’m hoping we’re expanding with more opportunities and more instructors lately. My undergrad students and I work on ODDs as soon as they decide their XML project should be done in TEI (a call I let them make, after explaining something of why the TEI might matter for them). Since my course teaching is primarily about building and processing XML, and I want to spend a lot of time on the whole “XML family of languages” so they know how to process it, I have trouble finding time to do a generalized ODD module. HOWEVER(!) I also think one *really* learns to write ODD on a project-by-project basis, and my students become eager to learn it in the context of having to formalize their decisions on elements and attributes, whether and how these need to be customized for their purposes. The thinking process is what I value here because it forces us to be deliberate in our decision making—and helps us to recognize brittle ad-hoc solutions if it’s a matter of review and thoughtful discussion.
I’ve been compiling ODD training resources (with lots of Syd’s stuff—thanks, Syd!) and samples here on my teaching GitHub repo wiki: https://github.com/ebeshero/DHClass-Hub/wiki/TEI-ODD:-Schema-Prep-Resources-for-TEI-in-Projects
Because these are designed for 15-week undergrad semester course projects, the samples here aren’t terribly involved, which also makes them easy to pull out as models of something or other, like when you might want to try a Schematron rule, etc. I hope the little collection of resources here may be of use to others!
On Sat, May 5, 2018 at 7:12 AM, Lou Burnard <[hidden email]> wrote:
Emmanuel Chateau and I prepared and gave exactly such a course for the Ecole des Chartes twice in the last few years, but take up was a bit disappointing this year and I don't know if we will be asked to do it again. The teaching materials are all online though (See https://github.com/tei-fr/form
But I think Vanessa is right, that ODD can be an **early** step for learning TEI. From what I see on the pedagogical ground, my students (who have usually never contemplated an angle bracket seriously before taking my course) don't really start taking the complicated TEI ecosystem seriously until they are positioned to study it, with the challenge of creating an ODD. Without ODD instruction, they tend (as I once did) to veer about the Guidelines a little wildly, choosing elements and attributes that seem to fit their immediate needs without fully understanding whether they really do. I think one attains greater wisdom, if you will, by examining the options patiently and doing a lot of reading.
Of course, one of the problems people have with the TEI (both learning it and critiquing it at the level of interchange), is the amount of reading and thinking they need to do to write code that authentically communicates to others outside of their research silo. Writing ODDs I think is a way to make learners of the TEI conscious that their decisions are part of a dialogue with a larger community, and that they ought to get to know that community and pan through its options and discussions patiently as they formalize their decisions.
On Sat, May 5, 2018 at 8:40 AM, Elisa Beshero-Bondar <[hidden email]> wrote:
Here is why I think there ought to be more early training on ODD. In my experience, many participants in the TEI don’t know more about its technical words/approaches. And among participants, some are reluctant to ask questions, in particular, a question on the meaning of a “technical” word. Some of them abandon the training/digital project.
Of course, each participant has a different project, but the same question is raised: “what is the goal of my TEI, what I intend to show?” Then “what do I need as elements and attributes, would they be relevant to achieve my goal?” This is an important step in order to understand the relevance of an ODD.
I think a simple definition needs to be given to each word used in an ODD, especially the ones used in TEI, as elements and attributes, and their purposes—especially because an ODD is a collection of TEI specification, this step of “questions and definitions” must be prior to a more technical training.
This first step can be an introduction to an ODD training, as well as to TEI encoding. It will definitely be useful to understand/realize the relevance of a customized 'ODD', and help also to improve a framework for future TEI project: “I know well the various materials I need in order to build my house and how to use them.”
Consequently, a single session is not enough of course. At least, it would be preferable to have an introduction session, a theoretical session, and a practical session.
I'll back this up with my personal experience. I am co-editing a volume on digital humanities applied to Ancient/Near Eastern (ANE) studies, and we have decided to send each chapter to three internal reviews first before they are assigned to peer review. We deliberately selected the three internal reviews to be:
(1) a neophyte in DH but expert in ancient Near East (ANE),
(2) a neophyte in ANE, but an expert in DH, and
(3) an expert in DH and ANE.
We did this to be sure a chapter is understandable to a wide audience (including DH researchers, digital practitioners, ANE researchers, and neophytes in DH), since the goal is also to bring new investigation practices (digital/computer sciences), in addition to “traditional” practices. What we learned is that the expert in our ANE field but neophyte in DH didn't understand the research very well because technical terms were not explained clearly to a neophyte, meaning with clear and simple words. Consequently, we asked authors to give a clear definition of each word, including technical words on DH, ANE, and philology) and we helped by working collaboratively on adding glossaries to the volume based on the author's definitions. Incomprehension scares away researchers from using digital practices.
ODD training at an early stage might be the way to do just that with the TEI: make it possible to learn its specialized areas more quickly and give people more tools to work with. It might keep people involved with their projects if they were oriented to TEI with ODD writing.
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