Chapter 1 Introduction to the module

This module has been designed to enable independent learners to aquire knowledge about contemporary legal and methodological issues surrounding digital data and research, and to provoke some thinking on the big questions that underpin some of the more practical issues we discuss here.

Ideally, a student should expect to invest at least four hours in independent learning activities (reading articles, writing reflections, etc.) over the course of a week. It should be possible to work through this a bit more slowly and in-depth. We have tried to point to a range of resources, both those which are accessible and those which are challenging. It is also worth noting that this module is included in a broader effort underway at the University of Birmingham, the “Birmingham Digital” which has other modules working alongside this one.

For the week, we have divided content into five parts. Included here (and below) is a brief introduction to the course. There are four additional sessions, which each have associated activities which explore more specific areas within the topic we are exploring here.

Now let’s dive into the big issues together! We will explain more along the way as we go along together.