TEI 2017 Victoria, British Columbia, Canada November 11 - 15

XML Mon Nov 13, 10:45–12:15

Toward a Basic Introduction of TEI: Making mayoral shows in university and college classrooms (paper)

Mark Kaethler* Mark Kaethler teaches early English literature at Medicine Hat College. He serves as both the Assistant Project Manager of Mayoral Shows for the Map of Early Modern London, hosted at the University of Victoria and the TEI Editor for Q Collaborative’s project on digitizing the promptbook collection housed at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival archives in Stratford, Ontario. He is a co-editor of Shakespeare’s Digital Language: Old Words, New Tools (Routledge, 2018), and his work has appeared in the journals Upstart and This Rough Magic. He is currently working on a contracted book project examining the works of Shakespeare’s contemporary Thomas Middleton.

1This paper will reflect on the author’s earlier experiences with integrating TEI in the classroom as a novice, working with fellow learners, and it will chronicle the ways in which discussions with university students about successes and failures during the learning process assisted in planning to employ similar tactics later in the college classroom. What emerges from these considerations is an argument for basic instruction that caters toward a college student body that likely has little familiarity with text encoding.
2The paper suggests that in such situations educators begin by working with texts that they believe students are familiar with and assess the degree to which their students are actually competent with the formal structures of these texts. While scholars seem to employ such methods already—as suggested, for instance, by Alan Galey in his brief mention of exercises that possibly approximate this pedagogical practice (Galey, 2014)—the best things instructors seem to have at their disposal for instructing beginners in TEI are video or online tutorials. Even less complicated introductory materials like Kevin S. Hawkins’ “Introduction to XML for Text,” the TEI’s “A Gentle Introduction to XML,” or the Map of Early Modern London’s pedagogical materials are potentially overwhelming for college students.
3For a college audience, then, the paper argues for a revised version of the flipped classroom wherein learning is done through practice (wherein instructors verify that students are versed in the form of the documents they are working with and provide some background in XML terminology), then a more technical introduction of digital encoding is gradually introduced, and then supervised laboratory exercises are implemented that lead toward the creation of an encoded text. The paper will refer to practices developed for ENGL 300/ENGL 2210, a university-transfer and college-level course, in which students will be encoding a mayoral show for the Map of Early Modern London.


  • Galey, Alan. 2014. The Shakespearean Archive. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.