Hi Elisa,

I agree as well. I think it all depends on the project. For the 
William Godwin Diary project 
( the 3 students 
doing the encoding had 1.5 days of training which included 
explanation of subversion as well.  Yes, they occasionally asked 
questions but mostly got on with really quite rich and deep 
encoding. They were all literature or politics grads with no 
previous technical training.

Maybe it all comes down to the teaching. ;-)


On 27/04/17 02:06, Elisa Beshero-Bondar wrote:
> Absolutely agreed with Syd. And I’m sorry if my three or four 
> years of field experience in teaching undergrads at 
> Pitt-Greensburg fails to convince you about the “ducks to 
> water” claim, but I will repeat it, and even indicate that my 
> “one-week” period is exaggerated. It really takes, as Syd 
> indicates, some *hours*. I believe it takes an overnight 
> homework assignment that orients them to coding. I’ve never had 
> trouble with teaching XML—and when students tend to feel 
> overwhelmed with my coding course it’s much later—perhaps with 
> schema writing (though not typically)—it’s usually when we get 
> to writing regular expressions and up-converting plain text to 
> XML. Then it becomes something of an obsessive-compulsive 
> video-game experience, I think, and they get frustrated when 
> the expressions they try don’t work or make ill-formed 
> code. They tend to get befuddled for maybe a week in figuring 
> out how to write template matches in XSLT, but they get over 
> that, too.
> I’ve seen students get stuck and lost with coding, but it’s not 
> with the XML writing part of it. They even enjoy XPath. Really. 
> Give those undergrads a try—they *do* like to learn to code, 
> and it seems a shame not to give them the opportunity when you 
> have them for 6 weeks working on TEI files.
> Elisa
> -- 
> Elisa Beshero-Bondar, PhD
> Director, Center for the Digital Text | Associate Professor of 
> English
> University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg | Humanities Division
> 150 Finoli Drive
> Greensburg, PA  15601  USA
> E-mail: [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> Development site:
>> On Apr 26, 2017, at 8:55 PM, Syd Bauman 
>> <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> 
>> wrote:
>> Martin -- For encouragement using MS Word as an XML editor and 
>> advice
>> on how to do so ask Laura Mandell from Texas A&M. The rest of 
>> us will
>> try to warn you off the idea.
>> I, for one, think you would be doing the undergraduates you hire a
>> grave disservice not to spend the 1/2 day it will take to 
>> teach them
>> XML, oXygen, and enough TEI to do the work you need.[1] For 
>> some it
>> will be a skill they just use to do the job you've hired them for
>> better. For some it will prove mildly useful at cocktail 
>> parties and
>> perhaps when dealing with tech support. For a few, though, it 
>> will be
>> a life-long skill that will prove invaluable over and over again.
>> Notes
>> -----
>> [1] And you should fee free to use the WWP teaching materials. 
>> E.g.,
>>    see
>>    or, just slides w/o the tutorial notes at

Dr James Cummings, [log in to unmask]
Academic IT Services, University of Oxford