Digital Proficiency Modules

Digital integration modules teach students to be critical, ethical, and responsible consumers and users of digital tools, technologies, and/or methods. These modules include not only what particular digital tools, technologies, and methods can do, but, more importantly, how they work and why they are useful. While all modules are integrated into the learning objectives of the course and include an active learning component, there are different ways of structuring them—including lectures with a hands-on learning component, in-class workshops, assignments, and semester-long projects.

The DITI offers a variety of digital integration modules including:

For each of these modules, we include a list of programs and their availability (F = Free, L = License). Find out more information about programs and their accessibility here. Northeastern University also has a list of software available through ITS.

For some helpful definitions, visit our Glossary of Terms page.

Website Building, Web Design, and Digital Archives

Web design encompasses the various skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites, including graphic and interface design and web accessibility. Find our website building, introduction to WordPress, digital archive,and digital storytelling modules here.

  • WordPress (F)
  • Omeka (F/L)
  • Jekyll (F)
  • Drupal (F/L)
  • Wix (F)
  • HTML/CSS (F)

Digital Text Analysis

Text analysis as a general definition is a way to read, understand, and make inferences about texts and what the text represents. There are three main types of text analysis methods: text encoding, qualitative coding, and computational text analysis. Find our qualitative coding with NVivo and computational text analysis modules here.

  • TEI/ XML (F)
  • Web-based tools (i.e., Voyant, DataBasic) (F)
  • R (F)
  • Python (F)
  • NVivo (L)

Web Scraping

Web scraping is the process of extracting data from an internet source and downloading the data to a local repository. The scraping process can be done manually, but is usually automated by using software because of the large amount of data typically involved. Some websites may prohibit web scraping, so web scraping modules will focus on ethical applications. Find our web scraping modules and examples of web-scraping Twitter here.

  • TAGs for Twitter scraping(F)
  • Python – BeautifulSoup and Selenium (F)
  • R (F)
  • Javascript (F)

Digital and Data Ethics

Digital and data ethics are the principles that guide users and producers as they research, collect data from, and make choices in digital spaces, all of which have real-world consequences. It is especially important to think about who has access to data, what they are doing with it (e.g., tools, algorithms), and how this may shape our realities. Understanding the political, social, and economic contexts of how data is stored, shared, and analyzed can help researchers, users, and creators assess impacts. Find our digital and data ethics modules here.

Citation Management

Citation management software is used to help researchers organize different sources, analyze source usage, and produce citations. Citation software streamlines the processes of creating citations, managing citation formatting, and automatically filling in citation details via identifiers like ISBNs or DOIs. Find our modules on citation management here.

  • Zotero (F)
  • EndNote (F/L)

Geospatial Mapping

Geospatial, as an adjective, refers to data specific to a particular location. GIS, or geographic information system(s), capture, store, manipulate and manage spatial or geographic data, typically for research presentations or platforms. Find our modules on geospatial mapping and storymapping here.

  • Tableau (F)
  • Knight Lab’s StoryMap (F)
  • ArcGIS (L)
  • Carto (L)

Data Management, Analysis, and Visualization

When working with data, whether that data is textual or quantitative, there are a number of methods and software available for managing, analyzing, and visualizing data. Software and programs that work with data are able to take data structured in particular formats and analyze that data in multiple ways, including statistical analysis or textual analysis. Users may also use these tools to create visualizations of their data. Find our modules linked in the below bullet points:

  • R (F) – works with both textual and numerical data
  • Stata (L) –works with numerical data
  • Python (F) – works with both textual and numerical data
  • Excel (L) – works with numerical data mostly, but textual data can be used
  • NVivo (L) – works with textual data, such as interviews
  • Tableau for data visualizations (F) –works with numerical data
  • Google Forms and Sheets (F) – works with numerical data mostly, but textual data can be used


Podcasts are popular audio mediums for conveying information in fun and exciting ways. When developing a podcast, creators need to think about story-boarding, scripting information, how audio will be recorded, what audio content can and cannot be used under copyright, and specific tools to edit audio. Find our podcasting modules here.

  • Audacity(F)