The partners of the Liberal Arts Consortium for Online Learning represent the highest standard of student-centered education. Through our collaborations, we are exploring the future of teaching and learning in a networked world to support our mission as residential liberal arts institutions.
Update on the shared grammar resource, summer 2018.
Convened by Chico Zimmerman and Clara Hardy (Carleton College), about a dozen faculty and technologists met at the workshop to make progress on ideas that emerged from several separate Zoom meetings in the two months preceding the conference. Eventually, the discussions centered on three main elements to focus on moving forward in the near term:
- A set of videos featuring LACOL language instructors and students reflecting on the college-level language-learning experience. These videos will be available for sharing with all LACOL institutions by the end of the summer (see next bullet).
- A self-curated online digital library of shareable resources for LACOL language instructors, for which a proof-of-concept site has been created and tentatively named CHIANTI (as a more appealing version of MERLOT). The (currently WordPress) site would allow for submissions from LACOL language instructors and would be searchable by category and tags. The initial categories will be in the area of:
- General tips for college-level language learning, including research on adult L2 acquisition
- English grammar for L2 learners, including models or maps that integrate all aspects of language
- An interactive glossary of grammatical and linguistic terms from which instructors can draw for their own pedagogical purposes and to which they can contribute their own definitions and examples.
The CHIANTI site will continue to be built through the summer and populated with some initial resources for testing. A prototype submission form has been drafted and will be tested and finalized through the summer as well. The group will be soliciting contributions once these elements are finalized.
For more information, contact Chico Zimmerman or Liz Evans
Dann Hurlbert and Palmar Alvarez-Blanco at Carleton College recently co-taught Spanish 206, a course focused on developing language skills with native speakers and fostering civic engagement–while also giving something tangible back to the community. Students in this course worked with under-represented local organizations to help them create a “participatory videos” (short documentaries) to help tell each organization’s story. In addition to having students create video as a portion of their coursework, Dann also used instructional videos to teach and guide the learning. Dann created a successful Moodle-based micro-course that can now be easily replicated and plugged into a multitude of courses in which the faculty member hopes to tie Civic Engagement with his/her own course content, and video production.
Here’s a short video that offers a peek into the course and this engaging instructional method:
*Note: this sample video includes short selections from the following films: Bacon and God’s Wrath by Sol Friedman and Sarah Clifford-Rashotte; Godka Circa by Antonio Tibaldi and Alex Lora; Damon at 86th Street by Emily Sheskin, and the Price of Certainty by Daniele Anastasion.
For more information on how you and your institution can use this technique and these materials to foster civic engagement in your courses, contact Dann at firstname.lastname@example.org
Event: Discussion of the NAS Data Science for Undergraduates Report
Location: ZOOM web conference (rsvp to email@example.com for a meeting invite)
Date: Thursday, July 12
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Eastern
Discussion Leader: Professor Nicholas Horton, Amherst College
Following on from the lively Data Science meets Environmental Studies meet up at the 2018 LACOL summer workshop, LACOL members are invited to join an online conversation to discuss faculty perspectives on the newly released Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options report from the National Academies of Science. (More about the NAS report is here: http://nap.edu/25104)
Discussion of the report through a liberal arts lens will be lead by Dr. Nick Horton, Professor of Statistics at Amherst College. Nick served as contributor to the report on the Committee on Envisioning the Data Science Discipline: the Undergraduate Perspective. As he and colleagues at the summer workshop note, there is considerable potential to engage with each other as liberal arts colleges around curriculum development (see ASA Guideline, developed with AALAC) and other ways to support students learning to work with data.
Faculty and academic support specialists interested in data science education across the curriculum are encouraged to join this conversation!
— TheLACOL (@TheLACOL) June 2, 2018
Back in LA, still running on a post conference high from the great conversations and collaborations at #LACOL2018. Looking forward to building that cross-institution course: Critical Data Science or all!
— Guillermo Douglass-Jaimes (@gdouglassjaimes) June 2, 2018
— TheLACOL (@TheLACOL) June 1, 2018
— Celeste Tường Vy PhD (@celeste_sharpe) June 1, 2018
Session: The future of learning and knowledge: Human and artificial intelligence
Date/Time: Thursday, May 31st, 11:00am-12:00pm
Presentation File: LACOL2018_SiemensKeynote_5-31-18.pdf
WATCH: (60 min)
LACOL welcomes George Siemens as keynote speaker at the 2018 LACOL Workshop.
Dr. Siemens researches, technology, networks, analytics, and openness in education. Dr. Siemens is Professor and Executive Director of the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab (LINK) at University of Texas, Arlington. He leads the development of the Center for Change and Complexity in Learning (C3L) at University of South Australia. He has delivered keynote addresses in more than 35 countries on the influence of technology and media on education, organizations, and society. His work has been profiled in provincial, national, and international newspapers (including NY Times), radio, and television. He has served as PI or Co-PI on grants funded by NSF, SSHRC (Canada), Intel, Boeing, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Soros Foundation. He has received numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from Universidad de San Martín de Porres and Fraser Valley University for his pioneering work in learning, technology, and networks. He holds an honorary professorship with University of Edinburgh.
Session: Teaching Online in the Liberal Arts
- Melissa Eblen-Zayas, Professor of Physics and Director, Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching, Carleton College
- Erland Stevens, Professor of Chemistry, Davidson College
- Chad Topaz, Professor of Mathematics, Williams College
Facilitator: Janet Russell, Director of Academic Technology, Carleton College
WATCH (Part I – Faculty Presentations – 30 min; Part II – Discussion – 30 min)
How is online teaching and learning relevant for small residential liberal arts colleges?
In this panel, three faculty members with hands-on experience teaching online tell their stories and engage in a dialogue with colleagues across the consortium. How might these insights help us build a vision for online teaching and learning that aligns with the core mission of our institutions?
Session: Teaching with Tech ⚡Lightning⚡ and (((Thunder))) Round
Date/Time: Thursday, May 31, NOON – 1:30pm (over lunch)
In the lightning round, LACOL faculty and staff will share an idea or demo – JUST FIVE MINUTES OR LESS – on a digital tool or teaching technique. Some presentations are flipped – see videos below – so that more time can be devoted to discussion – that’s the thunder.
Lineup and Video Gallery – Watch!
|Long term Collaborative Class – Carleton & Addis Ababa U.
Deborah Gross, Professor of Chemistry, Carleton College
Using video conferencing, chemistry students at Carleton College and Addis Ababa University are working together on projects, meeting together via video approximately once per week. This presentation shares the successes and challenges of teaching and learning in a globally connected classroom.
|Highlighting Digital Tools for 3 Data Science Skills
Ella Foster-Molina, Social Sciences Quantitative Laboratory Associate, Swarthmore College
The Social Sciences Quantitative Laboratory at Swarthmore College has developed a series of workshops designed to develop data analysis skills. These workshops rely heavily on a variety of digital tools to allow students to interact with, be amused by, and engage the theory behind data. This talk highlights a few digital tools used to teach: (1) theory building, (2) p-hacking, and (3) programming. All links included in the video can be found here.
Congratulations to our three LACOL 2018 contest winners!
Amazingly, all three contestants tied for 1st place in the initial round of voting. Upon further deliberation, Profs. Gross and Strand graciously awarded the grand prize – The Little Prompter – to Prof. Hu.
Many thanks to Dann Hurlbert, Carleton’s Media and Design Specialist and inventor of The Little Prompter for sharing his expertise and fantastic gadgetry with the workshop.
And, thanks to *everyone* who took part in the contest. Your creativity and good humor was remarkable. All entries will be be shared with LACOL’s advisory councils. Stay tuned for further results of this intriguing deliberation.
Session: Measuring Complex Domains for the Liberal Arts (Inclusive Pedagogies)
Date/Time: Thursday, May 31, 1:30-2:15PM
⇒ Project site: https://emergentedu.org
⇒ About Sensemaker: http://cognitive-edge.com/sensemaker/#sensemaker-about
⇒ Kristen Eshleman, Director of Digital Innovation, Davidson College
⇒ Brent Maher, Director of Academic Assessment, Davidson College
⇒ Annie Sadler, Instructional Design Fellow, Davidson College
⇒ Paul Youngman, Prof. of German, Chair, Digital Humanities, Washington & Lee University
WATCH! Intro video (15 min)
Innovations in assessment can directly address a key challenge for our institutions – demonstrating our value in a time of increasing skepticism about the liberal arts.
On April 27, Davidson College and Washington & Lee University hosted a LACOL workshop to explore an assessment tool and method called Sensemaker that has the potential to manage and account for the complex domains of learning. Pursuing a research design as a network of allied liberal arts institutions provides evidence at scale while building capacity for experimentation and innovation at each of our institutions. This session will explore the key ideas and next steps for this initiative.
Workshop Track: Data Science meets Environmental Studies – Exploration
- Cailin Huyck Orr, Assistant Director, Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
- Kristin O’Connell, Evaluation and Education Specialist, SERC
Program: Session Agendas
Part 1: May 31, 9:30am, Weitz 136
Part 2: June 1, 10:30am, Weitz 230
OLI Discussion: May 31, 3:30pm, Weitz 136
The intersection between Data Science and Environmental Studies is emerging as an area of focus for LACOL as we explore opportunities for collaboration around digitally engaged modes of teaching and learning for the liberal arts.
Several colleges are currently developing programming under the umbrella of Data Science, including critical algorithm studies, big data, data visualization, and data privacy/security. Meanwhile, most LACOL schools have a data-intensive Environmental Studies concentration or major. Interdisciplinary by nature, these areas of study challenge students to understand and work with data from many angles. Students engage in analysis, problem solving, critical thinking, and modes of argument that are deeply connected to social, cultural, political, and aesthetic ideas. Considering such programs, LACOL is thinking about ways that digital collaboration might enrich teaching and learning in this arena.
Session: Digital Competencies and Digital Studies
- Gina Siesing, Chief Information Officer and Constance A. Jones Director of Libraries, Bryn Mawr College
- Austin Mason, Assistant Director of the Humanities Center for the Digital Humanities and Lecturer in History, Carleton College
Date/Time: Thursday, May 31, 9:30am-10:30am
Location: Weitz 236
Pre-workshop activity/instructions: Group annotation of the BMC Framework
To build upon foundations laid at the Think Tank on Digital Competencies at Davidson College last fall, an interactive session exploring digital competencies and digital studies across the curriculum will be featured at the the 2018 Summer Workshop.
This discussion will focus on how digital competencies and digital studies programs connect with faculty priorities and practices for teaching and learning in the physical and virtual classroom and how digital competencies support and relate to other learning goals.
To approach these questions, Siesing and Mason will guide:
- An overview of Bryn Mawr College’s digital competencies framework as one model to stimulate exploration of campus-wide digital literacy programs in the liberal arts, integrating faculty, staff and student comments from the pre-workshop annotation activity.
- A look at Carleton College’s visioning around curricular pathways for Digital Studies.
- Discussion of related initiatives across liberal arts colleges, to be continued beyond the session.
As input into this discussion, all workshop attendees are invited and encouraged to share reflections in advance by joining in the Group annotation of the BMC Framework.
Hands-On Mini-Workshop @ LACOL 2018
Name: Depolluting the Web: Information Environmentalism in Education
Date: Thursday, May 31st
Location: Weitz 235
- Amy Collier, Associate Provost for Digital Learning, Middlebury College
- Sundi Richard, Lead Instructional Designer, Davidson College
The web is polluted. The digital platforms where we learn and connect are replete with misinformation and threats to our wellbeing and privacy. We know that toxic digital information environments impact our daily lives, and the lives of our students, in everything from politics, to policy, to interactions in public and private spheres.
What can we do? What does informed participation or activism look like in these polluted web platforms?
In this hands-on session, we’ll “get our hands dirty” to better understand the drivers of mis/disinformation on the web (i.e., how our digital information environments become polluted) and begin to take actions to clean up those environments. Dubbed “Information Environmentalism” by Mike Caulfield, this work aims to depollute the web platforms where we find (mis)information and where we connect for social and educational purposes.
Information environmentalism embraces agency–rather than hopelessness and withdrawal–and because of this, we think it is a necessary part of digital literacy education in a liberal arts curriculum. (more…)
Session: How to blend a course – hands on
Lead presenter: Jennifer Spohrer, Director of Educational Technology Services, Bryn Mawr College
Date/Time: Friday, June 1, 10:30am-11:30am
Location: Weitz 131
This hands-on mini workshop will explore how and why faculty are motivated to blend their courses, even for their residential students on our campuses.
Related sessions at LACOL 2018:
Session: Course Sharing Brainstorm
Date/Time: Friday, June 1, 1:30-2:50pm
Location: Weitz 235
Background Reading: Straw Models
- Liz Evans, LACOL Director
- Lioba Gerhardi, Adj. Asst. Professor of German and SILP Director, Vassar College
- Jingchen (Monika) Hu, Asst. Professor Statistics, Vassar College
- Steven J. Miller, Professor of Mathematics, Williams College
Sharing courses as a consortium can enhance curricular opportunities, lead to efficiency gains by combining expertise and curricular resources, and provide opportunities for our faculty and students to explore digitally-enhanced, collaborative modes for teaching and learning in the liberal arts.
Building on pilots and proofs of concept conducted in 2017, faculty and staff across the consortium worked together in the spring of 2018 to explore opportunities and a framework (processes and infrastructure) that could support strategic course sharing.
Emerging pedagogies for inclusion are keen topics of interest across the liberal arts. Our Teaching & Learning Centers, and our academic support colleagues have a growing body of experience – what works and what doesn’t work – when it comes to supporting our diverse student body academically and as whole persons. Collaboration around these insights and measurements across LACOL has seemed like a useful idea to many. To advance these conversations, two interrelated workshops will be held in the Spring of 2018:
WORKSHOP 2: Measuring Complex Domains of Learning (Inclusive Pedagogies)
- Date: Friday, April 27
- Location: Davidson College
- Register: Davidson Workshop Registration & Housing (register by 4/1)
- Workshop Leads:
- Dr. Brent Maher, Director of Academic Assessment, Davidson College
- Kristen Eshleman, Director of Digital Innovation, Davidson College
- Prof. Paul Youngman, Chair of the Digital Humanities Working Group and Professor of German, Washington & Lee University
- Workshop Resources: Readings & Videos
- Program: https://emergentedu.org
WORKSHOP 1: LACOL Dialogue on Inclusive Pedagogies
- Date: Friday, March 9
- Location: Haverford College
- Prof. Verna Case, Assoc. Dean of Faculty, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center, and Beverly F. Dolan Professor of Biology, Davidson College
- Prof. Jyl Gentzler, John Cooper ’64 Presidential Teaching Professor of Philosophy and Faculty Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Amherst College
- Dr. Riley Caldwell O’Keefe, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, Amherst College
- Prof. Jonathon Kahn, Assoc. Professor of Religion, Vassar College
- Dr. Andrea Nixon, Program Director, Division of Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation and Director of Educational Research, Carleton College
- Program: Agenda
- Logistics: Workshop Info
Background and Purpose:
The goal of these paired workshops is to start a dialogue across our stakeholders around issue of access and inclusion, and to consider ways in which both qualitative and quantitative assessments might be used to jointly study this aspect (and others) of the liberal arts experience. (more…)
Sessions: QLAB discussions at LACOL 2018
Discussion Leads – QLAB Core Team:
- Melissa Eblen-Zayas, Professor of Physics, Carleton College
- Jonathan Leamon, Director of Instructional Technology, Williams College
- Laura Muller, Director of Quantitative Skills Programs and Peer Support, Williams College
- Janet Russell, Director of Academic Technology, Carleton College
QLAB Session B: Thursday, May 31, 1:30pm-3:30pm
Focus: Small group discussion with QLAB core team. Strategies for building a faculty community and engagement with online modules that support students with QS/QR.