Language Skills Diagnostic Dashboard: 2018 Faculty Workshop and Pilot for French

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C. Born, Carleton College, presents at ELI in Jan 2018
C. Born, Carleton College, presenting at ELI
Jan 2018

To advance the LACOL Language Skills Diagnostic Dashboard Framework, a three-day hands on-workshop will be held in spring 2018 at Swarthmore College, leading to a pilot study of the emerging prototype in French.  

The workshop and pilot are the next step in a sequence that began with the Language Skills Hack-a-thon at Swarthmore College in May 2017 and the Dashboard Prototype Technical Workshop at Carleton College in October 2017.  With groundwork laid at these previous events, the team is well positioned to put forward a working prototype in French that can be piloted with faculty and students for placement and advising in the summer/fall of 2018. (more…)

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Active Learning – Strategies & Spaces

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Workshop Session: Active Learning – Strategies & Spaces

Session Leaders:

  • Michael Jones, Director of Language and Media Centers, Swarthmore College
  • Ashley Turner, Academic Technologist, Swarthmore College

Description: The purpose of this session is to start a discussion about Active Learning Spaces at Liberal Arts Colleges, and explore if there is an opportunity and mechanism through LACOL to share approaches and lessons about the design, technology and support of these classrooms.  

Come to share insights on experimental, flexible learning spaces on your campus.  What is the intent of those space?  How are they used?  How are they assessed?

 

 

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Digital Competencies – annotate the Bryn Mawr Framework

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The activity described below is linked to the Digital Competencies session at the 2018 LACOL Workshop

The concept of digital competencies (also known as digital fluencies, literacies or dexterities) reflects the need for students to develop digital skills and critical perspectives as lifelong learners prepared for scholarship, work and life in the 21st century.  Recently, Bryn Mawr College has developed a digital competencies framework focused on these five areas:

  • Digital Survival Skills
  • Digital Communication
  • Data Management and Preservation
  • Data Analysis and Presentation
  • Critical Design, Making, and Development

Bryn Mawr’s framework served as the basis for the excellent Think Tank on Digital Competencies last fall at Davidson College which attracted a vibrant group of faculty, librarians and technologists from across the liberal arts.

Digital Competencies Session at the LACOL Summer Workshop

For faculty and staff across LACOL to build upon foundations laid at the Think Tank, an interactive session exploring digital competencies across the curriculum will be held at the 2018 Summer Workshop.  This discussion will focus on how digital competencies connect with faculty priorities and practices for teaching and learning in the physical and virtual classroom, and how digital competencies support and relate to higher order learning goals.  

Pre-Workshop Activity – Group Annotation of the BMC Framework

As input to the workshop discussion, we are inviting groups of faculty, staff and students to annotate a copy of the Bryn Mawr Digital Competencies Framework using a collaborative annotation tool called Hypothesis.  This tool is easy to use and allows everyone in a group to add and comment on annotations overlayed on top of any web document through a shared view. Shared annotation for the BMC Framework can help to reveal key trends and themes that will serve as a starting point for face to face discussion at the workshop.

(more…)

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Digital Competencies – two meetups @ EDU-PLACE in January

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In October 2017, Davidson College hosted a LACOL event called the Think Tank on Digital Competencies. A mix of faculty, campus leaders, librarians, technologists, and instructional designers from liberal arts colleges across the country focused first on the Bryn Mawr College Digital Competencies Program (https://www.brynmawr.edu/digitalcompetencies), tracing its history, motivations, and impacts for students, faculty, and the institution.  Design thinking was then used to explore how digital liberal arts leaders may approach similar goals on their campuses.  

To follow up on a great think tank, the two webinars described below are being offered in January 2018 as a way open up this work on developing a Digital Competencies Framework to those who could not attend the in person event and to continue this conversation.

PLEASE JOIN! These webinars are open to everyone through PLACE, the Partnership for Liberal Arts Collaboration and Exploration, https://p-lace.org.

Workshop 1: Overview of Bryn Mawr’s Digital Competencies Framework

Tuesday, January 9 | 3pm – 4pm Eastern
EDU-PLACE Webinar

(The Workshop 1 event has past; check the EDU-PLACE list for related resources)

Presenters:

  • Beth Seltzer, Educational Technology Specialist, Bryn Mawr College
  • Gina Siesing, Chief Information Officer and Constance A. Jones Director of Libraries, Bryn Mawr College
  • Jennifer Spohrer, Director of Educational Technology Services, Bryn Mawr College

In this session, Bryn Mawr College staff will discuss why and how the college developed and launched a digital competencies program. This institutional focus on digital competency reflects our commitment to ensuring students develop digital skills and critical perspectives as lifelong learners prepared for work and life in the 21st century. We will talk about how to develop a framework that’s meaningful within your institutional context, ways to leverage college partnerships and build on campus initiatives, and approaches to integrating digital competencies across the student’s curricular and co-curricular experience.

This is the first of two related workshops; the next is “Hands-on Digital Competencies Program Design” on January 16.

Workshop 2: Hands-on Digital Competencies Program Design

Tuesday, January 16 |  2pm – 3pm Eastern
EDU-PLACE Webinar

(The Workshop 2 event has past; check the EDU-PLACE list for related resources)
Presenters:

  • Kristen Eshleman, Director of Digital Innovation, Davidson College
  • Sundi Richard, Lead Instructional Designer, Davidson College

verbs of dcThis is an active session that is meant to follow the “Overview of BMC’s Digital Competencies Framework” session on January 9th. We recommend you join this session with a group of 3 – 5 people, as you will be doing timed design thinking activities together. Each group will work through a guided ideation process to establish the goals and components for an institutional digital competencies framework and map out next steps for local program development. The facilitators will provide prompts and examples each step of the way.

(more…)

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LACOL First Timers

Workshop Session: LACOL First-timers
Facilitator: Janet Scannell, Chief Technology Officer, Carleton College
Date/Time: Thursday, May 31, 3:30-5pm
Location: Weitz 231 @ Carleton College

J. Scannell, CTO, Carleton College

New to LACOL? Come to this session to learn and brainstorm about the consortium’s purpose, goals, history, current initiatives, and future horizons.

The fourth* consortium-wide LACOL workshop brings together a mix of faculty and staff from across our partner schools for two days of thinking and working. Some participants have been at every workshop and/or are involved already with current projects and initiatives. Others will be brand new to the consortium. For “first timers”, this session is a chance to learn about LACOL, share your ideas, and ask questions!

* Pomona 2014, Haverford 2016, Vassar 2017, Carleton 2018

 

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Explorations toward a LACOL course sharing framework (Spring ’18)

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Based on insights flowing from the Upper Level Math/Stats and Self-Instructional Language (SILP) course sharing pilots, a multi-campus, multidisciplinary Steering Committee and Course Design Task Force are working in concert to explore models and possibilities for course sharing across LACOL’s digital network.

The Exploration

Sharing courses as a consortium can enhance curricular opportunities for students and faculty, 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.

As LACOL is considering a framework for course sharing, a learner-centered course design is recommended to emphasize interpersonal connections and engagement between faculty and students across a shared class. To the extent possible, a level playing field (via technology and pedagogy) should be maintained across local and remote learners. While there is not a one-size-fits all approach, there are plenty of proven models and techniques to draw on. Support for shared courses will depend on a thriving network of relationships across faculty, IT, library, accessibility offices, and other academic support units.

While the consortium expects to be in exploratory mode for the foreseeable future, success of any course sharing initiative critically depends on local champions at the leadership and grass roots levels.

2017 Course Sharing Pilots

Course Sharing for Portuguese (SILP)

In the Fall 2017/Spring 2018, Vassar College and Williams College shared a tutor and teaching resources for their students learning Portuguese via their Self-Instructional Language Programs.

Read more: http://lacol.net/project-summary-silp

Upper Level Math/Stats

In Spring and Fall of 2017, several LACOL colleges collaborated to pilot three shared course offerings for advanced mathematics and statistics:

  • Putnam Problem Solving, Spring ‘17 (Prof. S. Miller, WIlliams College)
  • Advanced Real Analysis, Fall ‘17 (Prof. S. Garcia, Pomona College)
  • Bayesian Statistics, Fall ‘17 (Prof. M. Hu, Vassar College)

Read more: http://lacol.net/category/collaborations/projects/upper-level-math

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The American Prison Writing Archive at Hamilton College

Access, collaboration, and prisons – three words one is unlikely to see in the same context. Yet the American Prison Writing Archive (APWA) works collaboratively to provide access to the witness borne by people in prison today. Directed by Doran Larson, Walcott-Bartlett Professor of Literature & Creative Writing at Hamilton College, the APWA is a continually growing online archive of essays written by incarcerated people and prison workers. The APWA provides access to the lived experiences of those inside these closed systems. These essays unveil the prisons we have constructed. We expect them to mete out justice. What we find in each essay is something much less noble.

Reading any single essay is a powerful experience; reading across essays offers the outlines and interiors of a city just smaller than Chicago.

While emerging from the American archipelago of over 6,000 carceral institutions, the cityscape we discover is as cohesive as that of our Chicago, LA, or New York. But this is a city dedicated to the production of pain. (See Larson’s Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America, and his MOOC on the history of prison writing in the US.)

PI Larson working with student researchers.
PI D. Larson working with student researchers.

Larson began working with the Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi) at Hamilton College to develop an online, open access archive of prison essays in 2010. In December 2017, the APWA reached two important milestones: 1) over 1000 essays are now online; and 2) a transcription tool was developed to crowdsource transcription of the primarily handwritten essays. The transcription tool increased the ability of transcribers anywhere to request an account and contribute to transcriptions that allow full text searching of the archive. With over twenty new essay submissions and associated signed permission questionnaires per month, the APWA team has focused on processing submissions, correspondence, digitization, and metadata entry. Volunteer transcribers continue the practice of collaboration that fuels every aspect of the APWA. The NEH grant Larson received this past year contributed to the development of this transcription tool and also supports an administrative assistant working for the archive. Collaboration is woven into all of the work of this archive: from Larson’s work within and across institutions to maintain prison writing programs, to the team ethos of the DHi Collection Development Team in developing and sustaining the growing archive, to the research of undergraduate students, faculty and graduate students who can use the archive from other institutions. (more…)

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LACOL 2018 Teaching with Tech ⚡Lightning⚡and (((Thunder))) Round

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Session: Teaching with Tech ⚡Lightning⚡ and (((Thunder))) Round
Date/Time: Thursday, May 31, NOON – 1:30pm
Location: Weitz 236

Picking up from last year’s wildly popular 2017 Tech Lightning Round at Vassar, this year’s workshop reatures the THELIGHTNINGROUND followed by ((( THUNDER ))) over lunch on Thursday.

In the lightning round, LACOL faculty and staff will share an idea or demo – JUST FIVE MINUTES EACH – 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.

Lightning Round Lineup and Video Gallery

Long term Collaborative Class – Carleton & Addis Ababa U.

Deborah Gross, Professor of Chemistry

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. The presentation shares the successes and challenges of teaching and learning in a globally connected classroom.

Online Interactive Resources for Blended Math Fundamentals Review and Psychology Research Methods and Statistics

Jennifer SpohrerDirector of Educational Technology, Bryn Mawr College

In 2014, Bryn Mawr College and several partner colleges received grants to support developing online, interactive materials that faculty needed to blend instruction in two areas. The first was a Teagle grant to develop high-quality online interactive learning modules for undergraduate courses in Psychology Research Methods and Statistics. The second was a FIPSE grant to develop materials for a blended, “just-in-time” approach to helping students review the math skills and concepts needed to succeed in introductory math, science, and engineering courses.

This lightning round presentation will offer a brief overview of the materials faculty developed and field-tested and explain how other faculty can adopt and adapt them for their own uses.

VIDEO COMING SOON

Level Up!

Chico Zimmerman, Professor of Classics

For learning Latin and Greek, faculty at Carleton have been exploring aspects of student meta-cognition using the Level Up! gamification plug-in in Moodle.

VIDEO COMING SOON

Where Do You Think You’re From? Understanding America’s Immigrant History Through Genealogy

Andy Anderson, Academic Technology Specialist, Amherst College

In response to increasing nativist sentiments in the US, I introduced a January-term class where students explored their family’s history, with the goal of helping them discover their immigrant roots. Students learned archival research techniques using online sources for census data, periodicals, passenger lists, etc., compile this information into a free database program, and share it with others through online networks. The course will be expanded this fall to a first-year seminar where historical context and optional DNA analysis will become part of each student’s story.

VIDEO COMING SOON

A Tutorial Course in Numerical Problem Solving

Mihai Stoiciu, Professor of Mathematics, Williams College

We will give a brief description of a tutorial course titled “Numerical Problem Solving”, developed at Williams College a few years ago. The main goal of this course was to teach students how to to use computers to do quantitative science. We will explain how various concepts and ideas in mathematics and science can be explored using numerical methods and computer programming. We will also show how certain features of the software we used (Wolfram Mathematica) allowed us to investigate and explore in detail various complex mathematical concepts.

Google Trends as a Research Tool

Jonathan Leamon, Director of Instructional Technology, Williams College

Google Trends is a search analysis tool that shows how often a particular search-term is entered in Google relative to the total search-volume across various regions and languages of the world since 2004.  This talk will highlight some ways the tool is being used for research at Williams.

Instructional Videos – Tips and Tools (featuring the Little Prompter)

Dann Hurlburt, Media & Design Specialist

Video use is growing dramatically in higher education for lots of reasons.  You can instruct, evaluate, critique, report, blend, and flip with it.  You can also flop with it.  Dann Hurlbert will share a few tips and demo a gadget called the Little Prompter that can help anyone narrate like a pro.

WATCH: How to Make and Instructional Video (60 seconds – with inline assessment)
https://carleton.yuja.com/V/VideoPoll/1909

WATCH:

Experiments Sharing Mathematics and Statistics Classes Online

Jingchen (Monika) Hu, Assistant Professor of Statistics, Vassar College
Steven Miller, Professor of Mathematics, Williams College

WATCH:


Digital Storytelling Violence – A Tale of Best Practices Combining Ancient Literature and American Film

Baynard Bailey, Academic Technologist, Vassar College

VIDEO COMING SOON

Building the Campus of the Future: 3D Technologies in Academe

Ben Salzman, Educational Technologist, Hamilton College

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are being utilized to create immersive learning environments on campus. I will highlight two projects at Hamilton and share some tools that that are well suited for use in a liberal arts context.

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Q-bits discussion at the Annual NNN Conference

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In November 2017, Dr. Laura J. Muller, Director of Quantitative Skills Programs and Peer Support at Williams College and a member of the QLAB core team*, gave a presentation on the Q-bits Pilot to an audience of educators at the annual National Numeracy Network (NNN) Conference in New York.

Muller (pictured above right at the 2017 QS Hack-a-thon alongside Prof. A. Honig, Amherst College) has been at the forefront of Q-bits module design and implementation as part of a multi-year, multi-campus collaboration called QLAB. Given Laura’s teaching background and expertise in peer support and tutoring for Quantitative Skills and Reasoning, she’s interested in assessing the potential for online modules like Q-bits which can provide just-in-time support to help students brush up on, and apply, quantitative methods and concepts across the curriculum.

At NNN, Laura focused on issues of meta-cognition, student confidence, and transfer of QS/QR knowledge and skills across different context.

A distinguishing features of the Q-bits design is the opportunity for students to see that it’s worth investing time in learning certain foundational concepts that they will see over and over in their academic career.

(more…)

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Student DataCon@WLU, networking for data analytics, big data and statistical computing

In November 2017, Washington and Lee University held its first DataCon, a new event for students. The two-day program was designed to highlight the impacts and career paths for data analytics, big data and statistical computing across a variety of industries.  The gathering brought together students, faculty, staff and alumni for a series of discussions and networking opportunities around data sciences in both academic and professional life, including ways that analytics are used in the fields of advertising, finance and technology.

DataCon-692x768Reflecting on the experience, DataCon co-organizer Professor Denny Garvis noted:

We can tell already that we are tapping into an existing but quiet network of students, faculty and alumni who are really doing interesting work

The inaugural conference was so successful that another DataCon will be held next year. (more…)

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LACOL2018 Workshop @ Carleton College

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The 2018 Consortium-wide Workshop will be held on May 31 – June 1, 2018 on the campus of Carleton College.

Workshop Logistics

*Contact eevans@haverford.edu with questions on registration/housing.

Program:

Workshop Themes:

  • Critical Literacies in a Digital Age
  • Data Sciences Education & the Environment
  • (Online) Learning in the Residential Liberal Arts

Workshop Highlights:

Workshop Sessions:

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Think Tank on Digital Competencies for the Liberal Arts

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starSee reflection and photos from Think Tank co-lead G. Siesing, Bryn Mawr College.
Join two follow up webinars from the BMC & Davidson teams via EDU-PLACE in January.

 

At this think tank event hosted by Davidson College, a mix of faculty, campus leaders, librarians, technologists, and instructional designers from liberal arts colleges across the country focused first on the Bryn Mawr College Digital Competencies Program (https://www.brynmawr.edu/digitalcompetencies), tracing its history, motivations, and impacts for students, faculty, and the institution.

 

It was a great event – interesting and fun. I was surprised how much we accomplished in a short period of time. Thanks to all!
__________________– Janet Scannell, Chief Technology Officer, Carleton College

 

Next, the Davidson team facilitated a design thinking session for some rapid prototyping to explore related interest across our institutions, many of whom are exploring and building similar kinds of programs and looking for frameworks to share and adapt.

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The concepts of digital competencies and digital fluency reflect the need for students to develop digital skills and critical perspectives as lifelong learners prepared for work and life in the 21st century. There is growing recognition of the importance of integrating these skills into a well-rounded liberal arts education. Recently, Bryn Mawr College has developed a digital competencies framework focused on these five areas:

  • Digital Survival Skills
  • Digital Communication
  • Data Management and Preservation
  • Data Analysis and Presentation
  • Critical Design, Making, and Development

IMG_1461The main outcomes from this workshop will be to create a community of practice around design, development, and facilitation of digital competency/dexterity/fluency programs in the liberal arts and to identify ongoing ways of sharing program models and resources. Individual institutional teams will also be able to adapt and expand Bryn Mawr’s digital competencies framework as appropriate for local contexts. We hope that LACOL and other LAC partners might also at some point build on the BMC digital competencies framework as an expression of foundational capabilities that we agree on across liberal art institutions as relevant for scholarship, learning, work, and life in the digital age. A shared framework can provide a pathway to accelerate stated LACOL goals for creative collaboration in digital experimentation, faculty development, and research.

Follow up events and webinars are planned.  Faculty, instructional designers, leadership, career development center directors, and others engaged in thinking through digital competency frameworks for the liberal arts are encouraged to join the conversation. Watch this space! (more…)

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QLAB update: piloting Q-bits with students (Fall ’17)

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Prof. Ming An (Vassar College), lead author of the 'Choosing a Graph Type' Q-bit
Prof. Ming An (Vassar College), lead author of the ‘Choosing a Graph Type‘ Q-bit

starQLAB Webinar 11/15: 
click here to jo
in the discussion

 

This summer and fall, teams of faculty and technologists collaborated intensively to launch QLAB, a shared framework for curating, implementing and assessing online instructional modules for quantitative skills (QS) and reasoning for just-in-time review and skill-building across disciplines.  The goal of the QLAB project is to assist faculty teaching quantitative subjects who find they need methods to support students with gaps in preparation. The strategy draws on a body of research in higher education and experience at our institutions showing that online modules can be a beneficial component of an overall QS support program.

The individual modules, known as Qbits, review quantitative topics and demonstrate the topic’s applications in different disciplinary contexts.  For example, a module might review logarithms and then consider the application to decibels and sound perception in psychology, the Richter scale in geology, the concept of pH in chemistry, etc. In Fall 2017, Qbits are being implemented through a combination of videos and quizzing, and consist of an initial knowledge check, short videos to review specific quantitative skills, structured application problems that give students practice applying the quantitative skill in disciplinary contexts, and a final knowledge check.

Q-bits tested in Fall 2017:

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QLAB session
June 2017

Developing online resources that can be used in multiple contexts to help students strengthen their quantitative skills serves two purposes. First, by demonstrating the relevance of specific QS in various disciplinary contexts, students learn to view quantitative skills as fundamental and transferable skills that they can draw on in many areas of their liberal arts experience. Second, the consortial effort allows us to collect meaningful data about the effectiveness of the various modules for a greater number of students in a wider variety of contexts.  Using what we learn in this pilot, we plan to expand the collection of useful modules.

Aims of the pilot include:

  • Developing a collaborative framework for design, implement and assessment of online modules for QS/QR instruction and review at residential liberal arts institutions.
  • Crafting an initial set of instructional modules on high-priority QS topics, drawing on high quality instructional content, developed in partnership with Yale ONEXYS and others.  
  • Assessing module effectiveness as refreshers for tutoring and as just-in-time instruction embedded in coursework.
  • Gathering data to evaluate the impact of modules on student learning and confidence in each phase of the project and beyond.

(more…)

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Q-bit: Logarithms

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LACOL_MKAlgebra:
Logarithms
Module Purpose: This module guides students on key concepts for working with logarithms in different disciplinary contexts.

Module Authors: Melissa Eblen-Zayas, Carleton College, Jim Rolf and Yale ONEXYS, with additional problems contributed by LACOL faculty, instructors and QS/QR tutors.

Notes on Strategy: 

  1. Watch the instructional videos to review some basic characteristics of logs and different ways that they can be used.
  2. Gain practice in applying your knowledge through problem solving.

Application Problems:

  • Perception of Sound (Psychology)
  • Acidity of Chemical Solutions (Chemistry)
  • Radioactive Materials – Rate of Decomposition (Chemistry, Physics)
  • Earthquakes and the Richter scale (Geology)
  • Binary Representation of Data (Computer Science)
  • Binary Search (Computer Science)
  • Doubling the Value of an Investment (Economics)
STUDENTS: Access the ‘Logarithms‘ Q-bit in your LMS! 

Carleton College: contact the Academic Technology team in ITS for access in Moodle.

Haverford College: https://moodle.haverford.edu/course/view.php?id=678

Williams College: contact the OIT team for access in GLOW.

(more…)

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Q-bit: Linear Functions

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LACOL_MKAlgebra:
Linear Functions
Module Purpose: This module guides students on key concepts for working with linear functions in different disciplinary contexts.

Module Authors: Adam Honig, Amherst College, Jim Rolf and Yale ONEXYS, with additional problems contributed by LACOL faculty, instructors and QS/QR tutors.

Notes on Strategy: 

  1. Watch the instructional videos to review some basic characteristics of linear functions and different ways that they can be used.
  2. Gain practice in applying your knowledge through problem solving.

Application Problems:

  • The Keeling Curve
  • Moving Objects
  • Linear Functions in the Supply and Demand Model: Numerical Examples
  • Linear Functions in the Supply and Demand Model: Slopes and Intercepts
  • The Consumption Function
STUDENTS: Access the ‘Linear Functions‘ Q-bit in your LMS! 

Carleton College: contact the Academic Technology team in ITS for access in Moodle.

Haverford College: https://moodle.haverford.edu/course/view.php?id=646

Williams College: contact the OIT team for access in GLOW.

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