After MERLOT? CHIANTI.

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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
    • Phonology
  • 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.
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Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options … a liberal arts conversation

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Event: Discussion of the NAS Data Science for Undergraduates Report
Location: ZOOM web conference (rsvp to eevans@haverford.edu for a meeting invite)
Date: Thursday, July 12
Time:
 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Eastern
Discussion Leader: Professor Nicholas Horton, Amherst College

** Interested in collaboration around data science education for the liberal arts? Sign up to join the new LACOL Data Science+ Group.

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!

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Welcome to the Data Science+ Group Page

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Based on conversations at the 2018 LACOL Summer Workshop, a new interest group has emerged for Data Science Education, with a special interest in intersections with Environmental Studies as a data-intensive discipline.

Group Resource Page: Shared by/for Group Members  (submit resources here.)

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: To join the LACOL Data Science+ Forum (google group), CLICK HERE TO SEND REQUEST. This low-traffic lists is a shared space for intergroup discussions and news about group events and activities.

While plans are still evolving, break-out discussions identified several areas of potential collaboration:

  • Identify key data science skills and information falling between curricular cracks at LACOL schools and provide existing resources to begin addressing them.
  • Develop a repository to share software tutorials, commentary, wrappers, assignments, etc., that help teach students to use important tools. Be cognizant of appropriate scaffolding for when, where, how to use these materials in different contexts.
  • Develop a consortium-wide “Intro to Critical Data Collection and Analysis” course.
  • Explore options for managing environmental data collection from sensors or data generated collaboratively with other researchers; design requirements or existing database solutions for data sharing, and analysis.

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Data Science meets Environmental Studies at LACOL 2018

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Workshop Track: Data Science meets Environmental Studies – Exploration
Facilitators:

  • 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

ds diagramThe 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.

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How to Blend a Course – Hands On (Effective Teaching & Learning)

J. Spohrer, Bryn Mawr College
J. Spohrer, Bryn Mawr College

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:

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Inclusive Pedagogies & Measuring Complex Domains of Learning for the Liberal Arts – 2 workshops

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For related research, see also: Measuring Complex Domains (summer/fall 2018)

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)

WORKSHOP 1: LACOL Dialogue on Inclusive Pedagogies

  • Date: Friday, March 9
  • Location: Haverford College
  • Speakers*:
    • 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…)

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QLAB / Q-bits Framework for Quantitative Skills Modules

To assist our students with readiness for their quantitative work across the curriculum, and to investigate the role that online resources may play in this, the Liberal Arts Consortium for Online Learning (LACOL) has kicked off a multi-campus development and educational research initiative, nicknamed QLAB. The QLAB project provides a framework for creating a series of modules called Q-bits. Each online Q-bit module focuses on a particular quantitative skill or concepts and provides instructional and review content that is “wrapped” by pre/post knowledge and confidence checks, contextual guides, and applications problems in several disciplines. (more…)

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CHIANTI – Shared Grammar Resource

The Language Instruction Working Group is currently (Spring/Summer 2018) exploring an idea for a online resource built collaborative by/for LACOL faculty and instructors that will guide language learners on foundational grammar concepts.

There is an emerging plan for collaboration toward Shared Grammar Resources for Beginning Language Students. This concept has been discussed with enthusiasm in some earlier LACOL meetings, and Carleton Professor of Classics Chico Zimmerman has drafted a proposal to articulate more of the vision – see link above and below.

Four small teams are actively collaborating across several schools on the following module topics:

  • General Advice to Learners
    • General advice to incoming students about language-learning at college.
    • This includes some student voices on their learning experiences, but also could include some more general data/research findings on the benefits of L2 acquisition and the potential interferences of L1.
  • Map of Language Learning
    • An “overview” or map of the different domains that language takes in, including “grammar” broadly construed and its relevance
  • Glossary of Grammar Terms
    • A glossary of grammar terms with English examples; perhaps including sentence diagramming
  • Phonetics and Phonology
    • Phonetics/phonology module (perhaps with differing emphases depending on the target languages)

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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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Toward a LACOL course sharing framework (Spring/Summer ’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.

JOINT REPORT April 2018: Executive Summary

(contact eevans@haverford.edu for a copy of the full report.

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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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.

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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.

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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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Q-bit: Choosing a Graph Type to Visualize Data

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LACOL_MKGraphing:
Choosing a Graph Type to Visualize Data
Module Purpose: This module guides students on steps to think about the variables they’re exploring and select the best graph type to visualize them.

Module Authors: Ming-Wen An, Vassar College; Albert Y. Kim, Amherst College, with additional problems contributed by LACOL faculty, instructors and QS/QR tutors.

Notes on Strategy: 

  1. Watch the instructional videos and be wowed by the power of data visualization.
  2. Understand the importance of identifying the types of variables in your research question.
  3. Gain practice in selecting the graph type that is best suited to visualize your data.

Application Problems:

  • Biology: Personal Genomics – Quantifying Genetic Variation among Individuals
  • Economics: Discovering the Law of Supply and Demand
STUDENTS: Access the ‘Choosing a Graph Type’ 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/index.php?categoryid=44

Vassar College: http://moodle.vassar.edu/course/view.php?id=11931

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

We welcome your feedback!! Please leave a comment below to let us know how this q-bit was helpful to you.  What would make it more helpful?  Do you have suggestions for other q-bits? 

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