Cracking an old chestnut? Brainstorm on shared collections for liberal arts teaching and learning.

repository

LACOL 2017 Session 5: Group Brainstorm
Presenters/Facilitators: Sean Fox, Brian Alexander
Date & Location: June 15 on the Campus of Vassar College (see program details)

S. Fox, Tech. Dir. SERC
S. Fox, Technical Director
SERC

Open educational resources and shared collections are hot topics; at the same time, these concepts have been with us for years. For LACOL, opportunities to develop shared resources (repositories) are frequently proposed … but how can we develop useful collections while avoiding common pitfalls? In this brainstorming session, Sean Fox, Technical Director of the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College will frame the issues as we invite all workshop participants to brainstorm on the what, the why, and the how of shared collections.

Key questions include:

  • What are common faculty strategies for seeking and finding teaching resources?
  • Can we foster effective processes to develop useful collections* through LACOL?

*these questions are pressing for the QS and Language Instruction working groups, but other opportunities exist for LACOL.  What do YOU think?

 

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The 2017 Lightning Round @ Vassar College

LightningRound6

Picking up from last year’s wildly popular 2016 Tech Lightning Round at Haverford College, this year’s consortium-wide workshop LACOL2017 at Vassar College will feature THE RETURN OF THE LACOL LIGHTNING ROUND over lunch on Thursday, June 15.

star2017 Lightning Round: The Lineup
Moderator: Steve Taylor, Director of Academic Computing Services, Vassar College

In the lightning round, LACOL faculty and staff are invited to share an idea for a short pitch – JUST FIVE MINUTES EACH – on a digital tool or technique you’re trying in your online/hybrid classroom.

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Digital Storytelling for Liberal Arts Teaching and Learning (Panel)

DS Panel copy
Digital storytelling is a powerful narrative form for imagining, analyzing, and informing that typically combines images, text, recorded audio, video clips, and music.  The educational uses are many.
As Bryan Alexander says, storytelling just might be the most important cognitive tool of the 21st century.

This panel discussion at the LACOL2017 workshop highlighted how faculty and students at liberal arts colleges are using media-rich storytelling to spark creative expression in teaching, learning and research.

Moderator: Bryan Alexander, educator, author of The New Digital Storytelling

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Mini-Workshop: Digital Storytelling for Liberal Arts Teaching and Learning

digstory

On Friday, June 16, seats are available for a Mini-Workshop entitled Digital Storytelling for Liberal Arts Teaching and Learning. This hands-on, face-to-face session is open to registered participants at the 2017 LACOL consortium-wide workshop at Vassar College.

Facilitators:

  • Baynard Bailey (Academic Computing Services, Vassar College)
  • Ben Harwood (Instructional Technology, Skidmore College)

Mini-workshop Topics:

  • Intro and examples: What is Digital Storytelling?
  • Brainstorming: How might I use this in my teaching?
  • Tools and techniques:
    • Hands-on time with tools like WeVideo, Final Cut Pro
    • Voiceover and microphones
    • Importing editing still images
    • Importing and editing video
    • Adding music and sound
    • Exporting and Sharing

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On the Math Fundamentals Program: QS meet-up April 7

On April 7, LACOL QS members are cordially invited to join a one-hour web conference with the leads of the Math Fundamentals (FIPSE) Program, Faculty PI and Professor of Physics Elizabeth McCormack and project management lead Jennifer Spohrer, Manager of Educational Technology Services, both at Bryn Mawr College.

Math Fundamentals is a multi-year, multi-campus initiative investigating the use of blended, just-in-time “sandwich” modules for math review in STEM. The research partners (including LACOL members Bryn Mawr College and Vassar College) are currently field testing several faculty-authored modules in calculus, chemistry and physics. (more…)

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You Are the New Gatekeeper of the News

news

video gallery button_edited-1Event: Online Pop-Up Discussion, April 4th 2017
Title: You Are the New Gatekeeper of the News
Discussion Leader: Aly Colón, Knight Professor of Media Ethics, Washington and Lee University
Audience: Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumnae/i
Background Reading: You are the new gatekeepers of the news (The Conversation, Feb 7, 2017)

Aly Colón, Professor of Journalism Ethics, W&L
A. Colón

Discussion Topic: News consumers today face a flood of fake news and alternative information. In this online meet-up, journalism ethics professor Aly Colón explores forces of change in the new media landscape as we become responsible for deciding how we filter what’s news and what’s not. Professor Colón frames the conversation with historical examples and point to emerging trends in the digital age of news where Velocity + Volume = Volatility. As an ethical agent of journalism, how can you cultivate a mindset of open inquiry and deepen your capacities to handle challenging or uncomfortable views, especially in online settings?


Highlights (9:52)

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Online Event: Teaching Italian on the EdX Platform

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On July 27th, LACOL welcomed special guest Daniela Bartalesi-Graf from Wellesley College to share her experiences teaching Italian language and culture on the EdX platform.

SLUPE
D. Bartalesi-Graf, Lecturer in Italian at Wellesley College/WellesleyX

Topics included:

  • Bartalesi-Graf’s approach to online learning design for Italian language and culture
  • Capabilities of the EdX platform to support instruction
  • Statistics Bartalesi-Graf and her colleagues have collected regarding  the effectiveness of the online teaching tools
  • Reflections from students on their online and blended learning experiences

Meeting:
Teaching Italian on the EdX Platform
(Web Conference)

Resources:

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Adaptive tools for Latin learning and practice

William Turpin from Swarthmore College
W. Turpin from Swarthmore College

At the June LACOL workshop, Swarthmore Classics Professor William Turpin gave a presentation during the Adaptive Learning breakout on his investigations into various digital tools to support students with learning and practice of Latin and Greek. As shown in the short slideshow below, Turpin is experimenting with platforms such as Fluenz and Smart Sparrow which offer a variety of modes for presenting interactive content and adaptive drills to students.

Alongside presentations from two other speakers in the session, Turpin’s experiments sparked a robust Q&A on the useful applications for supporting student learning through adaptive tools, and also concerns regarding data and content portability when considering the use of proprietary software. It is clear that the promises and potential pitfalls of adaptive learning for the liberal arts will remain a keen focus of interest for the Consortium.



Slides (no audio) from William Turpin’s investigations into adaptive tools for Latin learning. 


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Experiencing the flipped chemistry classroom at the LACOL workshop

C. Londergan demonstrates untethered movement in the classroom with his tablet.
C. Londergan demonstrates untethered movement in the classroom with his tablet.

At the June LACOL workshop, Associate Professor of Chemistry Casey Londergan demonstrated his techniques for flipping the chemistry classroom as part of a multi-disciplinary panel on faculty and student experiences with online, blended and active learning.

In a Physical Chemistry class primarily for juniors, Londergan and his colleague Joshua Schrier have experimented with a mixture of just-in-time and active learning techniques with their students in order to maximize the use of class time for problem solving work.  Content delivery through readings and videos happens mostly through the LMS so more active learning can happen in the classroom.  Modular videos allow students to re-watch sections of the lecture.  Pre-class questions in the LMS also help Londergan adjust each class to focus on the areas where students have the most questions.

For students, the active classroom learning design pushes them to focus and improve in the most challenging areas.  Using a tablet and stylus linked wirelessly to the projector, Londergan is free to move around the class and help individual students and groups get “unstuck” as they work on problems together.



Prof. Casey Londergan demonstrates his flipped chemistry classroom at Haverford.

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Toward a better Latin placement test

C. Zimmerman from Carleton College
C. Zimmerman from Carleton College

At the LACOL workshop in June, classicist Chico Zimmerman from Carleton College shared a short plenary talk entitled, “Toward a better Latin placement test”, also known as, “A Tale of Two Arcadian Friends, a Homocidal Innkeeper, and a Pile of Manure.”

In their teaching, faculty strive to meet students where they are, but often must ask, where exactly ARE they? For incoming students at Carleton, the Classics department found that their Latin placement test was not giving enough granular diagnostic information, especially for less experienced students. To address this need, Zimmerman and his colleages are investigating a variety of adaptive tools and platforms with the potential to help them better understand and guide their students at the appropriate level.

In the video clip below, Zimmerman shares details on Carleton’s experiments thus far with Moodle, Assistments, Smart Sparrow, and other tools.  Similar themes of adaptive and digitally-enhanced support for language instruction and other disciplines were explored in sessions throughout the two-day workshop program.



Chico Zimmerman explores tools for better language placement at the LACOL workshop.


This talk also related to remarks in the Adaptive Learning breakout session, particularly William Turpin’s presentation on adaptive tools for Latin.

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Prof. Ben Ho speaks to LACOL about online games for teaching and learning

Ben Ho from Vassar College
Ben Ho from Vassar College

At the June LACOL workshop, Ben Ho, a behavioral economist and faculty member at Vassar College, presents several ways that online games inspire his students to learn through modeling of real data in the classroom. New pedagogies in the field of economics allow for a more experimental approaches that can lead to deeper understanding. For example, participatory games and simulations that use student-generated can add an emotional component that enriches some of the traditional and more mathematically-based modeling techniques.

Ho particularly likes a web-based software platform called MobLab that can be used on a smartphone which most students have in their pockets.  This makes it easy to incorporate the online games with learning in the classroom.  Watch the short video below for more details from Prof. Ho on the power of games for teaching and learning.



Video: Behavioral economist Ben Ho presents at LACOL 2016

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Emerging Pedagogies for the 21st Century – plenary talk from hari stephen kumar

hari stephen kumar from Amherst College
hari stephen kumar from Amherst College

In Saturday’s plenary session at the 2016 LACOL workshop, Instructional Designer hari stephen kumar from Amherst College illuminated a key workshop theme: what are new pedagogical frameworks that can help us integrate place-based and digital learning in positive ways for the liberal arts? Kumar explores three emerging practices which can transform the learning and teaching in small residential liberal arts settings:

• deep(er) learning as a disruptive liberal art
• threshold concepts and limnal learning
• inclusive pedagogies

Kumar goes on to consider other high-impact practices and emerging ideas in pedagogy that have the potential for reshaping liberal arts education to better serve a wider population and to tackle complex global challenges. Watch the video and download the linked slides from hari’s presentation below.


 

Video: hari stephen kumar plenary talk June 17th at the LACOL workshop

DOWNLOAD: H. Kumar LACOL Plenary Slides


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A look into Carleton’s CUBE for QS/QR

G. Shuffelton from Carleton College
G. Shuffelton
J. Russel, Carleton College
J. Russell

A major highlight of Saturday’s plenary session at the June LACOL workshop was a presentation from Carleton College on their new online/hybrid bridge program called ‘Carleton Undergraduate Bridge Experience’ or CUBE. Associate Dean and Professor of English George Shuffelton opened the session with some background on the motivations for designing the new program to support incoming students with their quantitative skills and reasoning which pilots this summer. Director of Academic Technology Janet Russell has worked closely with the program’s director, Physicist Melissa Eblen-Zayas, and the Carleton IT team to guide the learning design for the first cohort of ~24 students. Janet described various elements of the program, including on-campus and online mentoring, videos and connections through social media. Workshop participants, especially those involved with the Quantitative Skills working group, applauded this excellent presentation and are excited to learn from Carleton’s initial experiences this summer. The QS group is exploring various ways the colleges might collaborate to support students with quantitative skills and reasoning as they arrive on campus and progress with their studies.



Carleton’s G. Shuffelton and J. Russell share a look at the CUBE for QS/QR.


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