Session: Teaching Online in the Liberal Arts Panelists:
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 Date/Time: Friday, June 1, 9:00am-10:00am Location: Weitz 236
How is online teaching and learning relevant for small residential liberal arts colleges?
Our institutions are not typically grappling with some of the pressures driving bigger institutions to move online, such as retention, large lecture-based courses, or non-traditional aged students. In fact, LACOL institutions have built part of their identity and brand around close faculty-student interaction in the undergraduate classroom. Still, faculty across our institutions are experimenting with a variety of ways that online and blended learning can serve our students.
In this panel, three faculty members with hands-on experience teaching online will tell their stories. How might these insights – and others from across the consortium – help us build a vision for online teaching and learning that aligns with the core mission of our institutions?
Workshop Session Date/Time: June 1, 1:30-3pm Location: Weitz 230 @ Carleton 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.
In this workshop session, an overview of the 2018 exploration will be shared, and participants will be invited to brainstorm on creative and useful course sharing opportunities (curricular and co-curricular), riffing on in three designs for teaching and learning:
From tweetstorms to troll farms, social media has become deeply polarized; a force that is frequently unpleasant and may even pose a threat to democracy. What to do? A new pop-up MOOC from Davidson Now invites students to explore active solutions.
Productive, participatory engagement builds communities and builds networks that support real interaction and change. When meeting face-to-face is no longer necessary, what does engagement look like in a democratic society?
On Feb. 12, Davidson College will launch “Engagement in a Time of Polarization,” a free, two-week online course that will engage learners in a conversation about active, effective collaboration in a divisive media ecosystem.
Learn about historical models for creating an informed, engaged citizenry from professors Natalie Delia Deckard of Davidson College and Bonnie Stewart of the University of Prince Edward Island
Evaluate the implications of polarization–and participatory engagement–for educators, government and media; and
Participate in real-time discussions with leading voices in media literacy, disinformation and polarization.
This is the third class from Davidson Now, a digital learning series from Davidson College on edX.org. (more…)
Session: Teaching with Tech ⚡Lightning⚡ and (((Thunder))) Round Moderator: TBA Date/Time: Thursday, May 31, NOON – 1:30PM Central Location: Weitz 236
Picking up from last year’s wildly popular 2017 Tech Lightning Round at Vassar, this year’s workshop reatures the THE⚡LIGHTNING⚡ROUND followed by ((( THUNDER ))) over lunch on Thursday.
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 classroom or online. Some presenters will share a short video (SEE BELOW) prior to the workshop so that more time can be devoted to discussion – that’s the thunder.
Lightning Round Lineup and Video Gallery
Bryn Mawr College
Jennifer Spohrer, Director of Educational Technology
Online Interactive Resources for Blended Math Fundamentals Review and Psychology Research Methods and Statistics
Measuring Complex Domains of Learning for the Liberal Arts (with Paul Youngman)
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.
Ben Salzman, Academic Technologist
Monika Hu, Assistant Professor of Statistics
Experiments with Sharing Statistics Classes Online (with Steven Miller)
Baynard Bailey, Academic Technologist
Digital Storytelling by and for Students (Video coming soon.)
Washington & Lee University
Paul Youngman, Professor of German & Chair, Digital Humanities Committee
Measuring Complex Domains of Learning for the Liberal Arts (with Kristen Eshleman)
Steven Miller, Associate Professor of Mathematics
Experiments with Sharing Math Classes Online (with Monika Hu)
LACOL 2017 Session 7: From Blended Learning to Digital Pedagogies in the Liberal Arts? Presenter: Jennifer Spohrer, Manager of Educational Technology Services, Bryn Mawr College Date & Location: June 16 at Vassar College
When Bryn Mawr College first proposed experimenting with “blended learning in the liberal arts” back in 2011, we conceptualized it as a combination of “traditional,” face-to-face, liberal arts instruction and online tutorials that assessed and gave students feedback on learning. However, in the initial calls for proposals, it became quickly apparent that liberal arts college faculty were incorporating other types of digital technologies into their teaching, and doing so ways we had not anticipated. This presentation surveys the digitally enabled teaching approaches that have been included under the “blended learning” umbrella since 2011 and identifies “digital pedagogies” that might connect them.
Session 9: Adaptive Learning (and Adaptive Teaching) in a First Course in Applied Statistics Speaker: Denny Garvis, Professor of Business Admin & Mgmt, The Williams School at Washington & Lee University
Date & Location: June 16 at Vassar College
This presentation serves as a practical follow-up to the Candace Thille keynote from LACOL 2016. Specifically, adaptive learning courseware originally developed in the Online Learning Initiative (OLI) at Carnegie Mellon University has been used in the Applied Statistics course in the Williams School at Washington and Lee since 2014. Pedagogical advantages, trade-offs in teaching, and student learning outcomes from using the OLI Statistical Reasoning courseware, now hosted by Stanford EdX, will be discussed.
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.
On Monday, June 19th, join the Active & Engaged Reading and Effective Teaching & Learning working groups for an online meetup and discussion of Lacuna, a platform for digital annotation and social and collaborative reading developed at the Poetic Media Lab in the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford.
Several academic reading groups at Stanford and beyond are using Lacuna for collaborative reading and annotation. The development team is working on release version 3.0 which will include a more robust analytics dashboard for readers to reflect on what kinds of critical thinking are represented in their annotations. Join this meeting to learn more about the pedagogies and digital tools for reading.
Event: Web conference in Zoom Title: Lacuna Conversation and Demo with Brian Johnsrud & Amir Eshel from the Stanford Poetic Media Lab Audience: All LACOL members are welcome Date: Monday, June 19 Time: 3:30-5pm Eastern
For details on how to join the web conference, contact Liz Evans
Faculty, librarians, instructional technologists/designers and academic specialists across all the LACOL schools (and beyond) are engaged in creative exploration of digital pedagogies for the liberal arts. LACOL is collecting a series of short vignettes to share across our liberal arts network.
3-5 minute video (live action or screencast)
Audio narration preferred
*close captions will be added to all videos for accessibility
*copyright permissions for all included media must be cleared
Each video should include …
The Prompt:What pedagogical problem or challenge are you trying to solve?
Your Approach: What (digitally enhanced) teaching strategy are you taking?
Tips and Feedback: What has been your experience so far? Any feedback from students?
How to Contribute:
Proposal / Intake Form (coming soon)
The form asks for:
Your Contact Information
Title / Topic
Short description – what will your video cover (300 words or less)
Sample image (optional)
Related keywords or tags (optional)
Link to hosted video (or LACOL can host)
Short (1:17 min) example:
* this examples uses animation, but gallery videos may be live action and/or screencasts (more…)
In September 2016, a team of mathematics faculty, technologists and instructional designers from six leading liberal arts colleges (LACOL member schools Amherst, Haverford, Pomona, Swarthmore, Vassar and Williams) are launching a new collaboration to explore blended course sharing for select topics in advanced mathematics. The goal of the project is to experiment with models for shared course delivery which can supplement residential classroom learning and expand curricular offerings for math majors. Inspired by some independent experimentation and brainstorming between faculty team leads, Assoc. Prof. Steven Miller at Williams College (pictured above) and Assoc. Prof. Stephan Ramon Garcia (pictured at right), a group of six mathematicians from across LACOL began talking about possibilities for a multi-campus collaboration in early 2016. These conversations eventually led to a full project proposal which gained strong support from LACOL’s Faculty and Administrative Advisory Councils. The project was officially approved in July 2016 as a two-phased initiative. In the first phase (academic year 2016/2017), a feasibility study is planned which will execute several experiments and “proofs of concept” involving online/blended course elements such as lecture capture, online coaching and problem solving sessions (synchronous and asynchronous) and peer mentoring. With support from the multi-campus project team, these efforts will be spearheaded by Miller at Williams College in connection with his Spring 2017 ‘Problem Solving’ course. In phase two (academic year 2017/2018), findings from phase one will be brought to bear in a pilot course offering, ‘Real and Functional Analysis’, taught by Garcia. In a fully realized vision, the course would be offered both face to face at Pomona, and also opened virtually to interested students at all LACOL campuses. Local faculty and support contacts at each campus would help ensure students experience the best aspects of on-campus and on-line liberal arts learning.
Since mathematics faculty at all LACOL schools already teach a variety of advanced topics, this project will investigate how online/blended sharing may expand access to a richer array of options to meet student interests. Miller notes:
While liberal arts colleges excel in engaged faculty and personal interactions with students, we do not always have the course offerings available at larger institutions with graduate programs. Though often our students are ready for such classes, at each institution there are practical limits to offering them every year. Our goal is to increase the wealth and frequency of the advanced classes our students need, both for graduate study and to delve deeply in the subject.
Launch of the ‘Upper Level Math’ project has stirred excitement across the Consortium. The math team’s work is seen as an opportunity to collaboratively experiment with emerging online/blended pedagogies that might be useful in a variety of disciplines. It is also a chance for the schools to explore related policy issues of faculty and student credit in the context of online/blended course delivery and consortial partnerships. In considering these issues, the team will draw on experiences from peer institutions and other consortia who have been investigating these new models in a variety of ways. Swarthmore College Professor of Cell Biology Liz Vallen, who evaluated the project in-depth as a member of LACOL’s Faculty Advisory Council, commented:
This [project] seems exactly aligned with LACOL’s goals as it is leveraging the consortium to increase course offerings and availability at partner institutions. The other big benefit of this work is that it is a concrete example that will be a great pilot experiment to see if this is something feasible and beneficial within the LACOL framework.
The Visual LAndscapes project was born out of an idea to further engage our students with the city in which they live, and to encourage students to think critically about the ways in which they understand and interpret the built environment. This project brought together students at Pomona College and Cal State LA in courses entitled Metro Tales and The Urban World, respectively. The concept was developed collaboratively by Kathryn Robinson (Instructor in the Department of Geosciences and Environment, Cal State LA) and Livi Yoshioka-Maxwell (Visiting Assistant Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, Pomona College). The project involved a journey on Los Angeles public transportation to a shared destination, which students documented using social media in order to create photo-essays of their travel experiences:
The activity emphasized reciprocal learning between students and teachers from each institution as we exchanged ideas about the factors that shape our experience of public transportation, such as the demographics of our fellow travelers and the neighborhoods through which we pass along our journeys.
After some discussion the decision was to use Instagram as the student input method, since all the students had phones with cameras, and many already had Instagram accounts. To simplify the logins, the professors decided to have a single Instagram account shared among the class:
A creative Latin professor at Swarthmore College has been using technology to extend informal learning beyond the boundaries of Swarthmore. For the last three summers, Prof. William Turpin has hosted a free, public, online course on Medieval Latin translation. He has been assisted by colleagues Bruce Venarde (University of Pittsburgh), Carin Ruff (Hill Museum & Manuscript Library) and Jen Faulkner (East Longmeadow High School, MA), who helped him to facilitate the weekly sessions. According to Prof. Turpin:
The intention of this course is to replicate to the extent possible the experience of a student in (say) a college Latin class at the early intermediate level, minus the quizzes, tests, and continuing assessment, there is no mechanism for awarding credit or certificates of attendance. The most immediate model, in fact, may be an informal reading group devoted to a particular ancient or medieval text. The basic premise is that a small community of interested participants can both encourage and enhance what is essentially a private encounter with a text.
At Swarthmore College, Associate Provost and Professor of German and Film and Media Studies Sunka Simon and Associate Professor of French Carina Yervasi, collaborated with Ashesi University Professor Mikelle Antoine to create an interactive online course that examines questions of nationality, globalization, race and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality through the lens of global diasporic communities. Using a “globally-networked learning environment,” the course entitled Re-Envisioning Diasporas was the first synchronous, hybrid course taught between Swarthmore College and Ashesi University in Ghana. The classes worked in joint video-conferenced sessions twice a week to explore how displaced peoples worldwide address these challenging questions while living in a perpetual state of “elsewhere.”
What I’m discovering is that our model of learning is very different from the traditional model of distance learning. Our model is collaborative; it’s not student-professor online learning where the students are interacting with just the professor. [ … ] The students have to write and interact with each other. We’ve used writing, blogs, forums, Youtube, Skype and VoiceThread … I like that we’re using these technologies to connect in new ways.
LACOL was proud to co-sponsor Haverford’s Teaching with Technology Forum for Fall 2015 which was organized by Instructional & Information Technology Services (IITS). Eight Haverford College faculty members shared their approaches and experiments in using digital teaching and learning tools that help to increase student engagement with course material, their classmates, and faculty. Hiroyo Saito, Director of IITS’s Instructional Technology Services and her team work closely with faculty in planning this semi-annual event.