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 email@example.com
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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…)
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.