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Think Tank on Digital Competencies for the Liberal Arts

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!

Event: Think Tank on Digital Competencies for the Liberal Arts
Location: Davidson College
Date: Saturday, October 28th, 2017
Itinerary: Full Meeting Program & Schedule
Facilitators/Presenters:

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

October 28th Program:

  • Part 1: A workshop exploring the strategy and design behind the Bryn Mawr Digital Competencies Framework & Program (https://www.brynmawr.edu/digitalcompetencies)
  • Lunch: A group lunch hosted by Kristen Eshleman and Sundi Richard, Davidson College
  • Part 2: A facilitated discussion of digital competency/dexterity/fluency program goals and components across our institutions including guided design thinking activities to support participants’ articulation of next steps in local program development and collective brainstorming around the potential for building a liberal arts community of practice related to digital competency/dexterity/fluency programs.

 

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