Welcome to the Data Science+ Group Page

Algorithm maze

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.)

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

  • Webinars (see: http://lacol.net/data-science-nas-report) and study groups
  • 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.

(more…)

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Measuring Complex Domains for the Liberal Arts

Session: Measuring Complex Domains for the Liberal Arts (Inclusive Pedagogies)
Date/Time: Thursday, May 31, 1:30-2:15PM
Resources:
Project site: https://emergentedu.org
About Sensemaker: http://cognitive-edge.com/sensemaker/#sensemaker-about
Lead Presenters:
Kristen Eshleman, Director of Digital Innovation, Davidson College
Brent Maher, Director of Academic Assessment, Davidson College
Annie Sadler, Instructional Design Fellow, Davidson College
Paul Youngman, Prof. of German, Chair, Digital Humanities, Washington & Lee University

WATCH!  Intro video (15 min)

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.  (more…)

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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.

(more…)

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Digital Competencies and Digital Studies – LACOL 2018

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Session: Digital Competencies and Digital Studies
Discussion Leaders:

  • Gina Siesing, Chief Information Officer and Constance A. Jones Director of Libraries, Bryn Mawr College
  • Austin Mason, Assistant Director of the Humanities Center for the Digital Humanities and Lecturer in History, Carleton College

Date/Time: Thursday, May 31, 9:30am-10:30am
Location: Weitz 236
Pre-workshop activity/instructions: Group annotation of the BMC Framework

 

A. Mason, Carleton College
G. Siesing, Bryn Mawr College

To build upon foundations laid at the Think Tank on Digital Competencies at Davidson College last fall, an interactive session exploring digital competencies and digital studies across the curriculum will be featured at the the 2018 Summer Workshop.

This discussion will focus on how digital competencies and digital studies programs connect with faculty priorities and practices for teaching and learning in the physical and virtual classroom and how digital competencies support and relate to other learning goals.

To approach these questions, Siesing and Mason will guide:

  • An overview of Bryn Mawr College’s digital competencies framework as one model to stimulate exploration of campus-wide digital literacy programs in the liberal arts, integrating faculty, staff and student comments from the pre-workshop annotation activity.
  • A look at Carleton College’s visioning around curricular pathways for Digital Studies.
  • Discussion of related initiatives across liberal arts colleges, to be continued beyond the session.

As input into this discussion, all workshop attendees are invited and encouraged to share reflections in advance by joining in the Group annotation of the BMC Framework.

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Depolluting the Web: Information Environmentalism in Education

Hands-On Mini-Workshop @ LACOL 2018

Name: Depolluting the Web: Information Environmentalism in Education
Date: Thursday, May 31st
Time: 2:10pm-3:50pm
Location: Weitz 235
Facilitators:

  • Amy Collier, Associate Provost for Digital Learning, Middlebury College
  • Sundi Richard, Lead Instructional Designer, Davidson College

Session Description:

A. Collier
A. Collier

The web is polluted. The digital platforms where we learn and connect are replete with misinformation and threats to our wellbeing and privacy. We know that toxic digital information environments impact our daily lives, and the lives of our students, in everything from politics, to policy, to interactions in public and private spheres.

What can we do? What does informed participation or activism look like in these polluted web platforms?

S. Richard, mini-workshop co-lead
S. Richard

In this hands-on session, we’ll “get our hands dirty” to better understand the drivers of mis/disinformation on the web (i.e., how our digital information environments become polluted) and begin to take actions to clean up those environments. Dubbed “Information Environmentalism” by Mike Caulfield, this work aims to depollute the web platforms where we find (mis)information and where we connect for social and educational purposes.

Information environmentalism embraces agency–rather than hopelessness and withdrawal–and because of this, we think it is a necessary part of digital literacy education in a liberal arts curriculum. (more…)

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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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Course Sharing Brainstorm at LACOL 2018

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Session: Course Sharing Brainstorm
Date/Time: Friday, June 1, 1:30-2:50pm
Location: Weitz 235
Background Reading: Straw Models
Facilitators:

  • Liz Evans, LACOL Director
  • 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.

http://lacol.net/category/collaborations/course-sharing

(more…)

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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 Update and Discussion at LACOL 2018

Sessions: QLAB discussions at LACOL 2018
Discussion Leads – QLAB Core Team:

  • Melissa Eblen-Zayas, Professor of Physics, Carleton College
  • Jonathan Leamon, Director of Instructional Technology, Williams College
  • Laura Muller, Director of Quantitative Skills Programs and Peer Support, Williams College
  • Janet Russell, Director of Academic Technology, Carleton College

Presentation file: QLAB overview summer 2018

The QLAB core team led a workshop session to update QLAB participants on the latest developments with the project. The team presented a redesign for the next phases of the project, reflecting a perspective shift from crowdsourcing new or curated materials to adapting existing, validated materials with the multi-campus faculty team. Several lessons learned from the fall 2018 QLAB pilot were discussed. Participants engaged in brainstorming around the applicability of the problems in the validated online skill building modules “The Math You Need When You Need It” for Geosciences and Economics and “Math Bench” for Biology.  Discussion focused on the possible scope of each Qbit, and ways to engage faculty in appropriately framing the Q skill for use in their course(s). (more…)

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April 25: QLAB Information Session

Event: Information Session – Update on QLAB / What’s Next?
Location: ZOOM
Date: Wednesday, April 25
Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Eastern
Presenter: QLAB Core Team*

You are invited to join a webinar update and discussion about QLAB, the multi-campus collaboration to develop a shared framework for curating, implementing, and assessing online instructional modules to assist students with quantitative skills and reasoning across disciplines.

Read more about the pilot: http://lacol.net/qbits-pilot

Webinar Agenda: The goal of this session is to bring those who are interested up-to-speed with where the QLAB project stands, what we have learned so far, and what our next steps might be. Based on a new proposal developed by the core team over the winter and spring, the team welcomes your input on the next phases of the collaboration.

  • Status of the Q-bit project — overview of what’s been accomplished to date and the latest thinking toward the next phase of the collaboration.
  • Lessons learned so far
  • Seeking input on some next steps

(more…)

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Pop-up MOOC: Engagement in a Time of Polarization

Mini Mooc
Prof Deckard in pop-up MOOC studio
Prof. Deckard in the pop-up MOOC Studio

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?

– Prof. Natalie Delia Deckard, Davidson College

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.

Students will:

  • 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…)

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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 Collaborative for Digital Innovation (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)

(more…)

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In Awe: A Virtual Reality Experiment at Hamilton College

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Pictured above: Study participant Jeff Greenwald, Hamilton ’17

Researchers studying awe in a lab setting can’t take participants to awe-inducing locations like mountaintops, and the standard of watching videos of those situations has limitations. To help solve this problem, Hayley Goodrich ‘17, a Psychology concentrator at Hamilton College, and Educational Technologist Kyle Burnham recently set out to explore the use of Virtual Reality (VR) for Goodrich’s thesis project on the experience of awe.

A vague theoretical connection between awe and meaning exists in the awe literature. According to Goodrich:

awe arises when something in the environment is vast and cannot readily be incorporated into one’s existing meaning frameworks.

Goodrich wanted to explore if awe really did emerge in response to a violation of some meaning-making structure. Studying such a connection necessitated that she first make participants feel awe. (more…)

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Active Learning – Strategies & Spaces

carleton active learning classroom

Workshop Session: Active Learning – Strategies & Spaces

Session Leaders:

  • Michael Jones, Director of Language and Media Centers, Swarthmore College
  • Ashley Turner, Academic Technologist, Swarthmore College

Description: The purpose of this session is to start a discussion about Active Learning Spaces at Liberal Arts Colleges, and explore if there is an opportunity and mechanism through LACOL to share approaches and lessons about the design, technology and support of these classrooms.  

Come to share insights on experimental, flexible learning spaces on your campus.  What is the intent of those space?  How are they used?  How are they assessed?

 

 

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Bryn Mawr’s Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference, May 2018

cropped-blendlac_logo_resized-2A call for proposals is open for the Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference, held at Bryn Mawr College May 23-24, 2018. Our definition of blended learning is quite broad, encompassing many types of digital pedagogy projects. We invite interested LACOL faculty and staff to attend.

Bryn Mawr requests proposals by February 15, 2018

More details here: http://blendedlearning.blogs.brynmawr.edu/blended-learning-conference/

 

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