The partners of the Liberal Arts Collaborative for Digital Innovation represent the highest standard of student-centered education. Through our collaborations, we are exploring the future of teaching and learning in a networked world to support our mission as residential liberal arts institutions.
Toward Equity in Assessment: A Cross-Constituency Dialogue
THIS SPRING, LACOL is hosting a series of weekly coffee chats led by student pedagogy partners entitled Toward Equity in Assessment: A Cross-Constituency Dialogue. These multi-campus, multi-constituency discussions build on the Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 series.
Assessment is one of the thorniest dimensions of teaching and learning, and it has been recognized as an arena in which inequities are particularly severe.
The global pandemic has exacerbated existing inequities and created new ones; therefore, now more than ever faculty, staff, and students need to be in dialogue with one another about how to challenge both existing and new inequities. This coffee-chat series supports faculty, staff, and students in explorations of the possibilities for developing equitable approaches to assessment that honor the diversity of students’ strengths, needs, and aspirations. Each session will be facilitated by a group of experienced student partners, and all sessions will be run as semi-structured conversations that strive to integrate the questions and insights of all participants.
Registration is required; coffee chats start February 22 and run weekly through April 12 – details below.
Consortium-wide LACOL Workshop
June 21-23 virtually @ Hamilton College
For Full details on the Workshop Program, Schedule, and Registration, see: https://conferences.hamilton.edu/lacol2021
(Registration opens in early 2021)
Hamilton College looks forward to hosting the summer 2021 consortium-wide LACOL, June 21-23, 2021. With “Play and Innovation” as the official 2021 theme, this summer gathering will bring together faculty, technologists, research librarians, academic support specialists, and other educators and students for collaborative exchange and playful discussion. (more…)
Featured Keynote Day 1:
Gaming and Liberal Education
June 21 @ 1:30pm Eastern via Zoom
Dr. Bryan Alexander
Futurist and Author, Academia Next
Registration for the LACOL 2021 Virtual Workshop will open soon. Watch 👀 this space.
He completed his English language and literature PhD at the University of Michigan in 1997, with a dissertation on doppelgangers in Romantic-era fiction and poetry.
Then Bryan taught literature, writing, multimedia, and information technology studies at Centenary College of Louisiana. There he also pioneered multi-campus interdisciplinary classes, while organizing an information literacy initiative. (more…)
Featured Keynote Day 2:
Reimagining the Future(s) of Learning: Play in Speculative Spaces
June 22 @ 1:30pm Eastern via Zoom
Dr. Heather Pleasants
Educational Consultant, Experiential Learning & Assessment
University of Texas at Austin, @heatherplez
Registration for the LACOL 2021 Virtual Workshop will open soon. Watch 👀 this space.
Dr. Heather Pleasants is a faculty development and senior assessment specialist at the University of Texas at Austin, where she works with faculty interested in making experiential learning a part of their courses. She is also an educational researcher and consultant who specializes in providing needs assessment, program evaluation, and external evaluation of funded initiatives—particularly those that address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Pleasants received her PhD in Educational Psychology (2000) with a specialization in Language, Literacy, and Learning from Michigan State University. She is a regular contributor to the work of the Digital Pedagogy Lab, and her most recent publication is Digital Storytelling in Higher Education: International Perspectives (2017).
Featured Keynote Day 3:
June 23 @ 1:30pm Eastern via Zoom
Dr. Catherine D’Ignazio
Assistant Professor, Department of Urban Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Author, Data Feminism (with L. Klein), @kanarinka
Registration for the LACOL 2021 Virtual Workshop will open soon. Watch 👀 this space.
As data are increasingly mobilized in the service of governments and corporations, their unequal conditions of production, their asymmetrical methods of application, and their unequal effects on both individuals and groups have become increasingly difficult for data scientists–and others who rely on data in their work–to ignore. But it is precisely this power that makes it worth asking: “Data science by whom? Data science for whom? Data science with whose interests in mind? These are some of the questions that emerge from what we call data feminism, a way of thinking about data science and its communication that is informed by the past several decades of intersectional feminist activism and critical thought. Illustrating data feminism in action, this talk will show how challenges to the male/female binary can help to challenge other hierarchical (and empirically wrong) classification systems; it will explain how an understanding of emotion can expand our ideas about effective data visualization; how the concept of invisible labor can expose the significant human efforts required by our automated systems; and why the data never, ever “speak for themselves.” How can we operationalize intersectional feminist thinking in order to imagine more ethical and equitable data practices? This talk will focus in particular on examples of play, innovation and emancipatory pedagogy in data science. (more…)
Student Perspectives on Trauma-informed, Anti-racist Teaching and Learning in Hybrid and Remote Contexts
THIS FALL, LACOL hosted a series of weekly brown bags led by student partners on Trauma-informed, Anti-racist Teaching and Learning in Hybrid and Remote Contexts. These multi-campus discussions expand on the high-impact Summer 2020 Student-led Dialogues as semi-structured, open conversations with LACOL colleagues in a small group format.
The importance of the topic is high in our current moment, as argued in this opinion piece.
With fall courses in progress now, the student partners will engage in aspects with direct relevance to the hybrid/remote classroom, building on a set of curated and annotated resources, prompts, and activities to facilitate discussions based on interests expressed by discussion participants. (more…)
Professors Sunka Simon and Matthew Miller teach Intermediate German as an intensive language class that meets four days a week on campus at Swarthmore College and Colgate University respectively. The curriculum is built to enhance the four language skills (oral, aural, reading and writing composition) through a combination of up-to-date, authentic print and audio-visual geo-political and cultural material to move students from A2 to B1 level proficiency within the span of one semester. Both classes work from a textbook (e.g. Stationen) that integrates Landeskunde (learning about the specificities of German-speaking regions and cities) with B1-level grammar and vocabulary lessons.
We carved out the potential of holding a synchronous class together once a week as a joint web conference. Asynchronously, cross-college teams of students will prepare didacticized assignments consisting of blog-posts, a discussion forum and Zoom video-conferencing tools utilizing newly acquired linguistic concepts to react to consecutive weekly episodes of German-language original dramas such as Dark, Skylines, Dogs of Berlin or Berlin Babylon. The semester will culminate with a virtual symposium and/or video-essay student presentations.
On the benefits of linking courses across two campuses, Professor Simon notes:
Our linked class creates a broader cohort of language learners. We are “in it together.”
LACOL 2020 Virtual Workshop – Summer Dialogues
Student Perspectives on Trauma-informed, Anti-racist,
Remote Teaching and Learning
Resources proliferate on how to prepare for remote teaching and learning that is equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist, but where are students’ perspectives and voices in the mix?
See also: Fall 2020 brown bag series: https://lacol.net/student-led-brown-bags-fall-2020/
In August 2020, Student Partners working in the Summer Pedagogical Partnership Program at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges led a series of semi-structured conversations with faculty and staff across LACOL. Pairs of these students partnered throughout the summer with cohorts of faculty to support their pedagogical planning for the Fall-2020 semester.
As part of this work, the Student Partners read resources and identified what they think matters most in developing trauma-informed, anti-racist, remote teaching and learning. These points shared below served as a basis for the 1-hour small group conversations via Zoom.
“We shared resources and ideas…so I feel like we walked away with tangible strategies and tools to apply to our remote work in a more equitable way.”
“It really made a difference for my course prep, and overall well-being as a faculty member living through these challenging times.”
“The students modeled the kind of non-judgmental openness to questions, concerns, and ideas that they recommended we exhibit in the classroom. I have a long set of notes taken during the meeting that I am eager to implement when I’m next teaching.”
“[This work] opened my eyes to the incredible number of things professors have to consider and worry about when planning a course, which is definitely going to help me consider others’ perspectives in an out-of-the-box way.”
“…talking with faculty partners and student partners has more thoroughly convinced me that a lot of misunderstandings or dissatisfactions among students and faculty could be remedied or clarified by faculty being more direct and transparent about their reasons for adopting certain practices, assignments, and course policies, and by asking students to share their feelings and feedback directly.”
“I have found a voice and a language with which to communicate with faculty and have/facilitate conversations that previously felt out of the realm of things I could do. I think I have learned a lot of important facilitation strategies that I carry with me into other work. I aim to apply this language, knowledge, and skills to other work across disciplines to open space for more accessible and equitable conversations and practices.”
Renewed for Fall 2020!
In an increasingly globalized world, students are seeking ways to learn languages that are not commonly taught at schools in the United States. While self-instructional language programs (SILP) afford many opportunities to explore lesser-taught languages like Hindi, Korean, or Swahili, the scope of each program is limited. A new online collaboration will allow each program to tap into resources that other colleges in the consortium have, e.g. native speakers in the community that can serve as tutors, or advanced level instruction in certain languages. Students will have additional opportunities to explore new paths within their liberal arts education.
Many of the colleges within the consortium offer some form of guided self-instruction of lesser-taught languages already. The new LACOL project will launch a collaboration between the Self-Instructional Language Programs at Vassar, and Williams College, using online synchronous classroom-to-classroom interaction. As Lioba Gerhardi, Vassar’s Coordinator of the Self-Instructional Language Program and Adjunct Assistant Professor of German Studies says:
By sharing resources, the partners will be able to increase the number of self-instructional languages available to students in an innovative and cost-effective manner.
The self-instructional component of each language course will remain unchanged. Each student will enroll for the course at their home institution. For speaking and listening practice, students will join conversational tutorial sessions at a partnering college via video conferencing software, such as Zoom.
LACOL 2020 Virtual Workshop
Date: Aug 27, 2020
- Kishimoto, Kyoko. (2018). Anti-racist pedagogy: From faculty’s self-reflection to organizing within and beyond the classroom. Race Ethnicity and Education, 21:4, 540-554, DOI: 10.1080/13613324.2016.1248824
- Characteristics of white supremacy culture: https://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/white-supremacy-culture-characteristics.html
- Ash, Allison N.; Hill, Redgina; Risdon, Stephen; and Jun, Alexander (2020) “Anti-Racism in Higher Education: A Model for Change,” Race and Pedagogy Journal: Teaching and Learning for Justice: Vol. 4 : No. 3
- Alison Cook-Sather, Professor of Education, Director of Teaching and Learning Institute, Bryn Mawr College
- Chanelle Wilson, Assistant Professor of Education, Director of Africana Studies, Bryn Mawr College
- Jonathon Kahn, Professor of Religion, in-coming Director of the Engaged Pluralism Initiative, Vassar College
- Candice Lowe-Swift, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Engaged Pluralism Initiative, Vassar College
|LACOL 2020 Revised Program May 11 – August 27:
In light of COVID-19, the LACOL 2020 Consortium Workshop has moved to a fully online format this summer. A small number of real-time sessions in Zoom will be paired with asynchronous options unfolding over time. See program details below.
Program: LACOL 2020 Virtual Workshop Agenda
Program Highlights – May 11 thru Aug 27 online (more…)
Matthew Rascoff, Associate Vice Provost for Digital Education and Innovation, Duke University
Emily J. Levine, Associate Professor of Education, Stanford University
Keynote: How to Change Institutions with Purpose
Date and Time: June 30, 2020, 1:00pm-2:30pm Eastern Time
Online Location: Zoom webinar
- At a Slight Angle to the Universe: The University in a Digitized, Commercialized Age (W. G. Bowen on the potential of technology to break the trilemma of cost, quality, and access; pp. 3-29 available via JSTOR)
- Golden Age of Teaching at Colleges (EdSurge, 2019)
- Academic Innovation (EducationNext, 2019)
- Open Source as a Model for Global Education (IHE, 2019)
In February 2020, the coronavirus crisis forced Duke Kunshan University’s students and faculty to scatter across the globe and move online. Duke University, DKU’s US partner, was soon to follow as the arrival of the global pandemic triggered a near universal pivot to remote instruction. Matthew Rascoff whose digital innovation team guided the institution through both these rapid transitions noted:
Even as educational institutions are threatened, learning continues. And perhaps even grows. But it does so in new spaces.
In the LACOL 2020 closing keynote How to Change Institutions with Purpose, Matthew Rascoff (Duke University) and Emily Levine (Stanford University) will draw on their research collaboration into the history of education and innovation to probe how mission-driven liberal arts institutions can adapt and change in the face of extraordinary challenge. (more…)
Webinar: Small Teaching Online with author Flower Darby
Author and Presenter: Flower Darby, Assistant Dean of Online and Innovative Pedagogies at Northern Arizona University
With Special Guest: Alison Cook-Sather, Professor of Education, Bryn Mawr College; Director, Teaching and Learning Institute
Date and Time: June 15, 11:00am – 12:30pm Eastern
Read it together: LACOL Virtual Reading Group – Small Teaching Online
Small teaching is a phrase coined by Professor James M. Lang to describe an incremental approach to improving instruction. In 2019, instructional designer Flower Darby and Lang teamed up to apply small teaching principles to the online realm. The result of their collaboration is an essential volume for any educator: Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes.
As a highlight of the LACOL 2020 virtual workshop, Darby will lead an online mini-workshop, exploring small steps with big impacts for students.
The book recommendation is excellent – a lot of useful suggestions which would take years to figure out.
-Dr. Natalia Toporikova, Washington and Lee University;
biology professor and online data science instructor, summer 2019, 2020
Establishing presence and social learning through multi-modal engagements and reflective meta-cognition are effective techniques for *any* class, both face-to-face and through the internet. Communicating the underlying what, why and how of learning is especially important for online learning success. And, like any important new skills, acquiring these capabilities takes planning and practice.
Session: LACOL 2020 Summer Data Science Panel
Date and Time: June 22, 1:00pm-2:30pm Eastern
Discussion Leads: Ella Foster-Molina (Swarthmore College), Monika Hu (Vassar College), Moataz Khalifa (Washington and Lee University), Steven J. Miller (Williams College), Natalia Toporikova (Washington and Lee University)
Now in its second year, Introduction to Data Science is a fully-online summer class co-taught by a multi-campus LACOL team. The class is designed as a collaborative, socially relevant, discussion-oriented online classroom experience in the style of liberal arts colleges.
Session: Building Community Online – Lessons Learned from Carleton CUBE
Date and Time: June 19, 12:00pm-1:30pm Eastern
Lead: Melissa Eblen Zayas, Professor of Physics Director & Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching, Carleton College
Running annually since 2016, Carleton College’s CUBE program is a fully-online summer bridge experience designed to support entering students in developing their quantitative skills. A great benefit of the program has been the discovery of numerous ways to build a sense of community among the online cohort and connect students to campus, before they arrive on campus.