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.
Attention Faculty and Staff! Consider joining a multi-campus reading group this fall based on the new book,
Skim, Dive, Surface: Teaching Digital Reading
Reading Group Meeting Dates, Fall 2021:
- October 27
- November 3
- November 10 discussion with the author Jenae Cohn
- All three meetings are at 4:00-5:15pm Eastern time via Zoom. See Details below.
Reading Group Registration: coming soon (seats are limited)
Reading on a screen is a different experience than reading off of paper. But is it necessarily worse, more distracted, or more superficial? In her new book, Skim, Dive, Surface: Teaching Digital Reading, Dr. Jenae Cohn make the case that there are distinct strategies readers can employ for reading in a variety of spaces, from on the screen to off. This book makes a call for readers to embrace a range of reading practices available to them and to make choices about where, how, and why they read based off of their purposes for reading.
Jenae Cohn writes and speaks about digital pedagogy and online teaching and learning. A trained writing instructor, Jenae has taught online, hybrid, and face-to-face composition courses, and supports faculty in the development of courses across modalities. She offers workshops on topics related to online instruction, humanities pedagogy, and digital literacy. Her research interests include digital/information literacy, metacognitive thinking, and reading and writing across the curriculum. Prior to her appointment at CSU-Sacramento, Dr. Cohn was an Academic Technology Specialist at Stanford University for 4 years where she helped foster remote learning and technology-enriched curriculum for 40+ instructors. At Stanford, she also designed in-person, online, and blended workshops for 120+ students per year. She also developed a Teaching With Technology page for Stanford University.
Jenae received a doctorate in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition from the University of California-Davis and a BA in English with an emphasis on creative writing from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Book Group Info & Materials
LACOL Reading Group – Summer 2021
Promoting Equity & Justice through Pedagogical Partnership
Book Group Dates: August 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2021 at 4:00-5:15pm Eastern time via Zoom. Details below.
Book Group Registration: registration is closed
Structures of and practices in higher education have long caused harm to students underrepresented at our institutions. A new book Promoting Equity and Justice through Pedagogical Partnership provides a framework for understanding the epistemic, affective, and ontological harms underrepresented and equity-seeking students experience.
This book group, led by co-author Alison Cook-Sather, devoted four sessions to working through the seven chapters of the book and building on participant responses to questions included in the book’s resources. The goal is to draw on the book’s concrete examples as well as participant responses to engage in dialogue, reflection, and planning for action in relation to the ways student-faculty pedagogical partnership can contribute to creating more equitable education.
Book Group Info & Materials
from the LACOL 2021 Workshop hosted by Hamilton College … Digital Posters!
An Application of Coding to Lab Management in the Geosciences
- Tierney Latham ’21, Hamilton
- Cat Beck, Assistant Professor of Geosciences, Hamilton
- Bruce Wegter, Sciences Instrumentation Technician, Hamilton
- Ahra Wu, Data Science/Analysis Research Librarian, Hamilton
Collaborating with Athletics for Increased Student Success
- Kristin Strohmeyer, Research and Community Engagement Librarian, Hamilton
- Nhora Lucía Serrano, Associate Director for Digital Learning and Research, Hamilton
Addressing Equity and Cultivating Play with Library Workers
- Lorin Jackson, Interim Head of Access & User Services, Black Studies Librarian, Swarthmore
Up Close and Personal: Art Museums and Digital Models
Beth Fischer, Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities, Williams College
Amber Orosco, MA candidate, Art History Graduate Intern, Williams College
Liz Gallerani, Curator of Mellon Academic Programs, Williams College
Moderated by Austin Mason, Assistant Director for Digital Humanities & Director of Digital Arts & Humanities, Carleton College
How do you bring digital imaging, including RTI (reflectance transformation imaging) and photogrammetry, to students in a liberal arts environment? How do digital models enhance and not replace in-person learning with art?
This panel presents strategies for digital imaging that focus on digital accessibility, equity, agency, and liberal arts learning.
In fall 2020, the Williams College Museum of Art launched a minimal-budget imaging project that initially responded to concerns about equity for hybrid and remote learning. This panel presents strategies for digital imaging that focus on digital accessibility, equity, agency, and liberal arts learning. The pilot program at the Williams College Museum of Art aims to make objects more engaging in a time of distance, while remaining attentive to data bias and trying to highlight under-used objects. Goals of the project include increasing comfort level with objects and digital models, and also encouraging agency, exploration, and play.
By sharing our own iterations throughout this ongoing project, we offer a range of possibilities to participants who may wish to explore similar methods and applications. Working with limited staff and resources, we focused on individual strengths and perspectives–Liz with the collection, teaching, and relationships with faculty across campus; Beth with digital humanities, teaching, and entry-level digital technologies; Amber with prior experience using RTI and perspective as a graduate student who is both learning from and teaching with models. Amber is the Academic Programs Intern at the museum, and is also the Teaching Assistant in a studio course that is a key collaborator in this project.
Aus der Finsternis: Cross-Institutional Intermediate German with Dark (Netflix 2017-20)
Sunka Simon, Professor of German, Film and Media Studies, Swarthmore College
Matthew Miller, Associate Professor of German, Colgate University
Pia Eger, DAAD Fellow, Colgate University
Three colleagues explore both synchronous and asynchronous activities and projects built on cross-institutional team-screenings of weekly episodes of Dark’s first season on Netflix.
This presentation showcases the pedagogical and technological tools utilized to achieve the learning outcomes for the LACOL sponsored cross-institutional digitally connected Intermediate German course in the fall semester of 2020 between Swarthmore College and Colgate University.
Read more about this LACOL project: Intermediate German Digital Link-Up (Fall 2020)
Quantitative Skills in Context. What are the “Keepers” from the Past Year of Teaching?
Melissa Eblen-Zayas, Professor of Physics, Carleton College
Laura Muller, Director of Quantitative Skills Programs and Peer Support, Williams College
Moderated by Mihai Stoiciu, Professor of Mathematics, Williams College
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
The LACOL 2021 Workshop is over! Thanks to Hamilton College for hosting.
Hamilton College hosted the summer 2021 consortium-wide LACOL, June 21-23, 2021. With “Play and Innovation” as the official 2021 theme, this summer gathering brought 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
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
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
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…)
Toward Equity in Assessment: A Cross-Constituency Dialogue
THIS SPRING, LACOL hosted 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 closed (series complete); coffee chats ran February 22 and run weekly through April 12 – details below.
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 2020/2021!
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