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.
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. To further link the students in their studies, we will bring everyone together for a face-to-face event at Swarthmore in mid-October. 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.”
Dann Hurlbert, Carleton College’s Media & Design Specialist and long-time friend of LACOL, shares three new video guides, drawing on the popular textbook e-Learning and the Science of Instruction by by Ruth Covlin Clark & Richard E. Mayer. Visit Carleton Academic Technology blog for more tips from Dann and the Carleton ATS team: https://blogs.carleton.edu/academictechnology.
Video 1: Making Video Work Well
In this short video, one of three in a series on the textbook, ELearning and the Science of Instruction by Ruth Covlin Clark & Richard E. Mayer, Dann Hurlbert digs into how these important concepts should impact instructional video production. The book is an in-depth, research-based look into best practices surrounding using audio and visuals in e-learning. In this first video, Dann relays how best to use the dual channels (audio and visuals) to make his or her instructional videos more engaging and more effective. (See full post.)
Video 2: Talk is Cheap
In this short video, Dann Hurlbert digs into the textbook, ELearning and the Science of Instruction by Ruth Covlin Clark & Richard E. Mayer. This time, Dann relays why audio alone is often less effective online–and what simple steps an instructor can do to make his or her instructional content more engaging and more effective. (See full post.)
Keynote from Matthew Rascoff
Associate Vice Provost for Digital Education and Innovation
Date and Time: Thursday, June 25, 4:00pm
Location: Paresky Center, Williams College
- 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)
Education has borrowed the language of disruptive innovation from the business world but disruption does not account for the complexity of how to make change in mission-driven contexts. While Silicon Valley cheers as startups take on incumbents, in academia institutions play vital roles in communities. Their longevity is a value shared by many stakeholders. What happens when the value of higher education is so commonly called into question? How can colleges maintain their values and sustain themselves in the face of a crisis of affordability?
Education needs new frameworks to make the case for change. In this talk, Matthew Rascoff will propose a model of innovation drawn from the history of education innovation. He will describe a four-step cycle of founding, hybridization, complexity, and simplification. This cycle describes how educational institutions have evolved and offers strategic lessons for academic leaders seeking to direct that evolution.
Digital Agility: Embracing a Holistic Approach to Digital Literacy in the Liberal Arts
A group of institutions is collaborating to identify what digital agility means in the liberal arts and to encourage the use of that definition to guide institutional initiatives that involve digital agility …
- Program: LACOL 2020 Workshop Agenda
- Registration: Sign-Up Here (deadline May 15)
- Program Highlights:
- Keynote: Matthew Rascoff, Duke University Learning Innovation (read more …)
- LACOL Senior Leaders Panel: Dialogue on Strategic Priorities and Collaboration
- Hands-On Workshop: Prof. James Lang, best-selling author of Small Teaching and Teaching Distracted Minds
- Collaboration: presentations and brainstorming on LACOL projects and future horizons
FLYERS: Download and post the PDF flyer(s) of your choosing:
Shared LACOL Course: Data Confidentiality (MATH 301)
Instructor: Professor Jingchen (Monika) Hu, Vassar College
Topics and Objectives: Statistical agencies are under legal obligation to protect survey respondents’ privacy when releasing respondent-level data to the public. Statistical models could facilitate such release by introducing perturbation to the original, confidential data. How to develop suitable statistical models, and how to evaluate the privacy protection they produce, are the focus of this intensive.
Shared LACOL Course: Bayesian Inference with Python (MATH 399)
Instructor: Professor Jingchen (Monika) Hu, Vassar College
Topics and Objectives: We will focus on computational techniques using Python programming language to estimate various Bayesian models. In the end, students propose and complete a data analysis project of their interests and present it to the group.
2020 Call for Proposals is Open!
Background: Exec Summary / Call for Proposals (PDF)
About the Exploration
Sharing courses as a consortium can enhance curricular opportunities for students and faculty, 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.
Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference at Bryn Mawr College, May 20-21, 2020.
Submissions are now open for the Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference, to be held on May 20-21, 2020 at Bryn Mawr College. We are open to all topics related to blended learning in the liberal arts. Possible themes include:
- Digital competencies, digital citizenship, and digital wellness
- Experiential and service learning
- Blended learning spaces, libraries and resource centers
- Critical making
- Emerging technologies
- Task-based tech-mediated learning
- Assistive technology and accessibility
- Blended learning beyond the single course
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion in blended experiences
What are some of the biggest rewards of learning a second language? As a student, what do you know now that you wish you had known as you began learning your language at college? As faculty, what one piece of advice would you give to students as they are about to start their language learning at college? What are models or maps that integrate all aspects of language learning?
Over the past year, faculty and language learning experts from across LACOL have been collaborating to develop the CHIANTI concept and prototype. For students, an initial set of videos are posted that feature LACOL language instructors and students reflecting on the college-level language-learning experience. For language teachers, a self-curated online digital library of shareable tips and teaching resources is developing.
As an ongoing initiatve of the LACOL Language Instruction Working Group, the Chianti site and team invites contributions from LACOL language instructors in the areas of: General tips for college-level language learning, including research on adult second-language (L2) acquisition. 2) English grammar for L2 learners including models or maps that integrate all aspects of language, 3) Phonology, and 4) An interactive glossary of grammatical and linguistic terms from which instructors can draw for their own pedagogical purposes and to which they can contribute their own definitions and examples.
by Liz Evans
A new book, Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes, by F. Darby and J. Lang (Wiley 2019) caught my eye last June, initially via this IHE author interview. The timing of this discovery was perfect for me, since I was helping to support LACOL’s first fully online summer data science class. So many nuggets from this book prove to be right on target for LACOL’s various pedogogical explorations, I choose it as something to share with my awesome colleagues on the Haverford College Instructional Technology team as part of their summer 2019 Learn and Share discussion group. This short review highlights some of the authors’ ideas I found most thought provoking and potentially useful to anyone teaching in the classroom, online … or both!
Many faculty and designers may be familiar already with the phrase “small teaching” which was made famous in Prof. James Lang’s 2016 book, Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons From the Science of Learning. In a nutshell, Lang demonstrates how small, easily-managed teaching modifications – based on the neuroscience of how people learn – can have a positive impact for students. That is, small adjustments can make good teaching great.
Online professor and instructional designer Flower Darby worked with Lang to bring the small teaching concept into the online realm. The opportunities for discovery are rich because, as Darby notes, online learning is in its infancy.
The book recommendation is excellent – a lot of useful suggestions which would take years to figure out.
-Dr. Natalia Toporikova, Professor of Biology at Washington and Lee University; online instructor, summer 2019
The gerrymandering controversy in American politics offers an ideal subject for a blended learning class that draws upon racial justice, electoral behavior, electoral reform, law, political science, data analysis, and the use of geographic information systems technology. We combined each of these themes into a class that entailed the practical application of GIS and data analysis skills to a contemporary public policy issue that animated the news as the U.S. Supreme Court prepared to issue its second gerrymandering decision in as many terms.
Shared LACOL Course: Operations Research
Instructor: Professor Steven J. Miller, Williams College
Enrollment Info for Students: http://bit.ly/ops-research (Fall 2019, Spring 2020)
Syllabus & Course Website: https://web.williams.edu/Mathematics/sjmiller/public_html/317Fa19
Course Flyer: Operations Research PDF
Topics and Objectives:
- The real world is complicated, requiring mathematicians to approximate solutions and even the statement of real world problems!
- While the chess scenario pictured above might appear to be a make-work problem, the efficient solution illustrates one of the most powerful ideas in mathematics, and allows us to tell in many cases how close we are to the optimal solution (even if we cannot find the optimal solution.)
- In this class, you will learn powerful methods from classical algorithms to advanced linear algebra and their applications to the real world, specifically linear programming and random matrix theory.
LACOL has been awarded an IUSE grant from National Science Foundation for a project titled, “Online modules for quantitative skill building: Exploring adaption and adoption across a consortium”. This three-year project will research the adaption and adoption of face-to-face and online pedagogies for teaching quantitative skills (QS) with the aim of improving understanding of best practices for the development of online modules to support students’ QS development.
The project proposal was developed by Melissa Eblen-Zayas and Janet Russell of Carleton College and Laura Muller and Jonathan Leamon of Williams College based lessons learned from the QLAB pilot project.
Additional information about the project, including details about the project advisory board, a needs assessment survey for faculty, and opportunities for faculty and staff to get involved, will be be shared later this summer and into the fall through the QS Working Group Forum.
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE for ongoing news!
Event: Data Science in the Liberal Arts
Date & Location: June 6-7, 2019 at Washington and Lee University
- Agenda & Program (Background and Purpose)
- Establishing a Think Tank on Data Science in the Liberal Arts
- Taking hands on approaches to curating, developing, and sharing liberal arts pedagogies and teaching materials for data science that broadly engage and support our students across the disciplines.
Attendees: members and friends of the LACOL DS+ working group
|Scroll down for workshop resources, slides, and video gallery|
Data Journalism as a Liberal Art
Prof. Amelia McNamara
Department of Computer & Information Sciences
University of St. Thomas
One of the main ways the general public encounters products of data analysis is through journalism. Data journalists strive to explain complex stories using visualization, statistics, and heavy use of contextualization. As we incorporate data science into the liberal arts, data journalism provides a case study as a field in which the sciences and the humanities are consciously linked. In this talk, I’ll discuss the history of data journalism, how I see it fitting into a liberal arts framework, and experiences from a class I taught on data journalism.
More Workshop Talks and Resources:
1. R. DeVeaux – Data Science for All?
2. L. Heyer – Starting a Data Science Minor