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.
Mini-Conference Cultivating Student Leadership to Foster a More Inclusive Liberal Arts Classroom
Host: Amherst College Center for Teaching and Learning in partnership with Being Human in STEM and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Invited Speaker: Bryan Dewsbury, University of Rhode Island
Location: Amherst College Center for Teaching and Learning
Date: April 5
Attendees: mix of faculty, Deans (diversity, student life or other), teaching and learning personnel (Max: 50 people) (more…)
Event: Exploring Complexity through Student Micro-Narratives with Sensemaker
Host: Sensemaker Team Leads (Kristen Eshleman, Brent Maher, Annie Sadler, Paul Youngman)
Location: Amherst College Center for Teaching and Learning
Date: April 4
Attendees: All Sensemaker team members and anyone interested in the project
Project Website: http://emergentedu.org (more…)
Event: Language Instruction Jam
Location: Bryn Mawr College
Date: March 23-24
Attendees: Language Instruction working group and project teams
- CHIANTI: Ample time will be devoted to collaborative workshopping on CHIANTI, the shared teaching resource for college-level language instruction; participants will explore the resources that have been gathered so far (including student and faculty reflection videos on liberal arts language learning), brainstorm on ideas for the emerging platform, and work on building additional content.
- SKILLS DASHBOARD: There will be opportunity for a demonstration and brainstorming on the language skills question bank and dashboard prototype – initially developed for French last year, with future possibilities for other languages.
- DIGITAL TOOLS for LANGUAGE LEARNING: Colleagues across LACOL will be invited share their experiences with digital pedagogies and tools for language instruction. What works best for you and your students in meeting various pedagogical goals? How can we share and learn from each other? The group of Asian language instructors who met up at the Vassar 2017 workshop has been pioneering such exchanges as one model to build on.
- Full agenda coming soon.
Event: Data Science in the Liberal Arts Workshop
Date: June 5-7
Location: Washington & Lee University
Hosts: Profs. Natalia Toporikova & Moataz Khalifa
Planning Group: Nick Horton (Amherst College), Jingchen (Monika) Hu (Vassar College), Moataz Khalifa (W&L), Natalia Toporikova (W&L)
Attendees: members and associates of the LACOL DS+ working group (max 30 people)
Registration Page: coming soon
Agenda & Program:
- Establishing a Think Tank on Data Science in the Liberal Arts: how do we imagine, design, and implement data science curriculums at small colleges; how do we more deeply connect data science to the liberal arts ethos.
- 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.
About the Data Science+ Working Group: Sparked by conversations at the LACOL summer workshop at Carleton College in 2018, the Data Science + working group is an active forum for faculty and staff to explore the frontiers of data science education at liberal arts colleges – especially looking for ways that collaboration can help to advance shared goals. DS+ held a series of lively webinars in 2018 and also helped to incubate ideas for the LACOL “Introduction to Critical Data Science” class being offered online in Summer 2019.
Submissions are now open for the Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference, to be held on May 22-23, 2019 at Bryn Mawr College. We are open to all topics related to blended learning in the liberal arts. Possible themes include:
- Digital Competencies: efforts to build digital literacy and digital citizenship; programmatic frameworks, theories, and methods
- Student Collaborations: digital fellowship and scholarship programs, internships, project work, and other experiential learning opportunities for students
- Digital Identity: discussions of domains programs, website projects, social media, and new ways that online identities are crafted in educational settings
- Emerging Technology and Methods: particularly makerspaces, audio/visual production, and critical making
Event: Pre-Conference Liberal Arts Workshop at ELI (Session)
Title: Local and Global Decisions: Digital Competency Initiatives, Development and Assessment
Date: February 19, 2019
Venue: EDUCAUSE ELI Annual Conference
Location: Anaheim, California
Registration: Opens Nov 5
Time: 8am-11am PT
- Donnie Sendelbach, Director of Educational Technology Services, Denison University
- Jennifer Spohrer, Director of Educational Technology, Bryn Mawr College
- Mo Pelzel, Director of Academic Technology, Grinnell College
- Ted Wilder, Associate Director of Information Technology, Macalester College
- Liz Evans, Director of Liberal Arts Collaborative for Digital Innovation (LACOL)
- Ed Finn, Liaison for Innovation and Collaboration in Teaching and Learning, Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM)
Abstract: Digital competency initiatives begin from shared global objectives but must adapt to local culture and structures to succeed. Collaboration helps define needs and goals, but how can we collaboratively assess programs that adopt intensely local variations? In this pre-conference workshop, we will present multiple examples of program development with overlapping goals. After examining existing efforts on attendees’ campuses, they will develop plans for their own initiatives, considering local circumstances. We will then brainstorm with participants about how to collaboratively assess the impact of digital competency initiatives. Moreover, we will determine what evidence of impact would be meaningful to different stakeholders.
Event: Data Science: On ramps and scaffolds
Location: ZOOM web conference
Date: Friday, November 9
Time: 1:00-2:00pm Eastern
⇒ Ming-Wen An, Assoc. Professor of Statistics, Vassar College
⇒ Ella Foster-Molina, Teaching Associate, Quantitative Skills Laboratory, Swarthmore College
- Review Draft Matrix of Data Science On Ramps and Scaffolds
- Optional: Before the webinar, submit one activity or resource you use for teaching related to any topic in column B in the matrix linked above
Related Event: Envisioning a “What is data science?” webinar for students (Oct 1, 2018)
Description: Following on from the lively July webinar focused on the NAS Data Science for Undergraduates report (nap.edu/25104), LACOL DS+ members are invited to join a follow up webinar .
Event: Inclusive Pedagogies – Sensemaker Assessment Design Jam
Location: Davidson College
Date: October 18
- Kristen Eshleman, Director of Digital Innovation, Davidson College
- Brent Maher, Director of Academic Assessment, Davidson College
- Annie Sadler, Digital Design Fellow, Davidson College
- Paul Youngman, Associate Provost and Professor of German, Washington & Lee University
Event: Envisioning a “What is data science?” webinar for students
Location: ZOOM web conference (rsvp to email@example.com for a meeting invite)
Date: Monday, October 1
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm Eastern
⇒ Deborah Gross, Professor of Chemistry, Carleton College
⇒ Helen White, Assoc. Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies, Haverford College
Prework: add your topic ideas HERE
Related Event: Data Science on ramps and scaffolds (Nov 9, 2018)
Shared LACOL Course: Bayesian Statistics
Instructor: Professor Jingchen (Monika) Hu, Vassar College
Topics and Objectives:
- Understanding of basic concepts in Bayesian statistics and ability to apply Bayesian inference approaches to solve scientific research problems and real-word problems.
- Ability and skills to use statistical programming software (R/RStudio and JAGS) to realize Bayesian analysis.
- Practice of reading, discussing, and critiquing statistics research journal papers.
Coming in 2019 …
Introduction to Critical Data Science (co-taught course, shared digitally)
- Familiarity and expertise in basic coding (R or python, Excel).
- Understanding of theory and application of basic concepts in statistics.
- Ability to write and present technical material to diverse audiences.
- Intensive 8-week course with data lab component (fully digital)
- Student centered learning design including pre-recorded lectures, real-time lectures, and laboratory/supported work time
- Course to be co-taught by 4-5 instructors (one from each participating campus)
- Delivery is fully online with some scheduled and some asynchronous events.
Level: This class is intended for non-majors. There are no formal prerequisites; preference will be given for students with no prior coding experience; preference will be given to students who have taken college-level calculus. Enrollment must be approved by the student’s advisor at their home institution and by a lead course instructor.
Course Team: tba (more…)
Yes, we changed our name!
Recently and for a while, stakeholders across our membership have agreed that the original name – Liberal Arts Consortium for Online Learning – only partly aligned with our current work, shared goals, and mission. After some deliberation, a name change was unanimously endorsed by our Faculty and Leadership Councils this fall.
Luckily, with our new name, LIBERAL ARTS COLLABORATIVE for Digital Innovation, we keep our familiar acronym: LACOL.
2018/2019 Call for Proposals: 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.
How important is it for instructors to include their own faces when creating instructional videos? The answer might surprise you. Dann Hurlbert, Carleton College’s Media & Design Guru (and an actor, director, and inventor of the Little Prompter) leans on research and his own expertise to offer guidance.
Update on the shared grammar resource, summer 2018.
Convened by Chico Zimmerman and Clara Hardy (Carleton College), about a dozen faculty and technologists met at the workshop to make progress on ideas that emerged from several separate Zoom meetings in the two months preceding the conference. Eventually, the discussions centered on three main elements to focus on moving forward in the near term:
- A set of videos featuring LACOL language instructors and students reflecting on the college-level language-learning experience. These videos will be available for sharing with all LACOL institutions by the end of the summer (see next bullet).
- A self-curated online digital library of shareable resources for LACOL language instructors, for which a proof-of-concept site has been created and tentatively named CHIANTI (as a more appealing version of MERLOT). The (currently WordPress) site would allow for submissions from LACOL language instructors and would be searchable by category and tags. The initial categories will be in the area of:
- General tips for college-level language learning, including research on adult L2 acquisition
- English grammar for L2 learners, including models or maps that integrate all aspects of language
- 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.
The CHIANTI site will continue to be built through the summer and populated with some initial resources for testing. A prototype submission form has been drafted and will be tested and finalized through the summer as well. The group will be soliciting contributions once these elements are finalized.
Dann Hurlbert and Palmar Alvarez-Blanco at Carleton College recently co-taught Spanish 206, a course focused on developing language skills with native speakers and fostering civic engagement–while also giving something tangible back to the community. Students in this course worked with under-represented local organizations to help them create a “participatory videos” (short documentaries) to help tell each organization’s story. In addition to having students create video as a portion of their coursework, Dann also used instructional videos to teach and guide the learning. Dann created a successful Moodle-based micro-course that can now be easily replicated and plugged into a multitude of courses in which the faculty member hopes to tie Civic Engagement with his/her own course content, and video production.
Here’s a short video that offers a peek into the course and this engaging instructional method:
*Note: this sample video includes short selections from the following films: Bacon and God’s Wrath by Sol Friedman and Sarah Clifford-Rashotte; Godka Circa by Antonio Tibaldi and Alex Lora; Damon at 86th Street by Emily Sheskin, and the Price of Certainty by Daniele Anastasion.
For more information on how you and your institution can use this technique and these materials to foster civic engagement in your courses, contact Dann at firstname.lastname@example.org