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.
Sharing courses as a consortium enhances curricular opportunities and provides a forum for our faculty and students to explore digitally-enhanced, collaborative modes for teaching and learning in the liberal arts. Browse below for the latest classes available to students in the LACOL network.
Faculty take note! LACOL’s Advisory Councils have issued a Call for Proposals inviting your ideas for novel shared course opportunities.
Data Science, Mathematics &Statistics
Introduction to Critical Data Science (Summer 2019)
Team taught, fully online course
Operations Research (Fall 2019)
Prof. Steven J. Miller, Williams College
Bayesian Statistics (Fall 2019)
Prof. Monika Hu, Vassar College
Shared LACOL Course: Operations Research
Instructor: Professor Steven J. Miller, Williams College
Enrollment Info for Students: http://bit.ly/ops-research
Syllabus & Course Website: https://web.williams.edu/Mathematics/sjmiller/public_html/317Fa19
Course Flyer: Operations Research Fall 2019 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.
Shared LACOL Course: Bayesian Statistics
Instructor: Professor Jingchen (Monika) Hu, Vassar College
Syllabus & Enrollment Info: http://bit.ly/bayesian-stats
Course Flyer: Bayesian Statistics PDF
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.
Event: Data Science in the Liberal Arts
Date: June 6-7 (Arrival June 5)
Location: Washington & Lee University
Workshop Description: Background and Purpose
Attendees: members and associates of the LACOL DS+ working group
Registration Page: https://goo.gl/forms/JuECaI0RcnhDPYzR2 (Register by May 1)
Prof. Amelia McNamara
Department of Computer & Information Sciences
St. Thomas University
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.
- 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.
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.
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 (Frost Library)
Date: April 5
Attendees: mix of faculty, Deans (diversity, student life or other), teaching and learning personnel
Agenda: PDF Agenda
Event: Exploring Complexity through Student Micro-Narratives with Sensemaker
Host: Sensemaker Team Leads (Kristen Eshleman, Brent Maher, Annie Sadler, Paul Youngman)
Date: April 4
Time: 1:00pm-5:00pm (optional group lunch at 12:00pm; details tba)
Location: The Powerhouse, Amherst College
Attendees: All Sensemaker team members and anyone interested in the project
Project Website: http://emergentedu.org
Registration: https://goo.gl/forms/ZhEPKh5ILpwB5sWP2 (Register by March 3)
Event: Language Instruction Jam
Location: Bryn Mawr College, Canaday Library
Date: March 23-24
Agenda: Language Jam Agenda
Attendees: Language Instruction working group and project teams
Overview of the Agenda:
- 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.
In Summer 2019 …
Introduction to Critical Data Science (co-taught course, shared digitally)
Syllabus and FAQ: See course gateway
- Familiarity and expertise in basic coding (R/RStudio).
- 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 co-taught by instructors from LACOL schools
- 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.
The ASIANetwork Exchange recently published a special issue titled Digital Asia which expands upon the pedagogical research presented at the 25th Annual ASIANetwork Conference, “Digital and Beyond: Ways of Knowing Asia.” Co-edited by Prof. Erin Schoneveld (Haverford College), several articles in this volume explore the productive relationship between digital technology and Universal Design for Learning (UDL.)
ASIANetwork’s theme of “Digital Asia” highlights a wide range of approaches used to represent and examine rapid economic, social, political, and environmental changes and their impacts on Asian cultures. These methods are comprised of both traditional academic disciplines as well as digital technologies that simultaneously allow for the preservation of existing information as well as the creation and sharing of new data, texts, and images resulting in original ways of analyzing and constructing Asia. Within this context, these articles also examine the productive relationship between digital technology and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL offers strategies for faculty to design curricula that stimulate interest in differentiating the ways students are able express what they know.
Prof. Schoneveld’s article, Japanese Modernism Across Media, examines the pedagogical benefits of implementing a semester-long digital curation project using the open-source web-publishing platform Omeka Classic. This digital curation project was supported by Haverford College Library and Mike Zarafonetis, Coordinator of Digital Scholarship and Research Services. Schoneveld’s colleagues Prof. Shiamin Kwa and Anna-Alexandra Fodde-Reguer, Research and Instruction Librarian, in the Haverford and Bryn Mawr (Bi-College) East Asian Languages and Culture Department contributed the article, The Chinese Poster Project: EALC Pedagogy and Digital Media, which highlights Haverford College Library’s fantastic collection of Chinese political posters held in Special Collections.
A new Digital Competencies Working Group has formed to build interest and prior work related to Digital Competencies, Digital Studies, Digital Fluency, and Digital Literacy. These terms cover a group of related concepts, all of which reflect concepts and skills that are vital to the 21st Century learner and citizen.
The goals of the new working group are to make concrete progress on ideas develop at the 2017 Think Tank and 2018 discussions. LACOL members are invited to join the group; reach out for more information!
- Group members include faculty, librarians, technologists, instructional designers.
- A top priority is adjusting the language of the Bryn Mawr Framework to fit individual/collective needs of our schools. Major elements of the Bryn Mawr framework are:
- Digital Survival Skills
- Digital Communication
- Data Management and Preservation
- Data Analysis and Presentation
- Critical Making, Design and Development
- Another priority is developing a shared survey of recent grads on their acquisition, use, and needs for digital competencies.
- Some in the group will engage with liberal arts research around competencies that are critical to the future of work – what fits and what are the disconnects?
- These ingredients will be used to engage with faculty more deeply in student-centered digital competency conversations and collaborations.
JANUARY 2019 – Create a statement about using the Bryn Mawr Digital Competencies Framework as the starting point for developing institution specific frameworks. (more…)
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)
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.