Inclusivity in the classroom and on campus (physical and virtual) is a priority at all LACOL institutions. Liberal Arts Colleges face a growing need to diversify and align to the demographic shifts in college age populations. For this and many reasons, we must ensure that our institutions are welcoming and inclusive.
LACOL has two related initiatives underway. The first is a series of dialogues across stakeholders to share insights on institutional and classroom strategies that enhance access and inclusion. The second is a shared experiment in assessment; how might be used to gain better evidence on aspects of the liberal arts experience?
By T. Donahue-Ochoa, Visiting Asst Professor of Political Science, Haverford College, M. Darwish, Lecturer and Coordinator of Bi-Co Arabic Program, Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, and E. Hartman, Executive Director of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, Haverford College.
At Haverford and Bryn Mawr, many students and faculty are co-creating an ocean-spanning online exchange. It’s called “the Transformative Sustainability Project.” In it, these scholars work with peers in the Persian Gulf on some of the world’s largest questions. How can we join cross-regionally to sustain our communities? How can we use the UN Sustainable Development Goals as shared yardsticks of progress? To answer, the peer groups divide into teams spanning the Philly suburbs and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. As they tackle these problems, they swap their localized perspectives. For a time, they see the issues from the standpoint of 7,000 miles away.
With funding from the Stevens Initiative, the Project partners colleagues at Haverford and Bryn Mawr, Dickinson College in Carlisle PA, and American University Sharjah (AUS). It matches seven Pennsylvania-based faculty with six at AUS. The faculty duos work across disciplines in teaching paired courses. These aim to foster ties across cultures and empathy for differences. All course pairs hold several joint meetings. They also group their students into the ocean-spanning teams. Each of those does a term-long assignment on local and global efforts to sustain communities.
We can learn a lot by giving up our North Atlantic viewpoints for a while, instead seeing things from the Persian Gulf.
– – Prof. T. Donahue-Ochoa, Haverford College
Three Haverford-Bryn Mawr faculty currently work on the Project. In the spring, Manar Darwish will offer the course, “Society and Culture of the Middle East through Film.” “Its horizons will be widened by our Sharjah partners,” says Darwish. Meanwhile, Eric Hartman is now teaching “Human Rights in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in a National and Global Context.” And Tom Donahue-Ochoa is offering “Development and Transnational Injustices” and “Comparative and Transnational Studies.” They’re pairing those courses with AUS counterparts offered by Salma Thani and Kristina Katsos.
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.Read More
Session: Measuring Complex Domains for the Liberal Arts (Inclusive Pedagogies) with Sensemaker Resources: ⇒ Project site: https://emergentedu.org ⇒ About Sensemaker: http://cognitive-edge.com/sensemaker/#sensemaker-about Leads: ⇒ Kristen Eshleman, Director of Digital Innovation, Davidson College ⇒ Brent Maher, Director of Academic Assessment, Davidson College ⇒ Annie Sadler, Instructional Design Fellow, Davidson College ⇒ Paul Youngman, Prof. of German, Chair, Digital Humanities, Washington & Lee University
WATCH!Intro video (15 min)
Innovations in assessment can directly address a key challenge for our institutions – demonstrating our value in a time of increasing skepticism about the liberal arts.
On April 27, Davidson College and Washington & Lee University hosted a LACOL workshop to explore an assessment tool and method called Sensemaker that has the potential to manage and account for the complex domains of learning. Pursuing a research design as a network of allied liberal arts institutions provides evidence at scale while building capacity for experimentation and innovation at each of our institutions. Read More
Emerging pedagogies for inclusion are keen topics of interest across the liberal arts. Our Teaching & Learning Centers, and our academic support colleagues have a growing body of experience – what works and what doesn’t work – when it comes to supporting our diverse student body academically and as whole persons. Collaboration around these insights and measurements across LACOL has seemed like a useful idea to many. To advance these conversations, two interrelated workshops will be held in the Spring of 2018:
WORKSHOP 2: Measuring Complex Domains of Learning (Inclusive Pedagogies)
The goal of these paired workshops is to start a dialogue across our stakeholders around issue of access and inclusion, and to consider ways in which both qualitative and quantitative assessments might be used to jointly study this aspect (and others) of the liberal arts experience. Read More