Online Modules for Quantitative Skills: Exploring Adaption and Adoption Across LACOL

Year 1 LACOL IUSE revisedLACOL 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!

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Data Science in the Liberal Arts Workshop (June 2019)

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Event: Data Science in the Liberal Arts
Date & Location: June 6-7, 2019 at Washington and Lee University
Workshop Goals:

  • 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

Keynote Talk:

https://www.stthomas.edu/cisc/faculty/amelia-mcnamara.htmlData 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.

A. McNamara SLIDES

More Workshop Talks and Resources:

1. R. DeVeaux – Data Science for All? 

2. L. Heyer – Starting a Data Science Minor

(more…)

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Introduction to Data Science (shared course)

In Summer 2019 …

Introduction to Data Science (co-taught course, shared digitally)

Syllabus and FAQ: See course gateway

Learning Objectives:

  1. Familiarity and expertise in basic coding (R/RStudio).
  2. Understanding of theory and application of basic concepts in statistics.
  3. Ability to write and present technical material to diverse audiences.

Course Sequence:

  • 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.

Course Team: see course gateway

Lightning Talk – Learn about this project in just 6.5 minutes!


Presented May 22, 2019 at the Bryn Mawr Blended Learning Conference

Course Topics Include: (more…)

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Language Instruction Jam 2019

BMC JamEvent: 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

Full agenda & highlights:

  • CHIANTI: Ample time 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: 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 shared experiences with digital pedagogies and tools for language instruction. 

(more…)

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For Our Students: Digitally Shared Course Offerings (2018/2020)

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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 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

(more…)

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Sharing Courses in Self-Instructional Language Programs through Online Conversation

SILP

Renewed for Fall 2019!

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.

(more…)

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Local and Global Decisions: Digital Competency Initiatives, Development and Assessment

ELI speakers 2019

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
Facilitators:

  • 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.

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Digital Competencies Working Group

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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.

Roadmap:

JANUARY 2019 – Create a statement about using the Bryn Mawr Digital Competencies Framework as the starting point for developing institution specific frameworks. (more…)

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Webinar: Data Science on ramps and scaffolds (Nov 9)

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Event: Data Science: On ramps and scaffolds
Location: ZOOM web conference
Date: Friday, November 9
Time: 1:00-2:00pm Eastern
Discussion Leads: 
⇒ Ming-Wen An, Assoc. Professor of Statistics, Vassar College
⇒ Ella Foster-Molina, Teaching Associate, Quantitative Skills Laboratory, Swarthmore College

Prework:

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 .

(more…)

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Envisioning a “What is data science?” webinar (Oct 1)

Event: Envisioning a “What is data science?” webinar for students
Location: ZOOM web conference (rsvp to eevans@haverford.edu for a meeting invite)
Date: Monday, October 1
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm Eastern
Discussion Leads: 
⇒ 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)

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.
(more…)

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After MERLOT? CHIANTI.

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
    • Phonology
  • 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.
(more…)

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Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options … a liberal arts conversation

Event: Discussion of the NAS Data Science for Undergraduates Report
Location: ZOOM web conference
Date: Thursday, July 12
Time:
 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Eastern
Discussion Leader: Professor Nicholas Horton, Amherst College

** Interested in collaboration around data science education for the liberal arts? Sign up to join the new LACOL Data Science+ Group.

Following on from the lively Data Science meets Environmental Studies meet up at the 2018 LACOL summer workshop, LACOL members are invited to join an online conversation to discuss faculty perspectives on the newly released Data Science for Undergraduates: Opportunities and Options report from the National Academies of Science. (More about the NAS report is here: http://nap.edu/25104)

Discussion of the report through a liberal arts lens will be lead by Dr. Nick Horton, Professor of Statistics at Amherst College.  Nick served as contributor to the report on the Committee on Envisioning the Data Science Discipline: the Undergraduate Perspective.   As he and colleagues at the summer workshop note, there is considerable potential to engage with each other as liberal arts colleges around curriculum development (see ASA Guideline, developed with AALAC) and other ways to support students learning to work with data.

Faculty and academic support specialists interested in data science education across the curriculum are encouraged to join this conversation!

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Welcome to the Data Science+ Group Page

Algorithm maze

Based on conversations at the 2018 LACOL Summer Workshop, an active working group has emerged for Data Science, with a special interest in intersections with Environmental Studies as a data-intensive discipline.

Group Resource Page: Shared by/for Group Members  (submit resources here.)

Areas of collaboration:

  • A webinar series (see below) and study group on data science in the liberal arts.
  • Identifying key data science skills and information falling between curricular cracks at LACOL schools and provide existing resources to begin addressing them.
  • Developing a repository to share software tutorials, commentary, wrappers, assignments, etc., that help teach students to use important tools.
  • Developing a consortium-wide “Intro to Critical Data Collection and Analysis” course.
  • Exploring options for managing research data collections from sensors or data generated collaboratively with other researchers; design requirements or existing database solutions for data sharing, and analysis.

 

(more…)

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Data Science meets Environmental Studies at LACOL 2018

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Workshop Track: Data Science meets Environmental Studies – Exploration
Facilitators:

  • Cailin Huyck Orr, Assistant Director, Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
  • Kristin O’Connell, Evaluation and Education Specialist, SERC

Program: Session Agendas
Part 1: May 31, 9:30am, Weitz 136
Part 2: June 1, 10:30am, Weitz 230
OLI Discussion: May 31, 3:30pm, Weitz 136

ds diagramThe intersection between Data Science and Environmental Studies is emerging as an area of focus for LACOL as we explore opportunities for collaboration around digitally engaged modes of teaching and learning for the liberal arts.

Several colleges are currently developing programming under the umbrella of Data Science, including critical algorithm studies, big data, data visualization, and data privacy/security. Meanwhile, most LACOL schools have a data-intensive Environmental Studies concentration or major. Interdisciplinary by nature, these areas of study challenge students to understand and work with data from many angles. Students engage in analysis, problem solving, critical thinking, and modes of argument that are deeply connected to social, cultural, political, and aesthetic ideas. Considering such programs, LACOL is thinking about ways that digital collaboration might enrich teaching and learning in this arena.

(more…)

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Digital Competencies and Digital Studies – LACOL 2018

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Session: Digital Competencies and Digital Studies
Discussion Leaders:

  • Gina Siesing, Chief Information Officer and Constance A. Jones Director of Libraries, Bryn Mawr College
  • Austin Mason, Assistant Director of the Humanities Center for the Digital Humanities and Lecturer in History, Carleton College

Date/Time: Thursday, May 31, 9:30am-10:30am
Location: Weitz 236
Pre-workshop activity/instructions: Group annotation of the BMC Framework

 

A. Mason, Carleton College
G. Siesing, Bryn Mawr College

To build upon foundations laid at the Think Tank on Digital Competencies at Davidson College last fall, an interactive session exploring digital competencies and digital studies across the curriculum will be featured at the the 2018 Summer Workshop.

This discussion will focus on how digital competencies and digital studies programs connect with faculty priorities and practices for teaching and learning in the physical and virtual classroom and how digital competencies support and relate to other learning goals.

To approach these questions, Siesing and Mason will guide:

  • An overview of Bryn Mawr College’s digital competencies framework as one model to stimulate exploration of campus-wide digital literacy programs in the liberal arts, integrating faculty, staff and student comments from the pre-workshop annotation activity.
  • A look at Carleton College’s visioning around curricular pathways for Digital Studies.
  • Discussion of related initiatives across liberal arts colleges, to be continued beyond the session.

As input into this discussion, all workshop attendees are invited and encouraged to share reflections in advance by joining in the Group annotation of the BMC Framework.

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How to Blend a Course – Hands On (Effective Teaching & Learning)

J. Spohrer, Bryn Mawr College
J. Spohrer, Bryn Mawr College

Session: How to blend a course – hands on
Lead presenter: Jennifer Spohrer, Director of Educational Technology Services, Bryn Mawr College
Date/Time: Friday, June 1, 10:30am-11:30am
Location: Weitz 131

This hands-on mini workshop will explore how and why faculty are motivated to blend their courses, even for their residential students on our campuses.

Related sessions at LACOL 2018:

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