Bryn Mawr College


bmc_bannerThe mission of Bryn Mawr College
is to provide a rigorous education and to encourage the pursuit of knowledge as preparation for life and work. Bryn Mawr teaches and values critical, creative and independent habits of thought and expression in an undergraduate liberal arts curriculum for women and in coeducational graduate programs in arts and sciences and social work and social research. Bryn Mawr seeks to sustain a community diverse in nature and democratic in practice, for we believe that only through considering many perspectives do we gain a deeper understanding of each other and the world.

Since its founding in 1885, the College has maintained its character as a small residential community which fosters close working relationships between faculty and students. The faculty of teacher/scholars emphasizes learning through conversation and collaboration, primary reading, original research and experimentation. Our cooperative relationship with Haverford College enlarges the academic opportunities for students and their social community. Our active ties to Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania, and the proximity of the city of Philadelphia further extend the opportunities available at Bryn Mawr.

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Language Instruction Jam 2019

Event: Language Instruction Jam
Location: Bryn Mawr College
Date: March 23-24
Attendees: Language Instruction working group and project teams

Tentative 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.
  • Full agenda coming soon.

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Bryn Mawr’s Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference, May 2019

cropped-blendlac_logo_resized-2CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference, held at Bryn Mawr College May 22-23, 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

Submit by Feb. 25, 2019 at brynmawr.edu/blendedlearning/conference. Contact Jennifer Spohrer at blendedlearning@brynmawr.edu with questions.

 

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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 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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Digital Competencies – annotate the Bryn Mawr Framework

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The activity described below is linked to the Digital Competencies session at the 2018 LACOL Workshop

The concept of digital competencies (also known as digital fluencies, literacies or dexterities) reflects the need for students to develop digital skills and critical perspectives as lifelong learners prepared for scholarship, work and life in the 21st century.  Recently, Bryn Mawr College has developed a digital competencies framework focused on these five areas:

  • Digital Survival Skills
  • Digital Communication
  • Data Management and Preservation
  • Data Analysis and Presentation
  • Critical Design, Making, and Development

Bryn Mawr’s framework served as the basis for the excellent Think Tank on Digital Competencies last fall at Davidson College which attracted a vibrant group of faculty, librarians and technologists from across the liberal arts.

Digital Competencies Session at the LACOL Summer Workshop

For faculty and staff across LACOL to build upon foundations laid at the Think Tank, an interactive session exploring digital competencies across the curriculum will be held at the 2018 Summer Workshop.  This discussion will focus on how digital competencies connect with faculty priorities and practices for teaching and learning in the physical and virtual classroom, and how digital competencies support and relate to higher order learning goals.  

Pre-Workshop Activity – Group Annotation of the BMC Framework

As input to the workshop discussion, we are inviting groups of faculty, staff and students to annotate a copy of the Bryn Mawr Digital Competencies Framework using a collaborative annotation tool called Hypothesis.  This tool is easy to use and allows everyone in a group to add and comment on annotations overlayed on top of any web document through a shared view. Shared annotation for the BMC Framework can help to reveal key trends and themes that will serve as a starting point for face to face discussion at the workshop.

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Think Tank on Digital Competencies for the Liberal Arts

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starSee reflection and photos from Think Tank co-lead G. Siesing, Bryn Mawr College.
Join two follow up webinars from the BMC & Davidson teams via EDU-PLACE in January.

 

At this think tank event hosted by Davidson College, a mix of faculty, campus leaders, librarians, technologists, and instructional designers from liberal arts colleges across the country focused first on the Bryn Mawr College Digital Competencies Program (https://www.brynmawr.edu/digitalcompetencies), tracing its history, motivations, and impacts for students, faculty, and the institution.

 

It was a great event – interesting and fun. I was surprised how much we accomplished in a short period of time. Thanks to all!
__________________– Janet Scannell, Chief Technology Officer, Carleton College

 

Next, the Davidson team facilitated a design thinking session for some rapid prototyping to explore related interest across our institutions, many of whom are exploring and building similar kinds of programs and looking for frameworks to share and adapt.

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The concepts of digital competencies and digital fluency reflect the need for students to develop digital skills and critical perspectives as lifelong learners prepared for work and life in the 21st century. There is growing recognition of the importance of integrating these skills into a well-rounded liberal arts education. Recently, Bryn Mawr College has developed a digital competencies framework focused on these five areas:

  • Digital Survival Skills
  • Digital Communication
  • Data Management and Preservation
  • Data Analysis and Presentation
  • Critical Design, Making, and Development

IMG_1461The main outcomes from this workshop will be to create a community of practice around design, development, and facilitation of digital competency/dexterity/fluency programs in the liberal arts and to identify ongoing ways of sharing program models and resources. Individual institutional teams will also be able to adapt and expand Bryn Mawr’s digital competencies framework as appropriate for local contexts. We hope that LACOL and other LAC partners might also at some point build on the BMC digital competencies framework as an expression of foundational capabilities that we agree on across liberal art institutions as relevant for scholarship, learning, work, and life in the digital age. A shared framework can provide a pathway to accelerate stated LACOL goals for creative collaboration in digital experimentation, faculty development, and research.

Follow up events and webinars are planned.  Faculty, instructional designers, leadership, career development center directors, and others engaged in thinking through digital competency frameworks for the liberal arts are encouraged to join the conversation. Watch this space! (more…)

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From Blended Learning to Digital Pedagogies in the Liberal Arts?


LACOL 2017 Session 7: From Blended Learning to Digital Pedagogies in the Liberal Arts?
Presenter: Jennifer Spohrer, Manager of Educational Technology Services, Bryn Mawr College
Date & Location: June 16 at Vassar College

6OwLaEI4When Bryn Mawr College first proposed experimenting with “blended learning in the liberal arts” back in 2011, we conceptualized it as a combination of “traditional,” face-to-face, liberal arts instruction and online tutorials that assessed and gave students feedback on learning. However, in the initial calls for proposals, it became quickly apparent that liberal arts college faculty were incorporating other types of digital technologies into their teaching, and doing so ways we had not anticipated. This presentation surveys the digitally enabled teaching approaches that have been included under the “blended learning” umbrella since 2011 and identifies “digital pedagogies” that might connect them.

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On the Math Fundamentals Program: QS meet-up April 7

On April 7, LACOL QS members are cordially invited to join a one-hour web conference with the leads of the Math Fundamentals (FIPSE) Program, Faculty PI and Professor of Physics Elizabeth McCormack and project management lead Jennifer Spohrer, Manager of Educational Technology Services, both at Bryn Mawr College.

Math Fundamentals is a multi-year, multi-campus initiative investigating the use of blended, just-in-time “sandwich” modules for math review in STEM. The research partners (including LACOL members Bryn Mawr College and Vassar College) are currently field testing several faculty-authored modules in calculus, chemistry and physics. (more…)

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Testing interactive online learning modules for STEM

Blended modules cover topics such as trigonometry and statistics.

Starting in the fall of 2016, faculty at Bryn Mawr and seven partner liberal arts colleges (including LACOL member Vassar College) are field-testing faculty-authored online learning modules they have developed and refined over the past two years as part of the Blended, Just-in-Time Math Fundamentals program. Led by Bryn Mawr professor of physics, Elizabeth McCormack, the Math Fundamentals program tackles math review for students enrolled in introductory STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses. It is designed as a scalable, affordable method for helping students who are interested in STEM fields and generally college-ready in math, but who have areas of weakness or lack experience with applied mathematics, to build skills and confidence needed to thrive in introductory STEM courses.

For example, a student taking introductory physics will need to draw on trigonometry in order to solve certain types of vector problems. While most students encounter trigonometry at some point in high school math courses, the timing, breadth and depth of that exposure can vary considerably. To help these students, physics, chemistry and calculus professors at Allegheny, Bryn Mawr, Franklin & Marshall, Grinnell, Lafayette, Mills, Smith, St. Olaf, and Vassar colleges have worked with instructional designers to develop a “sandwich” approach to math review. Each module starts with a worked example of a canonical course problem — such as resolving vectors in introductory physics. This example identifies the fundamental math skills needed to solve the problem and provides links to online, interactive self-assessment and practice resources. According to the project manager Jennifer Spohrer, Manager of Educational Technology Services at Bryn Mawr:

These resources give students individualized feedback on their mastery of math fundamentals. Meanwhile, faculty, academic support staff, and peer tutors can review students’ work to provide additional assistance to those who need it. Students then solve a “do-it-yourself” version of the original problem to practice applying those skills in context.

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Education in the age of social media, student explorations

Prof. Alice Lesnick

Through four pivotal online media platforms, Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress, Professor Alice Lesnick, Director of the Bi-College Education Program, has invited her students at Bryn Mawr and Haverford to critically engage with these tools in order to understand how they play important, complex, and contested roles in education within and beyond classroom contexts. For each online media platform, a different guest speaker in Lesnick’s Education, Technology, and Society course spent time working with groups on learning one platform and applying this platform into the context of their field placement. For example, students who worked with high school students in a Philadelphia charter school read the Wikipedia entry on charter schools in order think about what needs to be added or changed. Prof. Lesnick noted:

The purpose of this project is to have students think more critically and creatively about their consumption and experience of online media so that they will become better decision makers and have the digital literacy to understand usability as well as the complexities behind these tools.


VIDEO CLIP

Bryn Mawr College Tech Talk: Education in the Age of Social Media


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