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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Student-Led Brown Bags, Fall 2020

Student Perspectives on Trauma-informed, Anti-racist Teaching and Learning in Hybrid and Remote Contexts

THIS FALL, YOU ARE INVITED to join 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. (more…)

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Antiracist Pedagogy – Student Perspectives

LACOL 2020 Virtual Workshop – Summer Dialogues

Student Perspectives on Trauma-informed, Anti-racist,
Remote Teaching and Learning

Resources proliferate on how to prepare for remote teaching and learning that is equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist, but where are students’ perspectives and voices in the mix?

See also: Fall 2020 brown bag series: https://lacol.net/student-led-brown-bags-fall-2020/

In August 2020, Student Partners working in the Summer Pedagogical Partnership Program at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges led a series of semi-structured conversations with faculty and staff across LACOL.  Pairs of these students partnered throughout the summer with cohorts of faculty to support their pedagogical planning for the Fall-2020 semester.

As part of this work, the Student Partners read resources and identified what they think matters most in developing trauma-informed, anti-racist, remote teaching and learning. These points shared below served as a basis for the 1-hour small group conversations via Zoom.

Feedback from faculty participants highlighted the value of these discussion as they plan for the fall:
“We shared resources and ideas…so I feel like we walked away with tangible strategies and tools to apply to our remote work in a more equitable way.”

 

“It really made a difference for my course prep, and overall well-being as a faculty member living through these challenging times.”

 

“The students modeled the kind of non-judgmental openness to questions, concerns, and ideas that they recommended we exhibit in the classroom. I have a long set of notes taken during the meeting that I am eager to implement when I’m next teaching.”
Likewise, reflections from student partners capture important threads in these conversations:
“[This work] opened my eyes to the incredible number of things professors have to consider and worry about when planning a course, which is definitely going to help me consider others’ perspectives in an out-of-the-box way.”

 

“…talking with faculty partners and student partners has more thoroughly convinced me that a lot of misunderstandings or dissatisfactions among students and faculty could be remedied or clarified by faculty being more direct and transparent about their reasons for adopting certain practices, assignments, and course policies, and by asking students to share their feelings and feedback directly.”

 

“I have found a voice and a language with which to communicate with faculty and have/facilitate conversations that previously felt out of the realm of things I could do. I think I have learned a lot of important facilitation strategies that I carry with me into other work. I aim to apply this language, knowledge, and skills to other work across disciplines to open space for more accessible and equitable conversations and practices.”

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Anti-Racist Pedagogies and Facing the Pandemics of Racism and Covid in the Classroom

LACOL 2020 Virtual Workshop

Session Description: The 2020 pandemic of Covid has revealed anew the perpetual pandemic of racism. What does anti-racist pedagogy look like during this moment? How is the intersection of Covid and movements for racial and social justice prompting you to rethink your goals and purpose in the classroom? Join us for a facilitated conversation and workshop that aims to open up space for self-reflection, imagination, and application in anticipation of the start of Fall classes.

Date: 
Aug 27, 2020
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00pm Eastern
Location: Zoom

Readings: 

Facilitators:
  • Alison Cook-Sather, Professor of Education, Director of Teaching and Learning Institute, Bryn Mawr College
  • Chanelle Wilson, Assistant Professor of Education, Director of Africana Studies, Bryn Mawr College
  • Jonathon Kahn, Professor of Religion, in-coming Director of the Engaged Pluralism Initiative, Vassar College
  • Candice Lowe-Swift, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Engaged Pluralism Initiative, Vassar College

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Digital Agility and Liberal Arts – collab highlights on the EDUCAUSE Transforming Higher Ed

Digital Agility: Embracing a Holistic Approach to Digital Literacy in the Liberal Arts

A group of institutions is collaborating to identify what digital agility means in the liberal arts and to encourage the use of that definition to guide institutional initiatives that involve digital agility …

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Bryn Mawr’s Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts – CFP is Open!

cropped-blendlac_logo_resized-2CALL FOR PROPOSALS – submit by Feb 16!

Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference at Bryn Mawr College, May 20-21, 2020.

Submissions are now open for the Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference, to be held on May 20-21, 2020 at Bryn Mawr College. We are open to all topics related to blended learning in the liberal arts. Possible themes include:

  • Digital competencies, digital citizenship, and digital wellness
  • Experiential and service learning
  • Blended learning spaces, libraries and resource centers
  • Critical making
  • Emerging technologies
  • Task-based tech-mediated learning
  • Assistive technology and accessibility
  • Blended learning beyond the single course
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion in blended experiences

Submit by Feb. 16, 2019 at brynmawr.edu/blendedlearning/conference. Contact Jennifer Spohrer at blendedlearning@brynmawr.edu with questions.

Follow @BlendLAC

 

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Introducing CHIANTI – language resources from LACOL

visit chiantiWhat are some of the biggest rewards of learning a second language? As a student, what do you know now that you wish you had known as you began learning your language at college? As faculty, what one piece of advice would you give to students as they are about to start their language learning at college? What are models or maps that integrate all aspects of language learning?

These are just some of the questions to be explored through CHIANTI (https://chianti.lacol.net) a new shared resource for students and teachers of language at the college level.

Over the past year, faculty and language learning experts from across LACOL have been collaborating to develop the CHIANTI concept and prototype.  For students, an initial set of videos are posted that feature LACOL language instructors and students reflecting on the college-level language-learning experience. For language teachers, a self-curated online digital library of shareable tips and teaching resources is developing.

As an ongoing initiatve of the LACOL Language Instruction Working Group, the Chianti site  and team invites contributions from LACOL language instructors in the areas of: General tips for college-level language learning, including research on adult second-language (L2) acquisition. 2) English grammar for L2 learners including models or maps that integrate all aspects of language, 3) Phonology, and 4) 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. 

Go to CHIANTI

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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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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. 

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Digital Asia special issue highlights Universal Design for Learning and college collections

Prof. Erin Schoneveld, Haverford College
co-editor Digital Asia

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

IMG_1457

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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