Haverford is one of America’s leading liberal arts colleges, a close-knit intellectual community that combines the Quaker values of dignity, tolerance and respect with a rigorous academic program.
Our serene campus, located just outside Philadelphia, is a beautiful and stimulating environment:
200 acres of award-winning architecture and landscaping
more than 50 academic, athletic and residential buildings
a nationally recognized arboretum with 400 species of trees and shrubs, a 3.5-acre duck pond, gardens and wooded areas.
Recent campus additions include The Marian E. Koshland Integrated Natural Sciences Center and The Douglas B. Gardner ’83 Integrated Athletic Center and two new student residences: Kim Hall and Tritton Hall.
Toward Equity in Assessment: A Cross-Constituency Dialogue
THIS SPRING, LACOL hosted a series of weekly coffee chats led by student pedagogy partners entitled Toward Equity in Assessment: A Cross-Constituency Dialogue. These multi-campus, multi-constituency discussions build on the Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 series.
Assessment is one of the thorniest dimensions of teaching and learning, and it has been recognized as an arena in which inequities are particularly severe.
The global pandemic has exacerbated existing inequities and created new ones; therefore, now more than ever faculty, staff, and students need to be in dialogue with one another about how to challenge both existing and new inequities. This coffee-chat series supports faculty, staff, and students in explorations of the possibilities for developing equitable approaches to assessment that honor the diversity of students’ strengths, needs, and aspirations. Each session will be facilitated by a group of experienced student partners, and all sessions will be run as semi-structured conversations that strive to integrate the questions and insights of all participants.
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.(more…)
StudentPerspectives 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.”
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.
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. (more…)
At Haverford’s recent Teaching with Technology Forum, Associate Professor of Classics Bret Mulligan demonstrated a variety ways he uses an iPad Pro and Pencil as a teaching tool in his classroom. As shown in the example below, recordings created with the Explain Everything app on the iPad can be easily shared with students online for later review.
SCREENCAST: B. Mulligan demonstrates the iPad/Pencil for a Latin lesson
Students in an environmental studies-based writing seminar at Haverford College recently completed a digital humanities project—Broken Treaties, Forgotten Archives: Philadelphia Quakers, Allegany Senecas, and the Fight for Sacred Grounds—through Haverford’s Special Collections that focuses on the politics of water, environmental justice, and Indigenous rights. In this first-year seminar taught by John Hyland, a Postdoctoral Fellow in Haverford’s Writing Program, “Ecological Imaginaries: Identity, Violence, and the Environment,” students interrogated how imaginings of the environment are inseparable from issues of social justice. They spent significant time studying the Theodore Brinton Hetzel Papers, a Haverford alumnus who, along with other Philadelphia Quakers, served on the Friends Kinzua Dam Project in the 1950s and 1960s, a project that collaborated with the Seneca Nation of Indians in a fight to stop the construction of a 179-foot dam on the Allegheny River in Warren, Pennsylvania. The dam, which was completed in 1964, flooded out the sacred grounds of the Seneca Nation, dispossessing them of lands that had been granted to them in 1794 by the U.S. Government.
On designing the assignment, Hyland says,
By preparing little-known historical documents for a broader online audience, students learned how to think critically about questions of literacy in a digital environment for the liberal arts. This project’s shift toward an online audience pushed students to consider how their work would be received beyond classroom, and they quickly felt that much more was at stake in their writing than the completion of a seminar assignment.
With generous support from Haverford’s library staff, including Sarah Horowitz and Michael Zarafonetis, students prepared a selection of materials from the archive for digital platforms and curated a public exhibition in order to tell this story of a fight for Indigenous rights, sacredness, and environmental justice. Through this multimodal project, students composed different genres of writing and learned about the rhetorical contexts for digital platforms. They completed annotations using Neatline, constructed a timeline, and composed labels to accompany and introduce the archival items while also producing prospectuses, annotated bibliographies, and articles. In completing this project, students sought to provide a historical perspective on current events such as the current fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. By the project’s close, students possessed a nuanced appreciation for the ways that archives illuminate contemporary moments.
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.
Bryn Mawr College Tech Talk: Education in the Age of Social Media
Over fall break, a dedicated group of students and faculty at Haverford College spent three days developing their own digital stories, bringing together traditional storytelling and modern multimedia production. The experience was jointly sponsored by the President’s Office initiative on Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Academic Resources and Instructional Technology Services as a way to illuminate personal stories that reflect many campus perspectives. Each participant arrived to the workshop with at least one story that they planned to explore over the course of the workshop. Their task was to create a 3-5 minute video which featured a recorded voice-over and personally curated still imagery.
To begin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing Nimisha Ladva led a group discussion on various story arcs and how change agents can affect characters to ultimately provide some form of realization or epiphany. Breakout groups were formed in order to share stories and provide critical feedback. As one student reflected,
Sharing the story in groups and getting feedback were good experiences, and also were helpful to articulate my thoughts and elaborate my story. Also, I really liked the workshop’s small, relaxing community.
As the workshop progressed, Digital Media Specialist Charles Woodard and Instructional Technology Specialist Alexander Savoth guided the group as they assembled images and recorded their voice-overs using a suite of tools including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere and Audacity. Images were laid into a timeline in Adobe Premiere, synched to their recorded voice-over and keyframed to add the illusion of motion. Participants shared their work and received very positive feedback in a screening held on campus three weeks following the workshop. Students also shared reflections on the experience which are detailed on Haverford’s Instructional Technology Blog.
I learned about The Early Novels Database when my English professor, Emily Vasiliauskas, told me about a joint END/LACOL effort to include more undergraduate students through summer internships. The project offered a unique combination of scholarly research available to undergraduates in the humanities with an introduction to a rapidly emerging sector of my own field I knew very little about. Throughout the summer, I worked with peers and mentors from Swarthmore College, University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library, Haverford College, and the Tri-College Digital Humanities initiative to gather metadata on early English novels. The experience acquainted me with the breadth and depth of works beyond the traditional literary canon. It also provided me with a rare opportunity to learn unfamiliar skills in the digital humanities in the context of my own discipline.
The daily routine of paging through dozens of never before cataloged early modern novels might seem repetitive on the surface. In practice it acquainted me with a new way of close reading distinct from what I was accustomed to in my academic courses. I learned about preservation and handling techniques essential to maintaining special collections and preserving aging works. I became fascinated with the question of the book as object. Specifically, I was interested in books which had been physically torn, annotated, or stitched together, and books which comprised edited compilations of other works. One of the most interesting examples of alteration to the book as object is the popular 18th century practice of binding together periodicals received over a subscription period to form one larger volume. Certainly, there is a sense of continuity or comprehensiveness, even status, that comes with a complete set of matching volumes, a gilt-edged collection of encyclopedias. I wonder whether at least a portion of the appeal of this completeness might have been the pretense of omniscience, or appearance of omniscience, it conferred on the owner.
At one time, owning a complete set of encyclopedias might have connoted possession of nearly all officially recorded, general knowledge—a possession that, in the digital age, is simultaneously impossible in physical form as information is constantly generated, and accessible to everyone via the Internet.
The practice of interacting constantly with dozens of rare books gave rise to my final project, Imagined Distance: Visualizing Place and Space in Faux Epistolary Travel Novels. I had the opportunity to peruse a variety of epistolary novels. Many of the characters wrote to one another across divides of cultural and physical geography, age, gender, and class background. My project focused on how epistolary novels ignore, honor, or attempt to collapse those distances: geographical, emotional, or even spiritual. I sought to contrast and quantitate, when or if possible, the various types of distances in a novel as the author conceived of them with the distances I could map through various digital tools that use a standard Mercator projection. I used a corpus of literature that eventually organized itself around a particular subgenre, one both oddly specific and widely published in the 18th century.
This genre, faux epistolary travel fiction, emerged as a way for Europeans to read about the adventures of primarily non-white travelers–except those travelers were actually white British writers impersonating people of color.
What I found so interesting, even alarming, about the faux travel fiction trend in particular is that it creates and then purports to collapse a fictional distance from the dominant culture that the writer does not actually have to negotiate in the first place.
I used the intentionally blunt tool of mapping out locations I noted in the novels, noticing which details fell off the page. I was particularly interested in those distances that defied my attempts at modelling. After completing close readings, I used the Stanford Name Entity Recognizer tool to identify locations in the novels I’d selected. I created in Google My Maps a map of each of the novels, with their geographical references displayed on a standard Mercator projection map, and I used Google Fusion Tables as a further tool for exploration. I brought together my newfound facility with digital tools and my love for geography in literature in a final public presentation supported by faculty and my peers. Examples of the maps I created can be found at the top of this post and below.
At the June LACOL workshop, Associate Professor of Chemistry Casey Londergan demonstrated his techniques for flipping the chemistry classroom as part of a multi-disciplinary panel on faculty and student experiences with online, blended and active learning.
In a Physical Chemistry class primarily for juniors, Londergan and his colleague Joshua Schrier have experimented with a mixture of just-in-time and active learning techniques with their students in order to maximize the use of class time for problem solving work. Content delivery through readings and videos happens mostly through the LMS so more active learning can happen in the classroom. Modular videos allow students to re-watch sections of the lecture. Pre-class questions in the LMS also help Londergan adjust each class to focus on the areas where students have the most questions.
For students, the active classroom learning design pushes them to focus and improve in the most challenging areas. Using a tablet and stylus linked wirelessly to the projector, Londergan is free to move around the class and help individual students and groups get “unstuck” as they work on problems together.
Prof. Casey Londergan demonstrates his flipped chemistry classroom at Haverford.
On April 27th, five expert panelists from across the Consortium gathered online with an audience of faculty, technologists, and campus administrators for a discussion entitled, “Learning Data. What do we know? What do we want to know?” The session began with some thought-provoking remarks from the panelists, followed by two case studies, leading into free flowing conversation around several themes noted below in the video highlights.
The goal of this online conversation was to set a broad frame for faculty perspectives on learning data as it is useful in guiding teaching and student success in the liberal arts. As indicated by audience feedback, this area has rich possibilities for exploration and potential collaboration as a Consortium. We will be looking for opportunities to foster further conversation and collaborative investigation on specific aspects of this important topic.
Video Gallery – Online Panel
The who of learning data for the liberal arts.
• Dr. Audrey Bilger, Professor of Literature and Faculty Director of the Center for Writing & Public Discourse, Claremont McKenna College; incoming Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Pomona College
Levels of data that may inform teaching practice and institutional structures.
• Dr. Catherine Crouch, Associate Professor of Physics, Swarthmore College
How can liberal arts colleges collaborate on data that guide teaching and learning?
Have students ever come to your office hours confused about the material because they did not quite understand a concept discussed or may have written something incorrectly while trying to take notes and listen at the same time? This situation is what led Fran Blase (Provost & Associate Professor of Chemistry) to apply for a Haverford Teaching with Technology grant in 2011. She received the grant and worked with Haverford’s IITS team to implement Panopto (lecture capture system) in her classes.
This short video shows the experiences of three Haverford students who are taking classes that use lecture capture.
Recorded lectures can be beneficial to students with diverse needs. Some students need notetakers, some want to review materials later, and some miss class. Think about the Universal Design for Learning (UDL). (more…)
LACOL was proud to co-sponsor Haverford’s Teaching with Technology Forum for Fall 2015 which was organized by Instructional & Information Technology Services (IITS). Eight Haverford College faculty members shared their approaches and experiments in using digital teaching and learning tools that help to increase student engagement with course material, their classmates, and faculty. Hiroyo Saito, Director of IITS’s Instructional Technology Services and her team work closely with faculty in planning this semi-annual event.