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.
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.
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
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.
JANUARY 2019 – Create a statement about using the Bryn Mawr Digital Competencies Framework as the starting point for developing institution specific frameworks. (more…)
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
Event: Envisioning a “What is data science?” webinar for students Location: ZOOM web conference (rsvp to email@example.com 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
Sharing courses as a consortium can enhance curricular opportunities for students and faculty, lead to efficiency gains by combining expertise and curricular resources, and provide opportunities for our faculty and students to explore digitally-enhanced, collaborative modes for teaching and learning in the liberal arts.
Recently and for a while, stakeholders across our membership have agreed that the original name – Liberal Arts Consortium for Online Learning – only partly aligned with our current work, shared goals, and mission. After some deliberation, a name change was unanimously endorsed by our Faculty and Leadership Councils this fall.
Luckily, with our new name, LIBERAL ARTSCOLLABORATIVE for Digital Innovation, we keep our familiar acronym:LACOL.
How important is it for instructors to include their own faces when creating instructional videos? The answer might surprise you. Dann Hurlbert, Carleton College’s Media & Design Guru (and an actor, director, and inventor of the Little Prompter) leans on research and his own expertise to offer guidance.
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
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…)
Dann Hurlbert and Palmar Alvarez-Blanco at Carleton College recently co-taught Spanish 206, a course focused on developing language skills with native speakers and fostering civic engagement–while also giving something tangible back to the community. Students in this course worked with under-represented local organizations to help them create a “participatory videos” (short documentaries) to help tell each organization’s story. In addition to having students create video as a portion of their coursework, Dann also used instructional videos to teach and guide the learning. Dann created a successful Moodle-based micro-course that can now be easily replicated and plugged into a multitude of courses in which the faculty member hopes to tie Civic Engagement with his/her own course content, and video production.
Here’s a short video that offers a peek into the course and this engaging instructional method:
*Note: this sample video includes short selections from the following films: Bacon and God’s Wrath by Sol Friedman and Sarah Clifford-Rashotte; Godka Circa by Antonio Tibaldi and Alex Lora; Damon at 86th Street by Emily Sheskin, and the Price of Certainty by Daniele Anastasion.
For more information on how you and your institution can use this technique and these materials to foster civic engagement in your courses, contact Dann at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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!
Back in LA, still running on a post conference high from the great conversations and collaborations at #LACOL2018. Looking forward to building that cross-institution course: Critical Data Science or all!
LACOL welcomes George Siemens as keynote speaker at the 2018 LACOL Workshop.
Dr. Siemens researches, technology, networks, analytics, and openness in education. Dr. Siemens is Professor and Executive Director of the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab (LINK) at University of Texas, Arlington. He leads the development of the Center for Change and Complexity in Learning (C3L) at University of South Australia. He has delivered keynote addresses in more than 35 countries on the influence of technology and media on education, organizations, and society. His work has been profiled in provincial, national, and international newspapers (including NY Times), radio, and television. He has served as PI or Co-PI on grants funded by NSF, SSHRC (Canada), Intel, Boeing, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Soros Foundation. He has received numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from Universidad de San Martín de Porres and Fraser Valley University for his pioneering work in learning, technology, and networks. He holds an honorary professorship with University of Edinburgh.
Session: Teaching Online in the Liberal Arts Panelists:
Melissa Eblen-Zayas, Professor of Physics and Director, Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching, Carleton College
Erland Stevens, Professor of Chemistry, Davidson College
Chad Topaz, Professor of Mathematics, Williams College
Facilitator: Janet Russell, Director of Academic Technology, Carleton College
WATCH(Part I – Faculty Presentations – 30 min; Part II – Discussion – 30 min)
How is online teaching and learning relevant for small residential liberal arts colleges?
In this panel, three faculty members with hands-on experience teaching online tell their stories and engage in a dialogue with colleagues across the consortium. How might these insights help us build a vision for online teaching and learning that aligns with the core mission of our institutions?