Digital Agility: Embracing a Holistic Approach to Digital Literacy in the Liberal Arts
by Sundi Richard (Davidson College) and Beth Bohstedt (Hamilton College)
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 …
Shared LACOL Course: Data Confidentiality (MATH 301) Instructor: Professor Jingchen (Monika) Hu, Vassar College Topics and Objectives: Statistical agencies are under legal obligation to protect survey respondents’ privacy when releasing respondent-level data to the public. Statistical models could facilitate such release by introducing perturbation to the original, confidential data. How to develop suitable statistical models, and how to evaluate the privacy protection they produce, are the focus of this intensive.
Shared LACOL Course: Bayesian Inference with Python (MATH 399) Instructor: Professor Jingchen (Monika) Hu, Vassar College Topics and Objectives: We will focus on computational techniques using Python programming language to estimate various Bayesian models. In the end, students propose and complete a data analysis project of their interests and present it to the group.
What 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.
Many faculty and designers may be familiar already with the phrase “small teaching” which was made famous in Prof. James Lang’s 2016 book, Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons From the Science of Learning. In a nutshell, Lang demonstrates how small, easily-managed teaching modifications – based on the neuroscience of how people learn – can have a positive impact for students. That is, small adjustments can make good teaching great.
Online professor and instructional designer Flower Darby worked with Lang to bring the small teaching concept into the online realm. The opportunities for discovery are rich because, as Darby notes, online learning is in its infancy.
The book recommendation is excellent – a lot of useful suggestions which would take years to figure out. -Dr. Natalia Toporikova, Washington and Lee University; online data science instructor, summer 2019, 2020
The gerrymandering controversy in American politics offers an ideal subject for a blended learning class that draws upon racial justice, electoral behavior, electoral reform, law, political science, data analysis, and the use of geographic information systems technology. We combined each of these themes into a class that entailed the practical application of GIS and data analysis skills to a contemporary public policy issue that animated the news as the U.S. Supreme Court prepared to issue its second gerrymandering decision in as many terms.
The real world is complicated, requiring mathematicians to approximate solutions and even the statement of real world problems!
While the chess scenario pictured above might appear to be a make-work problem, the efficient solution illustrates one of the most powerful ideas in mathematics, and allows us to tell in many cases how close we are to the optimal solution (even if we cannot find the optimal solution.)
In this class, you will learn powerful methods from classical algorithms to advanced linear algebra and their applications to the real world, specifically linear programming and random matrix theory.
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.
Scroll down for workshop resources, slides, and video gallery
Data 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.
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.
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.
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.