Networked Collaborative Course on Feminism and Technology

September 26, 2012 § 2 Comments

In the spirit of my post about undergraduates and crowdsourcing, here is another opportunity to get undergraduates involved in a large digital project, this time with an explicitly pedagogical focus.  The innovative FemTechNet project seeks to use technology to enable a networked conversation among, students, faculty, scholars, artists and others about the intersections of feminism and technology. By developing a distributed online collaborative course–Feminist Dialogues on Technology–which will be offered in Fall 2013, project leaders will cross global and disciplinary boundaries to create this dialogue. Please share this opportunity with any on your campus or beyond who might be interested.

This academic year (2012-2013), an international network of scholars and artists activated by Alexandra Juhasz (Professor Media Studies, Pitzer College) and Anne Balsamo (Dean of the School of Media Studies, at the New School for Public Engagement in New York) are working together to design and develop the course. I believe that this project presents an important opportunity to connect students at liberal arts colleges into a larger learning network, as we prepare them to be citizens in a globally networked world.

Campuses may join the course in a variety of ways:

  • faculty may offer an associated course on their home campus;
  • students can take the course as an independent study with local faculty members mentoring them; or
  • anyone who is interested may join as informal learners.

Currently, network members are building the course by submitting and evaluating “Boundary Objects that Learn”—the course’s basic pedagogic instruments.

To help members of the NITLE network learn more about this project, and the alternative model it presents for how liberal arts colleges might effectively counter the current drive to massive online courses (like MOOCs), NITLE will be offering a free online seminar for NITLE network members on Thursday, October 4, 4-5 pm EDT. Seminar participants will join project leaders, Alexandra Juhasz and Anne Balsamo to learn about and discuss this project. Find out more about the seminar and register online: http://www.nitle.org/live/events/144-femtechnet-the-first-docc-a-feminist-mooc For those who are not NITLE network members, please contact Juhasz or Balsamo directly or go to the FemBot Collective to find out how to get involved.

I’ve got another post brewing on the implications of this project in terms of MOOCs, academic collaboration between campuses, etc., but wanted to get this opportunity out there now.

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Undergrads Do Archaeology, Civic Engagement and Digital Humanities

September 17, 2012 § 1 Comment

Undergraduates at Hamilton College are participating in an archaeological dig led by Prof. Nathan Goodale. This project illustrates the variety of learning experiences and high impact practices that can come from engaging undergraduates in collaborative research with faculty using digital methodologies.  Not only do students engage in collaborative, student-faculty research, they also see the public impact of that research as it is being used by Sinxit activists to support claims to their ancestral land. The project is part of Hamilton College’s Digital Humanities Initiative, and uses digital techniques such as a digital database of cultural and linguistic information, iPads for data collection in the field, 3-D Modeling of Sinxit buildings, and a film about the Sinxit, past and present. When I interviewed Prof. Goodale in 2010 during a visit to Hamilton College to learn about DHi, it became clear to me that he wasn’t striving to be at the cutting edge of digital humanities research and teaching.  Rather, his project uses the best tools available and those tools happen to be digital.  That lesson is far more important to undergrads, whether they identify themselves as digital humanists or not.

Read more about it in this story from the Chronicle of Higher Education: Archae0logists Uncover Markers of an ‘Extinct’ Ancient Tribe on Contested Land. (Note that this is a premium article, so, unfortunately the link above expires in 5 days).

Course Design for Blended Learning

September 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m leading a webinar today for the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) on Course Design for Blended Learning. The ACS currently offers grants to fund blended learning projects in their consortium of liberal arts colleges. Here’s the description of the webinar:

Blended learning offers many opportunities for liberal arts colleges to enhance the curriculum, but how can faculty maintain the essential values of liberal education in an educational context combining online and face-to-face interaction? This seminar will examine successful methods and processes for blended learning course design. Examples will include designing online courses from liberal arts values, flipping the classroom, and academic collaboration between campuses. Interactive exercises for course design will help participants leave with a process and next steps for developing blended learning experiences in their own courses. The slides are available here:

http://www.slideshare.net/rebeccadavis/course-design-for-blended-learning

Previous presentations on this topic included an Inside Higher Ed Audio Conference in March 2011 and a webinar for the Associated Colleges of the South in March 2012.

Process Checklist for Integrating Digital Humanities Projects into Courses

September 13, 2012 § 5 Comments

In 2011 Kathyrn Tomasek and I co-taught several instances of our workshop on Integrating Digital Humanities Projects into the Undergraduate Curriculum. In the workshop, Kathryn shared her experience building the Wheaton College Digital History Project into her courses.   Together we developed this checklist to help other faculty and staff work through the process of integrating work on digital projects into a course. « Read the rest of this entry »

Crowdsourcing, Undergraduates, and Digital Humanities Projects

September 3, 2012 § 10 Comments

Crowdsourcing could be a silver bullet for integrating digital humanities methods into the undergraduate curriculum.  Why?

“Crowd” by flickr user James Cridland

Crowdsourcing means getting the general public to do tasks. Jeff Howe explains the phenomenon in “The Rise of Crowdsourcing” (Wired Magazine, June 2006) by analogy with outsourcing.  This method of labor is growing for scholarly and cultural heritage projects, and that’s where it intersects with the undergraduate curriculum.  Collaborative manuscript transcription projects, like Transcribe Bentham, have received quite a bit of the attention, but there are a variety of opportunities out there for motivated students to engage in the process of digitizing, preserving, and studying collective resources and data.  For example, the Perseus Digital Library (whose flagship collections cover the history, literature and culture of the Greco-Roman world) has drafted a call to

Advance our understanding of the Greco-Roman World! Contribute to the Scaife Digital Library — improve existing materials and to create new ones! If you want to understand the present and invent the future then FREE THE PAST!

This call lays out a variety of ways to contribute, including translation, definition, citation, text correction, manuscript transcription, text markup, mapping, and clarifying ambiguous names, words or grammar. If your students answer this call or one like it, what will they gain?  Is this just grunt labor or are their potential learning outcomes? Why is this a silver bullet for DH in the classroom? « Read the rest of this entry »

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