June 27, 2014 § 1 Comment
This morning I’m speaking at the 18th Annual NAC&U Summer Institute, “Creating Community Through Collaboration,” at the University of Redlands. My talk focuses on intercampus academic collaboration and is called, “Networking Students, Faculty, and Courses to Enhance the Curriculum at Liberal Arts Colleges.” « Read the rest of this entry »
June 19, 2013 § 1 Comment
How do liberal arts colleges reconcile traditional high touch pedagogy with the growing prevalence of virtual communication technologies and, if so, what kinds of value can these technologies bring to the liberal arts business model? High definition (aka HD or high def) videoconferencing holds out the promise of virtually replicating face-to-face interaction. Cisco coined the term “telepresence” to describe this phenomenon, and many liberal arts colleges have turned to this technology as more fitting to the liberal arts experience and pedagogy than lower fidelity options like skype or desktop videoconferencing. NITLE has been experimenting in this area for several years, and today held an event, “Teaching in High Definition” via HD videoconferencing to showcase two language instructors who have been teaching in this medium for the last academic year. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 7, 2013 § Leave a comment
As small colleges face limited resources that in turn limit student opportunities, we hear constant calls for collaboration. For example, at the April 2012 conference, “The Future of the Liberal Arts College in America and Its Leadership Role in Education Around the World” Gene Tobin, a program officer of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation argued that:
Collaboration among liberal-arts colleges . . . must become commonplace to meet various challenges, including faculty development, globalization, civic engagement, and staffing less commonly taught languages. (“A President Surveys the Future of Liberal Arts”)
While it is easy to see the potential benefits of collaboration in these cases, in practice there are many challenges to those at liberal arts colleges trying to collaborate in such mission-centered areas as undergraduate instruction.
On Tuesday, June 4, three faculty members engaged in such collaboration shared their experiences in the NITLE Shared Academics™ seminar, “Intercampus Teaching, Networked Teaching.” In this post, I will share insights from the seminar in terms of the benefits, challenges, and best practices of such collaborations, as well as the questions that arose in the ensuing seminar discussion. « Read the rest of this entry »
November 5, 2012 § 2 Comments
This morning I was part of a panel at the Council of Independent Colleges Institute for Chief Academic Officers along with Allen Henderson, Provost and Senior Vice President, Texas Wesleyan University and Charlie McCormick, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Schreiner University. We were talking about the Texas Language Consortium. Here’s the session description and the slides are below:
Low enrollment in world language courses can prevent a college from offering a breadth of languages and depth in any single language. To help overcome this challenge, five independent colleges in Texas are using high-definition videoconferences, thereby hoping to preserve the “high touch” element that is a hallmark of education in a liberal arts college. These institutions are working with the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) to explore important research and implementation issues across academic, logistical, technological, financial, and curricular dimensions. CAOs from two of the participating campuses will describe their responses to these issues and how shared programming has surmounted many obstacles to maintaining strong world language departments.
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.
August 3, 2012 § 1 Comment
What are the characteristics of digital humanities pedagogy? What are high impact practices for digital humanities teaching and learning? We’ll attempt to answer these questions in a session on “Teaching and Learning with Digital Scholarship” in Bucknell University’s Comparative Humanities Summer Seminar on digital scholarship in the humanities. To help us think through these questions, we’ll be examining the following cases: « Read the rest of this entry »