by Amanda Hagood, Director of Blended Learning, Associated Colleges of the South, and Grace Pang, Program Officer, National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education
This primer was developed from a study of sixteen case studies in digitally-mediated collaboration and the liberal arts published by the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) and the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) in the summer of 2014. Though the case studies covered topics as diverse as designing and implementing a hybrid course in Asian Studies or launching a program in digital humanities, each provided a fascinating example of how small institutions can marshal their oftentimes limited resources and personnel to achieve extraordinary things. The key to each project’s success lies in the strategy of collaboration—though, as we will demonstrate, collaboration exists along a continuum consisting of many different modalities for working together. This primer, drawn from a thoroughgoing analysis of these projects, will present four exemplary projects and will ask you to consider how their goals, strategies, and tactics reflect upon the goals, strategies, and tactics that should appear in the ACS’s 2020 Vision.
The aims of this primer are threefold:
To report why and how faculty and staff within and across ACS institutions are collaborating
To explore how the goals, strategies, and tactics used by these practitioners align with the ACS’s mission to support the liberal arts by creating collaborative opportunities that improve the quality, while reducing the cost, of liberal arts education.
To stimulate the Strategic Planning Committee’s thinking about why and how our member institutions could collaborate.
Adrienne J. Gauthier, M.Ed., Instructional Designer, Dartmouth College
Adrienne is an instructional designer in the Educational Technologies team at Dartmouth College. She focuses on blended course design, active learning strategies, and pedagogically appropriate use of technology in teaching. Dartmouth gained her expertise in November 2012 after her ten-year run at the University of Arizona in the Department of Astronomy where she worked on teaching, technology, astronomy outreach, and faculty support. Her Master of Education is from the fabulous Instructional Technology program at the University of Virginia and her undergraduate B.S. was earned from the University of Massachusetts.
Thomas Jack, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College
Tom is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. Since arriving at Dartmouth in 1993, he has taught a wide range of courses in the broad area of genetics, molecular biology, and developmental biology. Since 2012, he has become involved in national efforts to reform undergraduate biology education as a PULSE (Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education) Leadership Fellow. Tom’s research laboratory aims to elucidate the gene products and molecular mechanisms controlling flower development in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
Two sections of an undergraduate introductory biology lecture course were run in parallel as a pedagogical experiment. One section (32 students) was taught in a long-established, traditional manner, with lectures delivered during class, readings assigned in a textbook, and access to lecture graphics/slides provided via the online syllabus. The other, “flipped” section (16 students) lacked both required reading assignments and in-class lectures. Instead, students were assigned online cinematic lectures (cinelectures) for viewing outside of class. These cinelectures, delivered via YouTube, incorporate multimedia elements. In class, students were broken into small groups and engaged in active learning assignments. Accounting for all sources of content, the subject material covered was the same for both sections and assessments of learning were identical quizzes and examinations. Statistically significant differences in learning were observed during the first third of the semester, with the flipped-class students performing better on all tests and quizzes. These differences disappeared during the second two thirds of the semester, coincident with a large increase in the number of views of cinelectures recorded on the course YouTube channel. Survey of the traditional class revealed that approximately 3/4 of the students had learned of the cinelectures at this time and had added viewing of these to their study, providing an internal, if initially unintended, control sample to the experiment. These results, along with other, subsequent applications of the flipped model I term CLICing, provide evidence that supports the conversion of traditional biology lecture classes to an inverted format.