Prepared for the ACS Strategic Planning Committee
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.
by Janet Murray, Georgia Tech
Originally Posted December 16th, 2007
Professor Janet H. Murray is an internationally recognized interactive designer, the director of Georgia Tech’s Masters Degree Program in Information Design and Technology and Ph.D. in Digital Media, and a member of Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary GVU Center. She is the author of Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace (Free Press, 1997; MIT Press 1998), which has been translated into 5 languages, and is widely used as a roadmap to the coming broadband art, information, and entertainment environments. She is currently working on a textbook for MIT Press, Inventing the Medium: A Principled Approach to Interactive Design and on a digital edition of the Warner Brothers classic, Casablanca, funded by NEH and in collaboration with the American Film Institute. In addition, she directs an eTV Prototyping Group, which has worked on interactive television applications for PBS, ABC, and other networks. She is also a member Georgia Tech’s Experimental Game Lab. Murray has played an active role in the development of two new degree programs at Georgia Tech, both 0f which were launched in Fall 2004: the Ph.D. in Digital Media, and the B.S. in Computational Media. In spring 2000 Janet Murray was named a Trustee of the American Film Institute, where she has alsoserved as a mentor in the Enhanced TV Workshop a program of the AFI Digital Content Lab. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Harvard University, and before coming to Georgia Tech in 1999 taught humanities and led advanced interactive design projects at MIT. Murray’s primary fields of interest are digital media curricula, interactive narrative, story/games, interactive television, and large-scale multimedia information spaces. Her projects have been funded by IBM, Apple Computer, the Annenberg-CPB Project, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Information infrastructure is a network of cultural artifacts and practices. A database is not merely a technical construct; it represents a set of values and it also shapes what we see and how we see it. Every time we name something and itemize its attributes, we make some things visible and others invisible. We sometimes think of infrastructure, like computer networks, as outside of culture. But pathways, whether made of stone, optical fiber or radio waves, are built because of cultural connections. How they are built reflects the traditions and values as well as the technical skills of their creators. Infrastructure in turn shapes culture. Making some information hard to obtain creates a need for an expert class. Counting or not counting something changes the way it can be used. Increasingly it is the digital infrastructure that shapes our access to information and we are just beginning to understand how the pathways and containers and practices we build in cyberspace shape knowledge itself.
by Mark Dahl
Originally published 23 September 2013
Digital collections at academic libraries have come of age. College and university libraries have invested in digital collections since the early 2000s, and they are now an established function of the library organization. At U.S. liberal arts colleges, it’s almost a given that the library hosts unique digital collections and has some kind of formal program supporting them. As I will argue, however, it is time for academic libraries to seize new opportunities around digital collections that add value to the process of learning and scholarship.
by Mark Dahl,
Mark Dahl, director of the Aubrey R. Watzek Library at Lewis & Clark College and a NITLE Fellow, outlines guidelines to help college libraries move from building digital collections to developing digital initiatives centered around faculty and student scholarship. Mr. Dahl has presented and written extensively on library technology and digital initiatives. His professional interests include digital initiatives, student engagement with library resources, and the future of the liberal arts college library.
The April 2013 Association of College and Research Libraries biennial conference in Indianapolis featured no less than fourteen sessions about academic library data services. Topics ranged from data and statistical sources for reference and instruction, to data literacy for scientists, to the development of data curation services.
Clearly, data services are a hot area in academic libraries. But how is this trend playing out in libraries at teaching-focused institutions, specifically liberal arts colleges? As I will illustrate below, there are rich opportunities to expand library reference and instruction services to support quantitative reasoning initiatives and data-intensive undergraduate research. Data curation and management services, a major interest at research libraries, are also an emerging opportunity at liberal arts institutions as are the collection and management of field research data.
by Kristine M. Bartanen
Kristine Bartanen is academic vice president and dean of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, a position she has held since 2004. She has served Puget Sound as director of forensics, professor and chair of the Communication and Theatre Arts department, associate academic dean, and vice president for student affairs and dean of students. Dr. Bartanen’s work has included particular attention to development of academic-residential programs on the campus, including residential first-year seminars; growth of the interdisciplinary curriculum, most recently in neuroscience; and support of civic scholarship, such as the Sound Policy Institute and the Race and Pedagogy Initiative.
Many liberal arts college faculty members are interested in and increasing their use of digital resources in teaching and scholarly work. Some have been developing digital teaching resources for nearly two decades, some have begun to publish scholarship in on-line journals and other digital venues, and some are doing ground-breaking work in open source, collaborative scholarly projects. Others, particularly pre-tenure or pre-promotion faculty, are reticent to venture into digital work out of concern for how that work will be acknowledged, valued, and rewarded in existing faculty tenure, promotion, and merit award systems. That reticence lives in tension with recognition that advances in technology-enabled teaching and scholarship are progressing in other institutions – academic and non-academic alike – and that professional currency in the academy demands new or amended frameworks in the liberal arts college for evaluation of digital work.