As I have stated before, the most exciting part of my job is traveling and experiencing first-hand the creativity of ACM faculty and staff. Whether it is in a classroom, a newly designed informal learning space, libraries incorporating technology into spaces previously occupied by books, or informal conversations at professional conferences, the focus on student engagement and learning is universal for ACM member campuses.
For this final installment of 2015, I wanted to supplement my earlier series on innovation. This list is by no means exhaustive, but provides a good starting point. Feel free to add more information in the comments so we can share additional initiatives and projects. As of now, however, here are some things to get us started:
- Beloit has purchased a Vocal Booth with the help of a grant. Although there is currently no equipment installed in the booth, students and faculty can check out microphones. There are plans to install a computer and dedicated microphone based on feedback from users. Also, Beloit is involved in an Andrew Mellon Foundation funded $100,000 English planning grant with Knox and Lake Forest surrounding the effective use of technology in English departments.
- Carleton’s IdeaLab allows interested faculty to work with digital assignments and objects. Carleton also continues to work with St. Olaf on the Andrew Mellon Foundation funded Broadening the Bridge initiative, meant to increase collaboration between the two schools.
- Coe has created a Learning Commons in their library, which includes huddle stations, and presentation space, formal/informal learning spaces, and rooms with whiteboard and glass walls for notes and collaboration (Photos Here). Another interesting project is All the World’s a Stage Direction: An Interactive Learning Tool meant to contextualize Shakespeare around stage direction.
- Colorado is currently working on an online database for protected images, similar to the Madison Digital Image Database (MDID) or What Jane Saw. They are also working on a new Center that will bring instructional technology and innovation into a combined space, including an experimental classroom.
- Cornell shared the Undergraduate Network for Research in the Humanities (UNRH) and the Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship (ILiADS) with me during a recent visit. The UNRH grew out of the ILIADS conference.
- Grinnell’s reorganized Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment is a forum for projects such as the Digital Liberal Arts Collaborative and the new partnership with the University of Iowa: Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry.
- Knox has begun repurposing space in the library to create both formal and informal learning spaces. These include huddle stations and an instructional area. Also, Knox is involved in an Andrew Mellon Foundation funded $100,000 English planning grant with Lake Forest and Beloit surrounding the effective use of technology in English departments.
- Lake Forest received an $800,000 grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation supporting their Digital Chicago Project. Also, Lake Forest is involved in an Andrew Mellon Foundation funded $100,000 English planning grant with Knox and Beloit surrounding the effective use of technology in English departments.
- Lawrence has created the Lawrence University Interdisciplinary Makerspace for Engaged Learning as part of an ACM Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) grant. Lawrence is also hosting the ACM Student Film Conference and Festival as part of another FaCE grant.
- Luther continues to be active in the Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project (CLAMP), including leading discussions on analytics and the refinement of gradebook functionality. In addition, Luther continues to explore online teaching opportunities, maintain their This Week in LIS (TWILIS) blog, and recently hired a new Instructional Technology Librarian.
- Macalester continues to be very active in Information Services Instruction Support (EDU-ISIS) and the Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project (CLAMP). They will also be hosting the annual Library Technology (LibTech) Conference in March of 2016. Registration closed in 2 hours and 10 minutes, but a waitlist is available.
- Monmouth has set up a test environment for a new release of Moodle. Faculty members have been invited to participate in a pilot and then report out to colleagues and staff on their experiences in using new functionality.
- Ripon has partnered with Lake Forest, and Colorado to collaborate on a Religious Studies, Classroom Technology, and Digital Humanities FaCE grant. In addition, they have remodeled two classrooms to enhance student engagement, taking into account different instructional and learning needs.
- St. Olaf is nearing completion of their Digital Scholarship Center (DiSCO), set to open in January. Included in this space on the fourth floor of the Rolvaag Library will be: Open, collaborative study and work spaces; Computer stations equipped with media production and design software; a computer classroom; Production Lab equipped with large-format and 3D printing, scanning, and creative workspace; Audio recording booth; and a Video recording room. Pictures soon to come.