Skip to content

Last Fall, we were happy to introduce some of the work that Professor Katherine Mirica (Chemistry) has done with her students in Wikipedia in the post, Authentic Knowledge: Students in Wikipedia.This is the second part in a series about using Wikipedia for student assignments. 

Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy, photograph, 1901
Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy, photograph, 1901

...continue reading "Authentic Knowledge: Students Bring 19th Century Russian Literature to Wikipedia"


(Photos by Michael Evans and Erin DeSilva.)

by Michael Evans, Nuekom Fellow / Film and Media Studies
This guest post was originally authored on May 24, 2016 on the  blog: Teaching Out Loud.

I recently presented at Learning IgnitED! That's the name of the regular faculty workshop series offered by Dartmouth's Educational Technologies Group. In each session three or four faculty members get about 5 minutes each to present a problem that they had in their teaching and how they solved it. After everyone presents, the host moderates Q&A with faculty, staff, and interested observers. It's informal, fast-paced, often funny, and informative.

When I presented at the first Learning IgnitED! session in Spring 2015, we held the sessions in the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning. That's a great place for workshops and events. But now we have the Berry Innovation Classroom. It's our flagship learning space on campus. So now that's where we hold Learning IgnitED!

I teach in BIC, so I was glad to accept the invitation to present. Few presenters ever take advantage of Berry Innovation Classroom's special features for a Learning IgnitED! presentation. So I determined to jam as much active learning fun into one session as possible. Here what I presented (along with my observations) after a kind introduction from Mike Goudzwaard...continue reading "Seeing What Others See"

The American Renaissance: Classic Literature of the 19th Century (AmRenX), the fourth MOOC (massive open online class) from DartmouthX will introduce the next author module, Herman Melville, next week. In this unit AmRenX focuses on one novel, Moby-Dick. Don Pease and James "Jed" Dobson will be joined by Special Collections Librarian, Jay Satterfield as they explore a special exhibit in Rauner Library. Watch this video, "The Plurality of the Whale" (7:21) in which Jed and Jay explore the history of Moby-Dick in print.

Jay Satterfield and James Dobson

AmRenX has debuted several learning technologies in the MOOC format, including YellowDig, a social platform that plugs into the edX platform for course discussions (Email if you are interested in piloting YellowDig for your spring course).

In a literature course, close reading is an essential practice and annotation supports close reading of the texts. AmRenX is also using Lacuna Stories, an annotation platform developed at Stanford.  Lacuna allows annotations in the form of highlights, tags, comments and links to be private, for a group, or for all users.

Lacuna annotation box
Lacuna annotation box

In late February, Brian Johnsrud, a PhD candidate in Stanford's Program in Modern Thought and Literature and Project Manager for Lacuna Stories visited to Dartmouth to lead a Lacuna Stories workshop for faculty and staff. Later that day at the Digital Humanities Seminar, Digital Annotation in Theory in Practice, Johnsrud was joined by AmRenX instructional designers, Mike Goudzwaard and Erin DeSilva to share this background of using Lacuna Stories in AmRenX. James Dobson, Lecturer in English, Writing, and the MALS program and AmRenX co-instructor, introduced his current research project on theorizing the link between metacommentary and annotation.

"MOOC learners come from very different educational and cultural backgrounds and have different goals for taking an online class," said Erin. "Engaging learners over the several weeks of the course can be challenging, particularly in a humanities course where discussion is so embedded in the pedagogy."   The AmRenX team is using YellowDig and Lacuna Stories to encourage engagement in Dartmouth's first literature MOOC. YellowDig has been a different platform for some seasoned edX learners, but they have really taken to Lacuna. To date 542 learners have made 6,930 annotations in AmRenX. There is more activity in the annotation platform than any other part of the course.

This animated image shows the connections from the top annotators to particular texts in the course.

The animation above show the growing number of users and their annotations as displayed in the Lacuna dashboard.  AmRenX may have brought Lacuna Stories to Dartmouth, but several faculty members expressed interest in Lacuna after the workshop and seminar.  You can email if you are interested in knowing more about Lacuna Stories for your course.

AmRenX will introduce the final two authors, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain on April 1, 2016. You can sign up for the course and annotate in Lacuna Stories by clicking here.

DartmouthX has recently offered Live Office Hours with students in an Introduction to Environmental Science (ENVX) with Google Hangouts on Air. Instructors Prof. Andy Friedland and Mike Goudzwaard along with the course team hosted four sessions over two offerings of the course. In each session we tried something slightly different based on feedback from that last session. This “recipe” is based on what we learned from the experience. Like any recipe, feel free to use, improvise, simplify, or spice it up.

...continue reading "Live Office Hours with Google Hangouts On Air: A Recipe"

Recently, I attended the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium (ET4Online). As I arrived in Dallas, I wondered what sort of technologies are “emerging” for online, blended, and face-to-face learning. Would sessions all be held in some virtual reality holodeck? By many appearances, ET4Online was a typical edtech conference with sessions, keynote addresses and the ubiquitous vendor hall, all infused with regular doses of caffeine and sugar. I soon found that there was no holodeck session, however ET4Online distinguishes itself in three important ways: ...continue reading "Emerging Tech: The Case for More Test Kitchens"