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coffeelearn_headerCoffee & Learn is a new series of mini-workshops held at the Arts & Humanities Café in Bartlett 201 every Monday afternoon from 3:00 to 4:00 pm. Members of Dartmouth's Digital Humanities community will discuss technologies for research and teaching, and participants will have plenty of time for guided practice over delicious afternoon cappuccino. Read more for a list of Coffee & Learns that we've organized for the remainder of winter term. ...continue reading "Coffee & Learn"

Professional Development!Petra Taylor photo

Part of my Faculty Fellowship with the Instructional Design group includes professional development and making contacts with the greater world of instructional design by attending courses, workshops and conferences. So far I have completed the OLC Mastery Series on “Blended Learning”, I am in the middle of an EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) course on “Assessment Beyond Letter Grades”, and as I write, I am currently riding the Dartmouth Coach, returning from a NERCOMP workshop “Instructional Design for Everyone”. If you have never heard of OLC, EDUCAUSE or NERCOMP, do not fear! I hadn’t either, up to about 3 months ago. But if you are interested in digging deeper into the realms of learning and teaching, then it may be worthwhile to check out what these organizations have to offer.

My experience with conferences and workshops up to this point had been limited to those in my area of research, along with some meetings on women in mathematics and a few others on open online mathematics education. Most conferences I have attended followed the well-known format of hour-long plenary lectures interspersed with shorter contributed talks, often in parallel sessions. Some conferences have poster sessions, but that’s not the norm in mathematics.

Today’s workshop had a completely different format. Rather than being lectured at all day long and leaving tired, oversaturated and unable to repeat most of what was said, I came away invigorated, with many things to think about and having made a number of new contacts.

What was this new and exciting format?

This NERCOMP session was run by one organizer and four panelists (one of these panelists being Adrienne Gauthier, one of my colleagues here in the ID group). Each panelist started out by describing a typical problem with which they are frequently presented in their work. Throughout the day, as we were discussing various aspects of instructional design, these problems would resurface and approaches to solutions would be woven into the activities.

No panelist ever spoke for more than five minutes at a time, so that I never hit that urgent need for coffee. The participants were seated at round tables of 8, and whenever the panelists had presented a new aspect of their problems, rich discussion at the tables ensued.  These conversations explored the panelists’ solutions, and discussed their applicability to some other challenges. ‘Twitter-style’ reporting after such discussions was a very valuable way to hear from the other tables.

It was great to see instructional design being practiced in the organization of the conference. The presenters' goals were clear, and as participants we were able to engage in the day's learning together.  But I shouldn’t be surprised: this was a great example of instructional designers practicing good instructional design!

"Throw Open the Doors" on the Humanities with MOOCs

On Friday October 16th, Dartmouth hosted faculty and instructors from several institutions teaching MOOCs (massive open online courses) in humanities disciplines. These teachers and scholars were joined by members of the Dartmouth community to discuss the particular challenges and opportunities related teaching a humanities course on a massive scale.

Learn more about the event and view recorded sessions here.

Participants were invited to consider the following questions:

  1. What does it mean to teach arts and Humanities disciplines for a global audience?
  2. How and why might we scale up learning opportunities up in the Arts and Humanities?
  3. How have instructors adapted new digital learning strategies for the Humanities residential classroom?
panel speakers
Steve Swayne (Dartmouth), Emily Silk (Harvard), Adrienne Raphel (Harvard) , & Jed Dobson (Dartmouth)

The dedicated faculty who spoke about their experiences provided much groundwork for continued conversation.  There were some answers, some new questions, and a wealth of "teacher talk". And as good teachers know, the best conversations come from questions. Jed Dobson (Dartmouth) convened the presenters from a range of disciplines within the Humanities and provided context and opportunity for a fabulous discussion.

As someone entirely new to the Humanities, it was my pleasure to learn from these amazing folks.  I'd like to share with you six big questions that were raised for me throughout the day.

...continue reading "Catalyzing Community: Reflections on Digital Learning in the Humanities"

Attention: Helpful and rich conversations happening inside!
Attention: Helpful and rich conversations happening inside!

On Thursday September 10th it was our pleasure to co-sponsor a New Faculty Orientation with the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL).  The event focused around teaching and learning here at Dartmouth.  Together with President Hanlon, an amazing group of librarians, and a fantastic panel of "not so new" Dartmouth faculty, we began conversations ranging from course design, student engagement and grading policies to time management techniques.

As everyone has gotten busy settling in, we encourage you to remember how important it is to keep these conversations active, connecting with colleagues and resources that can help and inspire.

We want to keep this great dialog going.  To that end, please consider this term's New Faculty Luncheons. Focused on helping new faculty jump start their teaching program, these lunchtime sessions will provide opportunities to share concerns and successes and ask questions regarding teaching, student learning and instructional technology.

Wednesday October 21st: Syllabus Design

12:30pm-2:00pm in DCAL (102 Baker Library)

For October's session, we’ll learn about Syllabus design, starting with the development of learning outcomes. Preparing to teach a course next term? Learn how identifying and incorporating learning outcomes into your teaching can help make course design decisions easier and effective to enhance student learning.

Wednesday November 18th: Student-centered assignments

12:30pm-2:00pm in DCAL (102 Baker Library)

November's lunch will explore student-centered assignments, discussing the research behind the approach, and best practice ideas for implementing them in your course.


In this hands-on workshop, we will explore how you can best use Canvas to facilitate the assignment process.  From creating the structure in your course site that allows you to collect, weigh, and manage assignments, to Canvas' online grading options (including mobile!), explore the tools you can use to best meet the needs of your own course.

Wednesday, October 7th 12:30pm-2pm in DCAL

Click here to register!


Are you teaching this fall term? Are you new to Canvas or do you need a refresher on setting up your course sites? If so, the Ed Tech team has scheduled two beginning Canvas workshops at DCAL (102 Baker-Berry Library) early in September. Click the following links to register:

Beginning Canvas Workshop, Thursday, September 3rd, 10:30 am - noon

Beginning Canvas Workshop, Tuesday, September 8th, 10:00 - 11:30 am

We've also scheduled Canvas Office Hours for three hours every day during the two weeks around the start of term. Office Hours are held at the Arts and Humanities Resource Center (201 Bartlett Hall). Read more to see our office hours schedule. ...continue reading "Fall Term Office Hours and Canvas Workshops"