The Engage blog started as a way to promote the resources and services that the Instructional Technology team provides to Connecticut College. After 6 years, an organizational restructuring, and countless changes in technology, we are moving and renaming the blog! The blog will be hosted on the college’s website-hosting service, Digital Connecticut College.
If you subscribe to our blog posts via email, your email address will be added to the new site. You will receive a confirmation email; confirm if you wish to continue receiving email notifications. If you do not want to receive email, simply ignore the message. We hope you continue to subscribe – we have many exciting announcements in the works!
Information Services is excited to announce the eleven faculty who have received the Open Educational Resources (OER) Exploration Grant for 2019. The grant includes a monetary award as well as staff assistance to explore and investigate open resources that can be used in courses in lieu of traditional textbooks.
The grant aims to reduce educational costs for students by providing free or low-cost learning materials that are available from day one of their classes. The cost of tuition is nearly $70,000 and financial aid spending has increased 3.4 percent at Connecticut College since 2017. In the 2018 New Camel Survey, almost two-thirds of the class expressed concern about their ability to finance their college education. This program will support Connecticut College’s strategic priority toward financial strength and explore new ways to make a Connecticut College education affordable.
The grant provides funding and support for pedagogical innovation. Open educational materials can be tailored to fit the needs of Connecticut College students and allows students to be active participants in the process of course content creation. In addition, OER expand academic freedom, giving faculty copyright-free options to produce personalized learning materials to meet the specific needs of our students at our institution. Faculty are untethered from the rigid structures and content produced by textbook publishers.
Congratulations to the following faculty!
Rachel Black, Anthropology
Luis Gonzalez, Hispanic Studies
Jillian Marshall and Jennifer Gorman, Psychology
Emily Kuder, Hispanic Studies
Kathy McKeon and Warren Johnson, Mathematics and Statistics
Luz Nick, Hispanic Studies
Yongjin Park, Economics
Maria Rosa, Biology Ari Rotramel, Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality Studies
Join us at 3 p.m. tomorrow, March 6, in the Advanced Technology Lab in Shain Library to learn how to make your own website using our new service, Digital Connecticut College.
Digital Connecticut College provides students, faculty, and staff with the opportunity to register a domain name and create a digital presence through various mediums such as blogs, portfolios, and wikis. You can easily install open source applications such as WordPress, MediaWiki, Drupal, Scalar, and Omeka to your own domain, and use this space to develop class projects, share your research, and create your digital identity. At this workshop, we will help you get the process started, and show examples of the types of projects that you can create.
Students have long been taking advantage of the college’s access to Google Drive for completing course work. Assignments completed in Google Drive, however, could not be easily submitted as assignments…until now. Google has introduced a new plug-in for Moodle that streamlines the submission of student assignments completed using Google Drive. The plug-in allows students to turn in Google Drive files through Moodle, and then allows instructors to grade and provide feedback through the Google Drive interface, using the native commenting features of Google Docs.
We held a short hands-on workshop on Google Course Kit last week, but in case you missed it, check out more detailed instructions on adding Course Kit to your Moodle site. If you need further help or have any questions, please contact a member of the Instructional Technology team.
The first year of the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program was celebrated with an all-day symposium on campus to highlight the project work of the 2018 Fellows (Phillip Barnes, Catherine Benoît, and Sufia Uddin) and Anthony Graesch (Kw’ets’tel Project, funded by Diane Y. Williams ’59), and to introduce more of the campus community to emerging practices in digital research tools and online publishing. The fall semester also saw the Fellows and program director present their work together at the Digital Frontiers conference at the University of Kansas in October, and Benoît presented her St. Martin Project at the fifth Caribbean Digital annual conference, held in Trinidad & Tobago in December.
Digital Scholarship & Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts Symposium
Around 70 attendees joined us throughout the day from institutions across Connecticut, including Wesleyan University, Yale University, Southern Connecticut State University, and Fairfield University Art Museum. Several departments, centers, and programs generously co-sponsored the symposium: the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment, Anthropology, and Environmental Studies, as well as the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.
We hope to hold similar events in the future to share digital scholarship developing at Connecticut College, as well as to continue dialogues and potential collaborations with institutions across the state.
In December Information Services and the Dean of the Faculty announced the 2019 cohort of Digital Scholarship Fellows. We are excited to work again with faculty from a diverse range of disciplines and with a variety of research objectives, as we continue to experiment with digital scholarship at Connecticut College.
Benjamin Beranek, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics, is analyzing experimental economic data on social preferences from within a singular society, which was collected on a digital platform using spatial econometric techniques. The project Within Society Variation in Social Preferences will associate the geographic location of participants in online social preference experiments with other variables of interest, such as economic development, voting patterns, or density. These associations will be analyzed, mapped and visualized on a project website exploring several related research questions.
Danielle Egan, Professor of Gender, Intersectionality and Sexuality Studies, is working on an experimental research project, Transmitting Dominance, which explores ways of structuring arguments in non-linear, multi-modal formats, when integrating digital processes and tools into the scholarly process from a research project’s conception. The project’s website will make use of a range of media to visualize transmissions of dominance in society.
Christopher Steiner, Professor of Art History and Anthropology and Director of the Museum Studies program, is developing a digital archive and website for the Nut Museum collection owned by Connecticut College. Elizabeth Tashjian (1912-2007) was an artist who lived much of her life in Old Lyme, CT and established the Nut Museum in her home. The collection featured her own paintings of nuts, as well as a collection of nuts, nutcrackers, and nut-related memorabilia and ephemera. The project website will make the collection accessible to the public again, and students in the Museum Studies program will gain hands-on experience working with this collection, including conducting research, archiving and digitizing materials, working on physical and/or virtual exhibition projects, and publishing collection highlights online.
It is our pleasure to announce that the Office of the Dean of the Faculty will continue to support the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program for a third cohort next year. Faculty interested in digital scholarship should contact program director Lyndsay Bratton. Stay tuned for updates about all the exciting projects currently in production.
Do you use Moodle? Do your students use (or want to use) Google Drive for coursework?
Google has recently introduced Course Kit, a plugin for Moodle that facilitates assignment submission using Google Drive. Course Kit seamlessly integrates into Moodle allowing students to submit assignments in Drive, and allowing instructors to provide feedback using Google Drive commenting and editing tools, while also integrating with the Moodle Gradebook.
Join us tomorrow, February 20, from 11:30-noon in the Advanced Technology Lab to learn about Course Kit. Register here or feel free to drop in.
I attended Monday’s Talking Teaching on “Office Hours and Email: Connecting with Students Outside of Class.” We mentioned two time-saving tools that faculty might find useful in managing their calendars and email: calendar appointment slots and email canned responses. Below are instructions for using both, pulled from our archives.
Appointment Slots in the Google Calendar
Although Google Calendar has changed slightly since our original post, the process for creating and using appointment slots is similar. One major difference is where to find the link to share with your students. Here are instructions.
1. Begin to create an event on your calendar, but select “Appointment Slot” instead of “Event.” You can then edit the duration of the appointment slots. Save (or if you want to add location and other details, edit that in “More Options”).
2. Share the link to your appointments. To find the link, open the event on your calendar and copy/paste the link for “This calendar’s appointment page” by right-clicking on the link and copying it, or opening it in another tab and copying the URL from the address bar.
Using Canned Responses in Gmail
Do you find yourself typing the same email response over and over again? Use a canned response! Simply, canned responses allow you to write text one time, save it and insert it over and over within Gmail. Canned responses are very easy to set up and use, take a look!
Are your students reading course materials on laptops or other devices?
Online annotation tools can support students’ close reading of texts in an online environment. These same tools can be used to support collaborative reading where students add annotations, questions, and discussion directly on the texts themselves! Intentional use of social annotation tools make texts come alive for students, create community, increase participation and comprehension, and, as a result, improve learning.
Join us Monday at our workshop, Close Reading Online: Social Annotation and Reading Tools. We’ll look at tools such as Hypothes.is, CommentPress, and RefWorks. We will also discuss criteria for selecting tools and consider issues such as privacy and accessibility. Register here, or feel free to drop in!
We are making great progress toward expanding the use of open educational resources at Connecticut College. After years of advocating for OER on campus, Information Services is currently offering an OER grant for faculty to fund the exploration, adoption, and creation of open access materials. Faculty may receive up to $1,500 to explore and implement OER, or a course remission to develop their own materials.
Creating OER is an exciting opportunity for faculty who wish to develop learning resources customized to their classroom and teaching needs. In addition to funding, the grant offers faculty help in finding non-restrictive licensing and alternative options to traditional copyright. Staff can help with Pressbooks and other platforms in order to adapt or create original OER. IS staff can assist in finding and evaluating existing OER that can be used as base or supplementary material for OER projects. We can also help integrate newly created material into Moodle and advise on strategies to engage students in the OER creation/annotation process.
The use of OER in classes can provide an avenue to incorporate open pedagogy into the curriculum, a practice in which students are partners in the creation of course materials. The lessons lead to renewable assignments that can be built on throughout the term and into future semesters. As creators of information, students in these courses gain a greater understanding of the rights and responsibilities associated with information ownership. Practitioners of open pedagogy embrace collaboration, student agency, and authentic learning. This open educational practice leads to greater student engagement as well as reducing the cost of a college education.
Below are two interesting examples of faculty created OER:
Data Feminism (left) by Catherine D’Ignazio, Assistant Professor, Emerson College and Lauren Klein, Associate Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology is publicly available to read and comment on manuscript draft for open peer review.
Teaching faculty (full-time, part-time, lecturer, and visiting) at Connecticut College may apply for an OER grant. Individuals, teams, Pathways, and departments/programs are encouraged to work together for a unified adoption of OER. Faculty may only receive one grant per course. See the Call for Proposals for more details. Proposals are due Thursday, February 14, 2019.
Please direct questions to Ariela McCaffrey (x2103), research support and outreach librarian.
Time to add our workshops to your calendar! You can find the full list of workshops online and find a print copy in your mailbox. All workshops are open to faculty and staff. Registration is recommended, but is not required so stop by if you schedule allows. Refreshments are served!
Creating Online Coursepacks – Register
Monday, February 4, 3:00 – 4:00pm | Advanced Technology Lab
The library offers many services to help you create online coursepacks that are completely free for your students to access and can be easily integrated into Moodle. We’ll provide an overview of our print and electronic book and journal collections and share several ways that we can help you locate and adopt freely available content, including open educational resources. Bring your syllabus and build a list of resources that will supplement current course readings or replace old material.
Close Reading Online: Social Annotation and Reading Tools – Register
Monday, February 11, 3:00-4:00pm | Advanced Technology Lab
Are your students reading course materials on laptops or other devices? Online annotation tools can support students’ close reading of texts in an online environment. These same tools can be used to support collaborative reading where students add annotations, questions, and discussion directly on the texts themselves! Intentional use of social annotation tools make texts come alive for students, create community, increase participation and comprehension, and, as a result, improve learning. In this workshop, we’ll look at tools such as Hypothes.is, CommentPress, and RefWorks. We will also discuss criteria for selecting tools and consider issues such as privacy and accessibility.
Tools in a Flash: Google CourseKit – Register
Wednesday, February 20, 11:30-12:00 | Advanced Technology Lab
New this semester! Introducing Google CourseKit, a plugin for Moodle that facilitates assignment submission using Google Drive. CourseKit integrates into Moodle allowing students to submit assignments in Drive, and allowing instructors to provide feedback, while also integrating with the Moodle Gradebook.
Digital Connecticut College: Making WordPress & Omeka Sites, and More – Register Wednesday, March 6, 3:00 – 4:00pm | Advanced Technology Lab
Learn how to make your own websites using Digital Connecticut College. Digital Connecticut College provides students, faculty, and staff with the opportunity to register a domain name and create a digital presence through various mediums such as blogs, portfolios, and wikis. You can easily install open source applications such as WordPress, MediaWiki, Drupal, Scalar, and Omeka to your own domain, and use this space to develop class projects, share your research, and create your digital identity. At this workshop, we will help you get the process started, and show examples of the types of projects that you can create.
Promote and Preserve Your Research with Digital Commons – Register
Wednesday, April 3, 3:00-4:00 | Advanced Technology Lab
Digital Commons is a free electronic archive of the research and publications of Connecticut College faculty, students, and departments. It can be used to ensure easier access to your journal articles, provide a venue for other unpublished scholarship like conference papers, store and publish datasets, or deliver newsletters to a wider audience. In this workshop we will explain the advantages of using Digital Commons, demonstrate its analytics capability, and show the wide range of faculty and College publications gaining wider audiences through Open Access publishing. We can also show you how we determine what of your published research may be reproduced in Digital Commons. Bring a cv or list of recent publications and we can check it for you in the course of the workshop.