Upcoming EventsThroughout the year the center offers events, presentations, seminars, and workshops that explore innovations in communication and technology and the ways they affect teaching and learning. From new ideas to best practices, we’re here to help you stay at the forefront.
Select a title below to learn more about each workshop.Blended Learning has the potential to deepen what we value in a liberal arts education by focusing more intentionally on learner-centered pedagogies. Blended Learning is defined as a formal educational model (course or curriculum) with the following characteristics: a portion (usually between 30% – 50%) of content is available online, with some level of student control over time, pathway and/or pace; a portion of student learning occurs face-to-face in a physical classroom or
- a portion (usually between 30% – 50%) of content is available online, with some level of student control over time, pathway and/or pace;
- a portion of student learning occurs face-to-face in a physical classroom or other experiential learning environment;
- the face-to-face and online components connect to create an integrated learning experience
Please join us for this panel, where faculty will present diverse blended learning experiments followed by a conversation (Q&A) on the potential for this approach to serve a range of curricular needs. Panel Members: Scott Denham, Amanda Ewington, Malcolm Campbell and Erland Stevens.
Student-Faculty Scholarship and Creative Work in the Arts & Humanities | 9-10am | Open Tutoring ClassroomThe Arts and Humanities are more often the work of individuals. Collaborative student-faculty is challenging. This panel will highlight guided collaborations that engage students in creative work and critical inquiry. Please join us to discuss collaborative exploration and creativity in student learning and brainstorm additional ways to bring students into humanities research and artistic collaborations. Panel Members: John Wertheimer, Liss LaFleur and Suzanne Churchill.Davidson Domains is a pilot program funded by the Mellon Foundation that gives faculty and students a “domain of one’s own,” a unique web domain to host class projects, student work, and personal experiments in online identity formation. This session features faculty who will talk about what worked—and what didn’t—when they used Davidson Domains this semester. Panel Members: Graham Bullock, Christine Marshall, Jeanne Neumann and Mark Sample.How do you engage students in active learning in classes with higher enrollments? What techniques can be employed to promote class participation by all students? Three faculty members from diverse disciplines will share techniques they use in classes to encourage student engagement. Faculty Members: Mario Belloni, Keyne Cheshire and Kristi Multhaup.What are the characteristics of an ideal classroom environment for teaching in the 21st century? Using Cunn 109 as an example, participants will engage in a discussion about classroom attributes that promote active and engaged learning. Classroom task force members: Verna Case, Angie Dewberry, and Diane Stirling.Just as a medical “postmortem” attempts to establish the cause of death, a pedagogical postmortem examines a pedagogical failure and attempts to determine what went wrong and why. This session invites participants to share a recent teaching failure and to collectively explore what contributed to its downfall. No pedagogical failure is too big or too small to share! All are welcome, even if you’ve never had a bad teaching day. Open discussion led by Mark Sample.
Audrey Watters | The Golden Lasso of Education Technology | 900 Room | 12:00-1:30pm
We have 50 slots reserved for faculty. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP here.
Audrey Watters will explore the history of education technology, particularly its roots in the early twentieth century
when the development of teaching machines occurred alongside the rise of educational psychology. Teaching machines were designed largely as tools to measure, assess, and control, even though they promised teachers liberation from routine tasks and students greater efficiency as they moved through the curriculum. While much of the hype about education technology promises access, mobility, engagement, freedom, this history says much about education technology’s origins and its legacy. We often, as Seymour Papert once said, have “the computer program the child.” Can we rethink ed-tech—again, in Papert’s words—so that “the child programs the computer”? How can we shape education technology to foster student agency, for example, and not simply circumscribe learning tasks?[/div]
Center for Teaching and Learning | 3:30 – 5:00pm
Select a title below to learn more about each poster.
Karen Bernd, Kristie Foley & Cindy Hauser | Breathe, Eat, Touch Project (BET): Engaging students in STEM through Case Method Teaching in Environmental HealthPedagogical literature supports case-based approaches to maximize learning outcomes. Through an NSF-TUES grant, the Breathe, Eat, Touch (BET) project uses case studies in environmental health as a strategy to transform undergraduate STEM education. An interdisciplinary team, including faculty and students, developed an introductory environmental health course for undergraduates that incorporates biology, chemistry, and epidemiology. Moreover, the course was designed to be modular, such that individual cases could be integrated into pre-existing courses in public health, biology, chemistry, and environmental studies. The poster will highlight results of our initial course offering, including learning outcomes and interest in STEM. Data obtained from students in the environmental health course will be compared to data from students enrolled in other introductory STEM courses on campus. The course requires engagement, information literacy and quantitative analysis and teamwork and social responsibility are highlighted through group community based learning projects.Come in and test drive the new version of Moodle (2.8) – to be rolled out at Davidson on May 30. We’ve put together our top 10 enhancements below. Whether you’re new to Moodle or curious about the changes, please join us to see it in action and talk about possibilities in your courses.
- New default theme formats screen content properly on mobile devices.
- Drag-and-drop documents, spreadsheets, images, text and media files from your hard drive directly into your Moodle course.
- Settings screens have been organized and shortened.
- Auto-save implemented when typing into any text box.
- A revamped editing toolbar allows you to build mathematical equations in Moodle. Since it doesn’t require Java, it works on tablets and other mobile devices in addition to computers.
- Forums much more robust including the ability to comment on forum posts via email.
- Significant performance improvements implemented to speed things up.
- Test in Moodle with the confidence that students can’t access outside resources. This feature is available through the Respondus LockDown Browser, a Moodle plugin.
- The gradebook now scrolls properly!
- Fueled entirely by table scraps and gets over 60 mpg.
Felix Carroll & David Blauch | A Conformational Analysis Discovery Activity Using 3D Potential Energy Surface ModelsDiscovery activities in chemistry can provide students with a deeper understanding and longer retention of important concepts. There have been some reports of conformational analysis discovery activities using computer models or ordinary molecular models, but those activities do not provide students with a tactile sensation of potential energy. Recently we developed three-dimensional models that represent potential energy as a function of molecular geometry. Here we report a discovery activity for introductory organic chemistry in which students combine textbook images, molecular models, and 3D potential energy models to explore conformational analysis.How do classroom configurations influence student engagement in Studio D? This poster will present results from a semester-long experiment in an American Politics course exploring the effect of different table arrangements on levels of student engagement. The effects of other factors, such as quizzes, simulations, and debates, are also investigated and compared to the configuration effects. Results from a survey of students on their configuration preferences will also be presented.Acknowledging the effectiveness of blended learning as a pedagogical method, and following 1.5 years of piloting the application successfully in 14 Davidson courses and K-12 community outreach, the college is licensing the Echo360 Active Learning Platform. Echo360 provides an easy-to-use solution for capturing and streaming lecture-based and student-generated content, and also includes an in-class active learning tool with robust analytics. This is how it works. Come take a look at the new version of Echo360 and talk with Kristen about how you might get started in your courses.
Cara Evanson & James Sponsel | Crafting Student Creators: Incorporating Tangible Projects in Information Literacy InstructionIn recent years, especially with the emergence of digital studies, there has been an increasing emphasis on students as creators, and not just consumers, of information. Educators have begun to think about how students’ relationship to the content they create plays an integral role in their learning. By participating in the creation of knowledge, students can begin to understand their place in the information landscape. As librarians, we have been exploring how we can teach this concept, especially in light of recent Davidson initiatives centered on new ways for students to demonstrate their learning. However, we often only see students for one class session. How can we encourage students to actively engage in this aspect of information literacy with only this limited amount of time? We will report our experiences on how we have incorporated student-created products into our lesson plans so far, and how we hope further transform our teaching methods to maximize student learning.I held an electronic poster session in my Mathematical Modeling class this semester, using the four wall inputs and four screens in Studio D. Groups of students presented their projects to each other with a minimal amount of setup by rotating around the room as a group. The procedure was complicated a bit by the fact the group sizes were 3, rather than 4, so I produced an Excel file with a rotation schedule for each person. This protocol requires each person in a group to present their entire project, and could be used for any group assignment in which presentation and peer feedback are important.Digital techniques offer exciting opportunities for students to deepen their learning through creativity, collaboration and connection. Students in this course (psy315) use two digital storytelling techniques, powtoon® and videoscribe®, for their final projects. Students love these techniques because they involve learning digital animation: a skill they can use in both academic- and non-academic contexts. The software is fairly easy to learn on your own, so instructor’s mastery of these techniques is not required. Students’ final projects using these digital storytelling techniques follow a similar format to that of TED® talks: a short (8min) science-based, engaging presentation targeting a general audience. The resources available at Studio D make this type of exciting learning opportunities possible.Maker education embodies the ideals of the liberal arts experience. The tools are necessary but secondary to the learning process of “making as a way of knowing” that includes: inquiry, curiosity, collaboration, peer instruction and project-based learning. Making adds the creative layers of serious play, experimentation, prototyping, problem-solving and design-thinking. Stop by the Makerspace Test Kitchen and see examples of maker education at Davidson and beyond. See what inspires you and brainstorm with us on possible projects for your courses.In the fall of 2014, Davidson College students participated in an OpenIDEO challenge, as a pilot to help us understand the role of design-thinking in the liberal arts curriculum. The pilot taught students how to employ the methodology of design-thinking to create concrete, relevant solutions to big problems in collaboration with the global community. You can read more about the Davidson pilot in this Inside Higher Ed opinion piece and hear from Allison and her students in this video overview. Stop by to discuss how you might use design-thinking in your own classes and how to get started.Discover the initiatives and projects we’ve supported in the first year of the Mellon Foundation Digital Studies grant. This includes professional development opportunities, course design grants, and our inaugural digital learning community. And get a sneak preview of our plans for next year!The “CREATE” teaching method focuses on breaking down the primary literature into logical, sequential pieces for student reading by, for example, having the student first read the Introduction alone, then the Methods, then Results, and final Discussion. In-class activities encourage thinking deeply about issues such as experimental design and data analysis and interpretation. This progression encourages students to more fully engage in the scientific process by constructing their own knowledge rather than taking the written word at face value as an outside authority. The CREATE method has only rarely been used in selective liberal arts colleges like Davidson, and in this poster I present some of my experience applying this teaching method in Studio D.The overall goal for this ethnography is to help ITS understand where we add value to the student experience in order to invest wisely in the right technology solutions. We examined student technology usage on campus in conjunction with the programs and services provided by the ITS department, and the ways in which these may intersect with learning. We will present the preliminary findings and invite you to discuss these with us for suggestions that enhance with the teaching learning experience. Further research will also focus on better ways to communicate information from the department, as well as ways to expand our knowledge base to better serve student needs.With lessons learned from Studio D over the last 4 years, the college is expanding access to active learning spaces for faculty needing flexible environments to employ pedagogical designs. The following rooms will be renovated for active learning: Sloan 100, Chambers 3234, and Cunningham 109. Come see how these rooms will be redesigned and talk with us about the ways we can improve learning spaces across campus.
Durwin Striplin, Felix Carroll, & David Blauch | Discovering Pressure-Volume-Temperature Phase Relationships with 3D ModelsUndergraduate physical chemistry courses discuss phase transitions and stress the interdependence of the pressure, molar volume, and temperature of the system. To explain which phase is most stable and when phase transitions occur, textbooks use two-dimensional graphs to depict the behavior of the system as a function of pairs of variables (P vs T and P vs V). Unfortunately, students often fail to appreciate the connections between these different representations. We have produced 3D models of P–V–T relationships for an ideal gas and a real gas (carbon dioxide) that simultaneously depict all three variables. These models are the basis for a group exercise in which students discover the broader connections between P, V, and T and see how two-dimensional phase diagrams and condensation graphs represent different perspectives of the same underlying phase equilibria.