A new video game based on Dante’s Inferno has gotten a lot of press lately. Two reporters approached Georgetown’s Frank Ambrosio (Philosophy) to get his reaction to the game’s depiction of Dante’s poem. In his course on Dante and the Christian Imagination, Ambrosio uses MyDante, an interactive site developed at CNDLS and devoted to the contemplative reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Ambrosio is quoted and MyDante is mentioned in the Washington Post and USA Today.
The Tenth Scholarly Communication Symposium will feature three speakers who are deeply involved with social media on their campuses. CNDLS’ Eddie Maloney will join Gerry McCartney (Purdue University) and Ulises Mejias (State University of New York at Oswego) to discuss the implications of social media on teaching and learning.
CNDLS Graduate Associate Hillá Meller shares the following update on the Doyle Initiative:
During 2009-2010, the inaugural year of the Doyle Building Tolerance Initiative, we have been working with nine Doyle Faculty Fellows on strategies for incorporating themes of difference and diversity into the academic content of regular undergraduate courses at Georgetown. Fellows have been meeting monthly to discuss progress in their classes and exchange ideas about their pedagogies. The fellows have also met with several representatives from resource centers on campus.
In December, William J. Doyle (C’72) visited campus and enjoyed a full day of programming and meetings with students and faculty who are involved in the initiative. He was able to share his vision for the initiative, and was impressed to hear about all the work that has been done so far, both in and out of the classroom.
We are currently accepting applications for the 2010-2011 faculty fellowships. Information on becoming a Doyle Faculty Fellow can be found on our newly launched Doyle Initiative website. We hope that the website, which will serve as a hub of information and reflection about the initiative’s different components, will bring together students and faculty who are working on issues of diversity on Georgetown’s campus and beyond.
‘Negotiating the Cultural Turn(s): Subjectivity, Sustainability, and Authority in the Digital Humanities’
Timothy Powell (University of Pennsylvania) and Bethany Nowviskie (University of Virginia) will present and lead a discussion on digital humanities. Powell will discuss his work creating digital archives of Ojibwe cultural materials, and Nowviskie will share her work with NINES, SpecLab, and the Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia.
4:30 pm, Murray Room, Lauinger Library
Click here for more information on this event.
Thursday evening’s Forum on Haiti: From Relief to Recovery will be streamed live via Adobe Connect. Click here to watch the session, which begins at 5:30pm.
If you are able to attend the event in person, please join us in Gaston Hall. The list of panelists can be found here.
CNDLS would like to invite you to Forum on Haiti: From Relief to Recovery, a panel discussion focusing on the past, present, and future of Haiti. Susan Martin from the Institute of International Migration, in collaboration with the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN), the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service (CSJ), Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI), Justice and Diversity in Action, and the Caribbean Culture Circle, has assembled a panel of respected speakers to discuss the crisis in Haiti.
Among the panelists are Georgetown’s Maurice Jackson (History) and Jose Teruel (NHS), U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek, Allan Jury of the World Food Program, Shaina Aber of the Jesuit Refugee Service, Daniel Lopez-Acuna of the World Health Organization, and Juan Manuel Sotelo of the Pan-American Health Organization.
This is an open event. If you would like to attend, please join us in Gaston Hall at 5:30pm on Thursday, January 27th.
David Pace, professor of History and co-director of the Freshman Learning Project at Indiana University, spoke on Thursday in the third and final talk of this year’s Provost’s Seminar on Teaching and Learning. Teaching badly, Pace said, is no longer a moral alternative. The challenges facing students, our nation, and the world—coupled with the increasing difficulty of academic subjects—make it especially necessary to teach effectively. Resources for improving one’s teaching, moreover, are readily available, and instructors should take advantage of them.
Before trying to implement new pedagogical ideas or strategies, instructors should first identify problem areas in their own teaching. These problems, or “bottlenecks,” as Pace calls them, could be concepts or skills that have become automatic to professors well versed in their fields but are unclear to students—especially students who are taking classes in multiple academic disciplines. A bottleneck in History, for example, is that students often have difficulty understanding the significance of visual sources, such as the “Rosie the Riveter” poster from World War II. To address bottlenecks, Pace suggests that professors themselves model the skills or techniques they want their students to use, and provide students with opportunities to practice them and receive feedback. In the case of the visual-sources bottleneck, Pace continued, a History professor could have students imagine a committee that created the poster and then ask themselves what that committee discussed and what kind of decisions they made before producing the final product.
Periodically through his talk, Pace encouraged seminar participants to pair up with someone from a different academic department to identify bottlenecks in their own teaching and brainstorm ideas to mitigate them. Several professors shared their experiences with the larger group and received feedback from other instructors across various disciplines. Some bottlenecks, such students’ difficulty in interpreting charts and graphs, were common to professors in various fields.
Pace stresses the need for setting reasonable goals and creating series of small steps that students can visualize themselves accomplishing. Because university instructors are part of an academic community, sharing what they’ve learned and accomplished is a vital step in promoting learning within and across disciplines.
Check back soon for video of Pace’s talk and other resources from the Provost’s Seminar events.
Wednesday’s panel discussion on “New Approaches for Improving Student Engagement in Large Enrollment Classes,” led by CNDLS Assistant Director for Science Programs Janet Russell, featured a discussion of technology-related pedagogical approaches by Mark Rom, Matt Carnes, Matt Hamilton, Frank Ambrosio, and Heidi Elmendorf.
Mark Rom (Government) and Heidi Elmendorf (Biology) introduced methods of using blogs and discussion boards. Rom explained how his blog, which collected an astonishing 2,328 posts and 1,901 comments this semester, is part of a larger strategy to engage his 150 Government students as active participants in the class. Elmendorf views her class discussion board as a safe space for her 250 students to share questions and uncertainty. Matt Carnes (Government) and Matt Hamilton (Biology) explained different ways they incorporate i>clickers in their classrooms: for example, Carnes asks different types of questions ranging from true/false statements to open-ended “what do you think?” queries, while Hamilton has used clickers to demonstrate concepts of probability. Finally, Frank Ambrosio (Philosophy) shared his thoughts on lecture capture software’s potential both as a means to catch up students who miss class and as a way to deliver content to students in advance of class discussions.
These interesting panel presentations raised many questions among the audience and panelists, ranging from the logistical (“Where do I get these materials and technologies?”) to the pedagogical (“How do you assess their efficacy in student learning and engagement?”) The discussions around these questions as well as the entire panel presentation will be available in video form soon.
If you are interested in finding out more about using or assessing technological tools in the classroom, please contact us.
The Provost’s Seminar continues Thursday with a presentation on “Big Concepts and Instructional Bottlenecks: the ‘Decoding the Disciplines’ Approach” by David Pace, Professor of History and Co-Director of the Freshman Learning Project at Indiana University. For more information, see this description.
Yesterday, Julie Reynolds (Duke University) gave a presentation on undergraduate thesis advising – watch for materials from that discussion to be posted soon.
Today, please join us for a faculty panel discussion on “New Approaches for Improving Student Engagement in Large Enrollment Classes.” The panel, led by CNDLS Assistant Director for Science Programs Janet Russell, will feature faculty from a number of disciplines:
- Matt Carnes (Government) and Matt Hamilton (Biology) will discuss strategies for using clickers in large classes.
- Frank Ambrosio (Philosophy) will share what he learned from using lecture capture software for the first time last fall.
- Heidi Elmendorf (Biology) and Mark Rom (Government) will talk about how they incorporate online discussion into their courses.
- Panelists and audience members will explore how small group work functions in large courses.
The discussion will be held in the Philosophy Department Conference Room (New North 204) from 1-3pm.
Tomorrow (Thursday) will feature a presentation entitled “Big Concepts and Instructional Bottlenecks: the ‘Decoding the Disciplines’ Approach” by David Pace, Professor of History and Co-Director of the Freshman Learning Project at Indiana University. For more information, see this description.