Academic Computing Services provides leadership and expertise in instructional technologies for Vassar College. ACS works with Vassar faculty, students and other college constituencies towards the purposeful integration of digital technologies and new media into the college curriculum.
Academic Computing Services is committed to:
– Consulting with faculty members about instructional technology needs
– Collaborating with faculty members on curricular design and scholarly work
– Providing instruction on the use of technologies for teaching and learning
– Managing the design, production and assessment of long term academic projects
– Exploring and promoting best practices for teaching with technology
– Advocating for faculty needs within Computing and Information Services
Vision Statement: the long-term impact of accomplishing our mission (2011):
Building on Vassar’s tradition of teaching and learning in an intimate setting, as well as its important focus on interdisciplinary connections, learning technologies will increasingly enhance the rich academic experience of the college community.
We envision a future in which the process of curricular development at Vassar takes place as a collaboration among faculty, educational technologists, librarians, and pedagogy specialists. As learning technologies become widespread, the effort of identifying, implementing, and assessing the purposeful use of these tools will require the involvement of all participants. This approach will help create a campus culture of sharing and cooperation.
Digital technologies are transforming the nature of scholarly work in a fundamental way. Recognizing this, educational technologists will focus on developing a high level of digital literacy in our academic community, particularly the ability to create, share and evaluate information using learning technologies.
By fostering the use of tools and practices that suit the liberal arts paradigm, Vassar will become a model for the integration of technology and education.
Over the past year I attended several remote conferences, (EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), Innovate Transformed (Ohio State University), and the College Art Association (CAA) annual conference. As you might imagine, remote/hybrid teaching and learning along with issues of equity and inclusion were at the center of discussion. In this post I have tried to compile some of the key conference takeaways and other resources that you may find useful as we look forward to in-person learning in the fall. I’ve sorted these into sections for you: Pandemic Findings, Equity, Inclusion and Universal Design, Land Acknowledgement Resources, Tool and Tutorials, Vassar Teaching and Learning Resources and Funding.
Designing for flexibility (multi-modal options for student participation, including mobile) is a key justice and equity issue. – John Muir (conference attendee)
Educause Survey Results: Student Experiences Learning with Technology in the Pandemic Christopher Brooks, Ph.D. Director of Research, Survey dates 10/4-12/14/2020 Total sample: 9,499 students, 58 institutions, US sample: 8,392 students, 54 institutions Link to full report: https://tinyurl.com/2021StudentStudy
5 Key Findings
Pandemic learning happened everywhere and whenever. Learning environment appears to have played less of a role in determining students’ evaluation of their learning experiences than did course modality. Full-time students favored synchronous online courses. Married students, students living off-campus, and students who are working full-time preferred online asynchronous courses.
Keep calm and embrace technology. Students reported that their instructors communicated effectively and demonstrated a reasoned and reasonable approach to technology use in their courses.
Significant learning experiences start with opportunities for student and instructor interaction. Synchronous courses tended to be rated as better organized with greater opportunities for student–instructor and student–student interaction.
The best technology experiences students had during the first semester of the pandemic were related to the use of the LMS, videoconferencing applications, and recorded lectures and access to specialized software. Regarding recorded lectures, the ability to review lecture materials whenever, wherever, and for however long respondents might need was seen as the major benefit of such recordings.
Students’ worst technology experiences varied considerably but generally fall into one of three very broad categories: (1) explicit technology issues, (2) attempts to use technology that failed, and (3) poor pedagogical choices and course management practices.
Equity and Inclusion and Universal Design
Interaction Institution for Social Change. Artist: Angus Maguire
Equity Unbound https://unboundeq.creativitycourse.org/
Equity Unbound is an emergent, collaborative curriculum which aims to create equity-focused, open, connected, intercultural learning experiences across classes, countries and contexts. Equity Unbound is for learners and/or educators at all levels (e.g. undergraduate, postgraduate, professional development) who are interested in exploring digital literacies with an equity and intercultural learning focus, in an open and connected learning environment. Virtually Connecting – YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/VirtuallyConnectingChannel/videos
The purpose of Virtually Connecting is to enliven virtual participation in academic conferences, widening access to a fuller conference experience for those who cannot be physically present at conferences.
Equity Unbound has teamed up with OneHE to develop some open educational resources for online community-building https://onehe.org/equity-unbound/ Community-Building Resources from OneHE & Equity Unbound
Inclusive Stock images
Beautiful photos of Black and Brown people, for free. For commercial and personal use.https://nappy.co/ Disabled And Here Collection
This stock library is a disability-led effort to provide free and inclusive images from our own perspective, with photos and illustrations celebrating disabled Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC).https://affecttheverb.com/collection/
Harvard Implicit Bias Test https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/
Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the Internet.
On Grief & Loss: Building a Post-Pandemic Future for Higher Ed without Losing Sight of Our Students and Ourselves – Joshua Eyler Keynote: Open CoLab Live
Land Acknowledgement Resources
Native Land – Native-Land.ca is a website run by the nonprofit organization Native Land Digital. We are guided by a Board of Directors and an Advisory Council. Our funding comes from friendly organizations and individual donors. https://native-land.ca/
Native Governance Center
Native Governance Center is a Native-led nonprofit organization that serves Native nations in Mni Sota Makoce, North Dakota, and South Dakota. We support Native leaders as they work to rebuild their nations through our leadership development and Tribal governance support programs. We believe that strengthening governance is a direct pathway toward improving quality of life for Native people. https://nativegov.org/a-guide-to-indigenous-land-acknowledgment/
Pedagogies of Care– Pedagogies of Care: Open Resources for Student-Centered & Adaptive Strategies in the New Higher-Ed Landscape offers practical and engaging advice about what “next” should look like across higher education, from sixteen current and forthcoming authors in the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education book series from West Virginia University Press.
Vassar Spaces- Vassar 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 create your digital identity and express your creativity.
LinkedIn LearningProvided by Vassar College at no charge to Vassar students, faculty, and staff, the LinkedIn Learning library offers access to more than 1,000 self-paced training courses. Get comprehensive training in audio, video, photography, graphic design, web design, business, and development from expert instructors, 24/7.
Equipment Checkout – SLR and Video Cameras/Audio/Lighting. Email Media Resources or Academic Computing Services. Media Resources – Lower Level of College Center
email@example.com, (845) 437-7479 Academic Computing Services – firstname.lastname@example.org