digital innovation liberal arts

The Secret to Digital Innovation in the Liberal Arts

Small liberal arts colleges looking to innovate with technology in education are finding strength in numbers.

By David Raths 12/12/16

https://campustechnology.com/Articles/2016/12/12/The-Secret-to-Digital-Innovation-in-the-Liberal-Arts.aspx

During a Dec. 8 Future Trends Forum video chat hosted by futurist Bryan Alexander, several liberal arts technology leaders spoke about their efforts to define their colleges’ approach to digital innovation.

As an example of a more promising liberal arts partnership, Eshleman pointed to LACOL, the Liberal Arts Consortium for Online Learning. LACOL’s nine member institutions comprise Amherst, Bryn Mawr, Carleton, Haverford, Pomona, Swarthmore, Vassar, Washington and Lee and Williams. LACOL is an effort to create an experimental framework that supports project work across the nine campuses. There are interesting experiments happening on each campus, and LACOL provides opportunities to use a digital network to take those to a new level, said Elizabeth Evans, LACOL’s director, who joined Eshleman on the Future Trends Forum virtual stage to describe the consortium’s setup.

This involves a multi-campus team of faculty and instructional designers, all organized around a central project, which has its ups and downs, she added.

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She is starting to work with Davidson’s Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and an entrepreneurship initiative to foster projects that are “bottom-up from students, faculty and staff who want to experiment with models of innovation.”

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She said she has learned to keep the focus off of technology initially. She asks faculty members to think about what have they wanted to do around student learning and why. “It is about that first, and technology second,” she stressed, adding that she has moved away from quantitative evaluation of projects and more toward storytelling.

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more on digital innovation in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=digital+innovation

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