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CEL Project Archive

Academic Posters

Academic poster sessions are a mainstay of academic and professional conferences. Combining text and graphics, an academic poster compels students to be more precise in their writing and discerning in their selection of visual elements.
Queering Education (EDUC241)

Professor Woolley was inspired by the work done by her colleagues Anna Rios-Rojas and Mark Stern, and assigned an “inverting the narrative” project for her students in EDUC241 Queering Education. Professor Woolley challenged her students to “read” visual signals in media, and then use those signals to flip the script and allow an empowered voice for people and ideas that are often missing from the dominant discourses of heteronormativity and binary gender. Her students focused on the representation and performance of gender and sexuality through media, in relation to curriculum and pedagogy. In addition to creating the poster, Professor Woolley’s students presented their arguments at a Women’s Studies Brown Bag. They also wrote an analysis of their own work informed by the course readings and theories. Through this project, students learned to critically analyze visual representations of gender and sexuality, and then use those tools of critical media studies to speak back to how such representations shape people’s lives in society and schools.

Gender, Education and Development (EDUC303)

Professor Rios-Rojas developed the “Inverting the Narrative” poster project for her Spring 2013 EDUC303 Gender, Education & Development course, and she used it again in her Spring 2014 course to great success. Other professors in the Educational Studies department have produced similar projects based on her work. This project combined media analysis and visual literacy into a critical engagement with visual representations of gender and education. Students were first challenged to locate a piece of media that deals with gendered themes/identities/issues and education, and engage in a feminist critique based on the theories covered in the course. Then, in small groups, the students worked with the CEL group to create a poster that used images and words to present a counter-narrative that critiqued an aspect of the dominant discourse in regards to women, education, and the developing world. Students were also required to write an “artists’ statement” to explain the symbolism and theory they used to create their narrative, as well as a bibliography. The students debuted their posters at a Women’s Studies Brown Bag, where they discussed the narrative of their posters and discussed the theories with the audience. The posters were also displayed in Persson.

Environmental Justice

Before coming to Colgate, Prof. Shangrila Wynn had never assigned poster projects to her students. Working with CEL, both sections of Prof. Wynn’s Fall 2012 Environmental Justice course, ENST 232, did final poster projects. Working in groups of two to three students, each group selected a specific example of an environmental injustice and then created a poster on that case. CEL-supported instruction consisted of a combined IT/librarian class on poster creation and visual literacy, followed by an optional poster workshop, then a peer review session, and finally a poster session in the Atrium of the Ho Science Center. CEL also provided Wynn with a grading rubric for posters and other material she needed to teach this assignment. The poster session was well attended by students from outside the class, and Wynn was generally satisfied with the students’ work.

CORE Peru Times Two

There were two sections of CORE 177 – Peru in the spring of 2012, one taught by Prof. Amy Groleau and the other by Prof. Maureen Hays-Mitchell, and both of them used posters as the medium for their major research projects. Both followed a similar path of development with an initial librarian-led general information literacy class, then a combined IT/librarian class on poster creation and visual literacy, followed by an optional poster workshop, and finally the student oral presentations which used the poster as a prop to supplement the oral presentation. While both faculty were generally pleased with the quality of the posters, there was a sense that they were not used to their best advantage. Either a more conventional poster session should be arranged in the future, or there should also be some degree of discussion/instruction on oral presentations.

Nationalism and Arab Identity in the 20th Century

Students in Professor Noor Khan's history class on Nationalism and Arab Identity in the 20th Century (HIST 359, Fall 2011) prepared academic posters to communicate their findings with a broader audience. Khan had students write a longer paper on their topics, but she also wanted students to express their ideas through a poster in order to prioritize their major points and practice an economy of language. In a group review session, students presented their penultimate drafts and took comments on the cogency of their arguments, relevance of their evidence, and the effectiveness of their presentation. With the support of Charlotte Droll and Rebecca Hewitt (Libraries) and Ahmad Khazaee (ITS), students learned how to analyze arguments presented in this medium and to prepare effective instances of their own. Khan was pleased with the students' work, and the posters were displayed in the Level 3 reading area of Case-Geyer.

An Alternate Audience

Prof. Jonathan Levine approached CEL in the summer of 2011 with yet another interesting twist on the standard poster project. Following a colleague's suggestion, he wanted his Fall 2011 FSEM121, "The Air Up There," students to create academic posters for a session attended by Hamilton High School earth science students. This non-traditional class audience changed the role of the student presenters, making them more of the expert for their topic, and served to expand the nature and range of the questions they were asked. 

The poster session at the end of the semester was held in the halls of the first floor of the Ho Science Center, complete with the invited high-school students, teachers, and Colgate faculty attendees. Levine introduced the event (and the ever-popular refreshments) and then the Colgate experts discussed their research in a traditional poster session. 

The audience variance was emphasized in at least one topic. The student presenting on lake-effect snow needed to discuss the topic not only with high schoolers, but with Prof. Adam Burnett (GEOG), an expert in the field! And hopefully the audience continues to grow since the posters are still hanging in Ho. 

Levine has since presented the results of his assignment at a physics teaching symposium.

"Virtual" Posters

For her Fall 2011 Intro to Anthropology course, Professor Elana Shever, SOAN, wanted a student project which incorporated the aspects of posters (e.g., short, concise writing elements; visual components; group presentation) without the overhead of poster printing. We worked with her to create a virtual poster session, where student works were projected rather than printed. 

Still a concept in progress (it requires a special space and lot of time to configure a presentation space), Shever repeated this project in Spring 2012. Some of the special "poster" requirements for this type of project are being incorporated into our poster web site.

“Virtual” Posters II

Prof. Amy Groleau’s Spring 2012 Introduction to Anthropology, SOAN 102, class created virtual posters to complement their research papers on cultural change. Students worked in groups of four with each group focusing on a particular cultural community and each member of the group working on a particular dimension of cultural change underway in the community. The students produced individual research papers but came together in their groups to produce a poster and talk that explored all four cultural changes. The poster thus provided students with a space for collaborative work as well as an opportunity to tell their stories of cultural change using primarily visual images. Unfortunately, the layout of the classroom worked against the virtual posters as the posters were projected onto a screen located over the heads of the student presenters, and it was very difficult to see what was on the posters.

Core China & Core Peru

In fall 2010, Professor Carolyn Hsu (Core China) and Professor Maureen Hays-Mitchell (Core Peru) had their students create academic posters to build their visual literacy. These students worked to develop an argument that mixed sparse amounts of text with visual representations of data, such as charts, graphs, photos, etc. As part of a realistic poster presentation session, the students explained and defended their conclusions to their classmates. Afterward, the posters remained hanging in public areas for other members of the community to view.

Introduction to Anthropology / Margaret Wehrer (SOAN102)

Prof. Margaret Wehrer's first academic poster project in the Fall of 2008 was one of several informal experiments with this medium, transitioning into a full-fledged CEL project in Spring 2009. The goal of the Introduction to Anthropology poster project was to involve her students in the creation of academic work that transcended the traditional paper, exposing them to visual presentation elements and an audience beyond the professor. The students' works were to be presented not in a stack of papers to be read by Wehrer, but to an audience of their peers and others in a realistic academic poster session. Content -- ideas -- had to be synthesized into a very condensed, visual format, combining more selective, precise wording supplemented by graphical elements, and then presented and discussed with others in the class. 

Subsequent to the formal CEL project, Wehrer has continued to work with CEL members Debbie Krahmer, Clarence Maybee, and Dan Wheeler to refine the poster assignment over subsequent semesters, improving the technical and visual-arts orientation sessions with students, and refining the preliminary student assignments to better lead to a successful capstone poster. CEL has attempted to improve the technical processes to reduce the complexity and time required to create the posters, and has participated in the planning and conduct of the poster presentations (hosted in Case-Geyer), and has arranged for poster displays in the Library after the presentations. 

Student feedback to the poster projects has been very positive, and Wehrer has been particularly impressed with the capacity for this medium to allow students to review, understand, and reflect on the work of others.


Podcasting

Podcasting enables students to express their viewpoint and present their findings in a public manner, and provides the potential for a global audience for their scholarship. Students have the option to publish their work on iTunes, on Colgate's YouTube channel, or just within their course website.

Life of Muhammad (MIST216)

Prof. Aisha Musa had already completed several successful Wikipedia Editing projects, but for her Life of Muhammad class, she wanted something different. She wanted her students to not only be able to engage with the texts and and discover how aspects of the story of Muhammad developed, she wanted them to be able to communicate their learning to a larger audience. Through research and discussion, they were able to analyze, not just summarize what they had read, and then relate that to a general audience through the podcasts. These podcasts are available on Colgate's iTunesU channel.

Craft of Anthropologic Inquiry (SOAN 211)

In the fall of 2009, Emilio Spadola, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, wanted his Craft of Anthropologic Inquiry students to become more aware of the responsibility involved when representing other people as they took their initial steps in learning about anthropological research methods. In the past, Spadola had students in this class interview members of select Colgate communities and then produce a written report of their findings. 

This term, supported by CEL members Ray Nardelli and Clarence Maybee, Emilio had the students record their interviews and edit the recorded material into narratives. Using National Public Radio’s (NPR) This American Life series as a model, the students used hand-held recorders to collect interview material and learned to use GarageBand editing software to create digital stories that conveyed their analysis of a particular issue using firsthand accounts. At the end of the semester, each student presented the culmination of their semester-long work to the rest of the class.


Video Narratives

Combining a script with visual materials, Digital Storytelling/Video Narratives allow students to practice communicating in a mixed medium. Students will learn how to communicate to a broad audience, focusing on both visual and auditory aspects. Students will also learn the importance of copyright when working with YouTube and other social media in the classroom.

Urban Geography (GEOG311)

With her Fall 2012 Urban Geography class, Prof. Jessica Graybill incorporated two CEL-related projects, a Google Earth-based assignment and a video narrative. As it turned out, students on their own initiative incorporated what they learned about Google Earth into their video work.  

The Google Earth assignment focused on teaching students various city forms and types. Having learned the general types, such as feudal, socialist, post-industrial, etc., the students then sought out examples of each type on Google Earth. They also made a short tour linking three of their cities and saved that as a KML file. This assignment was accompanied by a librarian/IT instruction session.

For their video narrative projects, the students worked with the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees and interview immigrants to the United States about their experiences settling in Utica, N.Y. The students worked intensively with the IT staff of the new Digital Learning and Media Center and also received some library instruction on how best to obtain copyright-friendly images, video, and audio for their projects.

Global Environmental Justice (ENST 321)

Prof. Baptiste has done a number of video projects with CEL, but this was the first time for this particular class. She designed this assignment so that it was very clearly a research video project. Students worked in teams of two and followed a clearly articulated series of steps - topic selection, proposal and annotated bibliography, script and storyboard, draft video, peer review of draft video, and presentation of the final video combined with an oral presentation. The students were required to have done a significant amount of research before starting on the creation of their videos. Peter Rogers provided library support to assist the students with the research process and to find visual and audio sources for their videos, and Sarah Kunze provided technical training and support in the use of Final Cut Pro.

The Community-Based Study of the Environment (ENST390)

This is the second time that Prof. Baptiste has used a video project for this course. The focus of the course was the assessment of Colgate’s sustainability program and the exploring of future sustainability options. The videos produced by the 3-4 person student teams were designed to supplement their much longer reports on their topics. This was probably the greatest challenge for students, how to turn a detailed 30 page report in a five minute long video. Each of the videos produced by the class concentrated on one specific aspect of their larger projects. The videos thus serve as a teaser or trailer which could then lead an interested viewer to a more in-depth exploration of the topic. All of the videos included audio and video material recorded by the students. Peter Rogers provide library support to assist the students with the research process and to find visual and audio sources for their videos, and Sarah Kunze provided technical training and support in the use of Final Cut Pro.

Social Movements for Education (EDUC 415A)

Inspired by Professor Haberkorn's earlier CEL project, Nisha Thapliyal, Assistant Professor of Educational Studies, wanted her Social Movements for Education students to be able to communicate their learning to a general audience as well as through the scholarly vehicle of the academic paper. Therefore, with the support of CEL members Ray Nardelli, Clarence Maybee, and Debbie Krahmer, she asked her students to each produce one segment of a podcast series that was hosted in iTunes.

Students were first asked to critically evaluate education-related podcasts available on the web. This critical evaluation, which included appraising how effectively the authors used information sources, was reapplied at key points throughout the project, including a peer review of one another’s recordings and ultimately applied to their own individual podcast. Students recorded their individual podcasting in the Burke Audio Studio in Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology and learned to use GarageBand editing software to edit their recording independently. 

Having to present their conclusions in a popular medium was quite challenging for the students, requiring them to rethink how to boil down their academic findings to be digestible for an audience of laypeople. However, the students also came to realize the significance of sharing their work with a wider audience — many reporting that sharing their semester’s conclusions in iTunes motivated them to greater heights.

Extended Study in Rome and Pompeii (CLAS250EA)

This spring, Prof. Rebecca Ammerman repeated her successful video project on another extended study trip, this time to Rome and Pompeii. The course examines both public and private life in ancient times and looks at every socio-economic class. While the focus is on Rome, the agricultural and seaside towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum are also studied. Through the texts of Livy, Tacitus, Virgil and other selected readings, students will follow the rise of Rome from its Etruscan origins to the height of its empire. Participants are also required to take on a semester-long research project to be presented on-site in Italy and create a five to 10-minute video narrative on life in Pompeii focused on one of three houses: The House of the Faun, The House of Menander, and the House of the Ship Europa. Students were assigned identities within the family and showed in their videos how those family members and servants lived life in ancient Pompeii. 

Working with Sarah Kunze and Debbie Krahmer, students learned how to use iPads to take still pictures, shoot video, record voice-overs and interviews and then combine all of their footage and edit it using iMovie. Listen to Ammerman and a couple of her students reflect on their experiences after participating in both extended study groups on the CEL website.

Extended Study in Greece (CLAS250EA)

Prof. Rebecca Ammerman and her 11 students went to Greece on a three-week extended study trip after studying the previous semester. Ancient Athens was the focus of the course that traced the rise of the Greek city-state, or polis, with all of its political, economic, social, and religious institutions. The course examined the different structures that defined the identity of an individual in ancient Greece in chronological sequence, from the earliest urban centers of the Bronze Age up to the conquest of the independent city-states by Philip of Macedon in 338 B.C.E. The identity of an individual, not only within a single polity but also within the broader Pan-Hellenic context, was investigated.

During the previous semester, students worked with Sarah Kunze and Debbie Krahmer to learn Final Cut Studio and practiced the skills they would need to complete a video narrative project while in Greece. More information and footage from the trip can be seen on the Classics website.

Ecologies of the City (GEOG322)

In Spring 2012, Jessica Graybill repeated her successful video narrative project with her Ecologies of the City class. Students researched different cities and created video projects that demonstrated their understanding of ecologies of cities, systems mapping, and the production of spatial ecologies of the city. Applying both theoretical and methodological perspectives on ecologies of the city learned in the various course components (readings, discussions, workshop projects, and video creation), students became proficient in geographic approaches to this emerging field of inquiry and practice.

Working with Sarah Kunze and Charlotte Droll, the students created three to four-minute video narratives on their chosen cities. Projects are posted on YouTube with an introduction by Graybill.

Community Based Study - Environmental Issues (ENST390)

Disseminating the results of local research to a global audience was the motivation for students to prepare video narratives about Colgate campus sustainability projects. In addition to writing an extensive report, students in Professor April Baptiste's ENST 390 Community-Based Study of Environmental Issues identified a focus that could be effectively communicated in that medium and to a campus and global audience. Students created brief (3-5 minutes) narratives that summarized the issue and laid out their recommendations.  

Working with Sarah Kunze and Ray Nardelli (Information Technology Services) and Charlotte Droll (University Libraries) students analyzed video examples in light of recommended elements, drafted their own scripts, and gave each other feedback. They consciously wrestled with how to get at and keep a single focus amidst complex issues. One student noted: "It forced me to synthesize the main points made by our interviewees, and figure out what was most important to portray and how to portray it. This, in turn, increased my understanding of the project and made writing the paper easier." Another student said: "Video plays an increasingly important role in communication, education, and marketing. The more comfortable I get with this software and the general film-making process, the more valuable these skills become."  

In reflecting on the experience Baptiste indicated: "I wanted to have my students illustrate a sustainability problem currently facing Colgate and then be able to explain that to a non-specialist audience. They were to take a component of their larger research paper and create a video to demonstrate this to a general audience. The students were nervous and concerned about making the video at the start of the semester, but when they saw the finished projects, they were in awe."

Special Education (EDUC307/507)

Sheila Clonan, Assistant Professor of Educational Studies, repeated her successful Digital Storytelling project in her Special Education 307 class in the Spring of 2014. Based on the feedback from last year’s project, she updated her timeline and milestones, and focused on making the stories more personal. By shortening the timeline for completing the project, she allowed her students to focus on the other tasks in the class. In the end, the students were able to create beautiful videos over a short time period, telling personal stories of disability/ability, media stereotypes, and the everyday life of a person with a disability.

Supported by CEL Members Sarah Kunze and Debbie Krahmer, Clonan had her students complete an early proposal for their projects at the start of the semester. An in-class Story Circle was used for the students to present their rough drafts or ideas and receive feedback from peers. The students were given only three weeks from the Final Cut Pro workshop to when the projects were due. During this time, they worked on their own with the assistance of the DLMC staff in Case-Geyer. A week before they were due, they handed in a draft that was peer reviewed by three of their classmates. Once all the films were handed in, a special screening was held in the Persson Auditorium. 

By adjusting the due dates and requiring the peer review, the students were encouraged to focus on their video projects and avoid procrastination. The students remarked that working one-on-one with various staff was the best way to learn video editing. “[The project] was fun once I got into it,” said one student, who described herself as “completely computer illiterate.”   

After the project was completed, Clonan reflected on the two different approaches to using digital storytelling in the classroom. “I really enjoyed the project this year as well- being due earlier, etc., and look forward to doing it again next year,” she said. “Oddly, when I tried asking them to discuss reactions orally in class, I didn't get much; but their final papers reflecting on the project revealed the significance/contribution of the project to their learning.”

The American School (EDUC101)

The Educational Studies department has long utilized digital projects to supplement their other assignments. In particular, one course has been creating video narratives for a couple of years with three different professors. The American School, an introductory analysis of American education, has been assigning a video for the student's personal reflection of an educational encounter for about 3 years. Prof. Anna Rios brought this particular assignment with her when she came to Colgate and others in the department have found it so effective that they are also giving this assignment.

The learning goal for the students was to combine effective visual components to their thoughts, and to be able to distill their reflections and analyses via an alternate, artistic medium. In addition to Prof. Rios, both Prof. Woolley and Prof. Stern have given this assignment with great results. The videos are not posted publicly, as they are of a personal nature and not appropriate for YouTube, but each class has had screenings for all the students to appreciate the work done by their classmates.

Life in the Universe: A Cosmic Perspective (CORE122S)

After attending the viewing of a colleague's video narrative project in Mechanical Physics, Prof. Tom Balonek decided to have his CORE122 students collaborate in groups of 2 or 3 to create videos instead of writing papers in his Life in the Universe class. The students created videos from their research incorporating images from NASA and other government websites as well as animations, and original video. One of the primary goals of this project was to have the students convey what they learned in the course and their individual research to a non-expert audience.

Science Librarian Peter Tagtmeyer worked with the class on their research and Sr. Instructional Technologist Sarah Kunze taught the Final Cut Pro workshops. The class had chance to peer review the videos prior to handing them in using Google Drive and Docs for access and comments.

Prof. Balonek found the project so successful he's planning on repeating it the next time he teaches this course.

Documenting Colgate History (HIST200)

Students in two sections of History Workshop (HIST 200) created documentary videos presenting three-minute histories explaining people and events from Colgate’s past. Topics included the controversy surrounding President Cutten, the student-led push to build Dana Center for the Arts, student protests to save the Old Biology building (current day Hascal Hall), as well as many other topics.  

Professors Rob Nemes and Alan Cooper worked with the CEL team of Francesca Livermore, Sarah Kunze, and Clarence Maybee, adapting CEL’s digital storytelling framework to create documentary films. The students were prepared to make their own films by critiquing a number of historical films for content as well as documentary techniques. Students worked with Special Collections and University Archives to research their topics and find and digitize images to use in their documentaries. Workshops were held to teach the students to use FinalCut Pro to create and edit their videos. Various in-class review sessions on defining their topic and developing their scripts helped the students meet the challenge of making concise arguments with appropriate evidence to persuade their audience in the space of a three-minute documentary film. The students also wrote a research paper on the same topic as their videos. Some students reported that working within the confined space of the three-minute video helped them to identify the key points they needed to zero in on to write a more effect paper.

The final videos were posted to playlists on YouTube.


Wikipedia Editing

Wikipedia assignments give students valuable insight into a resource they use every day. Some assignment options include editing an article, analyzing an article's resources, adding more citations & reference to an existing article, or tracking the development/changes in an article over a semester. 

Legacies of the Ancient World/Women in Islam (CORE 151/RELG234)
By assigning her students to select and then edit a Wikipedia article based on their research, Professor Musa wanted her students to experience how it feels to be a professional scholar. The students were aware from the start that people all over the English-speaking world would be reading their changes, and that other editors would be critical over their contributions. The students felt an extra sense of scholarly responsibility to present an accurate, well-documented, neutral and factual accounting of the topic they spent the semester researching. They also appreciate that their hard work and research will continue to live on and educate other people long after they’ve received their grades.

Examples of their work can be seen here and <a href=" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_Program:Colgate_University/Women_in_Islam_%28Spring_2014%29">here.
Legacies of the Past/Women & Religious (CORE151/RELG234)

Professor Musa first heard about Wikipedia editing projects during her first White Eagle Core Curriculum meeting. Intrigued by what other professors have done at Colgate, she contacted CEL about doing her own editing project. Working with Campus Ambassadors Debbie Krahmer and Sarah Kunze, Professor Musa took advantage of the Wikimedia Education Program to manage 3 semesters of projects. So far, Professor Musa has assigned Wikipedia editing to her CORE151 Legacies of the Past, RELG234 Women & Religious Traditions: Islam, and RELG247 Death and Afterlife: Islam.

By assigning her students to select and then edit a Wikipedia article based on their research, Professor Musa wanted her students to experience how it feels to be a professional scholar. The students were aware from the start that people all over the English-speaking world would be reading their changes, and that other editors would be critical over their contributions. The students felt an extra sense of scholarly responsibility to present an accurate, well-documented, neutral and factual accounting of the topic they spent the semester researching. They also appreciate that their hard work and research will continue to live on and educate other people long after they’ve received their grades.

Over the course of 3 semesters, the project has been updated and refined so that students are able to confidently pursue their research as well as receive guidance on properly editing articles. The students start their projects early, comparing Wikipedia articles to scholarly encyclopedias. Then they must write an in-depth critique of a Wikipedia article with an eye towards what improvements could be made. The students are then put into groups where each group member must justify their choice and negotiate with teammates to identify the best article for the team to work on. The rest of the semester is spent in collaboration with each other, the professor, and the Wikipedia Ambassadors to develop a solid plan supported by research to improve the article. Over the last week of the class, the students edit their article’s page live, making adjustments on the fly due to the constantly evolving nature of Wikipedia.

Modern Middle East History (HIS459)
In the spring 2010 semester, Professor Noor Khan challenged her senior seminar students to improve sections of Wikipedia as part of her History 459 course on Modern Middle East History. Course requirements also included active participation in class discussions, oral presentations, and a lengthy traditional research paper. The Wikipedia assignment was designed to accomplish the following learning goals:
  • YouTube Video
  • Consideration of multiple readers' perspectives and writing for diverse audiences
  • Development of critical literacy skills such as evaluating the quality of existing content and the sources that it is based on
  • Appreciating the issues involved in being part of a larger intellectual enterprise and collaborating to create scholarly content
Students received instruction on working in Wikipedia from CEL member Dave Baird. They were assisted with creating user names, adding and editing content, and conducting discussions that explained their changes to existing authors. Khan felt that the project succeeded in forcing the students to change from consumers of information to creators of knowledge, and in honing their skills in prioritizing their content so that it would fit in a typical Wiki-length article. She was impressed at how engaged the students were due to the public nature of their projects, and how mindful they were of being part of a global editing community.

Collaborative Annotations

Collaborative Annotation projects can involve all sorts of materials, from class notes to novels to film. With wikis or Google Sites, one can easily create an interactive, collaborative arena for students to annotate obscure references with images, expand on materials covered in class through video clips, or to make hyperlinked connections between annotations/materials that might not have been covered in class.

Contemporary British Fiction / John Connor
Assistant Professor of English John Connor wanted his students to compile a scholarly apparatus for understanding a very dense novel in his Contemporary British Fiction class. After consulting with Learning Commons Librarian Debbie Krahmer and Senior Instructional Technologist Dan Wheeler, Connor developed a Google Site for the class. Students were assigned to identify one obscure reference each class period, research that reference, and then write up an annotation on the Google Site to help other students navigate through the text. The entire class participated, writing up short explanations of arcane references, adding in video or images where appropriate, and connecting it to other references or explaining its importance to the novel. Students were able to link to further resources, cite materials, and connect their annotations to other student annotations on the Google Site. In the end, the students had compiled a large reading guide to assist their navigation of the text. Students reported that they enjoyed researching the annotations, and that it gave them a sense of control over a difficult and unwieldy text. Connor is looking forward to repeating this exercise in future classes, with other novels.

Concept Maps

Concept maps are visual representations of how ideas relate to each other. Students can draw connections between works of art, literature, images, video files, or other media. Concept maps can be used as a presentation tool, as an organization tool for a paper, or as part of a class-wide project connecting ideas across an entire semester.

Core Modernity (CORE152)
Motivated by a desire to deepen her Core 152 students' understanding of the many and varied connections among the ideas addressed in the course to their contemporary lives, Monika Burczyk had her students create concept maps to visually illustrate the number, quality, and kind of connections they could make. Working with Charlotte Droll (University Libraries) and Sarah Kunze (Information Technology Services), students used a concept mapping software that allowed them to embed text, images, sound, and video clips to represent and enrich their points; students also explored issues surrounding the appropriate use of others' creations and became aware of media materials available for common public use. Students worked in small groups and presented their concept maps in class as prompts for discussion. Students were generally surprised at the number of connections they were able to identify once they got going and found that they were able to represent connections in this visual format that they might not have been able to otherwise. One student even reported using the approach for a different assignment. The instructor found it a useful way to assess the students' understanding and independently re-used the approach for a different assignment for spring 2011.

Digital Mapping

We live in a world saturated with maps and geospatial data.  Easy to use online tools allow virtually anyone to be their own cartographer.  Projects in this area give students opportunities to find and use maps and spatial information, and to create their maps.

Urban Geography (GEOG309)
With her fall 2012 Urban Geography class, Prof. Jessica Graybill incorporated two CEL-related projects, a Google Earth-based assignment and a video narrative. As it turned out, students on their own initiative incorporated what they learned about Google Earth into their video work.  

The Google Earth assignment focused on teaching students various city forms and types. Having learned the general types, such as feudal, socialist, post-industrial, etc., the students then sought out examples of each type on Google Earth. They also made a short tour linking three of their cities and saved that as a KML file. This assignment was accompanied by a librarian/IT instruction session.

For their video narrative projects, the students worked with the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees and interview immigrants to the United States about their experiences settling in Utica, N.Y. The students worked intensively with the IT staff of the new Digital Learning and Media Center and also received some library instruction on how best to obtain copyright-friendly images, video, and audio for their projects.
Human Rights and Geospatial Monitoring (PCON 301)
As a part of her fall 2012 course on Human Rights and Human Security, Professor Susan Thompson wanted to introduce her class to the way in which human rights protection has been affected the proliferation of space-based surveillance systems and digital mapping tools. In addition to reading:
Bromley, Lars (2009) "Eye in the Sky: Monitoring Human Rights Abuses Using Geospatial Technology." Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 10(1): 160.

Thompson wanted her class to have some hands-on practical experience with the technology discussed in the article. A librarian-led session on Google Earth was conducted that introduced students to the basics of Google Earth navigation and how to find and download human-rights geospatial data in KML files. Particular emphasis was placed on AAS Geotechnologies and Human Rights Project web site, http://srhrl.aaas.org/geotech/. While there was no specific assignment associated with this project, the students were enthusiastic about using Google Earth as a tool for studying human rights, and Thompson was pleased with the outcome.

Analysis & Visualizations

Students use data and textual basis for creating visualizations and then use these visualizations as another way to analyze their projects.

Shakespeare (ENGL322B)
The King Lear project involved the use of NodeXL, a Social Network Analysis (SNA) tool that creates visualization of certain relationships. This preliminary project focused on the first scene of King Lear and, through visualizations constructed using student-generated data, the class was able to visually analyze character interaction.
Research Methods in Sociology (SOCI250) and Sociology of Education (SOCI303)

Professor Janel Benson, the team leader for the Mellon Grant “Quantitative Literacy for the Humanistic Social Sciences", collaborated with Professors Alicia Simmons, Mary Simonson, and Meg Worley to create analytic learning modules that teach students how to use quantitative information and technology to critically evaluate the complexities of the social world. CEL members Debbie Krahmer and Ahmad Khazaee supported the goals of this project through developing two-day workshops on creating infographics and data visualizations. During 2013-14, Krahmer and Khazaee offered three of these workshops in Prof Janel Benson's courses. These workshops taught students the principles of effective data visualization and how to use simple tools, such as PowerPoint, easel.ly, and copyright-friendly graphics, to create powerful visual illustrations of numeric relationships.

Sport & the Scientific Method (CORE100)

As part of his Core Scientific Perspectives course, Sport & the Scientific Method, Professor Ken Segall routinely assigns a data collection and analysis project to his students. The students are asked to develop a question about sports which can be answered by quantitative data, collect the data needed, and then analyze the data in order to answer the question. Two forms of support were provided for Prof. Segall’s course. First, Peter Rogers created a course guide that guided students to a variety of sports data sources. Second, Peter and Zlatko Grozl co-taught a class where students learned how to download and “scrap” data from sports data websites using both Mac and Windows-based computers. Prof. Segall was pleased with the course guide and instruction provided, and sports data resources on the course guide are being incorporated into the Libraries’ data discovery site.

Blog and Website Creation

Through learning to create blogs and websites, students can create digital-born essays and journals that can reach a greater audience and benefit from real-time annotations and commentary.

Children's Theater Workshop (ENGL 357)
In the spring of 2014 as part of ENGL 357 Children’s Theater Workshop, 15 students took place in an assignment where the students documented the process of making a play. Students utilized the i-pad and blog creation to enhance classroom and studio learning. The result was quite interesting and provided a more immediate way for Professor Sweeny to be in contact with the student’s creative impulse and research. The top blogs were shared with the public attending the performances. After the performances where over the students presented their own blogs to their classmates and talked about an example from another blog that stimulated their thinking.