Christopher Gilman and Jacob Alden Sargent (Occidental College)
In the 2013-14 academic year, Occidental College launched a media display and web-based content sharing system called Global Crossroads. The centerpiece of a major campus renovation, the display system comprises 10 video screens, which are distributed in a 2-story media wall. It allows students, faculty, and staff of the College to author multimedia scholarly projects comprised of individual content resources.
At our BUDSC15 panel presentation “Who’s Listening? Creating Intentional Publics” we received strong interest in developing capacity for sharing and deploying the Global Crossroads system at other institutions. This led to a pilot of an inter-institutional course collaboration with Heidi Knoblauch at Bard College and subsequent working group to convene at this summer’s ILiADS conference at Hamilton College.
We propose a “works in progress” session to further develop inter-institutional collaboration by focusing on ways the Global Crossroads system, as well as other platforms, can be a means for sharing scholarly content across institutions, using the course, rather than a digital project, as the basic unit of connection. We situate this approach within a more general provocation: student work within digital projects is often either too constrained to be meaningful as a form of intellectual expression, or it lacks the sophistication to be presented to wide audiences. In addition, projects require work flows and management processes that add a layer of complexity to curriculum design; and idiosyncratic course structures make iterative improvements in digital pedagogy difficult.
We suggest that inter-institutional collaborations may be fostered by focusing on inquiry-based course collaborations around the collection and analysis of primary digital resources shared between institutions with common course goals, student learning activities and work products. Our presentation is intended to solicit interest in further collaboration on designing a unified template for an inquiry-based course involving undergraduate research in the curriculum, the fundamental elements of which would include: topic constraints, source materials, methods of inquiry, and sequenced processes of critical analysis and production.
Christopher Gilman is Associate Director of the Center for Digital Liberal Arts and Affiliated Faculty in Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture at Occidental College. His work centers on the design and development of programs, curriculum, learning spaces and infrastructure for integrating digital methods into scholarly practice. Gilman has a PhD in Slavic languages and literatures and significant professional experience in both K12 and post-secondary education. His research interests include the intellectual history and cultural practice of semiotic theory, Russian and Western Avant-gardes, visual and material culture and innovative pedagogies.
Jacob Alden Sargent, Associate Director Center for Digital Liberal Arts, earned his BA in music and sociology from Bates College and his PhD in sociology from the University of Virginia. He leads the College’s Instruction and Research team in scholarship technology, developing, planning, and delivering academic and informational technologies for the liberal arts context. Sargent publishes on labor and technology in knowledge and culture industries and teaches courses on higher education, public sociology, social movements, and new media. Previously he served as a faculty fellow at the University of Virginia’s Teaching Resource Center, where he was also a lecturer in sociology.