• Looking Back, Looking Forward

    Dartmouth’s Experiential Learning Initiative Dartmouth’s Experiential Learning Initiative, launched in summer 2015 as part of President Hanlon’s academic vision for the college, has reached its midway point. With two-and-a-half-years in the books and just over two to go, Associate Director for Experiential Learning Ashley Kehoe is looking back at the diverse and numerous accomplishments of the initiative so far, and looking ahead to what is still to come. Established to support and expand upon a tradition of experiential learning at Dartmouth, the initiative has provided funding, partnership, and a community of practice for faculty and staff to offer intentional, reflective, and applied learning experiences for students. Broadly defined, experiential learning at…

  • Space for Learning

    Across many fields, from engineering to fashion design, consumer behavior to public health, education to human evolution and countless others, researchers and practitioners rely on a fundamental principle in their work: our physical environments affect us. The spaces that we occupy and the elements of those spaces, whether intentionally designed or not, play important roles in shaping our behaviors, thoughts, feelings, and interactions. Some of these effects we understand intuitively—natural lighting can improve mood, bright colors can affect motivation, excessive noise can induce stress—and others we’ve gleaned over decades of careful research. The findings of this research are proving useful to those whose business it is to influence others. Health…

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  • Organic Chemistry & the Science of Learning

    Walk into most chemistry classes on the first day of term and you likely won’t hear about Hattie’s Barometer. Though it sounds conceivably like a lab instrument one might use to monitor the reactions of chemical compounds, it actually does nothing of the sort. In fact, it’s unrelated to the periodic table, to molecules, bonds, atoms, or ions, and pretty much everything else related to chemistry. So one might wonder (and her students do) what Hattie’s Barometer is doing in Dr. Cathy Welder’s first day of Organic Chemistry 2. The answer, says Welder, is metacognition. Developed by University of Melbourne Professor of Education John Hattie in 2009, Hattie’s Barometer measures the effects…

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  • MOOCs, Museums, & Public Radio

    What do a MOOC, a museum, and a public radio broadcast all have in common? The obvious answer (this week at Dartmouth, anyway) is Associate Professor Jerry DeSilva’s new open online course, Bipedalism: The Science of Upright Walking, which began today via DartmouthX. The course, which explores how and why humans developed the unusual locomotive method of walking on two legs, incorporates a virtual tour of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Human Origins and an episode of the podcast Radiolab, which looks closely at a fossilized human skull. Among the wide collection of course materials, which includes five full units of short videos, fascinating articles, inquiry activities, discussions among global peers, a 3D…

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  • Time for Teaching: Active Learning and the Modern Librarian

    Think of a librarian. Hold the image in your mind. Now consider that if you’re picturing a quiet, cardigan-wearing, bespectacled caretaker of books and shusher of patrons, your image is woefully outdated. Though this outdated image still occupies much of our collective imagination, the work of the library professional has evolved dramatically over the last several decades. In fact, the library professional today—and particularly the academic librarian—is as likely to be found teaching alongside faculty or engaging students in experiential learning as they are to be found cataloguing periodicals or sitting behind a circulation desk. Indeed, as information has become universal, technology has become ubiquitous, and the creation of new…

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  • Engineered for Learning

    When Associate Professor Eric Hansen began teaching electrical engineering at Thayer in the early 1980s, the tech world was regaling the debut of the personal computer and the intricate microprocessors–developed by electrical engineers–that made them possible. With the arrival of programmable components in the 1990s, engineers could fit more functionality into a tiny package, and they began to use code, rather than primitive equations, to capture elaborate designs. Smaller, faster, cheaper was the name of the game, following a long-term trend known as Moore’s Law. Through these successive waves of technology change, students in Hansen’s Digital Electronics course, ENGS 31, have learned how to manipulate bits—the tiny units of data that tell computers what…

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  • War Stories: Modern Vets Meet Ancient Texts

    When Classics Professor Roberta Stewart began reading war stories with veterans, it was less a professional undertaking than a passion project she’d dreamt up during a reflective moment in her career. She had been teaching Latin, Greek, and ancient history at Dartmouth for 18 years when she decided in 2008 to embark on what she has since called “some of the most important work that I do.” She began by inviting local veterans to join her in reading one of two works by Homer,The Odyssey or The Iliad, over the course of fourteen weeks at Hanover’s Howe Library. Discussions there drew parallels between what Homer understood about war and homecoming in ancient times, and what soldiers…

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  • ‘Doing’ Sociology

    On a Monday morning near the middle of spring term, students sit huddled in two small groups facing a 15-foot, 8-screen video wall inside the Jones Media Center’s Innovation Studio. The wall is divided, with four screens on the left reflecting one digital landscape, the four on the right another, both futuristic scenes in moody shades of blue and green with orange haze rising in the distance. These scenes, depicting the year 2557, are the setting of first-person video game Halo Combat Evolved. The students sit poised before each scene, controllers in hand, ready to deploy weapons, defend against enemies, and move up through the ranks as soldiers in the field.…

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  • Intro to German Opera: A DartmouthX Encore From Professor Steve Swayne

    The recent launch of Introduction to German Opera, a MOOC (massive open online course) offered through DartmouthX, is a return to the global stage for Music Professor Steve Swayne and a new contribution to online Arts & Humanities offerings, of which there are relatively few. Dartmouth Music Professor Steve Swayne’s Introduction to German Opera is available now on the EdX platform. Get a taste with the course welcome video here. According to Online Course Report’s State of the MOOC 2016, Humanities course offerings have declined rapidly from 20 percent of overall subject distribution in 2013 to less than 10 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, universities are graduating more and more students from STEM disciplines. Stanford, for one, reports that…

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  • Tuck Launches Dartmouth’s First EdX Certificate Program

    This week, Tuck School of Business launched the first Dartmouth professional certificate program in partnership with online platform, edX. The program, Retail and Omnichannel Management, is designed like edX’s other professional certificate programs for learners to “develop the critical skills needed for today’s top jobs through a series of in-demand courses.” Courses in the series include Retail Fundamentals and Omnichannel Strategy and Management, and are taught by Santiago Gallino, Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the Tuck School, and Antonio Morena-Garcia, Associate Professor of Operations at the Kellogg School of Management. “This is an example of the new types of learning experiences being offered online,” says Instructional Desinger and DartmouthX project lead Mike Goudzwaard, a partner in…

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