In the academic year 2014-15, Five College Blended Learning funded 6 projects.These projects are described briefly below, and linked through to the content that those courses created in our digital repository.
Wako Tawa (Asian Languages and Civilizations , Amherst College ): The goal of this project is to create different types of learning tools with which students in introductory Japanese can practice before coming to each class. This approach will enable us to focus on the functional aspects of practice and assessment in the classroom. This project therefore focuses on developing materials to facilitate the mechanical aspects of learning, such as vocabulary, everyday expressions, numbers, reading characters and producing simple sentences (asking questions and responding) among others.
Al Mosley (Philosophy , Smith College ) and Ira Fay (Computer Science and Game Design , Hampshire College ): The goal of this project is to develop online exercises and a game prototype to support an undergraduate Introduction to Logic course. The course and additional materials especially hope to engage math-phobic students while fighting racial and gender bias.
Morena Svaldi (Italian , Mount Holyoke College ), Bruno Grazioli (Italian , Smith College ), and Maria Succi-Hempstead (Italian , Smith College ): The goal of this project is to develop tutorials and audio conversations for out of class work that will allow students to improve the listening and comprehension skills, to review, practice and consolidate the instruction they receive in class. The constant use of new tools will allow students to be regularly updated on the course program and prepared to engage in class activities. By integrating a recording component, students will practice and express themselves in Italian more often outside the class and in a more creative way.
Eric Poehler (Classics , UMass ): The goal of this project is to repurpose research materials to allow students to not only read about archaeological methods and sites, but to interact and engage with those methods and site virtually, using the real fieldwork data. An interactive and immersive set of virtual archaeological exercises will be built in order to engage students with the Classical past in ways hitherto not possible outside of a fieldschool environment.
Brian McDermott (Visual Journalism , UMass ): The goal of this project is to produce an open-access visual storytelling curriculum to cover the basics of visual literacy, ethics and production skills. It aims to create online lessons that will allow online training to be done as homework, leaving more time for group discussion and creative projects in the classroom.