Instructor: Mikhail Gronas, Russian
Overview: Students of “less commonly taught” languages (such as Russian, Arabic, Asian Languages) have fewer opportunities to practice outside the classroom than their peers in more popular languages. The main idea behind Russian Linguo-Chat is to address this problem by introducing a new venue for language practice both within Dartmouth and among those who study Russian at other universities. Russian Linguo-Chat will enable students of various levels of Russian to communicate with each other outside the classroom, to connect with their peers on the same proficiency level at other participating colleges, and, finally, to practice with native-speakers. This project proposes to use a new type of language exercise: a chat-room assignment. Periodically, students will be asked to engage in a chat-room conversation in 2 a controlled environment with one of their own (or with a parallel student at another school, or with a “guest” native speaker), and then to submit the log of the chat session to the instructor.
Instructor: Adrian Randolph, Art History
Overview: This proposal aims to furnish students participating in the 2005 Art History Foreign Study Program with the opportunity to study Roman art and architecture in a manner that heightens their visual awareness of the objects they examine, while simultaneously prompting them to reflect critically on the manner in which they present the results of their examinations. Digital video as a medium can help me achieve these pedagogic goals.
Working in groups, students will produce short videos addressing major monuments and/or themes. Their projects will require that they pursue supervised research on the subject at hand, plan out their campaign of ‘filming’ in concert with the development of a voice-over, and then edit their work into a short video for presentation to the entire class. This form of directed research matches the study of visual culture with a medium that emphasizes visual attentiveness. For in planning out their camera angles and sequences, and in contending with the vagaries of weather and light, students confront fundamental issues at stake in all interpretation of visual materials. Demanding that students spend time on-site, grappling with the physical circumstances and context of the object they are examining, they are compelled to ponder the contingent and diachronic nature of spectatorship. What is more, in grafting their own explanatory texts onto a visual stream, students are made acutely aware of the dynamic relation between word and image.
Instructor: Robert L. Welsch, Department of Anthropology
Project: Anthropology students have watched documentary films and videos about the world’s exotic peoples for many decades. These carefully edited films illustrate different ways of life and different cultures. But such documentaries rarely allow students to observe how anthropologists actually conduct interviews, sift through contradictory interview data, or reach conclusions. This project was designed specifically to address this limitation in existing ethnographic and anthropological videos.
During a month-long research field trip to Papua New Guinea Welsch interviewed Papua New Guineans about a variety of different topics. These interviews were videotaped on mini-DVs with the assistance of Kellen Haak (Registrar of the Hood Museum) and Sebastian Haraha (Senior Technical Officer at the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery) who accompanied Welsch on the field trip. With the assistance of Alice Matthias ’07 who served as video editor, Welsch used Blackboard to distribute several 15-30 minute clips, allowing students in Anthro 1 (Intro to Anthropology), Anthro 3 (Intro to Cultural Anthropology), Anthro 17 (Anthropology of Health and Illness), and Anthro 38 (Peoples of Oceania) to see some of these interview clips and make sense of this raw anthropological data.
These video clips show how anthropologists conduct interviews in difficult and exotic settings. They illustrate how anthropological informants can disagree with one another, and how a single informant can draw upon a complex mix of explanations. These video clips allow students to try to reach conclusions from confusing, ambiguous, and conflicting informant statements in much the same ways that professional anthropologists do in their own research. The project demonstrates the utility of using field video clips in the classroom, and the effectiveness of Blackboard as a means of providing student access to these materials.
Instructor: Benjamin Forest, Department of Geography
Project: Residential racial and ethnic segregation in American cities has evolved and persisted for well over 100 years. Census data provide a rich source of information about demographic patterns, but it is difficult to comprehend these patterns without maps and other visual aids. The Visualizing Segregation website includes several resources to help students understand current patterns of housing segregation, and some of the dynamics that produce and maintain these patterns.
The site features a java-based segregation simulator that demonstrates different dynamics of segregation based on residential preference and aversion. Students can set preferences and aversions based on similarity and dissimilarity of neighbors, and can create zones of exclusivity. The simulator allows students to change the parameters of the model to visualize the effects that these changes have on residential patterns. Moreover, the simulator calculates three common measures of residential segregation (the index of dissimilarity, an isolation index, and an entropy index) to allow students to compare the visual patterns of segregation with quantitative measures.
We are planning to add a separate web application which will enable students to use 2000 Census population data to visualize and analyze current patterns of racial and ethnic segregation. Students will be able to select groups of Census blocks or tracts, to create thematic maps of these areas, and to calculate the same three indices of segregation used in the segregation simulator.
Project Site: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~segregation/
Instructor: Karen Gocsik, Director of Composition and Chair of English 2-3
Overview: With the advent of technology, both the process and the products of undergraduate scholarship are changing.
Our students are now faced, while composing, with a plethora of research challenges, and so need to develop information literacy skills that enable them to identify their information needs; to locate information sources; to assess the credibility of information; and to use information for their own academic interests and purposes.
Furthermore, student scholarship is no longer limited to composing “papers.” Increasingly, faculty have been asking students to produce multi-media scholarship that incorporates images, audio, and video, or that uses advanced applications in the sciences.
Because the scholarly challenges put to our students have become increasingly demanding and complex, our students require a more ambitious and comprehensive student support service. Accordingly, the Composition Center, the Library, and Academic Computing have collaborated to create RWIT: the Student Center for Research, Writing, and Information Technology. RWIT is a centralized service that integrates writing, research, and IT tutoring to produce a complete and systematic support effort for Dartmouth students. Such a service is the first of its kind, thereby establishing Dartmouth as a leader in what is sure to be a trend in multi-media composition and integrated student support services.