Instructor: Rich Kremer, History
Project: Quick Start Program
I propose to create voice-over PowerPoint lectures to supply two lectures while traveling abroad in Spring 2009. These presentations will be placed in Blackboard, with discussion board used for questions and feedback to ensure that students view the lectures when scheduled on the course syllabus. Other uses of the tool for teaching will be explored.
The project will include written feedback on process of creating the voice over lectures and utilizing this methodology for teaching. I propose to ask students in the Blackboard discussion Board (or survey tool) what they think about the voice-over lectures.
Instructor: Jonathan Chipman, Departments of Geography and Earth Sciences
Project: The primary obstacles to wider adoption of geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analysis within the curriculum include limited knowledge of and experience with this technology on the part of instructors; few good models or examples of the use of GIS in the curriculum, outside of geography courses; inherent complexity of the technology. This project is designed to address these obstacles and to help expand the use of spatial information in courses across the College. First, it will enable multiple faculty members to address specific educational goals through the development of course-specific GIS-based activities. Second, it will be broadly applicable, including courses in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Third, it will provide several innovative models to demonstrate the applicability of GIS and spatial analysis in different types of courses across campus. The courses for the coming year include: GEOG 1 and GEOG 59 (Fall 2008), EARS 63 (Spring 2009).
Instructor: Deborah Brooks, Government
Project: Many candidates and campaign consultants believe that politics can only be learned in the real world of applied political campaigning. Most professors of politics believe that politics can best be learned by studying politics in books. Both groups are about half right: politics — particularly political communication — can best be learned with a combination of both of those approaches. Across academic fields, studies have shown that learning is enhanced through a combination of traditional classroom learning and active learning through class simulations.
The requested project funding will be utilized for technology and technological support for the simulation component in a senior seminar in political communication offered through the Government Department at Dartmouth College. Specifically, Dartmouth Venture funding will allow for the acquisition of video technology that can allow for the production of television and radio advertisements, video newscasts, and media coverage for the simulated campaign. Moreover, the video equipment will be used for the taping of video segments of “advisors” (real candidates, journalists, etc.) that will be integrated throughout the course. The video equipment will also be utilized to capture footage that will be integrated into a short documentary of the simulation activities. This documentary can be used as a model for other professors or students engaged in these types of simulations in the future.
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/