End of First Semester Pilot Courses: (May 2017)
Excerpt from Deans Report, April 10, 2017
The purpose of the Crossroads Shared Languages Program is to offer a broader selection of language courses than any one college could offer by itself with its current staffing. Traditional or established languages, such as German or French, have been experiencing under-enrollment in upper-level courses, which makes these programs increasingly unsustainable. At the same time, there is increasing demand for lesser-taught languages, such as Arabic, Portuguese, Korean, etc. which require a functional infrastructure to grow into sustainable programs. The Shared Languages Program has a strong potential to successfully address both scenarios and first-year results are encouraging. At the spring 2016 joint meeting of GLCA presidents and chief academic officers German was adopted as the under-enrolled upper level language and Arabic as the lesser taught language to be developed for the project’s 4-year pilot phase.
1) the degree to which faculty and students take advantage of the program;
2) the impact of the faculty development opportunities the program provides; and,
3) the extent to which these courses can be offered with little or no additional cost.
Working groups for Arabic and German including faculty, registrars, and IT personnel, but also increasingly members from the administrative leadership, have continued to work on further growing the Shared Languages Program as it can offer viable solutions for language offerings shortages and challenges on the respective campuses. These groups continue to meet in person or via video-conferencing covering logistics, pedagogy, and technology to develop the next set of pilot courses for the fall 2017 semester.
Language faculty participating in the pilot can now fall back on lessons learned during the first pilot semester (Spring 2017), while registrars are further fine-tuning the enrollment and registration logistics.
Tasks set for the spring pilot:
The purpose of the spring 2017 pilot is to develop a better understanding of issues that will impact the full project:
1) enrollment and registration logistics (scheduling courses with different semester calendars and course grids, course add and drop dates across institutions, course credits, assigning course numbers, recording grades, recruiting and mentoring students, textbook purchases);
2) technology needs (video-conferencing set-up, room availability, faculty training and development, student training, availability of instructional technologists);
3) faculty support (recruitment, professional development opportunities, training in digital pedagogy, workload, recognition of this pioneering work at time of tenure and promotion and salary reviews, departmental and institutional support); and,
4) pedagogy (enhanced student learning beyond course content such as digital proficiency and etiquette; effective teaching strategies in the digital and hybrid environment; liberal education for the new digital environment; global and intercultural learning; openness and integration; students and faculty as members of learning communities).
A mid-semester SLP student survey gathered responses to students’ experiences with enrollment logistics, technology, the semi-virtual or fully-virtual environment, student learning, course content and execution via a less traditional classroom setting, and overall pre-course assumptions vis-à-vis the actual course experience. The results are very encouraging in that students report a high degree of satisfaction in all areas of inquiry as well as a certain excitement about being part of a pioneering experiment.
This May, we will offer a week-long SLP workshop that focuses primarily on teaching with long-distance technology and the virtual teaching and learning environment. While this workshop is open to any Arabic and German faculty member across the GLCA, the sharing of pedagogical approaches and lessons learned will be at the center of this meeting.
The SLP courses to be offered in the fall are new. These courses reflect topics of interest expressed by students and what they need in terms of course level and major/minor requirements.
Developing a sound student learning assessment plan will be one of the central goals this coming year. Consultants from the Modern Languages Association ADFL Consultancy (Director Dennis Looney) who are specialists in this area will be engaged to advice the program leadership on best practices.
This fall, the Shared Languages Program offers the following courses below with several GLCA institutions (Allegheny, Denison, Earlham, Hope, DePauw, Oberlin) participating by either hosting and/or sending students from their home campuses to the host institutions.
Denison University Course Information
ARAB 211 – Intermediate Arabic I with Dr. Hanada Al-Masri, Denison University
GERM 302 – Germany’s Young Generation with Dr. Gabriele Dillmann, Denison University (This course is also a GLAA Globally Connected course with AUBG.)
Hope College Course Information
GERM 364 – The German Language Yesterday and Today, with Dr. Lee Forester, Hope College
Earlham College Course Information
ARAB 301 – Advanced Writing Skills with Dr. Kelly Tuttle, Earlham College
Short Video Compilation for SLP German 305
Next Steps: Working Groups formation for German and Arabic to take place in July 2016 with the approval of the respective deans.
Hanada Al-Masri, Denison University
Kelly Tuttle, Earlham College
Habeeb Awad, Hope College
Basem Al-Raba’a, Oberlin College
Ghassan Nasr, DePauw
Reem Hilal, Allegheny
Anna Swank, Kalamazoo (?)
Arabic at Ohio Wesleyan (?)
Gabriele Dillmann, Denison University
Lee Forester, Hope College
Inge Aures, DePauw University (?)
Excerpt from GLCA Deans Report on SLP (Fall 2016)
The purpose of the Crossroads Shared Languages Program is to offer a broader selection of language courses than any one college could offer by itself with its current staffing. The program’s success will be measured by: 1) the degree to which faculty and students take advantage of the program; 2) the impact of the faculty development opportunities the program provides; and, 3) the extent to which these courses can be offered with little or no additional cost. At the spring 2016 joint meeting of GLCA presidents and chief academic officers German was adopted as the under-enrolled upper level language and Arabic as the lesser taught language to be developed for the project’s pilot phase.
Working groups for Arabic and German were formed in late spring and included faculty, registrars, and IT personnel. These groups met in two week-long summer workshops covering logistics, pedagogy, and technology to develop the first set of pilot courses for the spring 2016 semester. Working group members have continued to meet via video-conferencing over the course of the fall semester.
Language faculty participating in the spring 2017 pilot are doing pre-pilot testing of the technology in fall 2016. The purpose of the spring 2017 pilot is to develop a better understanding of issues that will impact the full project: 1) enrollment and registration logistics (scheduling courses with different semester calendars and course grids, course add and drop dates across institutions, course credits, assigning course numbers, recording grades, recruiting and mentoring students, textbook purchases); 2) technology needs (video-conferencing set-up, room availability, faculty training and development, student training, availability of instructional technologists); 3) faculty support (recruitment, professional development opportunities, training in digital pedagogy, workload, recognition of this pioneering work at time of tenure and promotion and salary reviews, departmental and institutional support); and, 4) pedagogy (enhanced student learning beyond course content such as digital proficiency and etiquette; effective teaching strategies in the digital and hybrid environment; liberal education for the new digital environment; global and intercultural learning; openness and integration; students and faculty as members of learning communities).
Denison and Earlham will be offering three pilot courses (two in Arabic and one in German) in the spring.
Denison University Course Information
German 305: Migration to and from Germany and the EU since 1945 (Note: Special focus on the current refugee crisis)
ARAB 300: Special Topics in Arabic: Media Arabic
Earlham College Course Information
ARAB 341: Alienation in Modern Arabic Literature
Shared Languages Program to Be Piloted as Approved by CAO’s and Presidents at the GLCA Board of Directors Meeting, April 12-13, 2016 at Wabash College:
Arabic and German
Shared Languages Program Report on Languages to Be Piloted (BEFORE APRIL 13)
The Shared Languages program seeks to expand and deepen foreign language curricula by implementing consortially-based collaborative courses and programs of study. The program addresses two major areas of concern and opportunity: Upper-level under-enrolled language courses and lesser-taught languages. Both have the potential of contributing significantly to the Global Course Connections program.
Gabriele Dillmann, the Consortial Language Director, has been visiting campuses to talk with interested faculty and administrators to better understand each institution’s profile and character, challenges and potential for growth, and faculty and administrative perspectives. The visits have been productive, clarifying the program’s purpose and creating excitement for its potential. The GLCA campus visits will be finished by April 19th.
Both legs of the program have been very well received by both faculty and administrators. Both groups have shown appreciation for the potential to address upper-level course enrollments across all the major GLCA languages with connected courses, i.e. a faculty member will virtually take in level-appropriate students from other programs who are not able to offer these students a regular, comprehensive, inter-active course for various logistical reasons instead of offering these students a directed studies course at the expense of the uncompensated professor and with the absence of the benefits a regular course.
For the upper-level under-enrolled languages, the recommendation for the language to be piloted is German. German colleagues have expressed the most substantiated interest in the opportunity to strengthen their language programs and they have turned out to be especially resourceful and innovative in their teaching pedagogies and in the exploration of further ways to connect and collaborate with each other. German, as a language program in which upper-level courses often experience under-enrollment, where particularly in one-person programs students do not have many options for diversified course offerings or faculty to choose from, in which students’ scheduling conflicts are dealt with mainly by offering directed studies options, and where opportunities for students to take special interest courses are rare, would especially benefit from a shared, collaborative approach to program building and enhancing the study of German.
On the lesser-taught languages front, an interesting trend has surfaced: colleagues from many non-language programs, especially in the sciences and social studies, have responded to their students’ need to improve language skills arising from study-abroad and internship opportunities in Africa (Swahili, Yoruba, Somali) and East-Europe (Russian, Romanian, Czech, Greek), India (Hindi, Urdu, Kannada) South Korea (Korean) and more. Almost all institutions have expressed interest in expanding and solidifying their Arabic programs, and faculty teaching Arabic have expressed a willingness to explore shared languages offerings with the appropriate training in the respective digital technologies and digital pedagogies.
Other significant observations: programs with a single faculty are in great need of colleagues with similar needs and interests. Especially Asian colleagues have expressed feeling isolated in their communities and would benefit from a lively exchange with like-minded colleagues regarding teaching and scholarship. Gabriele has taken first steps to connect faculty in Chinese from four institutions. Furthermore, students in single person programs would welcome being taught by more than one professor through their entire major. Connected courses could address that concern.
The recommended language to be piloted as a lesser-taught language is Arabic. Like it is the case with German, Arabic colleagues have expressed the most substantiated interest in the opportunity to strengthen their language and studies programs and are especially resourceful and innovative in their teaching pedagogies and in the exploration of further ways to connect and collaborate with each other. Many have also expressed how due to the complex nature of Arabic as a diglossic language, collaborating could lead to the great benefit of finding a way to optimize teaching Arabic in an integrated way thus leading to a certain standardization of the language across the GLCA. There is furthermore an invaluable opportunity for professional development in the sharing of ideas and expanding pedagogical approaches in programs. Furthermore, Arabic colleagues already have found ways to collaborate in promising inter-institutional projects. On the downside, there is great uncertainty in many Arabic programs with colleagues who are not in tenure-track positions but are running programs single-handedly. The consortially shared language program has the great potential to strengthen Arabic programs across the GLCA, which may in turn lead to greater commitment by individual institutions in support of their Arabic programs.
While some institutions have deliberately made technology training more widely available, faculty indicate that without the help of an instructional technologist they feel stuck in their teaching with digital technology. Faculty who are otherwise interested in globally connected courses shy away from exploration due concern about not being adequately prepared to effectively use digital pedagogies.
- With input from the GLCA deans, select one under-enrolled language and one lesser-taught language.
- Form working groups for these languages and create a timeline for the summer and fall in order for a pilot to be ready for spring 2017.
- Identify technology needs and design associated workshops.
Crossroads Shared Languages Program Planning BEFORE APRIL 11, 2016
On January 15th, we (Gabriele and Simon, contingent upon approval by Rick) have come to agree to a new strategic plan. This idea has mainly evolved after a long discussion on the topics of the survey as such and potential concerns by faculty that this program may result in FTE loss. While this fear is understandable, it is also unreal. On the contrary, the Shared Languages program is an attempt to rescue programs and the relevance of the languages and their faculty members. The survey may impose unnecessary concerns or deepen existing ones thus it is better to think of colleagues’ needs and concerns first in order to get any kind of meaningful buy-in.
After a very fruitful conversation with Oberlin colleagues David Kamitsuka (Associate Dean of the Curriculum, College of Arts & Sciences), Barbara Sawhill (Director Cooper International Learning Center), and Tim Scholl (Director Oberlin Center for Languages and Cultures) and Gabriele, a best next-step practice would be for Gabriele to visit each campus and key people individually throughout the months of the Spring semester, but no later than late April. These visits will:
- give Gabriele a chance to introduce herself as a language colleague along with her work as the CLD,
- give faculty a voice to express their interests and concerns, but also their excitement about the project,
- bring people together as in a team like set-up (Admin, faculty, IT)
- and help disburse fears that just may be unwarranted.
Whenever possible, Simon and Gabriele will try to coordinate their visits, Simon for the GLAA and Gabriele for Shared Languages to share resources and cause a smaller impact on the time of the host institution.
Contrary to the initial plan of distributing the survey to GLCA member institutions CAO’s, Gabriele will instead gather the information needed to make a highly informed decision on which languages to pilot during her campus visits. The survey will function as a helpful tool to gather these bits and pieces for a coherent and cohesive overall picture.
These visits will also provide the opportunity to create a culture of innovative pedagogy among the consortium, language faculty colleagues and the administration. The latter will need to communicate to colleagues that their work is worthwhile, welcome and appreciated and that it will not negatively affect tenure and promotion simply on the basis of its challenges related to newness and a certain uncertainty. This is a big picture project and we need to treat is as such with an open mind.
Working in teams is crucial for this collaborative project. This pedagogy requires the collaboration of the administration, the registrar, instructional technologists and language faculty, in order to make such shared courses effective and successful. Gabriele’s campus visits will take place as such collaborative gatherings from the get-go.
We will abandon sending out the Shared Courses surveys altogether. The survey is still a useful tool to collect information for the discussion on which three languages are best candidates to be piloted.
Step by step plan and new timeline:
- Setting up meetings at 13 GLCA institutions
- Contact Alliance Liaisons and CAO’s by email individually by institution starting now but no later than Monday, Jan. 25th.
- Ask to meet with a campus team
- Ideally coordinated with Simon, make certain dates available
- In some cases, emails are individualized
- Meet with all institutions
- See above
- Have collected all necessary information for pilot decision
- Organize data to make it presentable
- Deadline: May 18
- Get group together to select pilot languages: CAO’s from each institution and ??
- Organic development of faculty and IT teams getting together to plan courses for fall academic council submissions
- Gabriele work with AAC to support Shared Courses course proposals
As of January 15, the plan below has changed.
Part 1: Identifying 1 UE and 2 LT Languages to be piloted
Goals for Step 1:
- Get word out to all GLCA institutions including language faculty (LF), liaisons (AL), language department chairs (LDC) or language center directors (LCD), and chief academic officers (CAO) who will seek input from other key faculty and staff, such as the campus registrar, ITS, etc.
- Establish a collaborative environment.
- Collect data to get the overall picture and as a basis for selecting the 2 LT-L’s and 1 UE-L.
Accomplish this by engaging all potential stakeholders in the process by having them contribute information and share their own thoughts, concerns, wishes, and needs in a survey.
- Name of the survey: Crossroads Shared Languages Program Collaborative Survey
- Gabi reconnects with GLCA colleagues who have already expressed interest by inviting them to share their thoughts on this survey draft.
- Simon and Gabi create survey draft (word doc with tracking) by Wednesday, December 16.
- Share this draft as google doc with GLCA-6 colleagues on Thursday, December 17, asking for feedback by Wednesday, January 6: (updated to Jan 14)
- Oberlin: David G. Kamitsuka, Associate Dean of the Curriculum, College of Arts & Sciences and Barbara Sawhill, Language Center Director
- OWU: Jose Armando Rojas, Spanish, Chair, Modern Languages
- Denison: Hanada Al-Masri, Arabic Faculty
- Hope: Lee Forester, German Faculty and Maria Andre (Spanish/Portuguese) Faculty
- DePauw: David Alvarez, English Department, Alliance Liaison
- Kenyon: Pierre Dairon, French Faculty
- Antioch: Eugenia Charoni, French and Spanish Faculty
- [David.Kamitsuka@oberlin.edu <David.Kamitsuka@oberlin.edu>, Barbara Sawhill <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Hanada Al-Masri <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Lee Forester <email@example.com>, Maria Andre <firstname.lastname@example.org>, David Alvarez <email@example.com>, Pierre Dairon <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>.
- Gabi creates SurveyMonkey form.
- By January 6th, Simon sends an email to Liaisons and the CAOs outlining our plan and the schedule. (This is an indirect outcome of the recent Board of Directors meeting.)
- Update: Gabi drafts letter to CAO’s by Friday, Jan 15.
Goals for Step 2: Distribute Survey to all GLCA Partners
- Survey to go out by Monday, January 18.
- Survey should reach: LF, LDC’s/LCD’s, CAO’s, AL’s.
- Send survey to CAO’s who will send it to the appropriate faculty and staff.
- Survey return to Gabi and Simon deadline: February 11.
- Send reminders January 25th and February 3rd.
- One result from the survey should be that we identify a collection of faculty members who have an interest in participating. For lack of a better name, we can call this the Shared Languages Group.
- Gabi does some analysis of the results producing a short report that is sent to the Shared Languages Group.
- Plan get-together (see step 3 below) to take place in ? on March 4/5 or 5/6 if necessary, or meet via Zoom.
Goals for Step 3: Evaluate survey data with the GLCA Shared Languages Group (Oberlin, OWU, Denison, DePauw, Hope, Kenyon, Antioch)
Leave room for potentially more survey evaluators who may join during the earlier steps.
Meet to: strengthen team spirit, discuss efficiently, make a decision on the 3 languages. Ideally in Ann Arbor? Toledo? Fort Wayne? (TBD)
NOTE: The Mellon proposal is not clear about who is involved in deciding on the three languages. It seems to say that the deans will select the language faculty who will make the decision, but I don’t believe that will work. The alternative I propose is that the Shared Languages Group make a recommendation to the CAOs, who will make the final decision.
Goals for Step 4: Distribution of survey results and announcement of the 3 selected languages to be piloted
- Gabi and Simon author a report of how we arrived at results (after March 6.)
- To be sent to same group who received survey instrument. This already includes CAO’s.
- Accomplish this by mid-March, then follow up instantly with next step: create language pedagogy teams.
Next steps summary after completion of survey (The survey idea was dropped by common consensus that the idiosyncratic nature of each institution is best understood by individual campus visits with all the important stakeholders involved (Faculty, deans, CAO’s, AL’s, registrars)
Complete the survey
Email the liaisons and CAOs
Send out the survey
Analyze the results
Individual campus visits all Spring 2016 semester. (ongoing)
Select languages to begin work on this semester with implementation next spring
Form faculty groups to work on these languages
Do preliminary planning via email, videoconference
Convene a meeting to finalize planning, identify responsibilities tied to a timetable.