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DCAL is pleased to announce the results of this year’s Experiential Learning Seed Grant call for proposals, a highly competitive process which drew a wide variety of project submissions from 20 divisions and departments across the institution. In an effort to expand and enhance experiential learning at Dartmouth, DCAL coordinates resources to engage students, faculty, co-curricular educators, and community partners in the design and delivery of experiential learning opportunities. The following projects, which exemplify the vision for experiential learning at Dartmouth, have been awarded pilot funding for the 2018-19 academic year:
Alternative Spring Breaks with a Social Impact: A Collaboration with Dartmouth's Housing Communities
The Dartmouth Center for Social Impact will partner with each of the Dartmouth House Communities to offer an Alternative Spring Break experience. Together, the collaboration will yield powerful spring break experiential learning opportunities with integrated reflection, building community between Dartmouth students, and providing meaningful social impact work with community partners throughout the country.
Project Team: Ashley Doolittle (Associate Director, Dartmouth Center for Social Impact), Sergi Elizalde (Associate Professor, Mathematics and House Professor, East Wheelock), Janice McCabe (Associate Professor, Sociology and House Professor, Allen House), Kathryn Lively (Professor of Sociology and House Professor, South House)
DALI Scholars Learn + Build: Focus on Interaction Design
The DALI Scholars Learn + Build Program will create an opportunity for first-year and sophomore students to build a foundation in interaction design, UI/UX, and digital product design, that will be foundational in their studies at Dartmouth, prepare them to work in the DALI Lab, and teach them creative and technical skills in these relatively new areas of study. The program, designed for students with little or no prior experience, will include a hands-on course for learning the foundational principles and practices of interaction design, and a second term where students will apply and build interactive digital products as part of a design and development team in the DALI Lab.
Project Team: Lorie Loeb (Research Professor in Computer Science, Executive Director, DALI, and Director of Digital Arts), Tim Tregubov (Senior Lecturer, DALI Director), Natalie Jung (DALI Design Resident), Erica Lobel (DALI Project Manager)
Designing and Building a Tiny House to Explore Innovative Approaches to Energy, Health, and the Environment
An interdisciplinary team of students, faculty, researchers, and community members will collaborate to design, analyze, and build a tiny house at the Dartmouth Organic Farm. Tiny house design-build provides a context for the concepts learned in class and a tangible outcome, but more importantly, it will result in the formation of a community that is interested in tackling issues related to energy, health, and the environment. The tiny house will serve as a pilot for future projects, will be used by researchers for continued data collection, and will be open to the public.
Project Team: Vicki May (Professor of Engineering), Rosi Kerr (Director of Sustainability), Morgan Peach (PhD Candidate, Earth, Ecosystem, and Ecological Science), Benoit Cushman-Roisin (Professor of Engineering), Karolina Kawiaka (Senior Lecturer in Studio Art), Jack Wilson (Senior Lecturer in Studio Art, Thayer School Lecturer), Charles Sullivan (Professor of Engineering), Elizabeth Wilson (Director of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society, Professor), Christopher Carbone (Head Engineer at Bensonwood)
Launching a Hub for Collaborative Research in History
A physical “hub” in the History Department will come alive via a year-long design and development process in four clusters: publicity intended to broadcast the array of faculty-student collaborative activity; acquisition of additional tools for hands-on history work; extensive student leadership opportunities to enhance the awareness of experiential learning across the major; and incentives for faculty to partner with students in innovative ways. This project will align four existing programs in undergraduate research to the pedagogical objectives of experiential learning. By year’s end, we envision a critical recasting of the History Department’s commitments to the Presidential Scholars program, the London-based archival work done by students in the History FSP, the thesis-writing Honors’ Program, and various emerging initiatives in oral history.
Project Team: Bob Bonner (Chair of the History Department), Steve Ericson (Chair of Undergraduate Research), Adam Nemeroff (Learning Designer)
The Making of 21st Century Exhibits: Curating The National Black Theater Museum
This project provides students with a course-based opportunity to help curate exhibits for the new National Black Theater Museum that is currently under review in Memphis, TN. Preparation for this course will begin with the international Black Theater Summit to be hosted at Dartmouth in fall 2018, when members of the museum scholar team will meet with the project team to align the focus of the course with museum goals in real time. Students will have an opportunity to simultaneously witness and contribute to the only American theater museum in the country while working with professional directors and actors to produce materials for the exhibit.
Project Team: Monica White Ndounou (Associate Professor of Theater, 2017-18 Sony Music Fellow), Morgan Swan (Special Collections Education & Outreach Librarian), Laura Braunstein (Digital Humanities Librarian), Jarvis Green (Director of JAG Productions), Nathalie Batraville (Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows)
DCAL is thrilled that this incoming project cohort reflects the cross-cutting blend of experiential learning the Dartmouth has become known for, including but not limited to research opportunities, outdoor programs, service for social impact, entrepreneurship, art and performance, clinical placements, internships, project-based learning, and global experiences. These projects will engage dozens of faculty and hundreds of students from a wide range of academic disciplines, as well as community partners beyond the Dartmouth campus. Through experiential learning opportunities, students intentionally engage intellectually, creatively, emotionally, or physically; have opportunities to take initiative, make decisions, problem solve, and be accountable for the results; conceptualize and critically reflect; and engage in direct experiences that are designed to promote their learning and development. Experiences such as these have been shown to positively impact students’ confidence, ability to take risks and learn from failure, work effectively within diverse groups of people, communicate about complex issues, and work across academic disciplines.
This is the third year of the Experiential Learning Initiative at Dartmouth. To date, DCAL has allocated over $1 million to 47 experiential learning opportunities in 21 academic departments, seven co-curricular centers, and all three professional schools through this grant program. In addition to the Experiential Learning Seed Grant, DCAL administers experiential learning opportunities through several other funding and support mechanisms. These include the Student Experiential Learning Fund, Experiential Learning Mini Grant, Stamps Scholars Program, Learning Fellows Program, and beginning in summer 2018, the DELTA Summit, an applied, reflective professional development program for experiential educators. For more information about the Experiential Learning Initiative, please visit https://dcal.dartmouth.edu/initiatives/experiential-learning.