Wired! Designing an innovative undergraduate pedagogy for teaching historical material culture
2011 to 2012
The co-conveners of this project, Sheila Dillon, Associate Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, and Elizabeth Baltes, PhD candidate in Art History & Visual Studies, have begun with a series of questions relating to undergraduate pedagogy. These are:
- What do we teach and how do we teach it?
- What do students need to know, and how do they best learn?
- How can we rethink teaching in the light of the possibilities that are now available for research, communication, and exchange, as well as for student involvement in original research projects?
- Can we model in the classroom what Humanities scholars actually do?
- Are there ways in which new tools available for teaching can reconfigure what happens in the classroom?
The Wired initiative aims to transform the way undergraduates are taught historical material culture, and to find a way of involving undergraduates as active and meaningful participants in advanced research projects. The project supported by Humanities Writ Large engages with the following issues:
- How do we design a new model of undergraduate education that engages students in an actively integrated cluster of learning and research projects that become multi-year modes of inquiry?
- How do we best utilize new technologies to rethink teaching and to pose questions about what constitutes significant learning?
- How do we create communities of learning that move beyond the artificial boundaries of a single course and that more closely mirror life-long learning?
- How can we engage students from freshman year onwards in collaborative Humanities-based research projects with faculty and graduate students?
The funding from Humanities Writ Large will allow them to concretize a number of nascent initiatives. In addition to providing support for two innovative courses, the grant will allow the Wired! team to hold weekly group meetings with a team of committed faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students where they will work on developing and designing a series of courses that focus on particular historical periods or categories of material evidence.