Media fellows partner with professors

by Anthony Robles | 4/11/17 2:05am

This past winter, the College initiated a media fellows program designed to facilitate classroom projects that will allow fellows to develop media integral to the course and serve as technical advisors.

The program’s first fellow, Jessica Fedin ’17, worked with the Latin I course taught by classics postdoctoral fellow Suzanne Lye last winter. This term, three other students — Peter Eggert ’17, Ava Giglio ’19 and Veronica Williamson ’17 — are serving as media fellows for Japanese 10, “Introduction to Japanese Culture.”

Media coordinator Colleen Goodhue said the program is still in its inaugural stages and will become more defined as time goes on.

“It’s a brand-new program so it’s still being defined by what opportunities are presenting themselves,” Goodhue said. “They are students who are trained in pedagogy and group dynamics and possess creative and technical skills.”

Media fellows will serve as creative and technical guides to allow faculty members to focus primarily on the projects themselves rather than the technical aspects in the classroom, Goodhue said.

The media fellows program is another addition to the ever-growing Dartmouth Learning Fellows program, which is divided into three categories: course-based learning fellows, social impact fellows and the media fellows.

Instructional designer and Learning Fellows program manager Kes Schroer said that learning fellows dedicate time and resources to help professors teach more effectively.

“We have a lot of great professors, but because of different constraints — either their room or the number of students in their classroom — they can’t always bring those ideas to life, and the learning fellows help the faculty translate their vision to the classroom,” Schroer said.

Course-based learning fellows were first pilot-tested in summer 2015 and became a full-fledged program in August 2016. Students involved in the program are usually paired with a faculty member to support a class. The program is supported by the Gateway Initiative, an effort to redesign high-enrollment colleges, and the Experiential Learning Initiative, which coordinates resources to expand experiential learning Schroer said.

Meanwhile, the social impact fellows, who also began working this past winter term, collaborate with the Dartmouth Center for Service and are paired with multiple faculty members to help facilitate community outreach.

In Latin I, Fedin assisted the students in taping student presentations and creating a podcast for their final project. Lye said the podcast consisted of eight episodes and Fedin helped coordinate with Dartmouth Radio Network to set up recording times. She subsequently guided the students through scriptwriting, rehearsing and the final recording session, before helping with editing.

When Lye first started the course, she had not yet decided what the final project would be, she said. Since Fedin had experience with radio and writing scripts for auditory entertainment, Lye said she agreed to assign creating a podcast as the final project.

The media fellows for Japanese 10 this term will help students create a digital story representing their thoughts on Japanese culture before they took the course, during the course and what they think their perspectives on Japanese culture will be in the future, Goodhue said.

To become a media fellow, students must apply, then be interviewed by Goodhue. Goodhue said she was looking for students with a certain level of technical skill, as well as those with an interest in teaching.

As for the future of the program, Schroer said she believes that the program will benefit students and professors alike.

“I think that we’re going to see our faculty take a few more risks with their teaching, of finding new ways to integrate what they’re teaching with their students’ ability to storytell their own learning,” Schroer said.