Project: Prismatic Perception
Project web site: www.ccri.cc.ri.us/Prismatic_Perception/index.htm
Team members: Carol Panaccione, Debra Lilli, Sue Apshaga and Judeth Crowley
The Community College of Rhode Island's project is entitled Prismatic Perception. Originally, its primary objective was to set up a web-based module, entitled Mona Lisa, that would be student-targeted and both faculty- and student-generated. The main idea was to initiate, in the first phase, a series of interdisciplinary contributions to the website by faculty members. The second phase would then use that material as the basis for a team-taught web-based, interdisciplinary course, what hopefully would serve as the inception for a Humanities Division at CCRI. This was our original goal nearly a year and a half ago, and we have accomplished a good deal of this goal thus far.
During the summer of 2000 we went on to apply for and receive grant money from the Rhode Island Board of Governors so that we were able to establish a Prismatic fellowship program in the fall of 2000. We had four fellows from four different departments---library science, philosophy, music and psychology. Over the course of the semester we, the core team, worked on a regular basis with the four fellows, helping each of them create a homepage as well as an essay relating their particular field of study to the period represented by Da Vinci and the Mona Lisa. Aside from weekly meetings, we were in touch with each other by way of a Listserv (LISTSERV@pete.uri.edu)
During the first five or so weeks we met regularly with Linda Beith, the college's newly hired instructional technologist. She taught us how to use FrontPage, how to set up a homepage and how to use various technologies that CCRI has recently acquired. During the last two thirds of the semester, we encouraged the fellows to collaborate so that they might discover connections between their individual areas of concentration. By December 2000, it was clear the fellows had learned a great deal about collaboration and the use of technology in the classroom and had shown that the Mona Lisa site could be used to interconnect disciplines.
However, the core team recognized at this time the need to stop, assess, and refocus our efforts in a new direction, a direction that would still build on the Mona Lisa web module, although along slightly different lines. This new direction in our thinking resulted in the creation of an interdisciplinary, team-taught humanities course that could serve as a model for technology-embraced humanities curricula. Over the course of the spring semester 2001, we have met regularly, at least once a week, to discuss the pilot course we are teaching in the fall-- Man and the Machine: Bridging Humanities and Technology. Its objectives are succinctly listed in a handout we are distributing to interested students. We have met with both Dean Judeth Crowley and President Sepe to discuss our plans and both are very enthusiastic and supportive. We are hopeful that this initiative will serve as a paradigm to encourage other CCRI faculty to team-teach interdisciplinary courses and thus promote student collaboration and integrate instructional technology supportive of in-class learning and independent thinking.
Here is a summary of the latest events since January 2000:
January - May 2000, Development of "Prismatic Perception Humanities" concept.
May 2000, "Practical Applications of Educational
Technology" conference and site visit
June 2000, Application for Grant
July 2000, Notification of Grant Award
August 2000, Selection of Fellows
September 27, 2000, Meeting with President Sepe
October 6, 2000, Presentation of the project to the CCRI Foundation
December 14, 2000, Meeting with the four fellows
January 2001 - March 2001
Student involvement in this project has been essential since the project's inception. . We are seeking their input in the design component of the Prismatic Perceptions site, as the goal of this project is to allow students to perceive their studies holistically. This project is well on its way of promoting a new direction in humanities at the Community College of Rhode Island - one promoting collaboration among students and faculty and integrating instructional technology to support in-class learning and independent thinking. We are excited about the opportunity to create a collaborative learning and teaching environment, and we are hopeful that the model we eventually construct will serve as a paradigm for future faculty members interested in setting up a web-based, team-taught interdisciplinary course.
Community College of Rhode Island
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