Faculty Provost Award: Transforming Oral History through Teaching Visual Literacy

Transforming Oral History Through Teaching Visual Literacy

Course: Oral History Method and Theory
Semester: Fall 2016

Mary Marshall Clark, Director of CCOHR and Co-Director of the Oral History Master of Arts program (OHMA) at Columbia, working with OHMA student Nyssa Chow, designed a proposal to the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) to use Mediathread and other software to transform the way in which oral history is taught in Clark’s Oral History Method and Theory seminar.  The CTL grant will support the purchase of video cameras, and the development of new course modules in which students will analyze the videos they produce directly from the video source: developing a new lexicon for oral history through visualizing theoretical concepts such as memory, intersubjectivity and meaning-making in the interview.  Through incorporating an analysis of gestures, facial expressions, bodily cues and the intersection of sound and image in the oral history exchange, students will develop new methodologies for analyzing the work they produce and develop innovative visual forms for sharing their knowledge with a broader public.

In October 2014, the Office of the Provost launched a Request for Proposals for Hybrid Course Redesign and Delivery. Senior faculty review committees selected projects to receive grants. Each project was chosen based on its potential to enhance teaching and learning at Columbia. The selected projects cover a broad range of disciplines and topics, from history to economics to biomedical engineering.  These projects are already exposing undergraduate and graduate students alike to partial or full flipping of the classroom, team-based and experiential learning, and just-in-time teaching.

In December 2015, the Office of the Provost announced the third Request for Proposals (click here to access the RFP page).  Instructors of courses selected will have access to the resources and support of the Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) for content development, instructional design, media production, systems integration, assessment, and project management.  Courses selected are also funded from $5,000 up to $20,000 for a one-semester period.  A key goal of this fund is to measure the effectiveness of these designs, delivery methods and learning strategies, and to improve instructional delivery and learning outcomes of Columbia University students from all disciplines.