The UK Honors Program sponsored the University's celebration of Constitution Day. Buck Ryan, a UK journalism professor, and his students organized the event as part of HON251: "Citizen Kentucky," a course in Honors. The course includes a community-based service learning project in which leadership development and professional experience are goals. Scotty Reams, a UK Honors student, created a Facebook community page describing all the events taking place. The students contributed to the advertising of the event with video. On September 13th, Honors student Clay Thornton uploaded a vide to the Facebook community page that explained what the Constitution Week events were about (also see this one with all the students in HON251, posted by Honors student Abby Shelton).
As Clay describes in his video, the expectation was that people would attend these events and "... feel more patriotic, learn about the Constitution, hear from representatives, learn about young voters and civic service..." Instead of offering educational statements, the ultra-rightwing candidate for Kentucky's seat in the U.S. Senate, Robert Ransdell (see a recent news story on his campaign strategies), used the opportunity to recruit followers to his neo-Nazi cause.
Immediately, the response on social media was vivid and passionate. The Manual duPont High School students who were visiting UK that day wrote an article describing their disappointment at UK's handling of the event: http://www.manualredeye.com/2014/09/17/racist-remarks-surprised-students/. They also published a Vimeo of a student's recording of their award-winning teacher's response to Ransdell's speech. Kathy Johnson of UKPR issued a statement that same day: http://uknow.uky.edu/content/statement-robert-ransdell-appearance-uk. Friends and acquaintances in the community have been contacting me daily about this incident. The Anti-Defamation League has spoken out publicly about the University's leadership decisions in allowing for Ransdell to have a podium for his recruitment efforts and a lack of careful planning for the event.
This is when students need some
relaxed, neutral space to talk about the event - as well as why ultra-right hate groups exist, how
they recruit here in Kentucky and how they get and maintain power on a national
and international level. However, it seems that much of the conversation with students here at UK has focused on the First Amendment and someone's right to "free speech." The Kernel reporter focused on this topic in the article about the incident. (See also the WUKY article and the more recent Courier-Journal article on this issue.) The public response to the incident by President Capilouto (sent by email the next day and printed in the Herald-Leader) was powerful - and from my perspective - exactly on point.
This horrifying incident has affected me personally and professionally
as a member of the UK unit that sponsored the Constitution Day event. I've
always offered to help with organizing the celebrations, but somehow
never end up being involved directly. This year, I didn't even attend. This was
a terrible mistake. Since my research background has recently focused on ultra-rightwing hate groups, I think I might have been helpful during the process
of decision-making that led to allow Mr. Ransdell to have free access to a
podium for his recruitment activities. Mr. Ransell's allies on the ultra-rightwing discussion forum, Stormfront, are celebrating his triumph and use the opportunity to continue to spread doubt on the core values of public education.
with my deepest wishes I
think that if I had been there when he spoke, I would have taken action.
I was proud of the brave staff of the UK Student Center who cut his
access to a microphone
- despite the direction by the UK faculty who were there to allow him to
continue to speak. Or perhaps I would have joined the Manual DuPont
James Miller, who spoke with such passion afterwards in rebuttal and with anger about how the
hate speech was allowed - without any explanation or context by which it
could be received by a community that respected human rights and
dignity of all.
I will never know now what I would have done, and I am personally ashamed that
I was not there from the beginning to help make sure that any educational venue
would remain safe from the violence of extremist hate speech.
Presented today at a UK Admissions college prep workshop for high schoolers about the importance of the ACT in Kentucky.
Here's the Prezi: http://prezi.com/6uwafriulvre
and here's my notes from the presentation:
Why is the ACT important?
Your ACT scores mean that colleges and scholarships will find you. By taking the exam you are providing info to schools behind the scenes
Think of it this way : It's another way to help you get ready for life after high school.
Some people make it seem easy - but it's just a bat trick! Everyone has different talents - what's yours? Keep your eyes on the goal
BECOME YOUR OWN WAY-FINDER
Your ACT scores mean that some academic pathways will be all ready for you when you enter college. Some roadblocks are inevitable, but turn them into speed bumps not dead-ends.
It's another way to help you plan for your major and career choices.
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE - need rose-colored glasses sometimes to see past the glare and drama distractions
COLLEGE READINESS DEFINED BY KY LAW
ACT Subject Area Tests = benchmarks for public institutions
Math 19 BUT 22 Algebra, 27 Calculus
DIFFERENCE btwn COLLEGE READINESS & COLLEGE COURSE PRE-REQUISITES
* liberal arts major
* professional/vocational major
* Natural Science courses require calculus
GET READY NOW in high school - take hard courses, MOOCS, dual credit with KCTCS
So there are lots of pathways for you to find your way. The ACT can be tricky, but keep your eyes on the road and watch for "speed bumps." Remember: Your ACT scores can be mix-and-match for us here at UK. So, practice regularly at that bat trick!
OUR GOAL is your college and career success - SO WHY IS the ACT important? It's another way to meet the statewide benchmarks and take college-level courses right away. Graduate on time or even early, save money on college costs and get out there to make Kentucky a better place for us all! We're counting on you!
In my work both in and out of the classroom, I am often an instigator of what Susan Scott calls "fierce conversations" (www.fierceinc.com). I believe strongly that the passions we bring to our research and our educational environs are crucial to H-Net's success, both current and in the future. I also believe that the principles behind H-Net bylaws and guidelines for developing a meaningful conversation in the midst of dissenting voices are sound. One might imagine that this is a new age of incivility wherein the technologies spawned by the growth of the Internet harbor and resound with heightened levels of unprofessional conduct. However, in these online environs I call for more of what the Occupy movement called the "human microphone" - not less. And, we in H-Net are in an excellent position to support the art and the craft of a sustained scholarly discussion.
Imagine in your classroom - or in your research discipline - a passionate debate about a scholarly subject changed into a personal diatribe from one scholar against another scholar. You know you have done well as a facilitator of that discussion when most people in that conversation quickly identify this as an aberrant change and a distraction. I believe that it is inevitable when passions run high that feelings can be hurt - well-meaning people can feel misunderstood and frustrated. We should not turn away from this challenge in keeping conversations "fierce" and seeking innovation or change (i.e., higher learning). Instead, we offer more avenues for small group discussions - the Internet is infinite, and we should not veer from taking full advantage of it.
As President-Elect of the H-Net Council, I encourage the membership to offer multiple opportunities for personal and professional development in learning how to use the various platforms for facilitated, continued discussion. A discussion network could feed (and be fed by) small group discussions taking place via
- webconferencing (for those who want to meet in a synchronous environment)
- wiki (for those who want a collaborative effort in building a visual representation of the discussion)
- blog (for those who want to construt a threaded/nested series of comments based off of one major statement)
- pod- or vodcasting (for those who want a face-to-face session but need time to think and construct recorded responses as in a documentary via radio or TV)
- social bookmarking (for those who collaborate on finding resources to support their positions)
- gamification (for those who want to use roleplay or simulation to help develop and expand a conversation into a scholarly publication that could be used by others as they encounter this passionate debate in their own studies)
- microblogging (for those who think in small bits and pieces - 140 characters or less - and want to crowdsource their position with international conversants attracted by the passionate terminology via a hashtag)
At a point when the small group participants believe they have something to report to the larger group, a designated member could send a summary and link to the H-Net main network for general circulation.
Randolph Hollingsworth, Ph.D.
University of Kentucky
H-Kentucky List Editor
For the 2nd annual THATCampKY at the University of Kentucky, I agreed to present on the use of Wikipedia for understanding how scholarly communities collaborate ... and how general knowledge is created and maintained via crowdsourcing in an open educational resource.
Here's the general outline of my presentation/discussion:
Q - How do
wikis work best? Why is Wikipedia interesting and worth understanding? What are Wikipedia's core values and principles?
My experiences with Wikipedia:
- Assigning a writing/research project for my students that then get placed into Wikipedia as a peer-reviewed article.
- making sure of the 4 Pillars, especially neutrality and connections to other articles
- uploading the articles on the students' behalf - as opposed to establishing their online profiles within the Wikipedia community which could be built by letting them make minor edits or contributions of cross-links in the "Also See" section of a chosen article
- emphasizing the ethics of contributing to a community through WikiProjects
- WikiSOO (which stands for Wikipedia/School of Open) LOOC (Little Online Open Course)
So, the final idea was to emphasize the culture of wiki - working with others and not just using the space for posting/publishing what you are interested in yourself.
On Friday, April 4th, I had the honor of contributing to one of the Faculty-Administrator Network (FAN) sessions at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2014 here at the University of Kentucky. The session was titled: "Assessment and Undergraduate Research: Developing a Plan for Assessment and Utilizing Tools to Maximize Impact and Ensure High Quality Research Experience for Undergraduates."
My colleague, Dr. Chris Thuringer, put together a series of slides that explained the basic concepts as well as good practices in assessments for student learning outcomes in a program.
In addition, Dr. Rose Constantino from the School of Nursing at the University of Pittsburgh explained her model of learning and teaching in engaged research with her undergraduates: ELSI (Ethical, Legal, Sociocultural Imperatives). The ELSI model clearly works well for Dr. Constantino's students (two of their short video presentations were shown during the session), but also transfers easily to other disciplines to adopt when addressing the teaching and learning of undergraduate research:
- ETHICS: respect for individuality and self-determination, fairness and truthfulness, a faithfulness to the project but also for anyone else involved in the process; an adherence to the autonomy and self-determination of the target audience for an undergraduate research project - remembering the importance of non-malfeasance (do no harm)
- LEGAL: understanding the law and jurisprudence theory to make clear a "social contract" among group members involved in the research; an understanding that scholars and researchers of all disciplines have rule systems established by their own professions as well as an obligation to laws addressing property rights and human rights overall.
- SOCIOCULTURAL ISSUES: the cultural competence of the researcher is key to success and this is easily identified in this A-B-C-D mnemonic:
- A is for Accommodation - assuring inclusion (even of ideas or people you don't normally entertain) is not only ethical and good research, but it can readily address national standards such as Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Standards (CLAS) - a fun visual metaphor that Constantino used here was that the word itself seems crowded with two Cs and two Ms, emphasizing that one can always try to make room for others not previously imagined as needed in a project
- B is for Building bridges and foundations - in order to insure inclusion and fairness, the researcher needs to show strong leadership in providing appropriate and accessible information about the study, assuring a supportive infrastructure for cultural competence and allowing constructive interactions; engaged research should offer channels for two-way conversations for co-design as well as collaboration on assessing results
- C is for Collaboration - a good research project is one that develops integrated education and practice, including community leaders as partners; engaged research is a reciprocal (co-created) partnership, focused on public purposes, and with critical reflection generating learning (including civic learning)
- D is for Diversification - including persons from diverse backgrounds in key decision making roles will help to assure diversity of data as well as effective communications with underrepresented populations not always considered in mainstream publications
- IMPERATIVES: the risks and benefits of a research project can be a part of the designing process, using the above components of the model; this analytical effort will also produce the assessable components for a good research effort in any discipline but especially those involving community engagement (download this .pdf file to see the National Center for Education Research primer on engaged research).
The ELSI model was almost overlooked during the discussion afterwards. Instead, the faculty and administrators in the packed room were more interested in how to count instances of undergraduate research in their institutions, e.g., quantitative values over those of ethical or attitudinal learning gains. Thuringer was able to emphasize the difference between Program Goals (e.g., how many presentations were accepted at NCUR) and student learning outcomes for an undergraduate research program. Some issues arose around the efficacy of using indirect vs. direct measures of assessment - and Thuringer returned to his slide describing the differences and emphasized again the assessibility of many of the intangibles associated with the AAC&U VALUE rubrics. I encouraged the participants to review the ELSI model, especially regarding collaboration and accommodation, and positing that the model could be used in nearly any kind of engaged research project (not just nursing) - but this kind of perspective needs much more time and energy to discuss than in the few moments left after a couple of presentations.
Download the slides from our NCUR FAN session here (FAN-NCUR-2014-1.pdf).
Since February 25th I've been participating in a LOOC (little open, online course) called, "Writing Wikipedia Articles: The Basics and Beyond (#WIKISOO)." The course is located within Wikipedia itself in an educational space for the School of Open of P2PU.org. Student interactions take place on a talk page shared with WikiProject Open as well as an Etherpad for notes. We attend via live webconferencing each week with guest experts to keep the energy up and motivate learners to complete the course. The online conferencing is recorded and posted for those who are taking the course in a self-paced mode can access them as additional resources.
This free online course is facilitated byPete Forsyth (who helped start what is now the the Wikipedia Education Program), Sara Frank Bristow (aka Snarfa in Wikipedia) of Salient Research, and Bob Cummings (Director of the Center for Writing and Rhetoric at Ole Miss). Each week we get a reminder about the course assignments and personal feedback on homework too. Though I am teaching my A&S Wired short course on the evenings that the webconferences take place, I have been able to join in a few times and enjoyed the friendly conversation and helpful support. The give-and-take between Pete and Sara during the webconferences is collegial and sometimes even amusing as they work together to keep us all feeling involved and our personal needs attended to.
The course has helped me better understand the framework of the various Wikipedia communities, and the emphasis on the ethics associated with the Wikipedian culture reminded me of why I started working with my Kentucky women's history students here. The agenda is well thought out and is of interest to novices as well as experienced users.
- Week 1 (25/26 Feb): Wikipedia under the hood
- Week 2 (4/5 March): Who am I to edit Wikipedia? Identity & collaboration
- Week 3 (11/12 March): What is quality?
- Week 4 (18/19 March): Build it bigger - Roundtable one
- Week 5 (25/26 March): The deep dive - Roundtable two
- Week 6 (1/2 April): The takeaway and student showcase
- Final Project
As a Wikipedian of some modest skill, I find the choice of topics, the pace and level of detail to be very useful. I took advantage of the requirement for a final project to research and finally write out ideas I've been tossing around at the University of Kentucky about the possibility of creating some constructive and mutually beneficial policies about open educational resources. I chose to contribute to an article already created, "Open educational resources policy" and look forward to seeing the Wikipedians responding to my additions.
This LOOC is scheduled to finish at the end of April - so I've still got some time to work on the OER Policy article. And, yes, I will apply for a WIKISOO Burba Badge from the School of Open at p2pu.org - maybe I'll start a sub-page on my "talk" page called a "trophy chest" as they recommend!
Made the deadline ~ postmarked today a proposal for the Kentucky Oral History Commission Grant Program to support indexing women's voices from the "Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project, 1900-1989." There are 56 interviews (with a total of 64 interview hours) out of 189 oral history interviews in the UK Oral History Department's collection in the Nunn Center. These interviews, while less than a third of the total collection, made up nearly half of the total interview time. Their interviews average 68 minutes (from one as short as 10 minutes to one as long as 180 minutes).
As a part of this grant, the interviews will be digitized and placed in the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) and viewable via the ExploreUK/Kentucky Digital Library. After they are indexed in OHMS, GPS tags liked to the digitized segments of the oral histories will provide an important digital humanities geo-spatial component to these resources. This work will coincide with the training of new users of the KYWCRH.org website in the fall of 2014. The Lexington-Fayette County NAACP is partnering with the Central Kentucky Council for Peace & Justice to empower teenage girls of African-American and mixed race families to learn about women activists of central Kentucky during the long civil rights era. Working in partnership with a group of UK undergraduate interns, the girls will learn how to use oral history and in particular focus on the interviews in this collection in order to develop their multimedia projects for publication on the KYWCRH.org website.
Finishing up today the online course for the Quality Matters program to keep my Master Reviewer certification. Impressed as always with the clarity and common-sense training - as well as the underlying ethic of scholarly collegiality that a Quality Matters process ensures. See for example the WKU QM courses reviewed recognition page.
The video of faculty from Chemeketa Community College is a really good overview of the value of a Quality Matters course review. I encourage you to watch it - the video is only about four minutes long.
See the YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IH12bGtua-Q