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Randolph Hollingsworth's observations on student success in higher education - discovering what this means at the University of Kentucky,  If you have a UK account, please sign in (see top right hand corner of the page) in order to add your comments.
April 07
Facilitated a Faculty-Administrator Network (FAN) session at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2014

NCUR2014 slides for FAN session on April 4​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.pdfFAN-NCUR-2014-1.pdf).

April 02
Taking a Little Open Online Course (LOOC) in Wikipedia

​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 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 - maybe I'll start a sub-page on my "talk" page called a "trophy chest" as they recommend!

March 05
Presented on Kentucky woman suffrage today at the Lexington Professional Women's Forum

​Right after I walked with Bill Wilson and Joe Graves in the 50th Anniversary of the March on Frankfort for civil rights and heard stories of their experiences in 1964, I presented at the Lexington Professional Women's Forum yesterday on woman suffrage in Lexington during the heyday of the Jim Crow era. I told about how in 1901 - amidst notices of lynchings in the Lexington papers - were the election results from organized African American women who got out and voted to keep high standards in their local public schools. An astonishing day.

For your viewing pleasure, here's the PwrPt slides (WomenVotersLexington.pptxWomenVotersLexington.pptx) and the chronology/references handout (LexProfessionalWomenForum5March2014-Handout.docxLexProfessionalWomenForum5March2014-Handout.docx).

February 27
Submitted a proposal to the KY Oral History Commission today to support the open knowledge initiative

​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 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 website.

February 06
Recertification for Quality Matters Master Reviewer

​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:

January 14
Empowering Girls in Central KY with Digital Humanities and Writing Wikipedia Code: Women's History and the 1964 March on Frankfort for Civil Rights

​Submitted my proposal to AAUW today for a one-year Community Action Grant ($7,000).  Here's the title I figured would tell a story in itself!

Empowering Girls in Central KY with Digital Humanities and Writing Wikipedia Code: Women's History and the 1964 March on Frankfort for Civil Rights banner

As the wonderful letters of support and commitment from the partners came in these past several days, the project became real. While it is likely that, when the project moves forward, there will be many more people involved - here is a list of those who wrote formal letters in support of the proposal:

AAUW Bluegrass Central Branch (KY5022) – Sharon Marcum, President (

Central Kentucky Council for Peace and Justice - Rebecca Ballard DiLoreto, Board Co-Chair (

Fayette County Race, Community and Child Welfare Initiative (RCCW) – Co-chairs, Marion Gibson ( of the SKY Families Program, Cooperative Extension Program, Kentucky State University; and, Rebecca Ballard DiLoreto ( of the Children’s Law Center, Inc.

Kentucky Commission on Women – Executive Director, Eleanor Jordan

MATRIX, Center for Digital Humanities & Social Sciences, Michigan State U – Director, Dean Rehberger

NAACP-Lexington-Fayette County Branch #3097 – President, Rev. James Thurman

University of Kentucky, Division of Undergraduate Education – Associate Provost, Benjamin Withers

University of Kentucky Libraries, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History – Director, Doug Boyd

You can download all the letters here.

Abstract: The aim of this proposal is to engage women and girls in researching, collecting and recording women’s civil rights history in Kentucky. In support of the Fayette County Race, Community & Child Welfare initiative, the proposal builds on the commemoration of the 1964 March on Frankfort by spotlighting the work of Kentucky women in that event - before and after. The target audience is families whose teenaged girls are/were part of the Fayette Co. child welfare system. The partner organizations will recruit those who are African-American/Black or Hispanic/Latino or mixed race to work together on oral history and multi-media projects. The girls, together with one or more family member, will partner with UK students to learn about their community’s leaders and strategies undertaken by politically active citizens and organizations to improve the quality of life for all.  They would also learn how to code/edit/write Wikipedia articles and basic HTML to present their findings on Wikipedia and The project addresses AAUW’s mission by offering the opportunity for girls and women to work together on projects that empower themselves and those who learn from their publications.

Project Rationale: Fayette Co. ranked higher than state average in 3 areas impacting children negatively 2010-12:

  • incarcerating youth in juvenile justice system (68.1 per 1,000 youth aged 10-17);
  • placing children in out-of-home care (46.2 per 1,000 youth aged 0-17); and,
  • high school students not graduating on time (17.3%)

Black children removed from their homes were 27.9% of total despite making up only 18.4% of total child population in 2012. Overrepresentation of Black and Hispanic youth in Fayette Co.’s child welfare system is well-documented, and issues surrounding subsidized guardianship in generating and perpetuating racial and ethnic inequities require creative solutions. Our youth need more attention in preparing for college: they tend to go, but too many (compared to other urban areas in KY) are unprepared and drop out. Also, UK’s female undergraduates have a higher tendency than males to drop out. Leadership roles in this service learning project will enrich the academic careers of UK women and encourage them to persist to graduation. Third, civil rights history rarely includes local grassroots women activists; this project provides excellent role models for the girls.

Project Description:

The proposed program will rely on collaboration across multiple organizations in four major parts:

  1. Learning about Kentucky women’s history in the context of the 1964 March on Frankfort (for desegregation of public accommodations and the implementation of fair housing laws) through a series featuring Kentucky civil rights activists and oral history projects.
  2. Orientation and training in appropriate use of research resources and digital media for creative digital storytelling and for the development of general knowledge articles on women in Wikipedia. Learning how to find and use community resources and government documents crucial for our citizens to use in life-long learning and for self-empowerment.
  3. Training in and applying skills in basic coding languages used commonly in creating webpages and social media - HyperText Markup Language (HTML) – for the site and the markup coding used in creating effective Wikipedia pages. A Kentucky WikiMeetup will allow for the teams to work with experienced Wikipedia editors.
  4. Developing skills in civic leadership and college/career readiness modeled by local community members in partnership with higher education students and faculty.
CKCPJ and the Lexington-Fayette NAACP branch will collaborate to offer a series of community-based lectures, films and neighborhood walks on KY civil rights history and women’s roles. The Project Director will work with the UK Nunn Center to prepare and train project members in how to conduct oral history interviews (to be digitally archived in the OHMS database) and with MATRIX staff at MSU to teach UK undergraduates and their partner teams to create multimedia projects showcased in a redesigned Open Knowledge Initiative. The celebratory showcase will not only celebrate the project teams’ work but also increase the visibility of AAUW-KY’s contributions toward achieving educational opportunities and equitable resources for women and girls.

Implementation: This program will train 10 girls and 10 parents/guardians in digital media production, civic engagement and oral history interviewing techniques. Partnering with UK undergraduates, these youth and their parents will be using up-to-date computer software to become digital storytellers of civil rights history and life in their communities.

Summer 2014: 10 girls aged 13-17 selected from a pool of applicants recruited from the Fayette Co. RCCW target audience. Lexington NAACP and CKCPJ plan a community-based series (lectures, films, neighborhood-walks) by experts in civil rights activism, history and racism in the U.S.  The series is recorded and posted.

Fall 2014: UK offers EXP396 (Experiential Education) and faculty oversee learning contracts for each of the 10 undergraduate females recruited. UK students will be trained in the use of the oral history interviewing equipment available from the UK Libraries Oral History Department. Also in the UK Libraries for students are the PresentationU and Media Hub which support the students and community partners as they build their Wikipedia articles and multimedia projects showcased on Open Knowledge Initiative.

Spring 2015: The oral history interview digital files are processed by the Nunn Oral History Center staff and indexed for use by the project teams and community. A Wiki-Meetup ( allows the teams to work on their entries in a face-to-face setting with experienced Wikipedia editors. The project teams are invited by the UK Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education to present their digital media projects in April at the UK Undergraduate Research Showcase ( The AAUW Bluegrass Central Branch hosts a celebratory showcase event and highlights specific projects via social media.

Evaluation Plan: The website will be successfully redesigned by the MATRIX staff to accommodate the new showcase of community-based projects undertaken by the girls and their families – including videos of the related series of lectures and guided neighborhood-walks sponsored by the Lexington NAACP branch and CKCPJ.

The project teams and their undergraduate mentors will successfully present their digital media projects in April 2015 at the University of Kentucky Undergraduate Research Showcase, answering questions posed by scholars and students about their research in a way that encourages visitors to their project booths to give good evaluations and feedback.

The UK undergraduates who successfully enrolled in EXP 396 (Experiential Education) and completed their service learning experiences will have earned passing grades by May 2015 from their supervising faculty in the UK History Department or the UK Gender & Women’s Studies Department.

The Wikipedia articles (whether new or revised) generated from a Wiki-Meetup co-hosted by CKCPJ and NAACP and held at The Plantory will be successfully peer-reviewed by the editors in the WikiProject for Kentucky.

Dissemination Plan: Recruitment will start with the families identified by the RCCW Initiative (particularly those identified by the SKY Families Program at Kentucky State University, the Children’s Law Center, the Administrative Office of the Courts Juvenile Services, and the KY Cabinet for Health and Family Services). In addition, the Project Director will reach out to those who participated in the CKCPJ Lexington Youth Initiative, the CKCPJ Summer Jubilee programs, the East 7th Street Kids Cafe, Lexington United participants, Lexington Children’s Law Center, and with the Mayor’s Youth Council. CKCPJ will also enlist the help of the Mayor’s Multicultural Affairs Office and Migrant Network (Isabel Taylor), Lexington’s “Be Bold” Girls Program Coordinator (Tanya Torp), and the Tweens Health and Fitness Coalition (Anita Courtney).

The open educational resources of the platform will provide access to the project for a global audience, however additional efforts will be made to publicize this work.  The Project Director will work with the AAUW Bluegrass Central Branch, AAUW Kentucky, and CKCPJ and NAACP Lexington Branch to issue press releases and offer local radio or TV appearances in addition to social media outlets.  The Kentucky Commission on Women will send out notices on their statewide listserv and the project partners will journey to the Kentucky State Capital to visit the KCW offices and to view the Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit. The KCW Executive Director and her staff will be invited to the final ceremony with the showcase of projects with the AAUW Bluegrass Central Branch. The University of Kentucky’s Public Relations staff will feature the service learning projects of the UK undergraduates, highlighting the leadership of these women in furthering community-based partnerships and civic engagement.

Impact/Outreach: This project can radiate out from the small group of targeted individuals and include many more families and community members – the AAUW provides a model by promoting combined with KY postsecondary institutions interested in expanding service learning evidencing mutual benefit for students and communities. For underserved populations, significant impact on the girls and their parents/guardians occurs as they establish personal connections with positive role models in higher education and in community activism. For too many of our families whose children are placed in the child welfare system, conversations focus on what they cannot do. Here is an opportunity for them to achieve an inspirational goal crossing borders that seem impassable. They will show our University students that the perspectives that they bring to the project can improve the world around us. In this creative endeavor with local justice organizations, these girls will bolster our collective civic health index and improve the quality of life for all. The women undergraduates at UK will provide, by word of mouth as well as UKPR vignettes, a stronger commitment between local organizations, underserved populations and the University. This project also continues a fruitful partnership between CKCPJ and Lexington NAACP that began with the commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington last year. Anyone curious about the role Kentucky’s local community activists played in the U.S. civil rights movement will learn from the new projects in and in Wikipedia. The Project Director will work on developing a “tip” sheet to share with AAUW on how to organize a project like this in other communities – including links to open resources, oral history societies or storytelling on mobile devices for cultural heritage projects.  This project is a way to help empower others in a grassroots endeavor for Kentucky girls and women.


Qualifications of the Project Director and Staff:

Project Director: Randolph Hollingsworth, M.A.T., Ph.D.
Randolph Hollingsworth, Assistant Provost in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the University of Kentucky, is a published historian whose scholarly work focuses on women’s history, conservatism and critical theory. Formerly an administrator with the Kentucky Virtual University, she is also experienced in the use of digital media and social media platforms such as blogging. Besides creating the initiative, she is the network editor of H-Kentucky ( and serves on the Executive Council for H-Net, an international scholarly organization. While organizing the first Wiki-Meetup in Kentucky (, she also co-coordinated the state’s first THATCampKY (

Office Staff:  The Central KY Council for Peace & Justice (CKCPJ)
Since CKCPJ does not have an Executive Director, the Board (led by co-chairs) oversees all administrative functions. April Browning and Gail Koehler (both paid part-time wages by CKCPJ) support this non-profit organization with clerical work and communications; Craig Wilkie (a volunteer Board member) is in charge of the CKCPJ financial accounting. The fully equipped office with communal meeting spaces is located at The Plantory, 560 E. Third Street, Suite 105, Lexington KY 40508.

Digital Media Support Staff: Dean Rehberger and MATRIX staff, Michigan State University
Dean Rehberger’s staff created in 2010 and has been maintaining ever since the Buddypress version of – they will provide the web support and consultation needed for a redesign of the through programming, graphic design, and installation of a database.

Organizational Capacity: The Central Kentucky Council for Peace & Justice (CKCPJ) was founded in 1983 and relies on an activist Board (listed at that includes two co-chairs (one male, one female) and representatives from other social justice and peace-activist organizations. Each Board member brings a wealth of experience in community action as well as depth of knowledge in finding leaders at the grassroots, state or regional levels to bolster any particular event undertaken on behalf of an ally organization or for an activity that the Board has chosen to undertake. Program delivery drawing upon partnerships formed from strategic relationships and the impact on central Kentucky’s quality of life are the primary reasons for the CKCPJ’s work. The Board supports financially the part-time work undertaken by the office staff, and the financial accounting for the organization’s non-profit bank accounts is overseen by a volunteer who is a Chief Financial Officer in his professional career. Both the Lexington-Fayette NAACP and the CKCPJ rely on local, grassroots connections to supply their volunteer ranks. In this past year, the Lexington-Fayette NAACP has led discussions on education issues, economic development, restoration of voting rights for ex-felons and the felony expungement bill. Together the Lexington-Fayette NAACP and the CKCPJ organized in downtown Lexington last summer a local commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington that drew a crowd of several hundred. The commemoration included musicians, poets, speakers from different religious faiths and of differing political ideologies as well as children’s dances and speeches created especially for that occasion. This project would build on and expand the partnership of two community justice groups.


$3,000 - Honoraria for expert lecture series: This fund will be dedicated to the support of experts (up to $550 each) chosen by the NAACP Lexington chapter and the Central KY Council for Peace and Justice to provide insight into the 1964 March on Frankfort, segregation in Kentucky’s history and the role of local civil rights activists in creating the resulting Kentucky Civil Rights Bill – the first, and most comprehensive, in the U.S. South. This series will take place at a convenient location for the families - either The Plantory located in the East End of Lexington or Imani Baptist Church on the northside of town - where many of the target families live and many community-oriented services can be found nearby.


$500 - Transportation fund for families: The CKCPJ office will disperse these funds upon approval of the requests from the families to recoup costs for transportation (not to exceed $.50/mile) to conduct oral history interviews, to work with the UK undergraduate students while researching or working on multimedia projects at W.T.Young Library, field trip to the State Capital or other required meetings with project director.


$1,000 - Childcare and food costs for families to attend project-related activities: The CKCPJ office will disperse these funds upon approval of the requests from the families to recoup costs for childcare (not to exceed $12/hour per trip) and feeding (not exceed $10/meal) while the parent/guardian goes with their teenager and the UK undergraduate to conduct oral history interviews, to work with the UK undergraduate students while researching or working on multimedia projects at W.T.Young Library, or to attend required meetings with project director.


$1,000 - Clerical support at CKCPJ Office and financial administration of the grant, including phone costs, office room rental, materials and supplies.


$1,000 – Refreshments (or meals) to be served by CKCPJ for attendees at the educational series and training meetings with the families at the Plantory or Imani Family Center during the Fall and Spring. CKCPJ will also host the Wiki-Meetup and Wikipedia code training at the Plantory in the Fall. An important component of building an oral history project is for the author(s) to understand the basic differences between a good analytical history narrative and a general knowledge encyclopedic entry. As part of their training in preparation for their oral history interviews, the Project Director will assign the project teams a series of Wikipedia pages to review and discuss. The pages will be selected based on their relevance to (and accuracy in) Kentucky civil rights history and women’s roles, but also because of their rankings by WikiProject Kentucky editors. Basic training in coding and publishing in Wikipedia will accompany skillbuilding exercises in how to find and analyze general resources in the community and government documents crucial for citizens to use for self-empowerment.


$500 - Fees for indexing of six selected oral history interviews (approx. $1/page, avg 30 pages/interview); the interviews will be conducted using digital equipment borrowed from the Louie B. Nunn Oral History Center and uploaded by the Oral History Department staff to the UK Libraries OHMS data repository where the files are catalogued, indexed and accompanied transcripts (if any) are uploaded for the public to view.


Other funds and in-kind costs contributed:

$5,000 in kind – Time and expertise of the Project Director, a professional staff employee and adjunct history professor at the University of Kentucky as well as the administrator of the initiative (based on typical part-time instructor wage at UK)

$10,000 in kind – Costs for the UK department faculty providing instruction for the independent study students who are mentoring the girls as they research and create their multimedia projects

$4,000 in kind – Estimated cost of share of UK tuition for the 10 undergraduate students earning academic credit for their service learning projects @$400 per credit hour fee

$1,500 in kind – CKCPJ and NAAP contributions for advertising of educational sessions as well as typical room rental and set up fees for the educational series in the Plantory or Imani Family Center

$5,000 in kind – Server usage and maintenance of the environment by MATRIX at MSU; as well as support for (programming widgets, new graphic design, extending the database, etc.) from MATRIX staff at Michigan State University. The Kentucky Women in the Civil Rights Era ( website is part of a community outreach program at the University of Kentucky that collaborates with individuals or organizations in focusing on the compilation and creation of the history of Kentucky women in the twentieth century U.S. civil rights movement. Users of this site can explore the many different resources in order to analyze the structure and dynamics of the civil rights movement from the 1920s through the 1970s from women’s perspectives.  The site includes links to primary sources such as speeches, diaries and letters, newspaper accounts and oral history interviews -- from many different sites but all related to the history of Kentucky women in the civil rights era. Upon creating a free subscriber account, users can comment on existing journal articles, contribute to group forums or create their own multi-media webpages.  The goal is to take on the role of history detective as the user learns from the women who lived and worked during the civil rights movement, as well as from Kentucky's local community members, leaders, local archivists and historians from across the U.S.  Authors who are trained in basic HTML coding will be able to create web pages and blog posts that can be displayed for use by all – universal design principles will guide the training in how to build the most effective multimedia projects.  These coding skills are highly transferable to other social media platforms and web editors. Users will also be encouraged to use the Twitter hashtag #KYwomen or join the social bookmarking group named "KY women in the Civil Rights Era," and their entries will be viewable on the site.


$1,000 in kind – UK Nunn Center for Oral History staff time to orient and train the oral history interview teams and upload files to OMHS (

$3,500 funds – Kentucky Oral History Commission Transcription or Indexing Grant (due February 14, 2014 – see

Unknown – The Project Director will encourage the families and their undergraduate mentors to take the free School of Open course (either self-paced or live webinar sessions) on Wikipedia -

$500 in kind – AAUW Central Branch celebratory showcase event

December 31
Working on a grant for an Open Knowledge Initiative - - on Kentucky women's history in the 20th century

​This last week has seen the development of a draft of a proposal for an AAUW Community Action Grant due January 15th.  The project will (I hope) support the Fayette County Race,Community and Child Welfare Committee (RCCW) work. Led by Marion Gibson of Kentucky State University and Rebecca Ballard DiLoreto of the Children's Law Center Inc., the collaborative work by this group inspired the R.A.C.E. Forum held in November. In particular, the project will promote the 1964 March on Frankfort commemoration with Allied Organizations for Civil Rights (AOCR) and the KY Commission on Human Rights by spotlighting the work of Kentucky women in that event - before and after. 

The target audience is Fayette County girls and their guardians (ideally those who, one or the other, are African-American/Black or Hispanic/Latino or of mixed races). The girls will work together with their parent/guardian partner and an undergraduate student from the University of Kentucky on oral history and multi-media projects. The projects would be published on the Open Knowledge Initiative, Kentucky Women in the Civil Rights Era. They will also learn how to code/edit/write Wikipedia articles - while publishing what they've learned about Kentucky women's civil rights history. Ideally, through the use of guest speakers, field trips and interviews with civil rights activists, the mother/guardian-daughter teams will gain a greater appreciation for Kentucky history of civil rights activism as well as the grassroots efforts that generated the bigger events chronicled in mainstream histories. By working together on these projects, they should also gain a greater appreciation for what they value in life and the world around them.

Download the draft from my Dropbox

November 01
The Ideal College Ready Student in Kentucky - a presentation

What should Kentucky’s “college ready” young adult look like?
How do we get there?

At the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium meeting on October 31st, Dr. Gene Wilhoit moderated a closing panel that explored the ideal in Kentucky – what does an ideal young adult who is college and career ready look like? The panel was representative of business and industry, vocational education, higher education, and included as well two university student government presidents.

As the higher education representative on the panel, my presentation featured the University of Kentucky’s recent work in redefining its general education program: UK Core. The gathering of Kentucky higher education presidents and their cabinets knew much of what I was describing already, so I quickly summarized the Senate-approved Design Principles ( The key points here are that UK’s courses approved for UK Core would “incorporate learning experiences that produce understanding of the process of inquiry and help students develop critical thinking skills” which promotes a lifelong love of learning and intellectual development. This means then that the University promises to value evidence-based thinking, especially in “understanding what critical argument demands and what it offers as a way of understanding ourselves, others, and the world around us.”

College Ready Today Means…
Intentional Listening and Observing

For college students to be prepared to succeed then in the UK Core, they should be ready to go into a learning experience with a clear sense of what they want to get out of it. Skilled learners who are “college ready” set a goal up front, even for each class, then participate by intentionally listening and observing – not just reacting to new information without preparation.  See for example Annie Murphy Paul, "The Power of Intention," The Brilliant Blog, 28 October 2013, In high school skilled learners go into a listening session with a goal in mind. They know how to review what they already know and to ask good questions about what might be coming up on the horizon. This would ideally be an open and visible process, empowering students to refocus themselves through metacognition. For example, high school educators could help students to become skilled in effective use of concept maps, word clouds or poster showcasing.

College Ready Today Means…
Making Thinking Visible

An ideal "college ready" student knows how to make their thinking visible – and is not afraid to show that their thinking is incomplete or has gone astray. In fact, the best student will seek out other students and resources to help craft these visual aids and learns how to ask probing questions. Some alternatives to the typical multiple choice quiz are concept maps; or, instead of the regular essay, students could be required to design a poster presentation. In a philosophy class, for example, students pursuing the meanings of critical thinking could be challenged to create a visual “metaphor map” – not just talk or write about it – in this case, a ship at sea surrounded by ethical mountains (by K. Pierce, “Concept Maps in Philosophy Courses” 13 March 2011, In Socrates’ Wake
Metaphor Map

For more on this topic, see Nancy Chick, “Beyond the Essay: Making Student Thinking Visible in the Humanities” Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching

College Ready Today Means…
Stay Curious

It is easier for us as educators to create platforms to deliver content and then check to see if the student has been exposed to that content or can remember whole, pre-digested bits of what was assigned for them to cover. But higher education is about creating new knowledge; it’s about disrupting the regular flow of content to find new ways of thinking, new perspectives by inflection or experimentation.  Jesse Stommel, Assistant Professor in the Department of Liberal Studies and the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, writes: “Content and learning are two separate things, often at odds … Most content is finite/contained whereas learning is chaotic and indeterminate” (Stommel, “The March of the MOOCs: Monstrous Open Online Courses” Hybrid Pedagogy. July 23, 2012.

To become college ready, students should be expected to develop their own “way-finding” skills. Not just asking good questions but seeking out diversity of thought and experiences. Creativity becomes not just a magical characteristic of the privileged few, but a set of problem-solving skills that are crucial for a college ready student.

Students should be allowed to become frustrated, to go down wrong pathways, even to fail – if it means that they begin to understand their personal set of skills that lead to successful life-long learning. Becoming independent and ethical in the process is crucial for a college ready student. A valuable lesson for the engaged learners who begin to control their own learning are how best to manage their time and technology use. They should be able, then, to find and review the content they need when they need it and can review it at their own optimal pace. 

Research on students today has shown that many of these characteristics already may be in place. Digital learners today are:
  • Creative problem-solvers, ready to experiment with surroundings and adopt “alt” identities
  • Confident, scan environments and shift focus when needed, resilient, risk-takers
  • Social, informal learners, pool knowledge for common goal, and willing to negotiate across diverse communities
  • Believing they can multi-task
  • Globally oriented

For more on this see John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade, The Kids are Alright: How the Gamer Generation is Changing the Workplace (Harvard Business Review Press, 2006); and Henry Jenkins, “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century” (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning, 2009)

College Read Today Means…
Working Globally

Another crucial aspect to the development of a “college ready” student is for them to be ready to learn within a globalized community. When they use open courses or take advantage of open access to learning, are they able to interact with others who are different from themselves? Perhaps it is we the educators who are holding our students back from exploring the global communities available via the Internet. Project Tomorrow 2013 published its findings from the last ten years (“Speak Up National Findings: 2003-2013”) that digital learners of today can readily function as a “Digital Advance Team”: they found that students regularly adopt and adapt emerging technologies for learning and their frustrations about the unsophisticated use of technologies within education show a persistent digital disconnect between students and adults. The question then focuses on educators and educational settings: Are our students ready for the new settings of higher education? It’s a big world out there. More than 23 million people will be heading to university for the first time in 2014, and these new students are a more diverse group than ever before.

Watch this short video about college students today from a global perspective (“Education Indicators in Focus ,” September 2013, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).

On average, higher education’s first-time students are female, 22 years old, and about to embark on over four years of study in the social sciences. Approximately 70% of these students will graduate with a degree, with women more likely to succeed than men. Social sciences, business and the law leads the list of most popular fields of study. Only 39% of male students and 14% of female ones choose science-related fields. China has more university students now than the United States, with India taking third place.  Globally 60% of young people go to university – up from 39% just 15 years earlier and students are more likely than ever to go abroad for an education. (See more at

Students who are “college ready” today are those who are willing to learn to think as a global citizen.  This means we educators must empower students with their own way-finding skills instead of insisting on obedience to traditional kinds of sign-posts. Instead of seeking homogenous, compliant clusters of learners, educators must offer opportunities social sense-making in a world of strangers. 

August 20
Women's Equality Day Celebration at UK

​Women’s Equality Day is on August 26th – a date selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote across the nation. The observance of Women’s Equality Day also calls attention to our continuing efforts toward full Equality (see more at the National Women’s History Project website).

The Division of Undergraduate Education, UK Work-Life, and the Office of Institutional Diversity are proud to co-sponsor with the Kentucky Commission on Women a showing of “Makers: Women Who Make America.” This PBS film documentary (3 one-hour segments) is narrated by Oscar-winning actress and activist, Meryl Streep, and gives an in-depth, bi-partisan examination of the women’s movement in America over the past 50 years.

Makers logoErika Chambers, UK Work-Life Director, will kick off the film showing at 2 p.m. with information about free employee resources (e.g., workplace flexibility, elder care, mental health counseling) within her office as well as the Working Mother’s network.  You are welcome to watch all three one-hour segments, or join us at the beginning of each hour to watch a particular segment you are interested in watching.

  • 2 p.m. – Part One: Awakening (the start of the post-WW2 women’s movement)
  • 3 p.m. – Part Two: Changing the World (1970s feminism and backlash)
  • 4 p.m. – Part Three: Charting a New Course (focusing in on the workplace and the “glass ceiling”)

This event is free and open to the community.

Come celebrate Women’s Equality Day with us!

Monday, August 26th

2 – 5 p.m.

Visitor Center, Main Building
(directions to share with community members)

July 22
Academic Integrity at UK digital media project

​Have you encountered plagiarism in your classes or labs? Organizationally, how do we at UK respond to cheating? What about cheating among scholars even in the tenure ranks? Since we don't have an academic integrity office here at UK, we rely on individual faculty and department chairs to address it in their own academic cultures - and too often students bring forward their cases of academic cheating to the Student Appeals Board hoping to find some inconsistencies or lack of clarity on the part of the accuser. But this is not just an issue of students in the classroom.There is a discussion on the Global Education Support Network about plagiarism in research journals across national borders.

This is an issue that we at the University of Kentucky need to tackle head on.  We cannot hope that it goes away ... or pretend it doesn't happen here. How best do we change our community's approach to academic integrity?

There are two major approaches to bolstering academic integrity centrally and within a university community: 

  • Rule compliance - a committee develops a rule that tells scholars and students can't do and the university formally adopts the document, complete with specific penalties associated with non-compliance; the tone of this method is typically very legalistic and adversarial. This is typically the situation here at UK.
  • Integrity approach - primarily developmental in design, asserting that the university is responsible for crafting spaces for ethical discussions, using discipline only as a tool to help the accused and accuser develop as a person and as members of a healthy scholarly community. This approach requires regular and consistently informed involvement by faculty, staff and students (with administrative involvement only on rare occasions). The corresponding campus discussions about academic integrity and ethics includes events or activities at local, departmental levels as part of a broader university initiative to raise awareness.
An example of the integrity approach can be found at the University of California San Diego where an Academic Integrity Office organizes and clarifies the Univeristy policies. all first year students are required to take an online academic integrity tutorial that teaches students about campus ethical standards. In addition "academic integrity peer educations" (both undergraduate and graduate students) create and implement educational campaigns throughout the year to reinforce the academic integrity message. See for example the Academic Integrity Contest. When a violation of academic integrity standards takes place, (if a student) the accused is enrolled in a for-a-fee academic integrity seminar to help students learn from their failure.

The Division of Undergraduate Education is taking on this puzzle - I'm part of the team with C&I faculty Dr. Jasmine McNealy and CELT Assoc. Director Dr. Chris Rice.  First we will gather University partners and summarize content to be highlighted in a new web environment.  Besides pointing to the various rules/compliance areas in the University, we will also seek out subject matter experts and groups interested in leading academic integrity events/activities in their areas.

Here's a concept map of how we are considering the content to be organized and partners to contact.
Your comments and suggestions are very welcome indeed! 
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