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This Week at the Center - April 15, 2014

Home > News & Updates > This Week at the Center - April 15, 2014

Humanities were a key focus of conversations at the Center this week. On April 9, we welcomed Jim Grossman, Executive Director of the American Historical Association (AHA), who led Center and Library staff in a discussion about the ways humanities disciplines, and history in particular, are changing their research and teaching practices to respond to the opportunites of the digital age.

In his opening remarks, Grossman briefed the group on recent efforts by the AHA to create guidelines for promotion and tenure that will take into account digital projects and provide some guidance for evaluating them. The subsequent discussion also touched on MOOCs and Grossman’s preferred term for them, MOORs or Massive Open Online Resources in recognition of the potential of materials produced for these projects to augment face to face classes instead of standing alone.

There was also brief discussion of the February issue of AHA's mazagine Perspectives titled Historians Respond to MOOCs, devoted to essays reflecting on the effects of MOOCs on teaching, learning, and research practices among historians and their students.

In addition to Grossman’s visit, the Center was buzzing with activities surrounding other humanities projects in our portfolio. We celebrated the recent re-launch of one of our oldest projects, Epistolae, a collection of letters by medieval women translated and curated by Joan Ferrante, Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia. Now in its fourteenth year, Epistolae remains an essential open educational resource for research and teaching about medieval, women’s, and literary histories.

Meanwhile, a team of video and educational technology specialists were working on bring one of our newest projects into being, Eric Foner’s MOOC on the Civil War, which will be Columbia’s first offering on the edX platform.

Also this week: Steve Wilson of Apple visited from Cupertino to discuss iTunes U and iBooks; Staff attended Dr. Charles Prober’s “Reimagining Medical Education” lecture at CUMC, based on a paper he recently co-authored with Salman Khan.