About COOL

Digital Projects at Barnard

Throughout its history, Barnard College has focused on providing excellent teaching and research in a liberal arts environment while expanding access to higher education. The breadth of knowledge, depth in major field, and critical thinking skills associated with the liberal arts are one major way of helping students to develop intellectual engagement and flexibility. Recent technological developments provide new means of fulfilling this mission. New interactive and display technologies enable faculty to transform their classrooms with a variety of digital interventions intended to deepen the learning experience of students, both online and on campus. Across Barnard’s campus faculty and students are taking up new technologies in exciting ways and the College has invested in the infrastructure to enable new forms of teaching and research that will continue the high the standards of a Barnard education. Innovative education that combines online and on-campus learning produces a hybrid model that can carry forward the tradition of liberal arts education.

We are in the process of actively building this integrative and immersive form of education in order to continue to draw the accomplished students that now attend Barnard. Our students will find more interactive, world-expanding, and engaged education. Barnard Library and Academic Information Services (BLAIS) has led the way in supporting faculty and students who implement new media in their work. Faculty members have taught courses simultaneously on different continents, developed a MOOC to share the experience of learning on Barnard’s campus with students around the world, used digital technologies to connect on-campus learning to major institutions in New York City, including the Schomburg Library, the New York Historical Society and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, developed “flipped” classrooms to improve the teaching of science, and taught students to produce multimedia presentations of their own research. The College has also built a new Empirical Reasoning Lab that will support faculty in developing students’ quantitative literacy across the curriculum. These innovations, and many more, promise to continue Barnard’s tradition of dedication to both teaching and scholarship.

The Projects highlighted on this website demonstrate the College’s efforts to build an exciting model of education that connects online and on-campus learning. Because of the breadth necessary to a high quality liberal arts education, these projects fall into a number of areas:

  1. Course Development: integrating online learning into new and existing courses and developing courses around New York City and in national and transnational partnerships.
  2. Producing Materials for Teaching and Learning: including materials that make use of a variety of digital formats, such as short videos, websites, apps, and more.
  3. Innovative In-Person and On-Site Learning: moving beyond the classroom to connect Barnard students to New York City and the various sites around the world where Barnard faculty work with students.
  4. Research Projects: new means of incorporating undergraduates into faculty research.

Janet Jakobsen, COOL Chair
Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies