Building Bryn Mawr

Posted January 22nd, 2016 at 1:29 pm.

Project Team

Alicia Walker, Assistant Professor of Medieval Art and Architecture and Director of the Center for Visual Culture plus her student assistants
Joseph Marra, Associate Director for Planning and Projects
Camilla MacKay, Manager of Research and Instructional Services
Scholarly Communications Librarian

Course Involved

First-Year Emily Balch Writing Seminar, “Building Bryn Mawr”


Platform development: Summer 2015
Piloted in course: Fall 2015

Goals and Description

Professor Alicia Walker has decided to include two “flipped classroom” components in the fall 2015 iteration of her Emily Balch Seminar, “Building Bryn Mawr”.

The first component involves scanning and developing interactive assignments using the historical plans of the plethora of 19th century buildings on campus. The interactive assignments will give students the opportunity to practice reading, interpreting, and critically assessing architectural plans. Students will practice close visual analyses of the buildings and will compare plans of the same buildings which were intended for different purposes. These assignments will prepare students for class sessions where they will discuss buildings, construction, and function with campus architect Joseph Marra. This component is intended to increase student engagement with the archival material to promote more robust in-class discussion.

The second component involves creating online peer review modules in Moodle to facilitate student interaction with one another’s work. Walker intends to create targeted guides on how to conduct peer reviews, as a way for her to be involved with the online peer review activity in an effective yet unobtrusive manner. The goal of the online peer review is to encourage student independence and improve writing skills while maintaining a level of rigor and accountability.

These components will encourage students to think through the course material creatively in order to link visual evidence with historical evidence as well as the social themes examined over the course of the semester. Additionally, the project will create a fuller visual archive of building plans for the College archives that students can utilize in their course papers.

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