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Digital Commons Events

Interested in seeing what digital tools your colleagues are using in their research and teaching? Ready to roll up your sleeves and learn to use a particular technology? See below for a list of upcoming events where faculty can learn about digital tools and technologies useful for their research and teaching.

(Looking for information on past Digital Commons events? See our event archive.)

Spring 2022 Events

Reaching Students through Open Pedagogy and Digital Media

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Digital Scholarship & Communications (DiSC), Center for Teaching (CFT)
  • Facilitators: Andrew Wesolek, director of digital scholarship & scholarly communications, DiSC, and Rhett McDaniel, assistant director for digital media, CFT
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, February 1st, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

Creating digital media, including video and audio, for use in teaching and learning has never been easier. Whether it’s a short lecture video for students to watch before class, a class podcast with student-produced episodes, or an interactive tutorial for students to review before an exam, faculty and other instructors have lots of options for creating and sharing multimedia resources with their students.

If you (and maybe your students) are going to produce quality educational resources, why limit access to those resources to a particular class of students? The practice of open pedagogy invites instructors to consider other audiences for their learning materials, perhaps other courses on campus, students in future offerings of a course, or even students at other institutions around the world.

In this workshop, participants will be invited to consider how they might pursue a more open pedagogy through the creation and sharing of digital media. Andy Wesolek, director of digital scholarship and scholarly communications at the Vanderbilt Libraries, will explore the practice of open pedagogy and the benefits it can bring to faculty and to students. Rhett McDaniel, assistant director for digital media at the Center for Teaching, will showcase the variety of digital media that faculty might be interested in creating on their own or with students. Rhett will also share how the Digital Media Lab can help faculty get started with this kind of work.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs.

REGISTER HERE.

Re-Visioning: Virtual Reality in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Expression

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons
  • Panelists: Lynn Ramey, professor of French and faculty director, Center for Digital Humanities; Corey Brady, assistant professor of mathematics education; Krista Knight, writer in residence in theatre and cinema & media arts; and Giles Spence Morrow, postdoctoral research fellow in anthropology
  • Date and Time: Monday, February 7th, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

Between the new Oculus Quest headsets and the “metaverse,” Facebook would have you believe virtual reality (VR) is the future of human-computer interaction. While VR may be having a moment in 2021, the technologies of virtual and augmented reality have been around in one form or another for decades. As these technologies mature, an increasing number of faculty are exploring their uses in research, scholarship, and creative expression.

In this Spotlight Event, we’ll hear from four panelists who are exploring the use of VR and AR in their respective fields.

  • Lynn Ramey (French) creates immersive environments that allow users to play through historical moments of cultural interaction.
  • Corey Brady (Teaching & Learning) invites students to design augmented reality games as a way to learn math and science.
  • Krista Knight (Theatre) explores the potential of virtual reality for interactive storytelling.
  • Giles Spence Morrow (Data Science Institute / Anthropology) uses advanced photogrammetry to produce virtual versions of archaeological sites.

Hear what your colleagues are doing with virtual and augmented reality across campus and learn how you can get started exploring VR applications in your discipline.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, students, and postdocs

REGISTER HERE.

Professional Productivity: Better Project Collaboration through Technology

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Vanderbilt IT
  • Facilitators: Paige Snay, lead instructional technologist, Center for Teaching; Jeff Loudon, principal relationship manager, Vanderbilt IT
  • Date and Time: Friday, February 11th, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

Have you ever emailed a file with a title like “Working_Document_DBedits_Staceyedits_final_TGedits_forrealfinal.docx”? Or needed to ask a question of your research team and not really caring who answered as long as someone answered today? Collaboration is key to many research initiatives and other kinds of projects, but collaboration can be hard. With messages flying between team members and different versions of documents haunting your inbox, it can be hard to keep the team on track and productive.

Herding cats may be impossible, but there are tools that can help with project collaboration. In this practical professional productivity workshop, we’ll learn about Microsoft Teams and Microsoft OneDrive, two tools free to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and students that can help project teams work well together. These laptop- and phone-friendly tools can help team members communicate quickly, keep track of decisions and resources, and make file organization and versioning manageable.

The workshop will feature Paige Snay, lead instructional technologist at the Center for Teaching, sharing how the Brightspace support team uses Teams for collaboration and coordination, and Jeff Loudon, principal relationship manager at VUIT, providing strategies for using Teams and OneDrive productively.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, postdocs, and students.

REGISTER HERE.

Building Your Professional Network with LinkedIn and Twitter

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, VU Communications and Marketing
  • Facilitators: Jaclyn Antonacci, senior social media specialist
  • Date and Time: Thursday, February 17th, 2:00pm to 3:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

Smart use of social media can help an academic strengthen their professional network, grow new audiences for their scholarly work, and keep up with developments in their field. But once you’ve set up your Twitter or LinkedIn account, what do you do next to start reaping those benefits?

The workshop, led by Vanderbilt’s senior social media specialist Jaclyn Antonacci, will feature strategies for making the most of LinkedIn and Twitter. Participants will learn how to connect with colleagues in meaningful ways on these networks and how to craft posts that will enhance one’s digital presence. You’ll learn about groups and lists and endorsements, and more!

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, grad students, and postdocs.

REGISTER HERE.

Digital Project Management for Research Teams

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Data Science Institute
  • Facilitator: Bianca Manago, assistant professor of sociology
  • Date and Time: Monday, February 21st, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Location: Zoom
Bianca Manago

What steps can you take at the start of a data-focused research project to keep your team organized? Or to make it easier for new team members to join the work? Or to return to a project after some time away without retracing your steps?

Research faculty (both junior and senior) are invited to this workshop on strategies for digital project management for research teams. Whether you have just one research assistant or a team of grad students and postdocs, there are fundamental moves you can make when managing projects to increase efficiency, accuracy, and replicability of your work. Learn about developing research plans, organizing and naming files, and more.

This workshop will be led by Bianca Manago, assistant professor of sociology. Professor Manago’s research examines inequality. She also studies statistical and methodological approaches to social science research.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, grad students, and postdocs.

REGISTER HERE.

New Horizons in Digital Social Science Research

The following two events are part of the special series, New Horizons in Digital Social Science Research, sponsored by Digital Scholarship & Communications (DiSC) at the Vanderbilt Libraries. Our guest on February 22nd is Dr. Trena Paulus, professor in the Applied Social Research Lab and director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities at East Tennessee State University. Dr. Paulus is co-author of Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World (Sage, 2021), Looking for Insight, Transformation and Learning in Online Talk (Routledge, 2019), and Digital Tools for Qualitative Research (Sage, 2014).

What Can Qualitative Data Analysis Software Do for You?

  • Sponsor: Digital Scholarship & Communications (DiSC)
  • Facilitator: Trena Paulus, professor in the Applied Social Research Lab, director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, East Tennessee State University
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, February 22nd, 1:30 to 3:00pm
  • Location: Digital Commons, Room 210 (small event space)

Wondering how best to use software for your qualitative research study? This interactive discussion will focus on the available packages on the market today, provide an overview of what these packages can and cannot do, illustrate how software can serve as the foundation for a comprehensive research workflow, and share tips for how to select the best package for your needs. Examples from ATLAS.ti software will be used throughout and time for Q&A will be included.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, grad students, and postdocs.

REGISTER HERE.

Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World

  • Sponsors: Digital Scholarship & Communications (DiSC)
  • Speaker: Trena Paulus, professor in the Applied Social Research Lab, director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, East Tennessee State University
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, February 22nd, 4:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Location: Digital Commons, Room 200 (large event space)

In this lecture, Dr. Paulus will lead the audience in a critical appraisal of the role that digital tools and spaces play across the qualitative research process. A range of strategies for designing research workflows will be illustrated, including the political, ethical, and methodological dilemmas and solutions they present. Dr. Paulus will illustrate how to develop a process for engaging in reflexive practices that will keep the consequences of choices around research methods and the technologies to enact them at the forefront of the process. These processes include creating a paperless literature review process, theorizing new sources of data, considering how technological developments are impacting transcription and data analysis practices, and engaging in networked practices that represent findings in innovative ways.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, grad students, and postdocs.

REGISTER HERE.

Designing Graphs and Charts for Publication

  • Sponsor: Digital Commons, Stevenson Science & Engineering Library
  • Facilitators: Josh Borycz, librarian for STEM research, and Francisco Juarez, librarian for STEM research
  • Date and Time: Friday, February 25th, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Location: Zoom

How can you go from data in a spreadsheet to a publication-ready figure? Whether you’re representing your research through scatterplots, bar charts, heat maps, or some other form of data visualization, doing so is easier than ever with current digital technologies.

In this workshop, we’ll demonstrate tools for designing graphs and charts for publication, with a focus on the commonly used tools Excel and Tableau. Whether you’re just figuring out bar charts or ready for more advanced data visualization, you’ll learn about new options for producing quality figures.

This workshop will be led by Josh Borycz and Francisco Juarez, librarians for STEM research at the Stevenson Science & Engineering Library. The workshop will have plenty of time for questions, so bring the graphs and charts you’re working on!

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, students, and postdocs.

REGISTER HERE.

How to Train Research Assistants to Clean Data

  • Sponsor: Digital Commons, Data Science Institute
  • Facilitator: Bianca Manago, assistant professor of sociology
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, March 2nd, 12:00pm to 1:00pm
  • Location: Zoom
Bianca Manago

After data collection and before data analysis lies the all-important step of data cleaning. This is an integral, yet time-consuming part of any data-focused research project, and it is often delegated to research assistants (RAs). Unfortunately, data cleaning is not typically taught formally in the statistics courses our RAs have taken. As a result, many RAs don’t understand how to approach data cleaning and can miss critical steps and considerations, resulting in more work and more headaches later in the project.

Research faculty (both junior and senior) are invited to this workshop on training RAs to clean data. The workshop will provide a general framework for data cleaning, introducing key steps in the data cleaning process and the sequence these steps should be taken. And the workshop will provide guidance for training and mentoring RAs to clean data in ways that are both transparent and reproducible.

This workshop will be led by Bianca Manago, assistant professor of sociology. Professor Manago’s research examines inequality. She also studies statistical and methodological approaches to social science research.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, grad students, and postdocs.

REGISTER HERE.

Podcasting Essentials: What You Need to Know to Launch Your Own Podcast

  • Sponsors: Digital Commons, Center for Teaching
  • Facilitator: Rhett McDaniel, assistant director for digital media, CFT
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, March 9th, 2:00pm to 3:30pm
  • Location: Digital Commons, Room 012

Have you ever listened to a podcast and been inspired to make one of your own? You can! Producing academic podcasts around your course topics is a great way to help your students learn. In addition, your podcast would be accessible to the nearly 118 million podcast listeners all over the world.

In this session, you’ll have a chance to visit the new Digital Media Lab in the Digital Commons building at 1101 19th Ave. South and become familiar with the hardware and software you’ll need to create a professional sounding podcast, You’ll also learn about other important aspects of successful podcasts like finding sources for music and sound elements, uploading and storing audio files, listing your podcast on Spotify and Apple, and designing your podcast artwork.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdocs.

REGISTER HERE.

Creating Engaging Research Videos through Digital Storytelling

  • Sponsor: Digital Commons
  • Facilitator: Stephanie Castillo, PhD candidate in science communications and founder, Ph.uture D.octors
  • Date and Time: Wednesday, March 16th, 3:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Location: Zoom
Stephanie Castillo

Whether you want to spread the word about your latest research, shine a light on one of your graduate students and their work, pitch a big idea to a potential funder, or share your expertise on current events and controversies, producing a short video might just be the best way to communicate with a wide audience.

In this workshop, science communicator Stephanie Castillo will teach researchers and scholars how to broaden their impact through their digital presence. Participants will learn how to produce short videos about their research for audiences both specialized (e.g. readers of science journals) and broad (e.g. TikTok users).

The workshop will draw on science communication research and strategy, as well as multimedia storytelling practices. Participants will leave with ideas for how they (and their research teams) might use videos in their outreach efforts, and they’ll learn about campus resources to support this kind of creative work.

Open to Vanderbilt faculty, staff, postdocs, and students.

REGISTER HERE.

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