Collaborative for Digital Engagement and Experience (CODEX) is a curricular initiative for Ohio Five undergraduates and faculty to explore questions within their fields of study using new digital tools and practices and develop critical approaches to evaluate technology’s interpretive power and limitations. Funded by a $250,000 grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (2020-2024), this interdisciplinary partnership of faculty members, librarians, instructional technologists and students is resulting in new and redesigned courses and student research opportunities at Ohio Five colleges.
Developed by a cross-college Ohio Five committee of faculty members, deans, technologists, and librarians during 2018-19, CODEX is based on five years of digital scholarship collaborative work at the Ohio Five, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. 45 individual research and classroom projects developed by Ohio Five faculty paved the way for this next-stage course design collaboration, which will add a new, affordable consortial model to test, develop and implement digitally engaged courses at liberal arts colleges.
The project’s goals are to:
- cultivate more critically-engaged digital citizens among our students, faculty, and staff;
- increase digital fluency in teaching and faculty and student research;
- position our students for post-graduate success through demonstrated leadership in digitally-assisted humanistic inquiry in their fields;
- assess student learning outcomes associated with digital project work and the use of open educational resources and determine which project elements are most effective in supporting faculty members as they make these curricular changes.
CODEX provides a year-round series of supports to foster course development and understand the effectiveness of digitally-engaged teaching. Project elements include:
- An annual week-ling summer institutes for course development, each year inviting ten teams of faculty, librarians, students, and technologists to collaborate, across colleges and across disciplines, to redesign existing or develop new courses focused on experiential learning activities using digital tools and practices. To date, summer institutes have featured experts from Davidson College, Bucknell University, Plymouth State University, Kenyon College, and the University of Pennsylvania focusing on use of GIS technology, course design techniques, open pedagogy practices, and decolonizing digital pedagogy projects among other topics.
- Microgrants for project teams to continue their course development work following the summer session
- Skill-building workshops for faculty and staff during the academic year to introduce digital tools and their curricular uses and generate project teams
- Professional development opportunities for faculty members to take deep dives into new technology learning at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute and other conferences
- The development of a CODEX Hub to house digital curricular projects and invite Ohio Five and other collaborators to participate in their continued development
- Assessment of student learning goals and faculty project supports
By the conclusion of the project in 2024, CODEX will add at least 30 new or redesigned courses to the curriculum and an estimated 225 faculty will have participated in on-campus workshops to develop technology skills and build future course teams.
At a time when digital citizenship is more important than ever, CODEX aspires to instill digital engagement as a “new normal” in the liberal education at our colleges. Our distributed model develops courses across the curriculum and promotes faculty mentorship to encourage their proliferation. The five-college administration of supports – institutes, workshops, research – shares the financial commitment among our small colleges and leads to future sustainability and continued collaboration and innovation as courses, technology and teaching adapt to our changing world.
The CODEX project is led by Jacob Heil, Digital Scholarship Librarian and Direct of the Collaborative Research Environment (CoRE) at The College of Wooster, and Wooster Professor of Sociology Heather Fitz Gibbon, who co-directs the CODEX Summer Institute. Melissa Schen, Director of Educational Assessment at The College of Wooster, directs assessment efforts, reporting to a five-college CODEX Steering Committee.
More information about the CODEX teams and its sponsored courses is available from the CODEX website, and a recording of each Institute’s team presentations is available on the Ohio Five YouTube channel.