American Conversations is an interdisciplinary learning community providing a far-ranging exploration of America over a two-year sequence of courses. Students get to know one another both in their conversation-based classes and by living in a common dorm in their first year. In AmCon, conversations might start in the classroom and continue over dinner or during a trip to a museum cultural event.
The creation of the Amcon Digital Library took place over the summers of 2015 and 2016. The digital library is both an archive of teaching materials created over many years, and a living resource of examples, slide decks, lesson plans, and ideas to be drawn upon by successive generations of teachers within the American Conversations program.
This project builds on a DHH-CURI project completed in summer 2014 by Prof. Matt Rohn and student Jay Carlson, who researched and tested formats and technologies, and developed a portal shell and initial content. During the summer of 2015 Prof. Eric Fure-Slocum and Prof. Colin Wells gathered, digitized and annotated a large collection of course materials and worked out the underlying design of the eventual collection. During the summer of 2016, substantial additional materials were collected and curated, and the entire collection was migrated to Elevator, St. Olaf’s digital repository system.
This video provides an overview of the Amcon Digital Library and explains how it will be used by generations of teachers in the American Conversations program.