Title

Inside/Outside the Binary: Teaching the Politics of Data

Item Type

Presentation

Location

Elaine Langone Center, 241

Session

#s1c: Exploring LGBTQIA+ Communities through Digital Landscapes, moderator Diane Jakacki

Start Date

29-10-2016 8:30 AM

End Date

29-10-2016 10:00 AM

Description

At Occidental, we are experimenting with the integration of quantitative reasoning into courses outside of STEM. Students, often without prompting or explicit guidance from faculty, are conducting online surveys, generating data visualizations, and downloading large public data sets in their own research. Given that big data is driving decision-making from the LAPD’s use of “predictive policing” to deploy helicopters, to OKCupid’s manipulation of user experience to study human sexuality, we argue that quantitative literacy — in the form of critical evaluation of how data are constructed and used — is quintessentially humanistic, and thus could be considered a key component of a digitally inflected liberal arts curriculum. Guided by this programmatic interest in quantitative literacy in the liberal arts, this interactive presentation zooms in on the design process for one inquiry-based course on non-normative gender identities and the politics of counting and classification. The course involves a class-wide research project that designs measures for non-binary gender identities and collaboratively analyzes the gender diversity of the campus. From this singular prototype, we derive some overall principles for the design of inquiry-based courses that aim to cultivate a critical approach to data collection and the quantification of human experience.

Language

eng

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Oct 29th, 8:30 AM Oct 29th, 10:00 AM

Inside/Outside the Binary: Teaching the Politics of Data

Elaine Langone Center, 241

At Occidental, we are experimenting with the integration of quantitative reasoning into courses outside of STEM. Students, often without prompting or explicit guidance from faculty, are conducting online surveys, generating data visualizations, and downloading large public data sets in their own research. Given that big data is driving decision-making from the LAPD’s use of “predictive policing” to deploy helicopters, to OKCupid’s manipulation of user experience to study human sexuality, we argue that quantitative literacy — in the form of critical evaluation of how data are constructed and used — is quintessentially humanistic, and thus could be considered a key component of a digitally inflected liberal arts curriculum. Guided by this programmatic interest in quantitative literacy in the liberal arts, this interactive presentation zooms in on the design process for one inquiry-based course on non-normative gender identities and the politics of counting and classification. The course involves a class-wide research project that designs measures for non-binary gender identities and collaboratively analyzes the gender diversity of the campus. From this singular prototype, we derive some overall principles for the design of inquiry-based courses that aim to cultivate a critical approach to data collection and the quantification of human experience.