Muhlenberg College is a leader in rethinking the role of the digital within the liberal arts. Over the last several years, we have evolved a model we call 3DI. This is a values-based framework for understanding, shaping, and implementing an intentionally humanistic digital learning theory and practice. 3DI foregrounds the values and principles that have shaped and sustained our work since Digital Learning was formally established as an institutional priority in 2014.
Our liberal arts mission and values compel us to explore the possible uses of digital tools to help ignite students’ social imagination — their capacity to construct visions of what should be and might be in their fields of study, their communities, and in society. This requires an understanding that technology is not neutral. Technology is not itself, a solution. Rather, how can we enlist technology to imagine other worlds are possible?
We evaluate digital tools and spaces through the lens of Muhlenberg’s institutional priority on inclusion. We pay critical attention to the ways digital tools and digital spaces can be leveraged to facilitate inclusive pedagogies. It also demands we recognize the ways that ed-tech has historically reinforced patterns of exclusion and privilege. We design digital initiatives to counter these histories and create more humane and inclusive digital futures.
Increasingly, the ways students explore, think, and communicate about ideas across the humanities, arts, natural, and social sciences intersect with the digital. Critical inquiry is situated at the heart of liberal arts learning. We create opportunities for campus conversations about the roles of digital technology and spaces for helping students develop as scholars and critical thinkers, so that they may share that knowledge with a wider public.