Deadline Extended! Submit a Proposal to Join the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program in 2019

If you have ideas for a digital project related to your research and would like support for project development, consider joining the second cohort of the Digital Scholarship Fellows Program. The deadline for proposals has been extended to December 16. See our recent post for more details!

The program offers a learning community with other faculty doing digital scholarship and library staff who can help with technological, pedagogical, and theoretical aspects of embarking upon a digital scholarship project. You will also receive $2000 to support your project, funding to travel to a digital scholarship conference, and a $1000 stipend.

Contact Lyndsay Bratton, if you have any questions about the program or would like to discuss ideas.

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Introducing “Digital Connecticut College”

Digital Connecticut College Homepage

Yesterday we held a workshop to introduce Digital Connecticut College. Thanks to everyone who attended!

What is Digital Connecticut College?

Digital Connecticut College provides students, faculty, and staff with the opportunity to register a domain name and create a digital presence through various mediums such as blogs, portfolios, and wikis. You can easily install open source applications such as WordPress, MediaWiki, Drupal, Scalar, and Omeka to your own domain.

Why would I use it?

Although are are the beginning stages of rolling this out to the community, we can share some ways faculty, staff, and students are already using Digital Connecticut College.

  • Faculty research website. Use your domain as a space for digital scholarship, or to share your research with a broader community.
  • Online annotation of texts. Upload your course material into an interactive site that allows for student comments, discussion, and annotation. CommentPress and hypothes.is are two available options that we can support.
  • Collaborative class website. Several courses created a class website, sharing the results of their coursework with a wide audience.
  • Weekly writing. Students post reflections based on course readings or films. The site is shared with everyone in the class, and students comment on each other’s posts creating a vibrant online discussion.
  • Small group or individual websites. Students can also share their research or a project by creating their own websites.

How do I get started?

Contact Diane Creede, Lyndsay Bratton, or Jessica McCullough to create your domain and get started! If you have an idea, feel free to contact one of us. We can work with anyone regardless of your experience with technology.

A Student Experience With The Digication Portfolio

This blog post was written by Rigoberto Reyna, who worked as the Instructional Technology Student Assistant last summer. He is a junior and a member of the Social Justice & Sustainability pathway.  In the post, he reflects on the use of an ePortfolio in the thematic inquiry course. Thank you, Rigoberto!

As a sophomore I was introduced to the concept of Pathways. In the Pathway you will ask a lot of questions, discover answers, and piece them together. In order to keep track of your progress,  an online portfolio helps you organize your ideas and thoughts. This is where the Digication portfolio plays its part.

Digication is an online portfolio that allows you to save your animating question and the assignments that you worked on throughout the semester. By having it in one place, you can see how your thinking  evolved with your learning experience.

In my case, I took Professor Garofalo’s Pathway about Social Justice and Sustainability, and the portfolio allowed me to keep track of my initial thoughts on the subject. It was very interesting and shocking to see my portfolio at the end of the semester, because I could not believe how much I changed in just one semester. I then realized that learning and thinking are not something that can be described as linear. I was convinced of this because I added to my Digication portfolio throughout the semester. As I learned new information my views on the subject changed as well. Not only did I see my own changes, but I was also aware of how my fellow classmates dialogued with each other and asked for suggestions.

In the end, we had to create a final presentation for our animating question in the portfolio. We got together in our writing groups and had constructive conversations about our animating question(s). We referred back to the writing samples that we had in our portfolio in order to have evidence for our arguments.

As a rising junior I am aware that my ideas and thoughts digital portfolio will definitely change by the time I am a senior. I did learn that Digication is a very creative tool that allows you to express your ideas in a website-like portfolio that facilitates the expression of your thoughts to your classmates and professor.

If you would like learn more about digital portfolios, don’t hesitate contact me. 

Mini-Grants Still Available!

Want to try that new quizzing app in class, but the fee stops you? Did you learn of an exciting new tool you can use in class, but just need some funding to get you started? Instructional Technology still has DELI mini-grants available!

The mini-grant program provides funding for faculty members to explore and experiment with digital technologies to enhance teaching and learning. Faculty members may request up to $300 to support the purchase of software or hardware that will be used in one or more courses.

Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis year-round, and decisions on awards are made once a month by the Instructional Technology team. Find a full description of the program, requirements, and eligibility guidelines in the Mini-Grant Call for Proposals.

Image credit: No Known Restrictions: WPA Poster: Health Care Even Without Money, 1939 (LOC)

Open Access Week 2018

Every year in October we celebrate Open Access Week, an international celebration of everything open. If this doesn’t sound familiar, read up on the topic through the (brief!) blog posts we published in previous  years:

This year we are focused on advocating for the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) on our campus. Many staff and faculty colleagues have been thinking about ways to decrease the total cost of a Connecticut College education by replacing traditional textbooks with OER. During Open Access week this year, we will conduct a whiteboard survey in Shain Library asking students questions about how students use, acquire, and pay for textbooks. In following weeks we will collect and share the results of the survey.

We also invite you to attend and participate in a hands-on workshop to explore and discover OER for your courses, learn about and help shape future grant opportunities for OER implementation. Details are below – feel free to register or stop by as  your schedule allows. As always, coffee and snacks will be provided!

OER and Your Course: Integrating Open Content into the Curriculum – Register
Monday, October 22 | 3:00-4:00pm | Advanced Technology Lab, Shain Library
Open educational resources (OER) are educational materials that are distributed at no cost and have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-­purposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks,  streaming videos, tests, software, and other materials. Much work has been done at the College to integrate OER into classes. We will share what OER programming is developing and how to integrate these resources and practices into your own courses.

Copyright Confusion? Attend our workshop next week!

Next Tuesday (October, 2) Fred Folmer will lead a workshop, Copyright Essentials for the Classroom. If you have questions about which materials you can use in in your teaching and research, and when you can use them this workshop is for you. We will help you sort through the key issues surrounding copyrighted materials, including the application of Fair Use as well as various exceptions to copyright, such as the TEACH Act and library reproduction. We’ll also dive into some issues that arise most frequently among college faculty, including the use of copyrighted materials in teaching and assignments; images and video; concerns arising from the public presentation of student work; and copyright/ownership of your own research.

Join Us! Refreshments will be provided.

Copyright Essentials for the Classroom
Tuesday, October 2, 2018 | 10:00 – 11:00 am
Advanced Technology Lab, Lower Level, Shain Library
Register (not required but recommended) by emailing Jessica McCullough or online.

Image credit: Lost and Confused Signpost (CC BY 2.0)

Library Guides for Students (and for you!)

Exit West LibGuide

Over the summer librarians review, update, and create new library guides to assist students as they navigate research projects. While many students visit the reference desk or schedule library research consultations when confronted with a research project or specific information need, not all students take advantage of these face-to-face opportunities and some prefer to figure it out on their own. This is why librarians create online LibGuides – to help students get started with research and answer frequently asked questions. Here are some suggested LibGuides for you to share with your students. If you have questions, would like to see specific resources added, or have a guide created for a specific course, contact your library liaison.

Not all guides are intended for students! Ariela McCaffrey’s Online Educational Resources @ Connecticut College is a wonderful primer for faculty interested in finding online material for courses, and Fred Folmer’s Copyright Resources @ Connecticut College will answer many of your copyright-related questions.

Most Frequently Asked…Moodle and the First Week of Classes

After the first full week of classes, let’s look at some of the most frequently asked Moodle questions:

1. Where are my Moodle sites?

This question pops up every year from students and faculty alike. Students frequently look to Moodle to get a jump on their assignments or to get a preview of the syllabus before the class meets. Oftentimes, a student will log in and find that one or more of their courses are not listed and be concerned that something is wrong with their course registration. Most often, though, the course Moodle site just hasn’t been made visible to students yet by the faculty member. Students can contact the IT Service Desk for confirmation as to whether a site should be visible, or look to their instructor for guidance.

When the same question comes from a faculty member, the most common reason for the problem is an outdated browser bookmark. Each academic year, Information Services installs a new, updated version of Moodle, which is located at a slightly different URL. Using http://moodle.conncoll.edu will always get you to the current year, but if you’ve bookmarked Moodle, you may be looking at a previous year.

2. How do I add someone to my course site?

All students will automatically have access to any Moodle site for the courses in which they are registered. However, faculty often need Moodle access for other students who are not registered for the course, either because those students are serving as teaching assistants or tutors, or because the student is taking an Independent Study and is using much of the same material. Anyone with a Connecticut College username can be added to a Moodle site, using the instructions here. Depending on the role selected, users can be given student-level or teacher-level access to any site.

3. How do I email all my students through Moodle?

Moodle has a couple of different ways of sending email messages to students, each with their own advantages. One way is to post a message to the Announcements forum that is located at the top of the page on all Moodle sites. Anything posted to the Announcements forum will be emailed to all the currently-listed participants in a course. One advantage to this method is that all posts remain in the forum for the duration of the course. This allows any students who may add the class later, after a message was posted, to be able to go back and review earlier messages. Any student can look back at the Announcements forum to see any post, even if they have deleted the email from their inbox.

Another method of emailing students is to add the Quickmail block to a course site. Look here for instructions on setting up and using the Quickmail block. The benefit of the Quickmail block is that it allows flexibility in who an email goes to – instructors can select all members of the class, individual students, or groups of students.