Author Archives: Michael Roy

Blended Learning in a Liberal Arts Setting: Notes from a Webinar

A small group of us gathered last week to watch the NITLE webinar on Blended Learning in a Liberal Arts Setting . The webinar was led by Dr. Jennifer Spohrer, Educational Technologist at Bryn Mawr College and highlighted the work she has been organizing as part of a grant funded by the Gates Foundation looking at how blended learning (a combination of on-line and face-to-face instruction) works at liberal arts colleges.  Middlebury’s Jeanne Albert (Math) and Jeff Howarth (Geography) are both teaching courses that incorporate blended learning this semester and are receiving support for this effort from the Bryn Mawr grant.

You can see the slides from her talk at

You can also watch a video recording of the webinar. To do that, you need to  ask NITLE for access, which you can do via the form at

The integration of on-line resources into face-to-face instruction is not particularly novel in 2012. What is novel is the thoughtful analysis of the costs and benefits of this approach, and the focus on measurable improvements in learning outcomes. Many of us wanted even more specific examples of how blended learning was incorporated into specific courses, and the sorts of gains enjoyed through this method. We are hoping that as the grant progresses that there will be further opportunities for us to learn more about what works (and what doesn’t) on campuses like ours.

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Welcome (back) (new) faculty and students!

Sunday’s convocation marked the beginning of the new academic year, and on Monday began the first classes for our over 600 new students and over 30 new faculty. With the rush of settling in now complete, I want to welcome our newest members of the Middlebury community, and at the same time, remind returning faculty and students of key guides to the major resources LIS makes available for our academic community.

One obvious place to start, for both faculty and students, is the Ten things students should know page, which describes the top services for students (labs, wireless, reference services, etc.) From this page, you can find links to the key resources that will allow you to make the most of the network and the library.

Both new and veteran faculty might also do well to review the page LIS4Faculty which describes many of the same resources, but from the perspective of a faculty member.

And for those who want to help shape our agenda for the year, we have two main advisory groups: the Student LIS Advisory Group and the Faculty LIS Advisory Group. These groups provide critical perspective for us as we navigate the complexities of bringing new technology and new forms of information to a campus already bursting at the seams with technology and information.

I wish you all the best as you begin your semester. If you have any questions, concerns, ideas, or thoughts about any and all things having to do with LIS, please feel free to contact me. I’m reachable via .

New Computer Lab in Library 140 Supports Quantitative Analysis and Experimental Social Sciences

In September 2012 we opened a new 35 seat computer lab in Library 140. The new lab is designed to support both work in quantitative analysis, and also for use as a space for conducting experiments. Scheduling of the lab is through the Registrar’s office, with preference for courses requiring specialized statistical packages. Kudos and thanks to our colleagues in Facilities and Media Services for their work in getting this built during an already busy summer season.

Blended Learning in a Liberal Arts Setting, September 12, 4:00pm – 5:00pm Library 145

NITLE is hosting an on-line presentation on September 12th from 4-5 PM. The topic is “Blended Learning in a Liberal Arts Setting” and will feature the work being done as part of the Next Generation Learning Challenges grant that Middlebury is participating in, and is being led by Bryn Mawr. More information on the presentation can be found at .

You can watch it from your own computer if you sign-up, or you can join us in Library 145.


LIS Quarterly Update: Summer 2012

We in LIS spent time this summer reviewing what we accomplished this spring, and planning for the upcoming semester and year. The results of this are reflected in the attached .pdf , which is the latest edition of the LIS quarterly update. You can expect an update in the late fall, which will provide a progress report on that which we have set out to do in the coming months and years, and also some course corrections based on new information culled from new information gleaned from the college-wide planning exercise that we participated in this summer.




LIS Quarterly Update: April 2012

This is the second installment in the LIS Quarterly Update that I began in January. The intention in writing this is to both look back on the last 3 months to reflect on what has happened, and to look forward to the next 3 months and beyond to provide us with a sense of direction, to reduce the number of surprises, and to make sure that those affected by new projects and new policies have a chance for feedback and input. Continue reading

saving trees with papercut

Every month I get a report about printing statistics from Papercut, the system we use to manage our printers. One of the things Papercut measures is how many pages did not get printed, and how much that reduced our carbon footprint. For January, nearly 10,000 jobs amounting to over 16,000 pages were not printed, saving 85.3 KG of carbon.


LIS Quarterly Update: January 2012

Welcome to 2012! As part of my ongoing effort to keep LIS and the College community aware of and involved in the work of LIS, I’ve decided to start writing a quarterly report. The report will offer highlights from the last three months, and describe our upcoming priorities, longer-term issues we should begin to consider, and other institutional planning efforts with which we must connect. Given the constraints of our budget and staffing, it is clear that we need to understand our priorities, make hard choices, and focus our efforts on the areas and initiatives that will make the most difference. Continue reading