Social Sciences Advisory Group – Notes from May 16, 2011 Mtg.

Categories: Advisory Groups, Social Sciences

Attending:  Bert Johnson, Brenda Ellis, Shel Sax

How do we increase attendance?
We began the meeting by discussing how to increase attendance.  Is it an issue of when or an issue of what’s on the agenda?  Every time during the semester is a busy time for faculty. Everyone is maxed out.  Shel suggested using the time period after graduation but before local schools get out.  There’s no response to calls for agenda topics, so its hard to know what might draw people.  Brenda suggested narrowing the group to make communication easier.  International Studies heads of program areas revolve yearly, so it might be better to get someone to volunteer to be representative for all areas for multiple years.  Also, Bert suggested people are more willing to do something if asked by someone they know. Thus it might help if we personally contacted someone from each area at the beginning of the academic year to confirm if they are willing to serve for their department or program.

New Course Management System
Shel announced that Moodle was selected to replace Segue as our new learning management system. All classes will be linked from the Course Hub http://go.middlebury.edu/hub which will include basic information on each course with the ability to add a syllabus (Word or PDF) and link to other resources such as E-res, a blog, wiki, moodle course site, or a course website in another form such as Google sites. Shel showed Bert what the course hub will look like from the student view and the faculty view.  LIS will be offering workshops on Moodle later in the summer, for those who want the extra features this system will provide.  LIS liaisons will also get training.

Information Literacy
Brenda showed the new Information Literacy website that is being developed http://go.middlebury.edu/infolit. She showed where to find the introductory research and technology skills that we want first years to learn during their FYSE’s and other introductory courses. The site provides access to the skills doc and other useful items (articles, handouts, resources for learning the skills, etc).  There is currently a pilot project to start developing discipline-specific skills at the intermediate and advanced level that can be incorporated into department learning goals.

Topics faculty indicated they want to know more about.
The MISO survey sent to the campus indicated there are several issues that faculty want to know more about.  These include copyright, use of digital collections, data backups, and online quizzes/pollsMoodle has an online quiz feature.  Bert mentioned wanting a way to quickly poll students on the fly in class, similar to clickers but without the hardware hassles.  It might be a way to engage students who surf the web on the laptops in class.  Brenda said there are now web-based applications that students can use mobile phones or laptops to respond with.  Shel mentioned that LIS is concerned about the number of faculty who don’t use middfiles to save their work (in some cases because of connection problems) yet don’t have a regular backup strategy.  He suggested using Dropbox.com which gives a fair amount of free space that easily sincs files on multiple devices.  Bert likes using a portable hard drive for regular backups.  Faculty can use whatever they prefer, as long as they are using something secure to regularly backup their data.

Couldn’t make the meeting but have a question or comment?  Use the respond link.  We’d love to hear your thoughts!

One Response to Social Sciences Advisory Group – Notes from May 16, 2011 Mtg.

  1. david stoll says:

    Well, i should have been there and would have been except for -a day or two before your reminder- programming a kid pickup for a group event with other parents. Not the sort of thing I could back out of. I think exam week is the best time, followed by second week of classes if you need a meeting before 2nd week of December 2011. And send a reminder a week before as well as a day before–that will get me there. And maybe I can elbow a couple of the social science colleagues on your list because the library is indeed crucial to what we do.

    I’m such a passive technology user -on principle, not just out of laziness- that I can’t think of any topics at the moment. Everything we discussed at the last meeting, and that you outline for the meeting I just missed, is of interest to me. I will be sure to take a Noodle workshop this summer, just in case this would serve my ends.

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