Tag Archives: LIS Staff Interest

Weekly Web Updates – January 18, 2016

Change to Instructor Course Listings

Instructor course lists in the Course Catalog and Drupal profiles merge equivalent courses so that cross-listed courses don’t show up multiple times in the list when they are really the same thing, but under a different code. Unfortunately, the logic we were using conflicted with the way data is entered in Banner to prevent students from registering for different courses that overlap significantly in their content area.

We’ve now updated the logic to merge the results based on the “cross-listing of course-sections” instead of the “equivalence of courses”. This should reduce the number of mis-merged courses shown in instructor profiles. That said, because we are using the data in a new way, it is possible that we will expose errors in the data that will need to be cleaned up. If you are an instructor and see an error in the course list in your profile, please submit a Helpdesk Ticket and we’ll investigate.

More details for those who are interested:

The old process was:

  1. Find sections taught by the instructor in the time-frame (default is past 4 years).
  2. For each section, get its associated course.
  3. For each course look up equivalents in SCR_EQUIV and merge them into a single result.

The new process is:

  1. Find sections taught by the instructor in the time-frame (default is past 4 years).
  2. For each section get the cross-listed sections from SSB_XLST.
  3. For each section plus its cross-listed sections, get their course entries and merge them into a single result.


Tweaks and Fixes

  • The “MiddTags” shown at the bottom of Basic Content nodes in the Middlebury Drupal site are now displayed using Drupal’s built-in field API, allowing their display and label to be altered on sub-themes. Currently, there should be no noticeable difference in how they are displayed.
  • Similarly, the “card” view of Profiles on the Middlebury Drupal site is now using Drupal’s built-in view mode system to display them as “teasers”. This allows us to prevent some code from running when they are displayed this way, most importantly preventing the lookup of course listings, which are not shown in the “card” view. As a result, the lists of profiles will load faster when you are logged into the site (the caching system means they already load quickly and there will not be a noticeable effect on their load time when not logged in).
  • We have also made performance improvements to the Course Catalog, lazy-loading data that is not needed on the initial page load, such as course descriptions, to improve the load time of search results.
  • MediaWiki 1.26 changed the order in which some files are included on the page and we have updated the CategorySuggest plugin so that it is now working again.
  • Facebook embeds in our Drupal sites now include the height attribute in the element, ensuring that the browser renders the embed at the correct height while the page is loading. This also means that when the left sidebar in the Middlebury site corrects its height to set the address block at the bottom of the column, it will take into account any Facebook embeds.
  • The Health Professions Committee form was updated to include a link for submitters to view their submissions, so that they could edit and resubmit certain entries.
  • We have removed the Twenty Eleven Midd, Midd Classifieds, BLOGS DOT MIDDLEBURY Landscape, BLOGS DOT MIDDLEBURY Map, BLOGS DOT MIDDLEBURY Translucense, Flexible BLOGS DOT MIDDLEBURY Navy, 2010 Translucence, and 2010 Translucence Parent (2.0)) WordPress themes.
  • The WordPress configuration on the MIIS WordPress site has been updated to prevent a redirection loop that could occur when accessing a site dashboard.

Lever Press Launches!

Lever Press Logo

I’m pleased to announce that the Lever Press has launched, and that Middlebury along with nearly 40 of our peers is supporting this effort as a charter member.

You can read the press release on the Oberlin Group website, coverage of the announcement from Inside Higher Ed, and Barbara Fister’s reflection on the process and what this means for the future of scholarly communication.

Twitter folks can track progress by following @Lever_Press . I am on the inaugural oversight committee, so I can also answer any questions that might arise.







Wireless Updates in January

Hello everyone,

The conclusion to our wireless network upgrade project is in sight. At the end of December, our latest configuration of the MiddleburyCollege SSID was implemented across campus. This has already been in place at our 700 Exchange Street offices for some time and the result has been positive. The final step for us is to replace Midd-standard and MCPSK with the new MiddleburyGuest network across campus on Monday, February 1st. Before then, we encourage you to work with the Helpdesk as necessary to get connected and use MiddleburyCollege from now on. (Note that if you’ve had trouble with MiddleburyCollege in the past, it’s worth trying again; we’ve significantly altered the backend infrastructure to improve connectivity. The recent change also gives us new visibility to help diagnose common connection issues.)

To help ease the transition, on Monday, January 25th we’ll be moving the Library over to the new set of SSIDs so you can see exactly what a “post-Midd-standard” world will look like. Come stop by and check it out. In fact, we recommend having your device “forget” Midd-standard altogether so you can make sure that MiddleburyCollege works in your dorm or office, too.

We’ve anticipated some questions about this project below, but feel free to ask more in the comments. For specific connection issues, please contact the Helpdesk.

When all is said and done, what will people in different situations need to do?
Short version: Middlebury College faculty, staff and students with laptops or mobile devices will use MiddleburyCollege. Most guests will see this page which will quickly get them set up to use MiddleburyGuest. Check out our new Getting Started page for exceptions and further details.

But what about my DS/Kindle/etc.? I was counting on Midd-standard or MCPSK.
Devices like Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo DS and certain models of Kindle and Nook, as well as certain shared-use business devices, need to be manually registered. (Chromecast, AppleTV and wireless printers are not supported on our network at this time.) The good news is that you can register your device right now and when the time comes, connect your device to MiddleburyGuest for Internet access. (Note that this network will not have access to Middlebury College network resources like Middfiles. If you suspect this will not meet your needs, please contact the Helpdesk as soon as possible so we can find a solution that works for everyone.)


~Zach Schuetz
Wireless Project Manager

Weekly Web Updates – January 11, 2016

Previously, everyone who could log into our Middlebury and MIIS Drupal sites was in a group of users who could view the general Google Analytics report and would potentially see a “Stats” link in the Edit Console to get a Google Analytics report on pages they can edit. While there’s no security issue with this, the best practice is to scope site permissions where possible, so this view is now restricted to just people with access to our Google Analytics under their @middlebury.edu or @miis.edu email address. We’ll be reaching out to those who are registered in Google Analytics using their own @gmail.com emails with instructions on switching, if they like. If you would like access to analytics, you can request it through Web Helpdesk.


Fixes and Tweaks

  • Google changed the domain of their calendars from google.com/calendar to calendar.google.com, which broke some Google Calendar shortcodes in WordPress. The plugin now accepts both domains.
  • When showing a list of “News” items on the Middlebury Drupal site using the RSS Page content type, the Publish On date will now be used to sort the items, when available, rather than the last edited date.
  • You can now include “controls:false” in the MiddMedia shortcode in WordPress to display a video player without the control buttons.
  • As part of the continuing phase out of the Translucence themes for WordPress, the Metrics, Minimalist, Translucence Dark, and Blogging Community Homepage themes were removed.
  • The default value for class year on Davis UWC student profiles is now 2019.
  • A contact email address was removed from the MIIS footer on forms.miis.edu, directory.miis.edu, go.miis.edu, catalog.miis.edu, and m.miis.edu.
  • Fixed a bug in the Course Hub sync process that was preventing spring-term courses from synchronizing rosters to Moodle.
  • Improved the security of of CAS Directory service. ITS staff can now log in via CAS to use this service for troubleshooting group-membership attributes.

Email Phishing Alert

To our campus community,

We need to make you aware of an on-going phishing email attack on campus.  If you see a message like the one shown below, delete it and don’t respond.   It you have already responded to this email and given information, contact the Helpdesk at 802-443-2200 and check out the link below explaining what to do next.


These phishing emails can appear legitimate, though they take you to a non-legitimate site or email address.  Remember that the Helpdesk will never ask for your username/password.

Here is an example of the most recent email you may have received:

“To All
We currently upgraded our Server to 50GB inbox space. Please log-in to your user account to validate E-space.
Your emails won’t be delivered by our server, unless email account is confirmed.
protecting your email account is our primary concern,
for account update
should you have any questions please contact the IT Helpdesk.

Copyright (c)2016 ITS Help Desk”

Be Safe,

Lisa Terrier
Helpdesk Manager – Service Requests
Middlebury College
110 Storrs Ave – Davis Family Library
Middlebury, VT 05753

Weekly Web Updates – January 4, 2016

This covers the brief week of December 21 through noon on the 23rd.

New Features

The IX Show Latest YouTube plugin for WordPress is now available, which provides a shortcode for displaying the latest video from a particular YouTube channel.


Fixes and Tweaks

Fall 2015 Wilson Media Lab Stats

After compiling the fall semester usage stats for the Wilson Media Lab one trend became apparent: increased usage. When compared with the usage stats for the fall 2014 semester we saw:

  • Increase in hourly lab usage counts from 5525 to 7154 which equates to a 29% increase over the 2014 count.
  • Peak hourly usage count increased from 454 to 657 (45% increase over the 2014 count). In 2014 this occurred during the 9 – 10 pm time block, in 2015 in occurred during the 3 – 4 pm time block.
  • Increase of help requests from 884 to 1075 (22% increase over the 2014 count). In both years help requests peaked the week prior to finals (145 in 2014 and 200 in 2015). Kudos to the digital media tutors for handling all these questions!!

Below is an infographic of lab data. If you are interested in more granular information feel free to contact Heather at hstafford@middlebury.edu.