Event Poster: A Resume of Failures

In March 2018, I was tasked with creating a poster for a talk given by Cultures Librarian Katrina Spencer and professors Rachel Joo and James Sanchez. The talk was aimed at students from minority and/or underserved backgrounds. I chose a red-grayscale scheme since captures attention, but isn’t horribly distracting. The background is made from scratch (colored shapes). I also found that stacking the profiles (professors) on top of each other to be the “center” of the image, and putting them in grayscale allowed it to match the design. I think this project really allowed me to better understand color settings and shapes on Illustrator, and cropping/selection on Photoshop. 10/10 fun while making it!

Displaying research through digital multimedia

This website was created to help Professor Amy Morsman, to whom the various images and documents included on the site belong, discover some possibilities of how users can interact with and understand her research in a digital multimedia format. Before I began working on the project, we had a meeting to discuss some ideas of what might work best; for example, some ideas were focusing on portraying personal stories, providing an overview of the population, small-scale maps, large-scale maps, and fly

Displaying research through digital multimedia

overs. To resolve this dilemma and demonstrate some possibilities, I made a website through WordPress on Middlebury’s MiddCreate platform, where I used various plugins and the 3D modeling software Sketchup to work with several documents Professor Morsman shared with me.

Though it also made this project initially challenging, I enjoyed that it was open-ended and that I could experiment with different ideas. I was able to learn a great deal about WordPress and realized how powerful it can be but also what some of its limitations are. I also was able to use Sketchup for the first time and appreciated the intricacies of 3D modeling. Overall, it was interesting to think about the portrayal of data from both the perspective of feasibility for the person creating the site, but also what would be most engaging for a viewer.

The test site can be found here.

Banner Design

In early May of 2017 tutor Alfredo Torres worked with our Literatures and Cultures Librarian, Katrina Spencer to design a banner to recognize Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. After the project was complete, Katrina had this information to share about the project:

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Banner
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Banner

This message is to praise Digital Media Tutor Alfredo Torres’ efforts. He designed the beautiful banner that now adorns our display in the library foyer. What makes his effort exemplary is that he was able to understand the pressure of a strict timeline, the importance of crediting the creator of the image, and the necessity of adjusting the image for the parameters and platform of the project. He did excellent work and it was a pleasure to work with him. His attitude is positive and problem-solving. Thank you, again, for hiring the right people. See some of the photos of the “finished” work attached.”

We are always pleased to hear feedback on the tutors’ work and are thrilled to be able to share this story about a successful collaboration! Thank you to both Katrina and Alfredo!



French Grammar Site

This project was assigned in June of 2017, and I was lucky enough to work with Professor Humbert from the Middlebury French Department on the creation of a French Grammar Website.  The site is hosted on Canvas, an educational tool that schools like Middlebury purchase from Instructure.  The goal of the project was to create an easy-to-use, well designed online space for Middlebury students to learn French at their own pace outside of the classroom.  Professor Humbert also hopes that, when the site is finished, students from outside the Middlebury community can profit from it too.

Canvas contains most of the tools to create an online learning space, but using the platform for what amounts to a comprehensive French grammar textbook was certainly challenging.  I was able to use the built-in “quizzes” tool creatively to produce a variety of different learning challenges: from songs and oral comprehension to fill-in-the-blank question prompts.  I also spent a lot of time making the work Professor Humbert had done prior to beginning work on the new site, such as creating exercises and grammar explanations, compatible with the new platform.  This involved the conversion of many files from Word documents to PDFs.  Finally, I was able to use the online design tool, Canva (not to be confused with Canvas), to create attractive and copyright-eligible designs for much of the site.  I hope to continue working with Professor Humbert on this project, and that many students profit from the existence of such a site.

Lands & Lens WordPress site

I provided assistance for Professor Kirsten Hoving on her Lands & Lens WordPress site, linked below. When I took on the project, the site was already made and needed help with specific functionalities that would make it more user-friendly. Over the course of 3-4 weeks, I worked with Kirsten and Heather on gradually tweaking parts of the site. For example, I helped format the pages shown on the left. My main focus was the aesthetics of the page, both with the presentation of the artworks and its descriptions, which was formatted mainly through Photoshop. In order for the user to easily navigate through this site, we also added references throughout the site to direct unfamiliar visitors to see all the artwork (i.e. back buttons, widgets).

I had some experience with WordPress before taking on the project which made it easier for me to navigate Kirsten’s site quickly. Throughout the process, I used Adobe Photoshop and some background knowledge of CSS to help improve the look of the site.

Click here to view the site!




Fayza: First Year Seminar Website

My first project as a Digital Media Tutor was assigned over summer in June of 2017.  This WordPress website was created for Professor Tom Beyer’s first year seminar.  The seminar is based on Dan’s Brown novel Origin and serves as a place where Beyer’s first year students provide a chapter by chapter analysis of the book throughout the duration of the course.

The website features Dan Brown’s social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter down the sidebar so site visitors can get real time updates from the author about the novel’s release on October 3, 2017.  This was done using Plug-ins provided by WordPress.  Professor Beyer publishes the website’s main content himself.  Through the use of WordPress widgets I was able to isolate Beyer’s work from his students’ posts.  When creating this website, we kept in mind that students would be uploading/writing posts weekly and adding them to the chapter pages.  To make this process as simple as possible, a separate page was created for each chapter of the novel so rather than creating new posts and categorizing them, students can click on the chapter and edit the page to add information.

This was my the first official website I created as a digital media tutor and it took approximately 3 weeks to complete. I liked that this was a complex website with many layers of functionality.  This project really helped me develop expertise in using WordPress for website development.

– written by Fayza Rahman ‘20.5

In the fall of 2017 this article was written about a culminating experience with the current cohort of FYSE students.