Monthly Archives: February 2010

Segue from Segue: Focus Groups Sessions

The Curricular Technology team in consultation with the Faculty LIS Advisory Committee has organized a number of curricular technology focus group sessions for faculty.   The goal of these focus groups is to understand how faculty teach and how they use the technologies currently available to them at Middlebury and beyond.

To ensure focus group discussions are manageable and productive, each session will be limited to 8-10 participants and session registration is required.  For more information, as well as a link to the session registration form, see:

Segue from Segue > Focus Group Sessions

Segue from Segue Usage Analysis: Language Learning Resources

Part of the Segue from Segue project involves analyzing how faculty and students at Middlebury have used technology for teaching, learning and research.  Last week, I published an overview of Segue Usage.  This week I have compiled notes on my review of curricular resources that the Language Schools and departments have developed with Segue and other tools, see:

Segue from Segue > Language Learning Resources.

Area 51 notes – Feb. 11, 2010

Present: Carol Peddie, Mike Roy, Mary Backus, Terry Simpkins, Shel Sax
We discussed doing a 360 review of AD team as part of evaluation process, but rejected the idea because we did this very recently during one of our consultations with Fred Schmitt.

Mike introduced a document describing in general terms the services LIS provides – derived principally from the SRC documents each area completed – and the constituency to whom we provide them (i.e. Vt. campus, Bread Loaf VT, MIIS, etc.).  Continue reading

Electronic Note-taking and Grading Workshop Summary

Jason Mittell (Film & Media Culture), James Morrison (Political Science) and myself lead a workshop for faculty on taking notes and grading digital documents yesterday that was well attended (see: Moving Away from Paper: Useful Practices for Electronic Note-taking and Grading Assignments).

Jason and James described how they assigned and collected students papers.  Both used email as the primary means of collecting assignments from students for the following reasons:

  • emails are timestamped providing a simple way to ensure deadlines are met
  • email provides a single place to archive records of all papers
  • email ensures a definitive version of student work

James and Jason differed in the format they required their students to submit assignments and the tool they used to annotate and grade these assignments.  Read more about their annotation and grading workflow on the Teaching with Technology blog (see: Moving Away from Paper: Annotating and Grading Digital Documents – Jason Mittell & James Morrison)

Both James and Jason have also had their student use Google Docs for collaborative projects.  Unfortunately Google Docs does not support footnotes so that is cannot be used as a tools for writing scholarly papers.  That said, Google Docs may be a good tool for creative writing classes or for language classes.

Vt Library Staff Listserv

The Vermont Department of Libraries is starting a new listserv for library staff from Vermont libraries. LIBSTAFF supplements other DOL listservs available.  Any message sent to LIBSTAFF will automatically be distributed to the entire group. 

 Want to stay up to date on DOL workshops? Need access to the newsletter? Curious about how other library staff do things?  LIBSTAFF is the answer. Continue reading

Supported Web Browsers

For an updated list of currently supported browsers, see the Web Application Development website.

I was asked as a member of the LIS Website Team to put together a quick post on supported web browsers for our site. In general our guideline for supporting a browser is to keep support for it for as long as the browser’s manufacturer is supporting it. This means we will try our best to resolve issues with any browser that you can readily download from a manufacturer’s site, except for beta and pre-release versions.

These guidelines apply only to services supported by the Web Application Development workgroup. Other workgroups may have their own guidelines, for example Internet Explorer 7 is the supported browser for Internet Native Banner users.

These are the versions we support at the time of this post:

With the exception of Internet Explorer, each of these browsers have both Mac and PC versions.

I’m using internet explorer, which version should I use?

We recommend that none of our users browse the site with IE 6, but the browser still accounts for about 6.5% of our site’s traffic and we try to make sure that the site is mostly working for these users. If you are on-campus, your machine should have received an automatic update recently to move you to IE7, if you hadn’t applied that upgrade already. If you are on-campus and still using IE 6, contact the Helpdesk so your machine can be updated.

Most of the site’s features and visuals are the same in IE 7 and IE 8, but IE 8 does have a better rendering engine and will be able to support more features going forward. Users of Internet Native Banner should stay on IE 7, since that is the most recent version of Internet Explorer supported for use with INB. Others may choose to upgrade to IE 8.

What about older versions of Firefox?

The Mozilla Foundation makes available all older versions of the Firefox browser, but after a certain time stops applying security and stability updates to the browser. When that stops, it makes sense for us to stop supporting the browser for viewing and editing the site. Firefox is updated more frequently, and iteratively than Internet Explorer, making changes between its versions less severe and allowing site functionality to continue working in most cases. For this reason, we recommend always applying the updates to Firefox and sticking with the most recently released version.

There are specific issues with Firefox 3.0 that we know about on the site and are unlikely to resolve. If you’re using Firefox 3.0, please upgrade to one of the more recent versions.

Is there a different list of supported browsers for editing

In theory, no. We would very much like the editing experience to be the same across all of the browsers listed above. However, we are beholden to using a WYSIWYG editor that is known to have a few quirks in certain browsers. We are planning to upgrade the version of this editor shortly to address some of these issues, but need to make certain that modifications to it to allow you to browse for files in the site still work in the new version.

We don’t block you from using any browser to edit the site, but some people have noticed intermittent quirks when editing in Internet Explorer and Safari. At this time, we recommend that editors use Firefox since we have not heard of editing issue with this browser and it’s part of the default distribution package.

What about beta and pre-release browser versions?

You’re welcome to use these, and they may work, but we will not respond to bug reports about site functionality not working in a beta version of a browser. These are often caused by issues with the browser that are addressed before its final version is released and third-party systems like WordPress and Drupal will often release their own fixes to these issues when the final version of a browser is released. It’s not efficient for us to spend time addressing these issues as well.

This recently came up because the WordPress editing interface didn’t work in a development version of Google Chrome. The issue was resolved several days later in a new development build of the browser and is likely not something we would have been able to resolve. In circumstances like these, we recommend using one of the supported browser versions instead until the development version is updated to fix the issue.

I’m using one of the supported versions, but there’s an issue. What can I do?

People with a Middlebury College account can submit a bug report. This system allows us to communicate back-and-forth with you and gives you a view of the issue through a web interface. If you don’t have a Middlebury account, you can submit the Web Feedback form and we’ll get in touch with you via email.

If I haven’t answered your question here, leave a comment.

Library Hours – Winter Carnival Break

winter carnival

A reminder that Library hours change for the Winter Carnival weekend. Enjoy the break!
Main Library
Thursday 2/25: 7:30 am – 8 pm
Friday 2/26: 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday 2/27: 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday 2/28: 9 am – 1 am (regular hours resume)
Armstrong Library
Thursday 2/25: 7:45 am – 5 pm
Friday 2/26: 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday 2/27: closed
Sunday 2/28: 4 pm – 12 midnight
Music Library
Thursday 2/25: 9 am – 5 pm
Friday 2/26: 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 2/27 closed
Sunday: 2/28 closed

Predict Nobel Laureates with Library Database

The Library subscribes to Web of Science, which is the platform for Science Citation Index and Social Science Citation Index.  Since 1989,  the publisher of Web of Science, Thomson Reuters, has correctly predicted at least one Nobel Laureate each year using citation analysis from these databases.  See the full story here:

To access Web of Science, see our list of library databases here: or use
For help using Web of Science or any other resources, contact a librarian