Social Science Advisory Group, Fall 2013

Dec. 12, 2013


  • Curricular Technology Use
  • Videoconferencing – Upcoming Improvements
  • Redesigned Citation Guide for students
  • New All-LIS help page
  • New Tech Helpdesk Self-Service Ticketing System


Curricular Technology Use (Joe Antonioli)

LIS wants to know if there are factors discouraging faculty from using technology.  Please let us know so we can make improvements (but  if you don’t see the need, that is fine).

Joe shared statistics on what kinds of activities are connected to the from the Course Hub (go/hub).


  • About 2/3 of courses use some web-based activity; 84% of faculty use at least something.
  • Moodle sites are created from hub, so this data automatically shows.  For E-res, Reserves creates the link for the course.
  • Moodle use by faculty has increased from 31% (fall 2012) to 43% (fall 2013), up by 12%
  • Most popular Moodle activities in order of use:  store & distribute files; forum (discussion); url link; drop box feature (assignments); web page within moodle;  label; folder; quiz; assignment.
  • WordPress sites are sometimes created outside the Course Hub, this makes the data from the Hub incomplete. Other sources of data indicate that WordPress is heavily used.
  • 49% of faculty use middfiles, down 3% from last year. We will track the data to see if this is a trend.
  • More details on the slide here:  http://go/ctnov12013

Discussion: Kemi prefers Moodle over middfiles because he likes putting everything in one place (assignments, quizzes, etc).  Joe mentioned some students have trouble mapping drives to middfiles.

Kemi observed there is great variation in use of technology within the social sciences.  Age / newness does not seem to be a predictor.  He started using moodle to get away from paper (sustainability reasons) and out of curiosity.  Usually he sticks with what works.  He found commenting to be quicker online plus he could edit what he wrote, add longer comments, etc.

Common threads from LIS one on one interviews with faculty:

  • Faculty use more technologies than they realize.
  • Faculty prefer to talk to colleagues first if they are considering trying a new technology.

Videoconferencing  (Petar Mitrevski)

Improvements are in the works and will be announced when ready.

The new system will allow faculty to bring guest lectures to a classroom over a video call similar to skype, but it will run over a dedicated network optimized for video calls.  We can use existing microphones & cameras and get better quality than skype.

LIS is also looking for additional space to create a dedicated videoconferencing room not used for anything else.  It will be used for classes and for meetings (ex. between Middlebury & Monterey).  Faculty could connect with courses at other institutions or bring in a guest lecturer.

LIS is seeking a room that could be subdivided for a smaller atmosphere when needed.  For larger groups (~50), the divider could be removed.  We have a similar space at Middlebury’s center in DC.  This project is driven by  the college administration in order to get us more connected with the world.  Language schools, Breadloaf, and Schools abroad have already indicated interest.

How does it work on a computer?  The application on a computer will use the college network (which is quite good for video with a wired connection), then go out on dedicated network to the other location (it reduces the number of hubs).

Kemi noted that Political Science already uses skype.  He thinks his department will be interested in a connection with DC.

Library Citation Guide (Brenda Ellis)

The guide has been redesigned based on feedback.  Faculty can link to it from course sites or give student the go shortcut http://go/citations.  Let us know what you think.

New All-LIS Help & Support page (Brenda Ellis)

Brenda showed the link from the LIS homepage (1st link in the Get Help box).  It can also be reached at http://go/lishelp.

The search box only searches LIS webpages and documentation intended for the public, so it should give better results for how to information than searching the whole college website or the full wiki.

Find Who Can Help You – lists all LIS areas with location, contact information, links to main webpage, and a brief overview of the type of help provided.

Submit a Ticket Box (Brenda Ellis)

The link is on new LIS Help & Support page, the Tech helpdesk page, or use http://go/whd.

It allows user to create their own ticket and track it.  Department coordinators like it because they can track the issue and see its progress and history.  At times it can be quicker than calling or emailing.  Kemi noted that he has used it and also like seeing all the details of the ticket.

Issue specific FAQ’s will be added to help users solve some problems before even needing to submit the ticket.  This system works in conjunction with new priority levels set by LIS (classroom issues while teaching are a top priority).


Leave a Reply