Tag Archives: multimedia

Middlebury College Museum of Art

Stakeholder: Doug Perkins
Current: http://museum.middlebury.edu/
WebRedo Contact: Mike Roy

General: The Middlebury College Museum of Art is an AAM-accredited museum serving the students, faculty, and staff of Middlebury College as well as local and regional residents of and visitors to Addison County and the Champlain Valley. The museum preserves and displays the college’s permanent collection and offers 5-7 traveling loan exhibits each year to as many as 18,000-20,000 visitors. We serve as a visual resource for a broad spectrum of courses across the college’s curriculum, most notably the departments of History of Art and Architecture and Studio Art, though in any given year we are likely to work with courses in religion, languages, music, philosophy, anthropology, American studies, classical studies, English and American literature, environmental studies, theater, and teacher education. In addition, we welcome nearly 1,000 local K-12 school students to the museum each year through the Museum Assistants Program, a volunteer docent program that offers Middlebury College students a chance to learn about the museum and to lead tours. The museum also oversees and maintains a collection of 20 works of public art displayed around the Middlebury campus, and the museum director chairs the Committee on Art in Public Places.


* flexibility with respect to aesthetics and typography
* have a portion of the museum home page that shows the next several upcoming museum events
* ability to create email lists to allow patrons to subscribe to relevant lists
* offer RSS feeds for museum press release pages
* maintain the majority of the current site’s look
* participate in brand mapping exercises and discussions related to the college’s brand and sub brands
* online credit card membership form
* e-commerce capability for museum bookstore directly through museum site
* flash banners
* rotating home page image with a click through
* ability to allow people to control font size easily (for accessibility/readability) with one click
* alt text balloons that follow the cursor so that image captions are noticeable (e.g.

* online forms for teacher workshop and school group registration

* video-taped lectures for podcasts and vodcasts linked to exhibits (e.g. Art in Public Places iPod tour)

* ability to link to press published electronically on the campus newspaper site as well as other news sites (Addison Independent, BFP, Seven Days, e.g.) and maybe have those stories pulled into a sidebar

* ability to zoom in on images as well as 360 degree image rotation

* online searchable database of the museum collection that is linked to the library’s online catalogue search function so that when students search for books or other media related to objects in the museum collection they will be alerted that the museum holds works that are relevant to their subject

* be involved in focus groups and usability as design process begins
* create a ‘museum module’ that users could choose to put on their customizable middlebury.edu home page that would allow pushing of info about exhibits, events, and other museum news to users’ customizable home page
* liquid layout, or at least a wider fixed width (950 pixels)
* enable comments on exhibit pages to allow visitors to leave their thoughts about exhibits and related events
* offer virtual audio and video tours either streaming through the site or for download
* allow museum Friends to RSVP on-line for members-only events
* distribute 8.5×11 .pdfs of posters (for printing and distributing at schools, etc.)
* high-quality videos of classroom discussions about art
* tagging
* facebook site (fans of the museum) to reach people through facebook
* ability to create online versions of exhibits with unique appearance (i.e. NOT within existing templates)
* updated design treatment for the Committee on Art in Public Places (CAPP) website that creates a visual link between CAPP and the museum


* allow students to create their own online exhibits from items in the museum collection (e.g. like what the pachyderm project might allow)

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)

Stakeholder: Kathy Foley-Giorgio and Kaye-Lani Laughna
Website: http://www.middlebury.edu/campuslife/diversity/isss/
WebRedo Contact: Ryan Kellett / Pooja Shahani

General: “ISSS provides advising, programs, services, and support to our international students, staff, and faculty who come to study and work at Middlebury College in our many programs (13 summer Language Schools, the Bread Loaf School of English on three U.S. campuses and one site abroad, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the undergraduate college).  ISSS manages the College’s involvement in the U.S. government’s Student & Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS) as well as institutional compliance with related immigration regulations.  We also coordinate International Student Orientation and the Friends of International Students (FIS) host program.”


  • Varied constituencies: ISSS has wide variety of users from current students  but also a large group of alumni that also are required by law to be in contact with Middlebury/ISSS. Feeding the right information to the correct constituents is an important part of what ISSS. Finding new and unique ways to push new and timely information to constituents is important and needed.
  • Forms/Documents: ISSS hosts a lot of internal and governmental forms, some of which are PDFs, printable documents (which are sent back and then printed in hard copy). ISSS needs an organized way to serve and push this information out to constituents especially when deadlines are near or if information changes.
  • Government Interface: Is there any way to interface with online government forms that are currently filled out through ISSS? We were brainstorming about how to create fillable forms that would directly come back to our office in a legible way, unlike the current fillable forms that do not make sense once they are submitted, as they come back in paragraph form rather than the form in original form.
  • Multi-language support: Some ISSS users do not speak/write English. Language or at least graphic suport for this is requested. Either way, simplicity is key.
  • CMS: New CMS must be easier to manipulate and more flexible so that content can be posted faster. ISSS can do content updates but requires one-time consultation/assistance in rethinking new ways to display and interface information. CMS currently too much of a burden as a tack-on to job requirements. LIS support for CMS is key.
  • International Alumni: ISSS requests a way to remain in contact with these particular alumni because ISSS maintains immigration records for them. Automatic reminders and notifications of changes should be pushed to alumni. A place to continue contact, conversation, networking through ISSS is also requested.
  • Alumni: Single accessible database for alumni updates. In particular, ISSS finds that alumni update the school with information but that information is not then shared college-wide. A single database of alumni records is needed.
  • Newsletters: ISSS would like to support an online newsletter that is easy to draft and send without email.
  • External audience: international host families should be able to research and apply online to the program. Ability to manage those applications online.
  • Feedback forms: Need for data collection about services and if constituents’ needs are being met.
  • Multimedia: Would like to welcome visitors with more photos, colors, etc.
  • IA: ISSS requests assistance with cleaning up their information architecture which has evolved to be a bit unwieldly since it is currently organzed with redundant information for multiple constituents.Fewer pages needed, drop-down menus requested.

Academic Departments

Heard from Susan Campbell, Department Chairs, Academic Coordinators
Drafted by Renée Brown and Jason Mittell

In surveying department chairs and coordinators, as well as casual discussions with many faculty, frustrations with our current web design and system run deep. Key problems mentioned include lack of design flexibility, difficulty in updating, poor navigation and organization, inability to easily embed images and media, and the static nature of information and site design. There was widespread enthusiasm for the makeover and willingness to participate in the process. Given that every academic department has different needs and specific uses, it is difficult to assess the relative importance of various features, but this document attempts to synthesize key needs and requirements as expressed across the curriculum.

Needs for Departmental Sites

We have identified a number of types of information that departments feel are important to their sites, broken into four major areas:

  • Department Overview: brief mission statement, central contact info, feed of news/events, and visual vibrancy for splash page
  • People: lists of faculty & staff with links to detailed profile pages, office hours & contact info, updates of publications/grants/achievements, alumni & student profiles
  • Curriculum: major requirements (including potential concentrations & sample sequences for more complex programs like ENVS and AMST), independent project guidelines, downloadable forms (both departmental and from the registrar), courses/schedule, links to class websites
  • Resources: departmental library guide, career info, study abroad recommendations, departmental newsletter, facilities & equipment overviews/policies, external links (research sites, grad programs, opportunities for community outreach, etc.), guide to “what can be done with a XXX major?”, feeds from external blogs, video/images of specialized facilities

Many departments indicate that they currently underuse their websites, with minimal information that is rarely updated. There was consensus that this makeover process could help show people some new ways to use the web effectively. During sessions where other websites were demoed, there were frequent “a-has” upon seeing capabilities that other schools are using, so we feel there will be enthusiasm for innovation. Some specific innovations that seemed particularly popular include dynamically generating course listings (a “modular catalog”), faculty pages feeding & linking to schedules and courses, feeds of sponsored & relevant events, and integrated links to Banner information.

We discussed the option of choosing among a group of templates, customized for both visual variety and optimized for different needs (such as more graphics/media, more text-based, etc.) – most coordinators and faculty seem to embrace this option. Coordinators wanted more flexibility with fonts and sizing of text. There was a clear desire for more graphic and media capabilities, especially within the Arts.

Some faculty embraced the idea of student and/or alumni work being profiled and displayed on the site, especially in the Arts. Potential links with the library’s thesis archive is an option worth considering.

Some departments currently publish newsletters, and many would consider publishing them to the web instead of, or in addition to, paper and mailing. Ongoing updated departmental blogs were of interest to a few departments as well.

Needs for Individual Faculty

Faculty pages were noted for being rarely updated, dry, and lacking variability or personality. Faculty were interested in being able to edit their own profile, recognizing that some faculty would be less likely to do so (although no less likely than emailing the updates to coordinators, which could still be an option). Arts faculty specifically want the ability to host images and media of their creative work.

An idea discussed with coordinators was to have a central database for faculty publications/achievements – either faculty or coordinators would enter the information about a new publication (including link to online version or Midd subscription through JSTOR, etc.), which would then feed to the faculty’s homepage, their department(s) page, a college-wide faculty achievement page (which would be useful for library acquisitions as well as PR), and into the annual report for faculty given to the Provost. Coordinators thought this would be a better option than updating individual faculty pages, and expected between 1/3 and 1/2 faculty would enter their own info, growing over time with increased technological fluency.

The idea of automatically feeding a faculty’s scheduled teaching with links to courses to their profile page (as on Amherst) was quite popular. It’s uncertain how many faculty would maintain separate pages through Segue or the community.middlebury.edu server if the core website were more flexible – one option would be to embed separately designed pages into the core departmental site.


The current CMS restricts editing to coordinators, although some faculty have edited on the platform. A number of chairs expressed interest in editing their pages, having other faculty edit, or having student workers edit. Coordinators generally want to be involved in the editing process, both to oversee consistency and maintain their web skills, but recognize that the current workflow leads to infrequent updates and little input from faculty.

An easy-to-use editing and authoring system, especially for incorporating media and images, was seen as essential, with the ability to increase participation of faculty in the editing process. One issue expressed by some faculty was that the new system not be tied to a specific browser or platform (e.g. must be usable on Mac/PC and Firefox/IE).

Coordinators were concerned that expanded content on the department site would lead to increased workload. Sharing editing responsibilities would help. Additionally, the ability of sites to be dynamically assembled, rather than static updates, would be useful – for instance, feeding events, faculty publications, career links, library research tools, and alumni news from other offices and systems would make the site update regularly without requiring manual changes.

In imagining the workflow model that would work best for academic departments, coordinators endorsed a system where many users could be given editing ability for the department page (including faculty and student workers), but that all edits must be approved by the coordinator before publishing (via a notification system). This should increase updates from faculty on the content they know best, and allow delegation and distribution of work more effectively, without sacrificing consistency and appropriate form & use of media. Some thought it would be helpful to be able to turn the approval requirement on and off, allowing the possibility of all authorized editors to publish directly.

The idea of a student/alumni section of the site that could be updated (with approval) by students and alumni themselves was mentioned as a way to encourage participation. Another option is a simple webform for alums to send in info to feed into the site, perhaps at the college-wide level with tags to majors and field of employment.

Other Desired Features

  • Many coordinators were enthusiastic about being able to easily customize their own user profiles to make their web use more efficient – after a clear explanation, all coordinators present at the meeting said they’d definitely use this feature.
  • One consistent theme with coordinators and faculty was that as much Banner information as possible should be accessible from the website directly without using BannerWeb. Course rosters (linked from course pages, as on Amherst), student schedules, faculty schedules, lists of majors, and the like should be accessed via links rather than BannerWeb login.
  • More sophisticated use of feeds and targeted info via the web was endorsed, especially as an alternative to email-driven communication.
  • One idea would be to have lists of new library acquisitions in a certain discipline feed into the departmental site.
  • Better management of events and calendar info was mentioned, both in terms of flexible feeds by tag, department, location, medium (lecture, performance, film), and the ability to click “Add to my Calendar” to export to Outlook or other systems.
  • Some language departments mentioned the need for varying language character sets (such as Cyrillic and Greek).
  • Some arts departments want the ability for students to create their own portfolios of their work, as Teacher Ed currently does. This would ideally be embedded directly into the core department site, not externally hosted on Segue.
  • A few faculty expressed interest in having the ability for social networking, and a couple said they have used Facebook pages to coordinate with current majors and alums.
  • A few mentioned the use of wikis, but only for specific purposes (for instance, a wiki for documentation of FMMC equipment).
  • Some suggested a “majors-only” area, although there was not a clear sense of what information and material should have restricted access.
  • One coordinator suggested that departments could have a list of current majors on the site, potentially with links to student pages/profiles.
  • One coordinator suggested the possibility of online sign-up for scheduling of meetings and appointments. Another suggested the use of an online order form for equipment requests (currently used on CHEM site), which might also be expanded to request access to facilities (like MUSIC practice rooms), reserve specialized equipment (like FMMC cameras).
  • A few faculty expressed interest in having the departmental website offer the possibility for discussion and community involvement, not just a one-way flow of information. Options include blog-like updates with comments, an open “wall” to make announcements/promotions, and a department wiki open to Midd users as a workspace for engaging with the department.

Undergraduate Research Office (URO)

URO Web Makeover Requirements Document

Pat Manley and Karen Guttentag (MS Costanza-Robinson, liaison)

Meeting quote: “We realized how little we knew about the possibilities”

The URO website currently incorporates text, photos, online submission of symposium abstracts, and a searchable database of research opportunities. These features need to remain and be improved in the Web Makeover. Importantly, the research/exploration opportunities included in the database includes those for which the main point of campus-contact spans several offices (ACE, CSO, URO, Rohatyn, Student Fellowships/Health Professions). Thus, web features that will enhance/automate the flow of content to URO from dispersed locations are particularly desirable (Portal?). Currently content updating and removal of old information is slow, because a single person, dedicates 10 hours/week total to the administrative assistance for URO and only a subset of that time can be dedicated to web upkeep.

Specific Desired Features:

  • A master calendar of deadlines for various research/exploration opportunities that self-populates with events/deadlines based on content housed elsewhere (e.g., within the URO searchable database, on ACE/CSO/etc. websites/databases) and can include manual inputs from dispersed sources. The calendar entry should be linked to other locations for more information about the opportunity. For example, if a faculty member gets notice of an EPA undergraduate fellowship, that faculty member could add that deadline to the calendar with an embedded link to the EPA website.

  • More web technology education/awareness/consulting. The current feeling is that web content providers/authors and people generally are left to request help with projects and/or specific web-based technologies. This situation presupposes that people know what web-based technologies are out there, what they can do, and that they desire them. They often don’t. As an example, LIS advertises training sessions for a variety of software and software tools (e.g., Excel pivot tables), but doesn’t advertise what pivot tables are useful for. URO suggests for LIS/communications to target specific audiences (perhaps divisionally) with announcements of training sessions/help/suggestions that focus on function rather than software/tool names/jargon. Another avenue would be to host a CAOS mtg dedicated to the subject of web-based technologies so coordinators can disseminate relevant info to their dept/programs. As an example here, Doodle is an easy effectively tool for planning group meetings, and no training is needed to use it, but most people simply don’t know what it is, that it exists, that it is free. Along these lines, URO has had considerable (and wonderful!) help from LIS setting up the searchable database, but the help was also offered in a way such that LIS helped URO do what URO requested. URO would have liked more consulting on what possibilities/limitations exist with regard to searchable databases, perhaps with examples of other databases currently in operation (e.g., at other institutions). Had they known about other/additional possibilities or existing limitations they may have chosen to do things differently. Finally, there are tools/software that people know about, but use infrequently enough to forget how to do it (e.g., printing a poster to a plotter). The existing LIS “how-to” guides are viewed as extremely helpful/well-done, but the feeling is that there are not enough of them and/or that they are difficult to find. This represents an larger discussion of what is reasonable to expect of LIS.

  • Both as more URO content becomes available and the makeover progresses, URO would like

    • to convert their static photo gallery into a slideshow that displays on their homepage, much like the main homepage

    • to add embedded video. Currently, great symposium video is posted online by Communications as part of a press release, but URO doesn’t know how/if they can do this on their site

    • to more fully automate and streamline the online symposium abstract submission/approval process. Currently, students submit their form supposedly with the consent/approval of their faculty mentor. URO would like the student-submitted abstract to automatically initiate an email that requests online approval of the named faculty mentor, while simultaneously logging/recording the submission as PENDING in the URO database – that way if the faculty mentor fails to approve in a timely manner, a mentor-reminder email can be auto-generated. Finally, after the faculty mentor approves the submission, the submission would be logged/recorded as MENTOR-APPROVED and await URO approval/scheduling. I suppose once a time/location for the submission is set, an automated email conveying that information to the student/mentor would be nice, too.

Events and Scheduling Office

Stakeholder: Lisa Ayers
Current: http://www.middlebury.edu/administration/schedule/
WebRedo Contact: Ryan Kellett

General: Events Scheduling and Information Office has the goal of integrating the scheduling and sharing events information with the Middlebury College campus. It serves as the Functional Administrator of Resource 25 (fully hosted by Midd) for facilities and events scheduling management, maintains the “Events at Middlebury” website (http://cat.middlebury.edu/events/ ), and produces the table tent dining hall calendars.  The Master Location Schedule (http://r25web.middlebury.edu/wv3midd/wv3_servlet/urd/run/wv_space.DayList) is a component of Resource 25, also maintained by the Events Scheduling Office.  The Guide to Academic Facilities website (http://cat.middlebury.edu/events/facilities/) maintained by LIS, is linked to Resource 25 and is utilitized extensively by the campus community.  The work flow for scheduling is managed through a series of online forms, recently upgraded using sites.middlebury.edu and soon to be shared with the campus.

  • Resource 25: Keep CollegeNET’s R25 in increased capacity. CollegeNET’s goal is to be 100% web based by 2011.  A component of the current version of R25, Webservices, has not yet been implemented.  Webservices will be necessary to advance our use of R25.  25Live is a recent release from CollegeNET and will allow for many of the advancements that are desired for Events at Middlebury (http://corp.collegenet.com/depts/higher_ed/series/25Live/ ). Using a vendor with the technical support offered by this option allows for a reduction in support required from Middlebury’s web management staff and sustainability when there is Middlebury staff turnover.
  • One Stop Shop: R25 must be deployed in such a way that every dept, office, and stakeholder buys-into it its use as the universal scheduler. Currently, too many redundant efforts are made to recreate calendars separate from R25. This contributes to errors and inaccuarcies in event information and prohibits communication when late changes are made that require notification (change of time, location, cancellations, etc.)
  • Event Marketing and Campus Announcements: The Events at Middlebury site should be enhanced to serve as a tool for distribution of College Announcements, highlighting key events information and bring comfort to events planners that their events are being advertised in such a way as to change behaviors and reduce or eliminate the needs for All Campus emails for this purpose.
  • Event Feed: Users should be able to use event feeds for whatever purpose they choose. RSS and iCal support are highly encouraged such that users do not have to use Outlook. Feeds can also be placed on CMS pages and pulled into individual portals. Departments should be able to to pull information from R25 for their department sites as needed to facilitate a one entry point calendaring process.  This would allow for accuracy and consistency of information while enabling an appearance of a specialized calendar for those departments who desire a calendar presented on their web site.  Events information should be able to be shared with users in such a way as to allow for attention to be brought to events of each users’ interest as opposed to them having to weed through a long list to find their interests.   All of these tools should be supported in such a way as to advance in concert with technology changes to continue to bring value to the students and departments and reduce the possibilities of underground calendars being developed because Middlebury’s no longer serves the needs of the changing population and the technical advances.
  • Facilities View: Easy and fast CMS updates to view spaces on campus. Also, need for multimedia presentation of spaces (photos, videos, and configurations of tables/chairs) and the support to keep this information current. Also dynamic listing of room features (smart classrooms, technologies that is clearly understood by the lay person considering space options prior to reserving a room).
  • Master Location Schedule: Continue to offer to the campus
  • Events at Middlebury: Major redesign for ease-of-use with multiple views (month, week, day). Need to preserve sortability by categories and depts. Equal representation of events (“objectivity”) such that no event is advertised better than another.
  • External Events calendaring:  Enable a separate calendar that allows for marketing of off site events (such as those planned by College Advancement, Admissions, etc.)
  • Multimedia: ability to pair pictures or other media with an event so that it can be marketed with that media. It is more attractive on Events at Middlebury website. Must be user-uploaded pictures.
  • Payment system: allow for a built-in payment system to register and pay for events. Some box office functionality.
  • Event Alerts: opt-in/opt-out alert system (email? or message to portal?) for event changes and cancellations
  • Broadcasting: Broadcast “Today’s Events & Today’s Announcements” visually at other places on campus at physical locations (grille, library, dining halls). And/or one daily email announcement with direct feed from R25.
  • Security/Privacy: segment views of events for faculty, staff, students, other. Protect certain events from being over-attended.
  • Monterey: Enable these features to be used by Monterey as they are already sharing R25