How Do You DLC?

How Do You DLC?

We had a steady stream of students, faculty, and staff in the DLC all during Spring Semester, 2015.

The statistics round-up is as follows in the infographic below.

Spring 2015 DLC

As we gear up for Fall Semester, 2015, we are aiming to increase these numbers and have even more offerings for the Middlebury Institute community. We look forward to seeing you in the Digital Learning Commons!

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Moodle migration and upgrade to 2.8 – July 8-9

MIIS Moodle ( will be temporarily unavailable while it is put into maintenance mode beginning at approximately 5:00pm on Wednesday, July 8th. The site will remain unavailable through the morning of Thursday, July 9th as we complete the transfer of the database and site data.

During this time the site will undergo final preparations for a complete migration to Remote Learner, the same hosting service provider that our colleagues in Vermont are contracted with. In addition to migrating the site from our current server at CSUMB, the site will also be upgraded from Moodle 2.6 to Moodle 2.8, offering platform improvements and added course functionality.

Once the migration is complete – we are aiming for mid-morning of Thursday, July 9, the site will be available at Current users (students, staff, faculty) and active courses should not experience further interruption or noticeable changes. If you experience difficulty logging in, please contact the MIIS Help Desk at:

We hope that the timing of the migration and upgrade will help to minimize significant disruptions to instructors and active working groups. Please be sure to notify students and to make alternative plans to access resources while the site is unavailable. If you have additional concerns or questions please email ​me directly at bcole at

Here’s some of what to look forward to in Moodle 2.8

Building a Campaign URL

What is a Campaign URL?

A campaign URL (also referred to as tracking URLs and UTM parameters) is a web address (ie. that has been modified to include additional tracking components. These components appear as an additional string of text at the end of your URL that look something like this:


These components send specific information to Google Analytics when that URL is clicked or used.

Why use a Campaign URL?

A campaign URL can help you identify where traffic to a particular page or website originated. For example, if you plan to share a link on Facebook, Twitter, and email, you can create a specific campaign URL for each of these three platforms. You can then track users that clicked the link from each location and compare the link’s success on each platform through Google Analytics.

For a campaign URL to be useful, you will need to have Google Analytics activated for your website.

How to Build a Campaign URL

To start you will need to identify a word or words for each of the following components. These will appear in your URL and become the words you see in your Google Analytics campaign reports. Categories with more than one word will be clearer if separated by a dash or an underscore (ie. social-media, social_media).

There are three required components:

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  • Campaign Source: This is the source of your traffic. Examples: facebook, twitter, partner_website (be specific), email_campaign, publication
  • Campaign Medium: This is the medium through which the URL will be shared. Examples: email, facebook_ad, banner, print. For campaign mediums, please use existing mediums within our Google Analytics (ie. cpc, print, email, etc.)
  • Campaign Name: This will appear in your Google Analytics reports. It should be a unique name that identifies your campaign. Example: september_newsletter_2015, facebook_ad_2014

There are also two optional components that are slightly more advanced:

  • Campaign Content: This term can be used to differentiate identical links within the same ad or split up A/B testing with similar content.
  • Campaign Term: This term is used for paid search keywords.

Once you have identified the terms you want to use, you can plug them in to a URL builder like the form found here:

Using the Campaign URL

The resulting URL will be fairly long, so you will either want to create a short link or hide the link behind a hyperlinked photo or text. Be sure to only use your campaign URL for the specific advertisement or location for which it was created. Using the same campaign URL across multiple advertisements or locations will make it difficult to discern which was most effective.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 11.10.30 AMTracking Results in Google Analytics

Once you begin using your campaign URL it may take a few days for results to appear in Google Analytics. To track your campaign progress in Google Analytics, navigate to Acquisition > All Campaigns. You will see your campaigns listed using the Campaign Name you selected for your URL. Click the campaign name to view the specific analytics associated with the campaign you created.



Questions? Contact Melissa Jennings, melissaj@miis.edumelissa


Summer Lunchin’

We love digital learning, but sometimes you just need to eat lunch! Bring your lunch and join us at the Holland Center on Wednesdays at 1:00pm. When the weather is nice we will be sitting outside on the patio, otherwise we will be inside at the tables. Come meet new people, discuss your summer adventures, and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Open to faculty, staff, students, and friends!

Look for the bright blue sign!


Dear Prospective DLC GA

I’m going to keep this brief.

Writing to you now on the last day of work in the DLC, I can honestly say that I loved working here. The draw was immediate, the fit just clicked, and the whole experience was a long and vibrant joy ride of working hard and loving the outcomes. To catalog it all is difficult so I made a short video to share some the highlights. You can check it out below.

If you don’t feel like watching the video, just know that I got involved in the DLC by crashing team meetings. I wouldn’t suggest you do the same, but every DLC GA has their story. From crashing meetings to the first open mic night some friends and I put on in the D-Space, the match was made. On the first day of the Spring of 2015, I walked into the office and told the permanent staff members I was interested in working for them. I was told, “Your persistence will be rewarded.” Within a week I was being interviewed for the position, during which time I was asked, “What is it that you want to do here?” To which I replied, “I want to run MIIS Radio.”

Within a few weeks I was interviewing professors and students, recording audio in weird places and reproducing it online in the Radio Forum. I soon nabbed the position of host of TEDxMonterey 2014, for which I will always be thankful of the DLC and the folks who put me in contact (that means you too Katie Brown!) After TEDx things slowed down and I continued working as a GA into the summer. But we didn’t pick computers and passwords at first. We picked up hammers and paint and heavy objects that we either moved around the space, up and down the stairs, or out of the space entirely. It was prototype time while the students were away – we installed colorful dry erase boards downstairs, sound proofing in the booths, and even built the campfire table in the center of the upstairs space. The Spring 2014 semester and the summer working in the DLC marked two periods which I care to call the experimenting and bonding phases. This is where I really got to know my supervisors and myself. (You’re going to want to click that link!)

In the Fall of 2014 I became a more reliable senior of the space. People had come and gone and the space was transitioning into a service sector. We got the new appointment system and people were coming to us with specific requests – not just on a whim because the DLC was the place to be. For a little while it became very un-fun, but at the same time, the campus came to depend on us for a very niche service for the first time since the office had moved across campus. I was grateful to be there nonetheless. And just because something is un-fun doesn’t mean it isn’t important, for which I am also grateful.

I really started to appreciate being a GA at the DLC in my final semester – of course, as there had been nearly a million other things to do and prepare for. This last semester was marked by the sentiment of trying to exit gracefully. I became well studied and well versed in the motions of customer support and in particular for audio and video editing, which became my specialty alongside web design. I executed some elaborate needs assessments, some funky workshops, countless appointments, and even a great addition to the first ever MIIS Happening, which all in all made me feel really good about my time here. The new GAs had no reason to look up to me, but it felt good to share with them where the DLC had been before and how special their positions were, always offering a helping hand whenever possible.

Now, in the last few days of my on-campus MIIS career, I only have left to say that I loved it it here and if I could do it all over again I would. Not really, but you’ll get what I mean as your time goes on here.

Peace to the place and the people and the grace

that never ceases to amaze or continually elevate.


DLC Awesomeness Caught on Video

Here’s a look at activity at the DLC over the final weeks of the semester: workshops, group meetings, staff activities, audio recording, and a visit from a team on a scavenger hunt!

Make your own! 

A time-lapse video is a collection of still photographs played in succession to make a video.  It’s a hybrid in between animation and live action.  The look of the video is affected by the interval in which photos are taken (every second, every minute, every hour, etc.) , and the speed at which frames are shown (10 frames/second, 15 frames/second, 24 frames/second, etc.).

There are various ways to make time-lapses, and they can be done with all kinds of cameras.  There are even time-lapse functions for the most recent smart phones.  The tools you use will determine how easy it is to produce your video, the amount of control you have, and the quality of the final product.

For the DLC time-lapse, this was the set-up:

Camera:  Canon 5dMkii DSLR on a tripod, “tethered” via USB to a MacBook Air


  • Image Capture (for taking the photos)
  • Quicktime 7 Pro (to create the image sequence)
  • iMovie (for compiling each sequence into one video, adding pan effects, and
  • adding the soundtrack)


  • Capture:  1 photo every 3 seconds
  • Playback:  24 frames per second
  • Duration:  approximately 8 hours (over 4 sessions)

Keep in mind that you will potentially be taking thousands of photos and need plenty of space on your camera’s memory card or computer hard drive.  (And you want a fully-charged camera battery)

1 photo every 3 seconds = 20 photos per minute

20 photos per minute = 1200 photos per hour

1200 photos per hour = 9600 photos over 8 hours

9600 photos at 24 frames/second = 6 minutes, 40 seconds of video (which can then be edited down further.  The DLC time-lapse is 1 minute, 30 seconds from 8 hours of photography.  Did you really want to watch 3 minutes of Evelyn working at her computer?)


If you’re very patient and dedicated, you can use any camera to make a time-lapse video.  All you have to do is be willing to take many photos at a regular interval, so you could sit there and push the shutter button over and over; then import them into your computer and compile the time-lapse.  Fortunately, there is technology to do this for you! 

Point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras can be connected (tethered) to a computer for taking photos, with software that lets you set the timing, then takes the photos automatically.  (More on time-lapse software below). 

One important factor on camera choice is that manual mode is *highly recommended* for time-lapse videos.  You want consistency between each photo, and if your camera is on auto mode, it will make adjustments between shots which will result in a distracting flicker in your video.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t make a time-lapse in auto mode, but be prepared for it to look less polished than it would in manual mode. 

The need for consistency also means you need to use a tripod.  The camera needs to stay in the same place for every shot (unless you are ambitious enough to try a manual pan with a slider).

There is a device for DSLR cameras called an intervalometer that is a remote shutter with the capability to set a camera to take photos at a regular interval.  Take the photos and save them in your camera, then import them into your computer.


Taking your photos: If you have a Mac, here’s good news:  your computer has an application already installed that can set up time-lapse photography.  It’s called Image Capture, which is in your applications folder.  Plug your camera in via USB or another connection method your camera uses, open Image Capture, set up a time interval, click a button to take pictures, and it will go to work.  After you have your photos, import them, and you will be ready to put together the time-lapse.

[There are other applications, including free programs, that can do the same thing on both Mac and Windows operating systems.] 

Compiling your photos:  You need a way to put all of your photos into video format.  The DLC video was done with QuickTime 7 Pro ($30), because it gives you control over the frame playback rate.  It can be done in iMovie, but there is a limit in that you can only go as fast as 10 frames per second.  In QuickTime 7 Pro, you can open an image sequence (all those photos you took) and save it as a movie file. 

Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere, and Sony Vegas are other software applications that let you convert your folder full of photos into video.  Some applications may be available for free.

Editing your video:  You might have multiple image sequences you want to put together, or maybe there is a part you want to cut out of the video you made by compiling your photos.  You can use the software that’s already been mentioned to make your edits, add titles or music, and create a complete video.

For more information:

Use your privileges as a MIIS student at

See this earlier DLC post on iMovie:

Forms Training

So you want to add a form to your page? Here’s a brief overview to help you get started. Enjoy! [By Jeremy Borgia]

Need help? Make an Appointment at the DLC!

Forms are a very useful tool to integrate into your MIIS page. They invite users to participate interactively, and are a forum for them to sign up for events, request more information, or submit information.

Creating a page/URL for your form

Contact the web team (Melissa Jennings or Evelyn Helminenand request a page for your form. In your email, tell them:

  • Where you want your page to be (i.e. what page will users be getting to this page from, what will serve as its parent page?)
  • What will be the purpose of your form?

With this information, the web team will build a home for your new form. We will send you the URL.

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Adding your form to the page

Congratulations on your new page! However, with no form on it, it’s just a useless void, forever lost in the enormity of the world wide web, doomed to stagnate in irrelevance. So, take a breath, steel yourself, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to build a form!

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On your page, click “Add content” (as highlighted in the above picture) or by selecting “Add” under “Content” in the blue section of the top toolbar. Select “web form” as content type.

Insert a title for your form. If your page is using a large banner image, the page title will be displayed at the top. Often the page title and the form title will be the same; if you don’t want your title to appear twice, put [brackets] around your form’s title.

In the “body” section, enter any content you would like to precede your form.

If you need your form to be available during a specific date range, let the web team know and we will work with you to enable this feature.

Click save.

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Adding substance to your form

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You will be returned to your page, where you will see your form title. You’re almost there. Click “edit” underneath the title. In the top green bar, select “Form Components.” This is where you will build the foundation of your form. To add a new component of your form, insert a descriptive title (something you will easily recognize, as you refer back to it for ordering or conditional rules) and select component type (see below for examples and descriptions for each component type). Select whether this form component will be required. Then hit add. For each component, the text you insert as “Label” will show, so ensure your chosen labels are clear, concise, and spelled/capitalized correctly. Each component has its own procedure for adding, and those are described in detail below.

The order that form components are listed in on this page is the order that they will appear for users. To reorder, use the tool on the left of the component name to drag up/down.

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Commonly Used Form Components


This component allows for your users to submit a date through your form. For example, at the DLC we use this tool for users to submit event items to the weekly newsletter.

  • You can control the range of dates that are accepted through your form. Use the Start/End date boxes to do this.
  • Select the box next to “Enable popup calendar” if you would like users to be able to select a date from a popup calendar.

Email Email

This component allows for users to submit their or others’ email addresses.

  • By selecting “User email as default,” the form will pre-load the email address of whichever user is logged in.
  • By selecting “multiple,” the form will allow users to provide more than one email address, separated by commas.
  • Ensure that “Short Format” is selected.
  • By selecting “unique,” the form will only allow an email address to be used one time by one user over the life of the form.

File File

This component allows users to attach files to their form submission.

  • Set the max upload size, keeping in mind the proper size of the type of files you are receiving (i.e. a text document vs. a video).
  • Select what type(s) of file extensions you will accept.

Grid Grid

As shown in the picture, this component creates a question grid for your user. We often see these used for “Poor, Average, Great” or “Disagree, Neutral, Agree” type of questions.


This component, as one might expect, allows users to enter a number through the form. You will see a variety of options to customize this component, including maximum/minimum values, text to precede or succeed your text, or the allowed number of decimal places.

Page breakPage Break

The page break is one of the most important form components if you plan on using conditionals (which send you to different form questions depending on your previous form answers). Inserting a page break will create a new page for all the succeeding form components.

Select OptionsSelect Options

This component allows users to select one (or sometimes multiple) preloaded responses.

  • By selecting “Single Use,” once a user selects an option, it will not be available for other users to select. This may be useful if using the form to schedule appointments.
  • By selecting “Multiple,” you allow users to select more than one response (Note, selecting this option prevents you from using the “Listbox” option).
  • By selecting “Allow ‘Other…’ option” you allow users to select other and enter their own custom response.
  • You can load a pre-built list, choosing from Days of the Week, Countries, or US States.
  • By selecting “Listbox,” the options will appear as a drop-down menu, rather than a list.
  • By selecting “Randomize options,” the options will appear in a different order for each user.


This component provides a box for users to enter a large block of text.


This component provides a smaller box for users to enter text.


This component allows users to submit a time value.

  • You can customize which times the form will accept by entering a Start and End timeBack to top of page

Additional Components

Fieldset Fieldset

This component allows you to add text in a box within your form. However, there is no way to edit the format (e.g. bolditalicized, underlined, etc.). If you want to be able to edit your text like that, use the “markup” component.


This component also allows you to add text within your form, and allows for rich text editing (e.g. bolditalicized, underlined, etc.).


Conditional rules send you to different form questions depending on your previous form answers. You can create conditional rules by selecting “Conditionals” from the top green bar. Conditional rules can quickly become quite complex; we strongly recommend making an appointment at the DLC so that you can have personalized, human assistance (beta robot trainer program indefinitely postponed) as you build your form’s conditional rules.

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You can set your form to automatically send form submitters a response. You can also set your form to email the form responses to your or another email address. This is a complicated process; we strongly recommend making an appointment at the DLC.

Form Settings

Under “Form Settings,” you can customize the text shown upon completion of the form, or set the form to redirect users to another page once they are done.

  • To customize the text shown upon completion of the form, enter the text in the box labeled “Confirmation Message.”
  • To redirect users to another page once they are done, select “Custom URL” under “Redirection Location,” and enter the full URL (including http://)

You may also set a limit for submissions, or a limit per user, by using the “Total submissions limit” or “Per user submission limit” options.

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If you have more questions, feel free to come in to the DLC. We’ll be happy to help.

Training created by Jeremy Borgia, who joined the DLC team in January 2015 as part of the web rebranding team, and has stuck around like a horse on a carousel ever since. Make an appointment with him in the DLC if you would like more help, additional tips, or a deep discussion about the healing power of french fries.

5.13 Blogging

Blogging for Summer Adventures

Wednesday, May 13th, 12:00-1:00pm in the Design Space

Join us this Wednesday to get your blog set up for summer! We will help you create a blog, pick a theme, and share tips and tricks for how you can bring your audience along with you on your summer adventures. Whether you plan to blog for personal or professional reasons, we can make sure you are set to hit the ground running once summer starts!



DLC Desktop Spring 2015

Spring Cleaning!

Last chance to keep your Spring 2015 files!

It’s the end of the semester, and the DLC is getting ready to clear our computers of the various files that have accumulated during the semester. If you have saved any files on the DLC computers (this includes recording booths!) please come retrieve those files soon.

The computers will be wiped on May 29th, 2015.

What you really want to do is direct: iMovie Workshop Recap

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On Thursday March 26th, 15 students attended an iMovie workshop at the DLC.
The workshop provided an overview of iMovie from importing media files (video, sound, and photos) to exporting the finished project as a file or YouTube video.

Did you miss the workshop or want a refresher?  Below are some resources for iMovie and video production in general. And don’t forget:  you can make an appointment at the DLC for assistance in creating your class video projects.

Lynda – online software tutorials (you get free access through MIIS!)
iMovie guide from Stanford (overview and links to other resources)

Tips for Better Video Capture
There are a lot of “top 5” tips for just about everything, and that is definitely the case for video recording. I like the 5 tips that are written below which you can also view on the YouTube link

Top 5 Tips by SuperSaf TV

5) Good lighting

  • Move to an area that is well lit, either by sunlight or lamps
  • If you’re indoors use light coming in from the windows, or use an area that is brightened up by lamps
  • Place the subject that you are filming opposite the light source (i.e. if you have the person you are filming stand in front of a window or lamp it will create a dark shadow on their face). So, unless you want a dark spooky vampire shadowy look, don’t have the light behind your subject.
    –> You won’t always be able to control what light is available so just try to make the best of the situation. And if that doesn’t work and its dark, you can always make your video a vampire movie!

4) You Want Good Audio!

  • Avoid background noise as much as possible, ESPECIALLY if you are recording speech
  • Background music is bad. Not only is it distracting, but if you plan to post your video on YouTube there could be copyright legal issues, especially if it is a popular song. If you are taking video of someone talking and in the background we can hear Rihanna or Pitbull playing out of someone’s car, YouTube can take the video down!
  • Keep the mic on the phone clear. Make sure your finger isn’t covering it by accident or that your case isn’t over it.

3) Avoid Distracting Backgrounds

  • Unless the background helps to accentuate the subject or is an important part of your video you want to pay attention to what is behind your subject and make sure it isn’t too crazy or busy.
    For more on choosing good backgrounds for your video you can check this out:

2) Try to keep steady and stable

  • Use both hands to record.
  • Give a few secs at the beginning and end of shot for easier editing
  • Tap the screen to focus on your cell
  • If you want to capture a large landscape or room, pan very slowly so that the shot does not appear blurry


  • Landscape is how monitors are set up to display images (standard ratio of 16:9)
  • If you film vertically you will have black space on either side of your video footage when you play it on a tv or projector screen

The above tips will help you go a long way. But If you feel comfortable with filming and want to get into some more details to give your videos some sophistication, these tips should help you. In general…

  • Keep takes under a minute
    If you are doing something specific where you want to shoot for longer than a minute, then by all means, get creative and take it away! (Or if you are recording a long speech or conference, then this does not apply). But for general purposes, recording a scene for around 30 seconds is enough. This will make it easier when you are editing.
  • Vary the camera angle
    Shooting every person or every object from the same distance and same angle will make your video less visually interesting, so record it from different angles. Overhead angles can be interesting so if you are able to go up a flight of stairs above everything give it a try.

    *Use the One Take with Many Angles technique
    : Let’s say you are recording a family event and different people are sitting around talking. But you don’t want to worry about editing your 5 minute video, you just want to shoot it once and upload it and be done. Well, in one take you can shoot a wide shot to capture the whole scene of people, then come in close to video record your auntie (with a close-up) who is telling a story about when you were 5 years old, then you can move to her left to record your uncle (close-up) who is smiling, then back to your auntie, then you can pull away and record your cousins (medium shot) who are laughing a few feet away, then you move out again to a long shot to capture the whole scene again, then move in to a medium shot of a group of kids playing, then pull in to a close up shot of a family friend who is cooking something on the BBQ grill and you interview him about his recipe, then you pull away again to capture the whole scene, and you fade out… Your 5 minute family reunion video is DONE!
  • Don’t use zoom
    The zoom function on phone cameras is not very good and using it will bring down the quality of the image. It’s better to simply walk up closer to your subject (unless the subject is a stuntman who is hanging from a tall building, in this case it could be difficult getting closer to video record).

Record Better Sound with Your Smartphone
Sound quality is so important to make a video watchable. Your fabulous creative shots can be ruined by bad sound. This is a cool video that shows you some simple ways to get the best sound for your smartphone movies!