Welcoming Digital Media Specialist, Mark Basse

Basse300x300x300Please join us in welcoming Mark Basse to the Digital Learning Commons team. Mark is our new Digital Media Specialist.

Mark’s expertise is in digital video production and photography. His background includes 20+ years of multimedia content creation in higher education for UC Santa Cruz and Florida State College, freelance camera work for HGTV, Food Network, E! Entertainment TV and PGA Tour, and photography work for KB Home and Beazer Homes.

His most recent role at UC Extension in Santa Clara involved media development and production for online programs such as the UCScout Program.

Mark lives in Carmel Valley and writes a blog about exploring the Central Coast from his ranch.

As Digital Media Specialist, Mark will help develop and produce multimedia content and digital video that supports the Institute’s curriculum—including new and continued efforts to develop hybrid and digital learning initiatives such as the Community Interpreting Online program and the Department of State in India Teacher Development courses being piloted this term. He will also actively participate in the peer-to-peer teaching and learning culture of the Digital Learning Commons by contributing his expertise and support to students, staff, and faculty working on curricular and co-curricular digital media projects.

Mark is located in the upper open workspace of the DLC in McGowan 001. He can be reached directly at extension x4678 and by email at mbasse@miis.edu. Please join the DLC Staff in welcoming Mark to the MIIS staff community!


Qualtrics On-line Survey Tool Replacing Key Survey

Earlier this week, Bill Koulopoulos, Director of Academic Technology at the College, announced:

“…as of July 2015, Middlebury has adopted Qualtrics as its enterprise on-line survey platform. Qualtrics is currently considered the industry-leading provider of online survey software. It is already being used by members of Middlebury as well as in other educational institutions for administrative, academic and research purposes. For example, Amherst, Bowdoin, Colby, Hamilton, Pomona, and Wesleyan are among peer institutions that offer site wide access to Qualtrics. It offers powerful features, such as 90 different question types, the ability to add multimedia to surveys and panel management that set it apart from KeySurvey, our current software. Finally, the switch resulted in significant savings for the College.

Our previous survey platform, KeySurvey, will be available until the end of September and users are strongly encouraged to export their surveys and data before September 30th.”

To create a Qualtrics account and learn how to transition from KeySurvey to Qualtrics, go to http://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/Qualtrics.


Canvas (LMS) Learning Management System Being Piloted Fall 2015

The Institute’s current Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle, was adopted back in 2008 and the College adopted it in 2011. In coordination with our colleagues in Vermont, a small cohort of Institute faculty and students will be involved in a pilot and assessment of an alternative LMS to determine whether Moodle is still the best LMS to serve the growing needs of Middlebury.

This fall the Middlebury Curricular Technology Team (CTT) whose members includes staff of the Digital Learning Commons are supporting a pilot project to evaluate Canvas in order to collect feedback and contribute to a recommendation about whether we want to continue with Moodle or move to Canvas. Since its launch over 1,200 colleges, universities and school districts have adopted Canvas, including many of peer and neighboring institutions. Some of the appealing features of Canvas worth exploring include the ability to manage notifications through multiple channels (mobile devices, social media, e-mail), a calendar dashboard that works across courses, multiple modes for presenting course content, easy ways to provide feedback to student work and one button audio and video recording.

The Institute is currently represented in the pilot by four faculty, eight courses in both graduate schools, and up to 100 students. If you are interested in learning more about the Canvas LMS or the goals of the Fall 2015 pilot project please contact Bob Cole in the Digital Learning Commons at: bcole at miis.edu.

Additional Questions about the Pilot

What about Moodle?

Middlebury College adopted Moodle as its LMS in 2011 after a year-long evaluation (http://sites.middlebury.edu/segue/2011/06/14/moodle-middlebury/). At that time it was decided that Moodle would be used for a minimum of 5 years. At the end of the 5 years we would ask ourselves: Is Moodle still the right LMS for Middlebury? The 5 years will end in August of 2016. Depending on the outcome of the Fall 2015 evaluation, Canvas could be recommended as a replacement for Moodle as our LMS with a phased roll out in the fall of 2016.

Can Moodle content be imported into a Canvas site?

Yes, course content created in Moodle can be backed up and imported into Canvas. Learn more about what this process looks like.

What services will participating faculty receive during the pilot?

Faculty and students will have access to direct support from Canvas via phone and email. In addition, we will provide you in-person help as needed.

How do I participate in the pilot?

The pilot will be a small number of volunteers; we are limited by the number of students so we may not be able to handle all requests.

What is the commitment for faculty and students participating in the pilot?

Agree to use Canvas for the Fall 2015 semester with at least one of your courses.
Attend a kick-off meeting in mid- to late-August.
Participate in training for Canvas. 
Attend mid-semester check-in and feedback meeting.
Fill out a brief survey at the end of the semester.
Attend a meeting in December to share your experience.

Where can I learn more about Canvas?

Online resource guides to assist in exploring, learning and training others in Canvas
Self-Paced Canvas Instructor Orientation Course
Online Tour of Canvas – (16 videos / 45 mins of video)
Canvas training courses developed by schools that have adopted Canvas

We’re looking for a GA to support digital learning projects and initiatives!

The DLC is hiring! The DLC is a campus hub for technology, innovation, and peer-to-peer teaching and learning. We support faculty, staff, and students in mastering tools and technologies that enhance teaching and learning, and facilitate experiments in hybrid and online learning. We’re hiring several new graduate assistants for the 15/16 academic year.  This job description is for one of these positions.  This GA will work within the curricular technology zone of the DLC under the supervision of the Digital Learning Specialist. The GA will directly support the following digital learning projects and courses:

  • Community Interpreting as a Profession
  • Lesson Planning & Materials Development
  • T&I Early Diagnostic Test
  • IEM Practicum Symposium

Background/Preferred Skills

  • Interest in/experience with digital pedagogy and learning
  • Familiarity with Moodle LMS and Adobe Connect virtual meeting environment
  • Effective communication and writing skills


  • As needed, provide exceptional customer service, taking scheduled and drop-in appointments with MIIS community clients
  • As available, participate in DLC graduate assistant team meetings
  • Assist the Digital Learning Specialist in the management and curation of online courses on an ongoing basis
  • Test the functionality of online courses before they go live
  • Monitor and manage technical support forums in supported online courses
  • Provide technical support to instructors (e.g. assist professors using Adobe Connect and/or similar tools for synchronous sessions)
  • Assist in the revision of Admission’s web-based Early Diagnostic Test in Moodle

To apply, send your resume and cover letter to Amy Slay at aslay@miis.edu by COB Tuesday, August 25th!


Update Your Fall 2015 Course Hub Sites

Course Hub sites for the current version of the Fall 2015 academic course catalog are available online. When you login to the Course Hub at http://courses.miis.edu look for “Fall 2015” courses in the “My Semester Dashboard” menu to the left.

Check your Course Roster
Review a dynamic course roster with student names and headshots | Video: How To View Class Roster

Upload your Syllabus
Provide students with your course syllabus before the first day of class | Video: How to Add Course Syllabus to Course Hub

Add a Moodle Site via Course Hub
Add a new Moodle site for the current term, review the steps | Video: How to Add a Moodle Resource in Course Hub.

Link Your Course Hub to Library E-Reserves
Simplify student access to your course Library E-Reserves | Video: How to add a Link to Library E-Reserves

Import Course Content From Previous Terms
Import or “rollover” Moodle course content from a previous term into a Moodle resource for the current term |  VIDEO: go.miis.edu/diyrollover

Link Multiple Course Sections to a Single Moodle Resource
Faculty teaching multiple sections of a course can link students in these sections to a single Moodle site to help streamline content posting | Web: Step-by-Step Instructions to Link Multiple Sections

HELP DESK Assistance for Importing Moodle Course Content From Previous Terms – AKA “Rollover”
Returning faculty who teach with MIIS iLearn (Moodle) should be familiar with the Moodle Course “rollover” process of importing archived course content from previous terms into a new Moodle site. To request additional assistance with your course archive import, use the Moodle Archive Import Request Form. Expect a 3-4 day turn around on these requests.

You may also direct questions to helpdesk@miis.edu or call Help Desk at (831) 647-6656.

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!

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 3.29.15 PM

Moodle migration and upgrade to 2.8 – July 8-9

MIIS Moodle (http://ilearn.miis.edu) 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 http://ilearn.miis.edu. 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: helpdesk@miis.edu

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 miis.edu.

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. www.sites.miis.edu/dlc) 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:

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 11.33.01 AM

  • 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 miis.edu 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.