This Week in ODL: May 22-26, 2017

Welcome to This Week in ODL, a weekly blog series published by the Office of Digital Learning through which we provide readers with the latest developments in the projects and learning experiences under development at our office. With this post, we highlight this week’s news for your review and feedback. Remember to check back next week for the latest updates on our work!

School of Russian Pre-Immersion Site Launch

Students Perform at Middlebury’s School of Russian

Today is a big day for Middlebury’s School of Russian, because it marks the official launch date of an exciting language-learning pre-immersion website designed especially for incoming students at the School of Russian. Over the past year, the Office of Digital Learning has worked with a team at the School of Russian to update and revise the pre-immersion site we built in partnership with the same team last year. Both the ODL and the School of Russian are very eager to launch this learning space and to observe how our collective efforts will help incoming students to prepare for total language immersion once they arrive in Middlebury this summer.

The pre-immersion site includes an abundance of learning materials which will be essential for incoming students to prepare for their learning experience at the Middlebury Language Schools this summer. The site includes in-depth language preparation — particularly for beginners but helpful to learners of all levels —  by providing students with introductory alphabet lessons, audio-supported lessons on using Russian greetings, practice with basic Russian expressions, and much more. Additionally, on the site students can access an interactive campus map, a glimpse of the daily schedule at the School of Russian, hear advice and suggestions from previous students, and absorb in-depth descriptions of the many exciting co-curricular activities available to students while at Middlebury.

A particular highlight for the ODL of the Russian pre-immersion site are the many vibrant, lively videos we helped to create in partnership with Media Services over the past year. We invite you to visit the site to see how digital spaces built by the ODL on MiddCreate can support language-learning for students at Middlebury and beyond by providing interactive, fun, and helpful lessons about Russian language, culture, and life at the Middlebury Language Schools. добро пожаловать!

BOLD Community Hub

BOLD Groups Page, Community Hub

Last summer, the Office of Digital Learning collaborated with the admin team from BOLD to create a Community Hub to support scholars in the BOLD program. The BOLD Women’s Leadership Network is a new program at Middlebury, Rutgers, Smith and Cal State Fullerton that provides scholarships and professional development opportunities to outstanding women student leaders from all backgrounds, especially those who have been significantly underrepresented in higher education in terms of socioeconomic class, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, and ability.

The BOLD Community Hub is a digital community space created in WordPress on MiddCreate by the ODL where BOLD scholars, mentors, and administrators can form an active digital community that crosses all four institutions by sharing ideas, forming connections, and developing project plans that make an impact on their campuses, in their communities, and in the world.

This summer, as part of their participation in the BOLD program, scholars will soon be undergoing immersion experiences in Cameroon, Peru, India, Laos, and other destinations. To help them prepare, the ODL and BOLD recently created a new space on the Hub where scholars and mentors can join online groups specifically designed to help them prepare for their upcoming immersion experiences. On the BOLD groups page, scholars can communicate with one another within their immersion groups so as to prepare, share ideas, exchange media, information, and form friendships that support their learning. From this space, scholars can also access an immersion handbook to help them prepare for their travels. We encourage you to check the BOLD groups page to see how digital spaces built by the ODL on MiddCreate can help form community, connect scholarship, and expand networked learning experiences.

Spanish Teaching Community of Practice

Spanish Teaching Online Community of Practice (CoP)

Speaking of online community-building, for the past year the ODL and a team from the School of Spanish have been designing and building a digital space using WordPress on MiddCreate for MA students from the Spanish School — as well as Spanish teachers from everywhere — to form professional connections around Spanish language pedagogy. During the course of its development, the site — which has not yet launched but is available for you to preview if you wish — has gained an abundant list of resources and connection opportunities for users.

Recently, the ODL helped to organize a new position to support this Community of Practice (CoP) for the School of Spanish. The new position, entitled the Graduate Tech Fellow, has enabled the School of Spanish to continue to develop and maintain the digital space under the guidance and training of instructional designers from our office. The Graduate Tech Fellow is a current MA student at the School of Spanish who is receiving training from the ODL in WordPress so as to maintain and develop the CoP. The Graduate Tech Fellow will also collaborate closely with a Spanish faculty member this summer so as to prepare the CoP for use in a pedagogy seminar for MA students. We invite you to visit La Enseñanza del Español to see the exciting developments underway!

Office of Digital Learning

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