This Week in ODL: Sept 25-29, 2017

ODL Welcomes Back Two Spectacular Interns

The Office of Digital Learning is very excited to welcome back Nadani Dixon (’22) and Jose Alfredo Torres (’19) as student interns for the Fall 2017 term. During the Summer term, Alfredo and Nadani offered considerable support for digital projects, including developing plans for a mobile app for use by the Middlebury College Museum of Art, creating a Study Abroad photo contest, and helping with research related to MiddCreate and Domain of One’s own. This Fall, Nadani and Alfredo will be helping us to work on a new Canvas orientation for students, doing research into Critical Instructional Design, developing an image bank for use on Digital Learning web sites, and supporting ongoing projects with the Language Schools and Schools Abroad.

We are thrilled to have Nadani and Alfredo back in the office, and excited for the work we’ll be doing together in the coming months.

Sean Michael Morris Leads Digital Pedagogy Workshops in Denver

Instructional designer Sean Michael Morris was in Denver, Colorado last week leading workshops in digital pedagogy at the Iliff School of Theology. On Thursday, Sean worked with groups of faculty who teach in fully online and hybrid courses to reimagine teaching in the LMS. Specifically, Sean led workshops on:

Using Video in the LMS

In this workshop, Sean worked with questions like: How do we make choices about appropriate uses of video in online design? How much production and polish is enough, what does this communicate? What are the differences between video for content delivery, instructor presence, instructor responses to students (public or private)?

Narrative Teaching Online

The learning management system is most often used as a repository for learning materials, and not as a space for building relationships. “Narrative” teaching involves building relationships with students through informal interaction, creating a sense of instructor presence, and offering context for the learning taking place in the course.


This workshop continued discussions of instructor and student presence in an online or hybrid course, specifically with an eye toward using discussions as truly interactive spaces rather than as “assignments” or activities. Sean addressed questions like: How do we use discussions to facilitate interaction and collaboration that stimulate curiosity and motivation? Can this or other spaces help us build the capacity to make things together?

School in Germany Student Site under Development

The Office of Digital Learning has kicked off development of a new Schools Abroad web site for the School in Germany. This site will offer new and continuing students a “shortcut to culture” by providing music, books, videos, photo gallery, and more to help students prepare for and then stay in touch with German culture. As well, students already on the ground in Germany will be able to mentor or talk to students who are waiting to arrive, or who have questions about life in Germany. Faculty introductions, as well as information about the school’s three different locations, will be included to help orient students before and after they arrive. The site will also offer some colloquial German instruction, to prepare students for speaking German on the streets of Berlin, Potsdam, and Mainz.


Featured image by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

Office of Digital Learning

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