This Week in ODL: Jan 30-Feb 3, 2017

With this post, we happily usher in a new weekly blog series called “This Week in ODL” which will provide readers on a weekly basis with some of the highlights of the exciting work being accomplished here in the Office of Digital Learning at Middlebury College. We have a lot of irons in the fire, and we are delighted to share weekly updates with you on our work. You can easily access “This Week in ODL” posts by selecting the blog category “News” at any time. As always, we welcome your comments and feedback!

President’s Course

The Office of Digital Learning built a website to provide information and resources about the President’s Course, entitled Water in an Insecure World: Symbol, Resource, or Commodity?  to a wider audience. This course, which is offered for credit to students at Middlebury College and Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey, is convened by Middlebury’s President, Laurie Patton, and will be taught by faculty from across Middlebury’s programs. In spring 2017, the President’s Course will focus on water issues. Participants will be invited to study water through various lenses, including science, religion, literature, economics, and politics. Middlebury alumni have received a special invitation to register to receive a course newsletter during the spring semester. The President’s Course is set to launch on February 13.

Digital Annotation Course

Last week, the Office of Digital Learning launched an exciting course called Digital Annotation for Learning and Scholarship. The course is co-facilitated by Sean Michael Morris of the ODL and Jeremy Dean of, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving online conversation through annotation. Digital Annotation for Learning and Scholarship focuses on digital annotation with the tool. Over the past week, participants in the course have been reading texts online and annotating them together, making observations about the texts themselves and also about the experience of shared reading. There are 21 participants in the experience, who have collectively created 119 annotations during the first week of the course.

Digital School of Russian

ODL has been supporting the School of Russian at the Middlebury Language Schools to create digital learning spaces to support Russian language students before, during, and after their immersive language learning experience at Middlebury. Through the creation of a pre-immersion site (intended to prepare students prior to their arrival in Middlebury), an in-language site (intended to support students while they are in Middlebury) and a learning community site (intended to support students after they leave Middlebury), ODL has been thrilled to develop a model of digital learning to expand students’ language-learning experience using the digital environment. We will provide links to these projects when they are further developed; stay tuned!

Digital Language Learning Course

Sean Michael Morris and Sonja Burrows have been dreaming up a new course on digital language learning which will be hosted by the Office of Digital Learning this spring. We are still hammering out the goals and the format, but at this point we know the experience will likely take place predominantly in an asynchronous, online environment with a few synchronous meetings among participants, all of whom will be invited to reflect on the pedagogy of digital language learning and in so doing also to assess digital language learning tools. Among other goals, our hope in offering this learning experience is to connect the language pedagogy experts from across the institution and to bring these voices together to encourage collaboration and cross-institutional communication.


MiddCast is a website created by the Office of Digital Learning in partnership with Erin Davis of Middlebury College’s Department of Film and Media Culture. The site features a collection of podcasts as dispatches from Middlebury’s campus and community about shaping the future. By supporting MiddCast, the ODL hopes to provide an opportunity for digital learning to encounter narrative research, and to support students and others in the Middlebury community in creating reflective, challenging, and meaningful stories that reflect their learning and experiences in the world.

That’s all we have time to share for now; but there’s much more happening in the Office of Digital Learning! We hope you’ll come back next week to hear about other projects we are working on.


Office of Digital Learning

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