The DIRT for Sep 10-14, 2018

DLINQ Events This Week

Written by Evelyn Helminen

The Office of Digital Learning and Inquiry is involved in several events for the 2018-19 academic year. They include: a year-long conversation series for faculty to explore and address pedagogical and technical issues related to teaching and learning online, a mini-workshop series for the fall semester to help faculty explore digital pedagogy theory and practice in a number of ways, and a collaborative effort around digital fluency with the Digital Liberal Arts initiative and the College Library.

Summaries of two events happening this week are below, and you can find more information about all DLINQ events on our Events Page.

Teaching Online & Hybrid Conversation Series Kick Off


In this kick-off session, we invite interested faculty to share their experiences, concerns and excitements around online learning, and to join us in shaping the agenda for the ongoing conversation series. This is an informal learning and discussion session. No technical skills or technology required.

Amy Collier, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Digital Learning
Dr. Sarah Lohnes Watulak, Director of Digital Pedagogy and Media


Wednesday, September 12, 2018


12:15-1:30 pm PT | 3:15-4:30 pm ET

Digital Learning Commons Design Space, McGowan 001 (Monterey, CA)

or online via Zoom

Student-Centered Course Design using Canvas


In this interactive session, we will examine different methods for utilizing Canvas in ways that amplify the student experience and support student-centered learning. We will explore ways of minimizing the cognitive load that students face through thoughtful Canvas course site design, and learn about Canvas tools and teaching techniques that incorporate student voice.

Heather Stafford, Multimedia/Curricular Technologist


Friday, September 14, 2018


11:00-noon PT | 2:00-3:00 pm ET


online via Zoom

New Canvas Course Templates

Written by Heather Stafford

Good news! There are new Canvas resources for faculty at the undergraduate college to help them get a “quick start” on their Canvas course design. Following Monterey’s lead, we have created two Canvas course templates that both have a built in 12 week module structure. One template uses the Pages home page design while the other uses the Modules home page design. You can view sample courses for each template at the links below:

Both courses also include built in support materials for students including:

  • ADA syllabus wording and links to contacts and resources
  • Middlebury Libraries links and contact information about liaisons and library guides
  • Academic Expectations for the course including reference and link to the honor code, and space for faculty to indicate citation and collaboration guidelines.
  • Navigation Info about getting around the course space based on your design choices
  • Resources to help your students with digital assignments
  • Technical Support resources including helpdesk links and contact information
  • A discussion forum for general questions about the course

Faculty have the ability to modify and remove any of these elements once they are imported into their course space. Here are instructions for how to utilize one of these course templates in your course. Please note that you will need to have created a Canvas course space and be listed in the teacher role in order to see the Canvas Commons option in the menu bar and you need to import the template BEFORE adding content to your course (otherwise you risk losing content).

We’d love to hear what you think! If you have any suggestions for Canvas course templates please send us an email.

If you want to get help with Canvas course templates please schedule a consultation.

Digital Pedagogy Lab (DPL) was held July 30-August 3, 2018, in Fredericksburg, VA, at the University of Mary Washington. We had a mighty DLINQ and Middlebury contingent represented this year. Here are some of our reflections from the Lab.

Digital Pedagogy Lab 2018 Reflections—Blog Post by Amy Morsman

Written by Evelyn Helminen

Amy Morsman, Interim Dean for Faculty Dev & Research; Professor of History wrote a blog post reflection on Digital Pedagogy Lab, based on her experiences in the Digital Storytelling 4-day track. In the post, she explains the digital history project she’s working on that inspired her to choose that particular track, and says, “The Digital Storytelling course pushed me in new directions and forced me to get out of my comfort zone – I’m a little tech phobic.”

She goes on to ask the thought-provoking questions,

What does “the digital” require? What defines “the digital”?”

Never having attended a conference like this before, she says in the post that she “felt privileged to be surrounded by so many people so focused on pedagogy. K-12 teachers, librarians, and administrators enriched the conversations and were just as involved as the college faculty who attended.”

She finishes by saying, “More than anything, I enjoyed getting to know better the seven other people from Middlebury who invested in this endeavor.”

(We feel the same way, Amy! ~ Evelyn)

Read the full blog post reflection about Digital Pedagogy Lab by Amy Morsman


Dig Deeper:

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.
– Audrey Hepburn

Featured Image by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

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