This Week in DLINQ: March 19-23, 2018

MiddCreate Spotlight: Melissa Leigh Nix

Another MiddCreate Spotlight post!

MiddCreate Spotlight is a DLINQ blog series that features interesting MiddCreate sites created by Middlebury students, faculty or programs outside of the Office of Digital Learning & Inquiry. MiddCreate is an initiative at Middlebury that offers faculty, staff, and students their own subdomain spaces and easy installation of open-source applications such as WordPress, ownCloud, MediaWiki, Drupal, Known, Scalar, and Omeka, among others. Last week, we highlighted a MiddCreate site created by Melissa Leigh Nix, a recent graduate of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) at Monterey.

Melissa was kind enough to answer some questions we asked her about her work with MiddCreate. We asked her questions ranging from the purpose of her MiddCreate site to any plans for further development. Melissa expressed, “I think MiddCreate is a cool way to encourage students to gain new skills and try something they might not otherwise try. I love that MiddCreate is a resource available to students, and the creative community it encourages is very inspiring.”

Want to know about Melissa thoughts on her site and MiddCreate? The Office of Digital Learning & Inquiry encourages our readers to check out Melissa’s MiddCreate site here. Look out for more amazing MiddCreate sites!


Information Environmentalism Research: Blog Post by Amy Collier

Last Wednesday, Amy Collier, Associate Provost for Digital Learning and Interim Director of Digital Pedagogy and Media, here at DLINQ published a blog post addressing fake accounts and mis/disinformation on Pinterest. The article makes a bold and accurate argument that the social media platform has a “mis/disinformation problem” that is similar to most existing social media sites and tools like Facebook and Twitter. Amy brings to light that for some people based on how they use Pinterest, will never encounter this misinformation and witness how it spreads. If you use Pinterest for cooking or decorating inspiration, your feed and accuracy of information may be different from one who uses Pinterest to search for contested topics like climate change. The effects of fake/spam accounts are also discussed comparing the use of these account in 2011 vs, 2018. It is claimed by Pinterest that “users create fake accounts and perform activities that are taking advantage of Pinterest’s e-commerce and marketing potential.” Amy gives an example of one such fake account and discusses the determining factors as well as its role in surfacing “divergent polarizing views.” The blog post ends by explaining how this research is salient to an information environmentalism project at Middlebury.

You can learn more about the concept of information environmentalism from this post which defines it as improving our online information environments.

Check out the full post by Amy Collier here.

English for Disaster Management Course

DLINQ staff Mark Basse (multimedia production specialist) and Amy Slay (instructional designer) partnered with the Custom Language Services (CLS) team on the design of their online course: English for Disaster Management. 


“Custom Language Services’ collaboration with DLINQ has made it possible for MIIS to receive a grant from the US Department of State AE E-teacher program to design an online program in English for Disaster Management. This project not only allows us to showcase the signature pedagogy and unique content expertise of our professional language programs at MIIS, it also aligns exceptionally well with the strategic mission of the Institute.” — Alicia Brent, Director of Executive and Custom Language Programs

This course, developed by Lisa Donohoe , is designed to help non-native English speaking professionals in the disaster management field improve their English language skills while communicating in a disaster. In her role as project manager and curriculum specialist, Lisa worked closely with Mark on the production of several videos. For Mark, the core element of this project has been first person interviews with disaster management professionals. Video production support involves editing different video source interview material (Zoom, consumer video, and 4K camera footage) into short 3 to 5 minute packets of focused, topical material. He used collaborative tools like Google Docs to help manage all of the moving parts of production, creating a central hub for access to video links and embed codes.

In the initial phase of their partnership, Amy and Lisa worked together to clarify the instructional design guidelines and requirements set forth by the State Department. Then, Amy created a lightly designed structure and navigation in Canvas that Lisa has since developed and populated into a robust online offering. Amy continues to provide instructional design guidance as necessary.


Photo by Florian Pérennès on Unsplash

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