This Week in LIS - 21 June 2013

Weekly news and updates from Luther College Information Technology Services. To receive email updates, please sign up here.

Headline of the Week: Classrooms, Social Media, Information and Technology Literacy

Last week I came across a very interesting article. It is compelling because it integrates a set of topics that have recently been, if not continually, top of mind; a set that at first glance might not have obvious relationship. The article brings them together in story anchored in utility and practice.

Two weeks ago 11 faculty members participated in the “Technology and Information Literacy Workshop” co-sponsored by the Dean’s Office and LIS. In this workshop professors collaborate with LIS to think about how they might enhance their teaching and learning leveraging information and technology literacy centered ideas. They work in teams, including LIS members, to experiment, pilot and integrate new approaches into their courses, frequently exploring information technologies to enable or support their work with students.

We have an ongoing discussion about the utility and leverage of collaboration technologies/Web 2.0/social media. We think about these technologies for creating community and fostering conversation and collaboration among students, faculty and staff and with LIS. We also think about the important roles these technologies can play in teaching and learning in classrooms, building upon and leveraging the classroom information technologies that have been deployed across campus, and part of courses beyond the classroom.

Many thoughts come to mind when I hear “social media.”. They range from “fad” (which I do believe for some use cases of the technology) to reinvention of how community and conversation are developed and relationships are established. These technologies enable approaches that can take on some of the time and space constraints of face-to-face connections and enable people with unique characteristics and specialized interests to find each other and interact in ways that they might not otherwise have been able. In LIS we spend time thinking about the role social media and other collaborative technologies can play in enhancing teaching and learning at Luther College.

Further we have been having conversations about pedagogy and the concept of “flipped” classrooms. With this thought, information is encapsulated and students engage with it as “homework” leaving the precious face to face time between instructor and students for active engagement and conversation enabling construction of new knowledge and new mental models in students’ minds. The College is making a substantial investment in digital media that will lead to a media studio and a lab and allocation of staffing to further enable the use of digital media technology in and out of the classroom.

Finally, we have ongoing conversations about helping students that come to Luther College be as successful as they can. “Retention” is important to the student, their families, our mission and our finances. Our students came from many and varied backgrounds and experiences and frequently they have gaps in experiences that if filled can be key to their long-term academic success. There are rich programs at Luther College to provide support for the student willing to engage and do the work. Picking up on the student engagement idea, what role can any of these collaborative and digital media information technologies play to enable active student engagement?

The article is written by a self ascribed “…as old-fashioned as they come…” lecturer in the Integrated Liberal Studies Program at U of WI, named Shawn Peters. Shawn’s academic background is English and American history. He teaches humanities courses.

He came to the point of leveraging classroom information technology, digital media, social media, and elements of “flipped” classroom from working with students from a diverse set of backgrounds. He concluded that a key to classroom success and therefore retention success was the level of student engagement and these information technologies could help him with that. So, despite his claim of being “old-fashioned,” he found the support he needed in the Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning (WisCEL). At Luther College LIS, year around, and the summer workshop represent our analog. He speaks of the value of “… technology-enhanced, collaboration-friendly learning spaces, to help change teaching in ways that would encourage active learning and foster a sense of inclusion.” We are continuing to make those investments. Examples include Hovde last year and some remodeling projects being planned for the coming year.

I encourage you to enjoy the article. I also encourage you to enjoy the commentary about the article. That discussion (enabled by Web2.0 technology) is also very interesting and brings additional ideas to the conversation.

Suggested Reading/Viewing/Listening:
Diversity in Academe

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LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:

Notes from LIS Council

LIS Council is the leadership team within LIS. Among the topics discussed the past two weeks were:

  • LIS Operational Agenda
    • Council members will be reporting on LIS operational views (metrics for processes and status of projects) regularly at LIS Council meetings. The past two week’s reports included the following:
    • Software Development
      • Marcia shared that she, Paul and Diane T. have been working contracts with two key vendors associated with our plans for a long running digital imaging project that would start with the Alumni and Development Offices and the Education Department. Points of conversation center on managing IT risk and affordability.
      • In collaboration with the Publications team, Software Development will leverage an agile development process to improve prioritization, communication, investment effectiveness, predictability and quality. This will start next week with Tabita and Publications.
      • Adam, Marcia and Paul meet with a representative from Baker-Tilly to get further insights on the results of our IT Audit. He was encouraged by our posture and our actions. Further he shared insights on tools we might use going forward.
      • Our Datatel team continues to work on the SQL migration focusing on “customizations” that have been made over the years. Ensuring all these customizations continue to work on an SQL base is an essential prerequisite to the planning migration.
      • The team scheduled a Business Objects work session for Thursday, June 13.
      • Rudy and Luther student (and son), Scott, are working on creating a “universe” to enable reports for Residence Life as a summer project.
      • The LIS website on Reason is targeted to go live at the end of June.
    • Archives
      • Rachel shared operational statistics for the Archives. The average monthly level of patron engagement is in the 15-20 range. She shared that approximately 70% of Archives requests are reference requests, 44% of visitors are walkup visitors.
      • Rachel plans to further contribute to the document imaging project with focus on the backfile portion of the project bringing her process experience and background to bear on the processing of the “backfile.”
      • An HRDP Grant was written by the Archive team to explore, capture and share more general lessons learned from the Postville Project that can be applied by others that want to capture and archive materials associated with a major event. We anticipate news in September.
      • The Archives Leadership Institute will be hosted by the Luther College Archives team. 25 mid-career archive professionals from a variety of institution types will come for a multi-day institute beginning on Sunday.
    • Network & Systems
      • Adam shared a graph of Netflix peak monthly traffic vs Internet connection. It peaked at about 45% of our 380Mbps bandwidth on the Saturday following Fall Break.
      • He also showed the number of clients that dropped off once he cleared out the student registrations after the spring semester was complete. More were cleared out this spring than last spring.
      • The distribution of network clients was shown graphically. We discussed the advantages of the project on our list to patch operating systems and applications on a regular basis.
    • User Services
      • Post-production of Commencement was completed and the DVDs mailed to those who placed orders.
      • There were 11 faculty participants and 11 LIS participants in this year’s LIS Summer Faculty Workshop; brown bag sessions to be scheduled in the fall.
      • Registration, Orientation, and Advising Day (ROAD) was held June 7, 11, and 12 and involved all User Services students and several staff.
      • We had a walkthrough on 6/18 with Jay regarding spaces involved in the Digital Media Proposal and are now awaiting cost and time estimates from Facilities.
      • In preparation for this summer’s Faculty Roll, hardware has been delivered, images are being refined, and the roll begins July 8 for Music and Nursing.
      • We are reconfiguring the LIS Technology Help Desk Call Center and moving office and workbench spaces.
      • An on-campus interview for the Help Desk Specialist position is scheduled for Friday 6/21.
      • A proposal created by Campus Safety & Security to extend the library hours primarily deals with their staffing; Bob Harri is working to have the proposal approved.
      • Options for repairing the library entryway concrete are under consideration and LIS is awaiting decision and timing.
      • User Services content for the 2012-2013 LIS Annual Report and objectives for 2013-2014 are in progress.
  • New Items
    • NESU and EXIT processes
      • There is an extensive process for bringing a person “online” at Luther College, support changes during their career (e.g. a new assignment or a change in office location) and to handle a person’s exit from the College. The suggestion was made to form a small workgroup to review NESU and EXIT processes to look for efficiencies.
    • OCLC WMS
      • We are beginning to get the “keys” from OCLC for our new WMS library automation system. The schedule calls for a period of time for us to orient ourselves to the new system, and to do configuration of process and policy, training and testing. This critical step is a prerequisite to going live on this new system.
    • Digital Media
      • Part 1 of Phase 1 has been approved by the cabinet to move forward. The funding includes construction/remodeling Preus 100 (formerly known as the ICN Room) to become the media studio and the creation of a new space, north of the the media studio, that will be a media lab. Library materials are being moved and consolidated to create space for the media lab as well as a third new space for instruction which will be located north of the downstairs bathrooms.
    • LIS Objectives for 2013-14
      • LIS team is encouraged to finalize content to the degree possible by 7/5. LIS Council members plan to all read that version and identify objectives that would benefit from conversation by the Council by 7/12. LIS Council will plan to discuss those objectives on 7/17.
    • Skills Development
      • We began discussion on ideas to approach the identified skill and skill building needs identified during our second Strategy Day.
  • Returning Items
    • LIS “Vaulted” Credit Cards
      • The OFS team will no longer be providing special for LIS check-in and check-out of Luther credit cards from their vault. Supervisors will work with LIS team members to decide, for Luther cards currently in the vault, whether the individual should secure the card or return the card.
    • LIS Annual Report
      • We discussed that we need to consolidate the team goals to form an overall list of LIS goals. We may still need to do some prioritization of goals. We also need to get them into similar formats, and consolidate joint goals of multiple departments into single entries.

Upcoming LIS Training, Instruction, and Professional Development Opportunities

Click on the event below for specific information and for a link to register. More information on training and development events is available.

Course Format Date Location Enrollment
Teaching the Diverse Millennial Student Population (Day 1 of 2) Jun 25 2013 – 10:00am 12:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open
Teaching the Diverse Millennial Student Population (Day 2 of 2) Jun 26 2013 – 10:00am 12:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Borlaug Open
Constitutional Law (Day 1 of 2) Workshop Jul 9 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
Constitutional Law (Day 2 of 2) Workshop Jul 10 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
Next Generation Science Standards: Discussing implications for Luther science programs (Day 1 of 2) Workshop Jul 11 2013 – 9:00am 4:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
Next Generation Science Standards: Discussing implications for Luther science programs (Day 2 of 2) Workshop Jul 12 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Mott Open
Prezi & Visual Literacy Workshop Jul 16 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Closed
Luther Admissions: Building the first-year class Workshop Jul 17 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Nansen Open
Prezi & Visual Literacy (Repeat offering) Workshop Jul 23 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Closed
Paideia 111 & 112: Reading the Works (Day 1 of 2) Workshop Aug 19 2013 – 9:00am 4:00pm Main 114 Open
Paideia 111 & 112: Reading the Works (Day 2 of 2) Workshop Aug 20 2013 – 9:00am 4:00pm Main 114 Open
So you want to do a survey: Doing online survey projects with Qualtrics Workshop Aug 21 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Main 114 Open
Luther sudents and the ability to reason Workshop Aug 22 2013 – 9:00am 4:00pm Loyalty Board Room Open
Paideia 111/112 New Instructor Workshop (Day 1 of 2) Workshop Aug 26 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Main 114 Open
Luther College as a Community of Faith and Learning (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development Aug 26 2013 – 9:00am 3:30pm Loyalty Board Room Open
Paideia 111/112 New Instructor Workshop (Day 2 of 2) Workshop Aug 27 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Main 114 Open
Luther College as a Community of Faith and Learning (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development Aug 27 2013 – 9:00am 3:30pm Loyalty Board Room Open
Updates for Academic Advisors Faculty Development Aug 28 2013 – 1:00pm 3:00pm Main 114 Open

Training and instruction is provided to the Luther Community through Faculty Development Sessions, Library Instruction Sessions, Product Demonstrations, Skills Training, Workshops, 1-on-1 Sessions, and Online Materials. To schedule a session, contact the LIS Technology Help Desk at x1000 or enter your request online at

This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Paul Mattson, Executive Director of LIS at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

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