This Week in LIS - 2 August 2013

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

Headline of the Week: SPOCs

An interesting educational business model emerged this week. Southern Methodist, Baylor, and Temple agreed to become “affiliates” of one of the newer for profit on-line education companies, 2U (formerly 2tor). This means they will list certain courses developed by other members of the consortium of colleges that participate in 2U’s Semester Online program in their catalogs. The courses will be online and produced and taught by professors at other universities including Boston College, Emory, Northwestern, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Notre Dame and Washington University. For example, students at Southern Methodist will be able to consider 11 different courses they might register for and they will receive elective credit at SMU for those courses.

These are not MOOCs as they have come to exist. Rather, these are SPOCs (Small Private Online Courses). Notice that closer to home our ACM colleagues are just about finished offering a calculus course that they refer to also as a SPOC. In their case it means Small Participatory Online Course. Both the ACM and SMU leaders talk about the value of experimenting and learning and assessing. Here at Luther we have completed a second summer with online classes offered during summer school. It will be interesting see what the ACM and Luther experiences have taught us about online classes and for us in LIS what further support and enablement might be important.

The new affiliate relationship suggests there might be new ways that emerge in the near future to get access to courses for students to fill mismatches between offerings, staffing, student demand and funding.

Suggested Reading/Viewing/Listening:

3 Universities Will Grant Credit for 2U’s Online Courses

SMU to offer online courses from other prestigious universities

ACM Voices-Spring 2013, What Can We Learn Online?

Webpage for the ACM Calculus course

[email protected]

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 three 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. There were no reports this week as it’s the fifth week of the month.
  • New Items
    • Updated KATIE
    • Meeting with Jay
      • Paul met with Jay this past Monday on a variety of topics and has notes that he will share. The current outlook is $65K for the construction portion of Stage 1 of Phase 1 of the Digital Media Center plan.
    • CFA 118 Proposal
      • A proposal is under development to upgrade the computers in the CFA 118 Lab. Currently only about ½ of the systems are usable for Arts or Communication Studies purposes.
    • Library Carrels
      • With space re-allocations within Preus (for classroom space and the Digital Media Center) there are 25 carrels available for re-purposing. The carrels are being offered to others on campus for Luther-related purposes. There will be a note in the Tuesday; Facilities and Sustainability will also be contacted in case they know of uses. If any of the 25 are not needed at Luther, we plan to offer them up to other colleges that might have use for them. Ryan will post their availability on an ILA/ACRL announcement board.
    • Atomic Learning Renewal
      • Since we processed this year’s Atomic Learning renewal prior to July 31, remote authentication has been acquired at no additional cost. We need to determine whether or not to continue with general access or implement individualized access.
  • Returning Items
    • SAN Migration
      • The upgrade to our new SAN (storage area network) was successfully completed last week.
    • LIS Migration to Reason
      • We are slated to go live with the new and improved LIS website on Reason’s content management system on Tuesday, August 6.
    • OCL WMS
      • We are now live on WMS, our new library system, and are working through a few remaining issues.
    • LIS Skills Development
      • At next week’s LIS Council, we will review the skills development spreadsheet that was created during the June LIS Strategy Day and plan next steps.
    • LIS Annual Report
      • Work continues on the LIS Annual Report for 2012-13. We plan to have it finalized early in the fall semester.

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
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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