This Month at DTLT – September 2017

It’s been a busy September here at DTLT. The beginning of the semester brings a lot of class visits and individual consultations with faculty. The whole team also came together to organize our first Digital Liberal Arts Series event – A Tool Parade and reception. You can re-watch the presentation part of the event, and make sure you mark your calendars for the second event, taking place on October 12th from 4:00-5:30 in the Digital Auditorium. It will be a faculty panel on Web Cultures in the Disciplines.

We also launched one of our major faculty development activities, the Digital Knowledge Faculty Initiative. Lead by Jesse Stommel and assisted by Jess Reingold and DKC Director Martha Burtis, 7 faculty and staff from across campus are meeting for a series of discussions and practical labs centering around Domain of One’s Own and this idea of “Digital Knowledge.” You can read along by going to the link above, and we look forward to sharing what the Digital Knowledge Fellows produce over the course of the academic year.

Jess has also been busy with her Masters degree, completing her course in Innovation and User-Centered Design. She is also in the process of a major redesign of our main site, umwdtlt.com. This included completing a site audit. In that audit she found that the site’s taxonomy and vocabulary needs to be reworked. In addition, much of our content can be condensed. We want to give our audiences the best user user experience we can. This work will continue, and we look forward to when the site is ready for it’s close up!

While Jess has been working behind the scenes on our website, Kris has been also working under the hood on UMW Domains; he completed a major analytics project and spearheaded a new data retention/deletion/backup protocol to ensure both the integrity and privacy of student, faculty, and staff data when working on our platforms. Kris also built a new website testing platform for DTLT (running on Ghost, see pushpullfork.com and readywriting.org for examples). Finally Kris participated on a panel discussion on Data Ethics at the Data Management Association (DAMA) regional conference in DC.

Our two student aides have been invaluable in helping us design promotional materials for our events and for our unit more generally. Stef and Bethany designed new stickers for DTLT (shown above), as well as the poster for the Digital Liberal Arts series. They also have been working hard on promoting the premiere of the short film, The Convergence, a collaboration between DTLT and the DKC. Bethany and Stef built the website, cut the trailer, planned promotional activities, and designed both a poster and postcards promoting the event. We hope you can all make it to the premiere on October 4th at 6:30pm in the Digital Auditorium.

Nigel has been especially busy helping faculty working online with their courses to kick off the fall semester. He also started holding “office hours” on the Stafford Campus to better meet the needs of the faculty teaching there. Most excitingly, Nigel had a number of his photographs selected to be exhibited and sold at Red Dragon Brewery, starting October 6th.

Last, but not least, Lee was thrilled to see the Working Group on Advanced Digital Fluency report released to the wider UMW community, as a part of the President’s Strategic Vision. She chaired that committee during the 2016-17 academic year, and is proud to share the hard work the working group did with faculty and staff. Lee also is continuing to work on her research, which involves exploring how affect impacts faculty development, after migrating her website from WordPress to Ghost. She was also featured in the September issue of Women in Higher Education.

October looks like it will be even busier, starting with our next Digital Liberal Arts faculty panel next week, so check back next month to catch up with DTLT!

Photo by Linda Xu on Unsplash