User Tools

Site Tools


Academic Computing Services: Goals for 2006-07

Goals by Person


1. Plan for off-hours, student run, digitization facility Determine types of projects that can be pushed to this facility and how the triage will take place. Write detailed documentation for this facility with the help and input of current lab students. Set up realistic expectations for work to be accomplished. How should students handle unexpected problems?

2. Develop a framework for small media projects Define “small media project”. At what point does “small” become “huge”? Cite specific examples (i.e. jseamon, dpnelson). Write a work flow for a “typical” small media project.

3. Manage streaming video archive and plan for future growth Implement a metadata scheme for tracking library, departmental and personally owned video on the server. Assess server space requirements for the future and plan for this growth in conjunction with TSS.

4. MDL - TBD


Archaeology and new media – potential for improving visualizations and linked digital resources; build on previous work and focus future work; build expertise in this area.

  1. Implementation of Monarch (Monastic Archaeology ) – Phase 1: interactive map, time line, social hierarchy linked to XML database (encoded texts and material objects data base)- with STG, Brown.
  2. Paper at Amer. Association of Archaeology, w/Michael Carrassco: Unaahil B'aak: A Look at the Ancient Maya City of Palenque through the Digital Lens – April
  3. Monarch Phase 2 – geo-locating textual references: plan best delivery method (Google maps, Google earth, GIS)

Scholarly communications – projects with Wespress; explore possibility of building scholarly credibility of LOs/ born digital projects.

  1. Dancing History/Moving Cultures web companion
  2. Loie Fuller – born digital postscript

Climate Change – pilot project combining LO for use in classroom with museum installation.

  1. Determine direction with Gary, Jope, et al & goals
  2. b.Find seed funding
  3. c.Determine requirements of installations sites
  4. d.Steer to NSF education grant

Future: Work with Allynn, Phil, John to determine future collaboration of digitization services and learning objects

  1. Determine overall vision for future work
  2. Possible work flows (Collaboration rather than integration?)
  3. How will MDL work with direction of scholarly communications, born digital projects, grant funded projects - or new direction?


  1. Expand and improve upon current webcasting service. Seek training (through NERCOMP, CET, apple or other sources) and/or learn from others who are working in this field.
  2. Continue to support Special Events, concentrating mainly on the shooting of video footage and post-production work including editing, DVD creation and streaming media.
  3. VIM. Work with Eric Charry to continue adding new footage to the Virtual Instrument Museum.
  4. Assist with the setup of Wesleyan's TV station, including physical setup of the broadcast equipment; a studio or other location for shooting video; organizing existing footage for broadcast rotation, etc. Work with others in IMS to craete advertising for IMS to run as part of broadcasts.


1. Refine and formalize all aspects of the multimedia classroom construction process, from the design to the sign-off on the job.

2. Utilize AMX Asset Manager software to improve multimedia classroom maintenance and troubleshooting practices.

3. RFID beta testing for IMS inventory solution.


Scholarly communications project

Educate faculty about issues surrounding scholarly communications

  • impact of changing economics
  • authors' rights
  • open access journals
  • electronic publishing

Assemble working group which will take specific actions to address the issues * web site * institutional repository * publishing support

Key player: Barbara Jones, Mike Roy, Associate Provost(?)

Milestones: meet with faculty in each division (December 06) Assemble working group (Jan 07) Institutional repository (Spring 07) Note: the working group will be charged with defining subsequent actions and timelines

Classroom recording

Create two-semester pilot to test methods of classroom recording and distribution

  • evaluate/install Apreso automated capture system
  • evaluate/install Wordpress to support podcasts
  • identify 2-3 faculty in each division who will participate
  • work with IMS to refine audio and video recording methods
  • work with academic affairs and deans to define pedagogical goals and boundaries

Key players: ACMs, Heric, Vince, Matt Elson

Milestones: Recruit faculty for pilot (summer 06) Evaluate automated capture systems; purchase and install (summer 06) Evaluate blogging software; purchase and install (summer 06) Acquire necessary recording gear, such as iPods, cameras, mics, digital recorders (summer 06) Record classes and events (fall 06) Record classes and events (spring 07) Evaluate pilot and establish classroom and event recording at an appropriate and sustainable level

Media management system

With a strong focus on images, identify a media management system and complementary tools that will best help faculty and students find, manage and present media.

Key players: Susanne Javorski, visual resources committee


  • complete requirements document (summer 06)
  • develop research teams (summer 06)
  • identify three system finalists for evaluation (fall 06)
  • arrange campus demos, site visits (fall 06)
  • select and install system (spring 07)
  • create website that collects and explains the tools and other resources faculty and studens need to work with images (spring 07)


Establish a digital teaching portfolio for instructors in the Less Commonly Taught Languages program. see template The portfolio will includes teaching philosophy, sample lesson plans, sample activities, resume, and a few video teaching samples. This will be beneficial to all since it will enhance the pedagogical discussions between the coordinator and the instructors in the program while providing with a professional and comprehensive portofolio.

Redesign and enhance the online language lab web site. Over the summer, we developed a new web site for the delivery of audio and video materials with focus on usability and new features which include a shockwave web audio recorder. see example An essential complement to this web site will be the Flash media server based excercise and assessment tool which will be developed this year with the help of Phil.

Implementation of digital video in the Self Instructional Language Program for different purposes. IP based video conferencing can enhance tremendously the experience of students wanting to learn a language not taught at Wesleyan. This year we are experimenting student/instructor meetings via videoconferencing in the hope of success and further implementation for student/student connections. Another use which will be explored is to create accountability for students enrolled in SILP programs. In the Spring, all students enrolled in a SILP will have to produce a bimonthly informal short digital video journal summarizing what they have studied. This will be done using an Imac with a built-in camera, quicktime, and blackboard.

International TV programming. Explore what options are available in order to make international TV programming available to the Wesleyan community - either via the campus wide cable network or maybe having a satelite system installed in Fisk and deliver the services in the LRC. All options and prices will be considered and a recommendation will be made. A key player will be Heric.


Modify the labs facilities to accommodate users with laptops.

Specific Activities Required to Meet the Goal Start working with the student lab managers on how we want to proceed with this idea Discuss the different ideas or designs

Create a system for better TV cable customer service

Specific Activities Required to Meet the Goal Prepare a group of students in order to check the TV cable system on different dorms and woodframe houses Meet people from Comcast

Share IMS student experience with other departments

Specific Activities Required to Meet the Goal Help the physics department to create a visualization group create objectives and goals Create the group of students and train them Work on the projects

John Wareham

Media Development Lab

1) Establish an up to date digital imaging department

  a) Purchase a high end digital camera system
  b) Purchase a large format printer

2) Providing the service

  a) Continue to assist faculty and students with graphic and photographic imaging needs. 
  b) Continue to identify and define problem areas of projects. Rely on past experiences and new solutions to propose resonable, thought out solutions. 

3) Poster printing

  a) Training. Support faculty and students with professional design suggestions. Encourage smart software selection, taking into account specifics of the research.
  b) Provide handouts.
  c) Continue networking with other institutions re:large format printing



Domain: Fully develop and sustain tablet PC project in EES.

Specific Activities with Milestone Date:

  • Create training documents for students (Fall 2007)
  • Train faculty to use equipment. (Spring 2007)
  • Establish support model for reimaging. (Spring 2006)
  • Work with Phil Resor on publications about project. (Summer 2007)

Milestones and Dates:

  • Spring 07 field courses by other faculty (than Phil Resor) use tablets to some degree.
  • Fall 07 field courses use tablets for established labs.

Other Key Players:

  • Vince Spiars
  • Phil Resor
  • Dana Royer
  • Martha Gilmore
  • Suzanne O’Connell


Domain: Manage content server evaluation.

Specific Activities:

  • Create specifications/RFP document. (Dec 2006)
  • Schedule demos from all relevant vendors. (March 2007)
  • Organize reviews within ITS and other constituencies on campus. (March 2007)

Milestones and Dates: By summer 2007 have established vendor choice.

Other Key Players:

  • ITS
  • Grants office
  • Communications?
  • Library?

Goal 3

Domain: Explore and implement Blackboard Building Block options with in-house programming to provide community system-like functionality (e.g., RSS feeds, broad use of roles).

Specific Activities:

  • Organize discussions among TSS and ACS.
  • Prioritize desired additional features.
  • Schedule programming with TSS.

Milestones and Dates:

  • Produce specifications for a new feature by Jan 2007.
  • Have at least one new feature in place for Fall 2007 semester (as a test case).

Other Key Players:

  • TSS
  • ACS
  • Faculty participants (TBA)

Goal 4

Domain: Examine use of and improve student and faculty clicker registration-related interfaced in portfolio.

Specific Activities:

  • Meet with Fall faculty users for feedback.
  • Meet with Pat Leone and Dan Koepf regarding needed improvements.
  • Schedule work time-line so testing finished before Spring semester.

Milestones and Dates:

  • Have improved interfaces available for classes Jan 2007.

Other Key Players:

  • Dana Royer
  • Anthony Davis
  • Pat Leone
  • Dan Koepf
  • Manolis Kaparakis



Three broad strategic concerns inform my overall approach:

  1. Enhancing and facilitating the ability of faculty to make their content available to a target audience, however broad or narrow that audience may be.
  2. Helping faculty exploit new tools for finding and organizing information useful to their teaching and research
  3. Promoting new tools for easier collaboration

These broad concerns then manifest themselves in three specific undertakings

  1. A primary goal is to increase faculty web presence by a variety of means, including (but not limited to) working with individuals to launch or improve their professional scholarly pages. Different operating systems and levels of expertise pose a serious challenge here, where one of the goals is to find a unified, user-friendly, cross-platform approach. Part of the project to date has involved developing site templates for various editing environments in order to determine the strengths and weaknesses of different technologies. An important collaborator on this project is Pat Leone. In particular we are comparing the relative merits of various server-side scripting techniques, channelmaker and PHP being foremost among these. The matter is especially pressing, given that one of our current tools, FrontPage, is on its way out.
    I have already worked with a number of faculty, and there are more in the queue. In addition to individual professional pages, I have also helped a faculty member to design and implement a website to manage and publish information in connection with a scholarly conference that he is hosting later this spring. On design matters I have consulted with Anne Loyer, Jen Carlstrom, and Ryan Lee. Phil Isaacs has been a great help on development details.
    In a closely related project I am also a member of the committee to find an optimal web-editing solution. In connection with this goal, I am familiarizing myself with javascript editing solutions that could be integrated with a LAMP-based WYWIWYG web-app. Although I now think that we are unlikely to follow this path, the exploration has been enlightening. Ultimately, this question will be affected by our impending choice of content-management system.
    I have also had the chance to set up blogs and encourage the use of wikis for faculty.
    This goal primarily relates to Educational and Academic media. It has secondary relevance to Research Support.
  2. Help faculty find and manage an increasing amount of material (typically from the Web) relevant to research, scholarship, and teaching, in particular by promoting the use of RSS readers for information gathering and social bookmarking for resource organization. I have been part of the documentation ITS has promoted on the use of RSS and I have been introducing faculty clients to RSS and bookmarking tools wherever there was need and openness. In that case I sometimes meet with individuals 1) to help them set up readers and find feeds of relevance to various aspects of their work or 2) to create social bookmarking accounts and to learn to use the tools efficiently. A further project, as yet unlaunched, might be to delve into OPML as a means of sharing and navigating multiple feeds of relevance to particular fields or institutions.
    Another approach to the sharing of feed information would be to establish a connection between faculty and librarians whereby faculty-vetted links are rolled into library subject research guides. Here we can leverage Web2.0 technologies in order to integrate this goal with the previous one. In this case, the gathering and evaluation of information sources has, as a by-product, the result of instantly disseminating the relevant information. For the pilot I am working with Mary-Jane Rubenstein in Religion and EunJoo Lee at Olin Library.
    Closely connected to this overall goal is my work leading the Web2.0 committee on social bookmarking.
    This goal contributes directly to Research Support.
  3. Narrow the “digital divide” within the faculty by reaching out proactively to individuals and disciplines (in the social sciences) that have historically made little use of ACS. The first step is to identify disciplines and individuals. The next step is to approach individuals to offer them particular services: professional web pages, rss readers, or perhaps consultation on social bookmarking, the area that I am leading in connection with the Web2.0 group. As a matter of fact, many of the faculty clients I am interacting with are setting up their first web site, their first blog, their first RSS reader, etc. And now word-of-mouth is having an effect and I am getting unsolicited requests.

End-of-Year Report

Increasing Faculty Web Presence

My efforts in this area have exceeded my goals in many ways. I have helped or am helping eleven different faculty members to promote themselves or their projects on the web. More important than these numbers, however, are the advances in developing models for faculty web projects. In particular, there has been a gap in the Wesleyan web presence between very modest do-it-yourself projects and high-end, cutting-edge undertakings with funding for design and development. What many faculty need is a web space with a professional look, a clear and rational navigation, an easy authoring environment, and scope to take control of their public web presentation. The template that I have built out has proven to meet most individual needs, but the editing environment continues to be an open question. The critical question is templating. How can we easily and transparently structure multiple pages so that any common elements are stored only once (or can be updated automatically by changing them in only one place). Over the course of the year I have worked with Pat Leone in particular to explore a variety of templating options: FrontPage .dwt files, Wesleyan's own ChannelMaker/.htt process, and PHP server-side includes. Aside from the specific differences between these approaches, the environments in which they occur entail other important differences. In the course of working with faculty on these sites, I have developed a battery of questions, that help to determine where best to place their site. Important parameters include:

  • Which operating system the person works with
  • Whether they are already familiar/comfortable with any web authoring technologies
  • Whether anyone else will need to contribute to the site
  • What kinds of information they want to provide
  • Whether they hope to develop any applications in connection with the site
  • What their general disposition to technology is

A second important facet of the web work with faculty has been the development of quick but specialized sites for scholarly events. Two of the sites that I worked on were for such events. In one case I put together a complete event package that included a unique site with registration functionality, an event blog, and an event mailing list. The post-event plans for the site include posting pod-casts of the talks and using the blog to create a space for intellectual exchange. I see the work I have done in this realm having considerable potential value for the Academic Media Studio

Yet a third important aspect of the work has been to situate my own projects within the larger context of the Content Management and Web 2.x initiatives currently underway at Wesleyan. In particular, I have explored a model for integrating PHP templating tools with the Xythos content management environment that we have recently adopted. On the Web 2.x front, I have explored ways to leverage social bookmarking, RSS reading, and web-based productivity tools in the maintenance of web pages.

In particular I am consulting with one faculty member on how to use the new Blackboard wiki as a platform for collaborative development of web content that will eventually reside outside the confines of the Blackboard. A second faculty member has shown interest in a similar project, and I have written up guidelines for using the wiki in this way that we are adding to our in-house Blackboard documentation.

Along different lines, I am currently working on guidelines for putting PowerPoint presentations on the web. Many faculty use PowerPoint as a scholarly and pedagogical tool. There are several ways to make presentations available through the web, but no single approach is best in all situations. I am working to understand the parameters that should inform a scholar's choice in this regard. In particular, I am evaluating some very attractive Web 2.0 solutions, and preparing some documentation on the various alternatives.

Finding and organizing information

Some of my aims in this arena turned out to be a bit premature. Because of the ongoing larger Web 2.x initiative, my efforts in this realm have focused more on the evaluation and selection of tools than on specific projects with individuals. This evaluation work is an important first phase of the project, and it has given us time to think about the requirements for the tools we are going to adopt/endorse.

I headed up the working group on social bookmarking, and we have now reached a decision on which tool we would like to endorse: In connection with my duties in the working group, I have prepared a presentation of ten things you can do with that should be of interest to the scholarly community. I will be presenting these at Wesleyan's upcoming Web 2.x Expo. I have introduced a small number of individuals to and recommended ways that they might use it. In the future, I will be following up with these individuals to get their feedback so that we can improve the way we roll this service out. Documentation on our social bookmarking evaluation is available in this wiki at social_bookmarking.

I have also introduced a few faculty to the online RSS reader Bloglines. I have not pushed hard on RSS readers because it was unclear which tool Wesleyan would ultimately endorse. At the moment, it is unclear to many individuals what they might want a reader for. Hopefully, our Web 2.0 will help to heighten the academy's awareness of RSS as a powerful information-gathering medium. I co-authored some of Wesleyan's documentation on RSS feeds and readers. See here, here, and here. The first link is the dokuwiki version of the second two.

A smaller but no less fun piece was the documentation I wrote on how to pull the Wesleyan Events Calendar into your personal Google calendar.

Facilitating collaboration

As with the previous category, the work this year has been more about research, evaluation, and selection than about particular projects. I was an active participant in the Web-based applications working group. I have attempted to use the relevant tools in much of my own work, and my experiences in that regard have proven invaluable to the working committee. Of particular note is the work I described above on developing guidelines for using the Blackboard wiki as a collaborative web-authoring environment.

Next Year's Goals

  • I plan to promote and explore ways to apply Web 2.0 technologies for teaching and research. In the broadest terms I am on the lookout for class projects and website maintenance practices. Together with Manolis Kaparakis and John Hammond, I hope to launch a Social Sciences at Wesleyan website that will, besides improving communication channels between ITS and faculty, potentially provide a venue for various Web 2.0 projects. The basic idea is to leverage 2.0 technologies to add value to work that faculty would be doing anyway. In the long run, these projects might ultimately lead to librarians who manage and provide lists of web resources, especially in connection with subject research guides. Points of emphasis include:
    • RSS for research
    • Blogging as a form of scholarly communication
    • Using the Blackboard wiki for pedagogical projects.
  • I will continue to devote a share of my attention to issues that revolve around faculty websites. Aspects that are high on the list include:
    • A user-friendly but flexible and smart web editing environment.
    • Exploring how to integrate Xythos into faculty web editing.
    • Negotiating the division of labor between faculty and department sites, automated and hand-written content.

My wishlist

  • My work will become much easier if we can find web editing solutions that meet the faculty's need to balance convenience with flexibility.
  • It would be helpful if we could fix the FrontPage permissions piece. I believe that the problem involves IE7. I have observed it on my own and on faculty machines. For me it no longer works at all, so that I am editing the .htaccess files by hand, when I need to. Obviously, this is not a realistic option for most faculty.
  • It would be nice if we had LDAP/AD support for .htaccess files on the PHP/MySQL servers. I don't mind writing the files by hand, but I don't want to be proliferating passwords.


1. EMW v2: Database driven publication of workshop proceedings (Volume III). Complete work with Phil on php scripts and forms for dat acoleections and management of website. (Test version completed in August 2006- corrections on citation scripts December 2006, Volume III publication January 2007) People: Magda, Phil, Allynn, Manuel

2. Mobile Video conference Unit: Collaborate with interested faculty in the development of an FFI proposal to fund the acquisition of appropriate equipment.

3. Data Analysis Summer Apprenticeship Program: Develop program procedures; work on faculty-student recruitment


1. Organize Multimedia Development Lab

Complete the study and analysis of various options for the multimedia development lab, define fifth position, establish set of services that the group will offer, establish communication and project management methods, establish budget.

timetable: have this completed by spring 2007 people involved: all of acs, much of its, library, faculty

2. Complete Phase One of the Content Management Project

Convert the short-term proposals generated by the content management project into actual projects, and secure funding to move forward on the high-priority activities, which would likely include:

  • enterprise content management system trial
  • large (20+ tb) disk system procurement
  • student thesis project as inroad to institutional repository
  • visual resources system replaces mediadb or enhance mediadb

timetable: beging work on specific sub-project in fall of 2006, with target of new services in place for Sept 2007 people involved: much of acs and its; library, registrar's office,

3. Launch web 2.0 project

Launch a web 2.0 project that will result in Wesleyan offering wiki, blog, podcasting, social bookmarking, and RSS services by Fall 2007.

timetable: organize kickoff for December; working groups form and make recommendations for various technologies in Winter. Pilot applications in the spring. Offer university-wide production services by the fall of 2007. people involved: much of its; have formed a university-wide working group.

4. ethnography project

Complete ethnographic studies and workshops and use information gathered in the design of study space in the science library.

timetable: Fall 2007 we will do the studies. December 2007 we will learn how to translate analysis into design. Winter and spring 2007 we will do the designs. Summer 2007 we will implement the designs, assuming we can secure funding. people involved: ethnography team, construction services.

5. Complete Learning Object and LoLa Assessment Plan

Create and implement an assessment plan for all Wesleyan learning objects, and for LoLa by June 2007.

timetable: create plan in fall of 2006. Implement plan in spring of 2007. people involved: ACMs, Institutional Research, faculty.


  1. Goal: Redevelop the LightBox application so that it easily uses larger size images and scales well on different desktops. At the same time set up AMFPHP to use as a backend technology and develop as a model for future Flash application development on campus.
    • Reprogram the LightBox backend to use AMF service calls
    • Redesign the Flash interface
    • Update ActionScript coding
    • Anticipated Dates of Completion: April 07
  2. Goal: Finish the Cancer Research project by identifying all the remaining pieces still needed to be done, and then develop the content and code for the remaining parts of the project.
    • Identify all the remianing peices of the Cancer Research Project.
    • Develope the remaining Flash / Action Script pieces of the web site.
    • Develope remaining PHP application pieces such as the backend admin tool.
    • Anticipated Dates of Completion: Feb 07
  3. Goal: Research game development tools and develop a prototype to demonstrate as possible techniques for future Learning Object projects.
    • Identify possible tools and platforms for game development
    • Design and scoop out a simple prototype using these new technologies
    • When a flowchart for the project has been completed Build a prototype that demostartes the possiblities of this technology and how it can be used in future Learning Objects.
    • Anticipated Dates of Completion: June 07


Deploy dual-boot Intel mac lab in to the CFA lab space.

The plan is to make CFA Lab dual-platform without the extra cost, machinery, data, electrical requirements, and security needs of dual-platform via 2 distinct machines per station space.

This promotes and supports the learning environment, teaching environment, attracting and retaining the best facutly and students

Personnel involved– Dan Schnaidt and Prof. Huge Mike Roy to approve funding

Milestone–Prof. Huge tests AutoCAD on Intel Mac running XP. If he approves of performance the installation will proceed.

Date of completion–Jan. 20, 2007

Train student personnel to be a back-up for some of my duties to improve crisis management during my absence when imaging issue arise. Provide redundancy to critical tasks so functions can proceed with minimal disruptions to students and faculty.

This promotes and supports the learning environment, attracting and retaining the best students

Personnel involved– Student techs

Milestone–Image uploads of XP distributed to labs. Mac Radmind overloads created and distributed.

Date of completion–Nov.3, 2006

Develop with vendor (BigBang Training, LLC) tool for image compatibility on Intel Macs presently for Wintel machines, only.

This promotes and supports the learning environment, teaching environment, attracting and retaining the best facutly and students and improves the technolocial infrastructure.

At present I am working with BigBangTraining,LLC on an updated version of their image support utility to incorporate the Apple XP drivers for Intel BootCamp Macs. This will allow me (and other institutions) the ability to use the current Wintel XP image on the Intel BootCamp Macs with fewer manual installations.

Personnel involved– Developer from BigBang Training, LLC

Milestones–Contact vendor and request their participation. Approval granted. Begin testing of updates. Final update released to general public as part of their production product.

Date of completionSpring 2007

Goals by Category

Educational & Academic Media

Hardware, Software, & Tools

Learning Spaces

Process Improvements

Research Support

its/acs_goals_for_2006-07.txt · Last modified: 2007/07/17 23:31 (external edit)