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August 26, 2014

 The Center for Digital Learning + Research is delighted to welcome the arrival of Patty Ahn and David Kim as new Mellon Digital Scholarship Postdoctoral Fellows.

 

Patty Ahn

Patty is joining us from the Critical Studies Department at USC's School of Cinematic Arts,...

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August 26, 2014

Want to hear Martin Luther King’s talk to Oxy students in 1967? Oxy Prez Arthur Coons' Convocation address of 1961? Photographer Ansel Adams’s 1969 lecture on conservation? Listen to the 1953 Glee Club recording of Brahms Folk Songs? How about a video tour of the campus with students in 1935 or campus scenes from the 1930s to 1970s?

The Special Collections and College Archives holds films, video, and audio recordings that document campus life and events of the 20th century. Most of these are on recording formats for equipment that is out of date (VCR, film projectors, reel-to-reel audio players, etc.).  Eighteen months ago, Digitization Specialist Eli Chartkoff began reformatting these rare materials into digital files for preservation in our Digital College Archive. Here are some of the collections underway:

Historic Campus Films: 33 16mm and 8mm films dating from 1931 to 1977, in color and black and white, silent and sound, depicting campus and classroom scenes, student life, graduation ceremonies, sporting events, student...

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August 26, 2014

During the 2013-14 academic year, the Occidental College Commons (OCC) Working Group met regularly with Frederic Fisher Partners to develop the schematic design for the commons.

Working Group members from the faculty included: Amy Lyford, Julie Prebel, Dan Snowden-Ifft, and Saul Traiger. Administrative members included: Amos Himmelstein, Brett Schraeder, Joe O'Hara, Marsha Schnirring,  Rebecca Stoltz, Shelby Radcliffe, and Thomas Polansky.

The schematic design phase results in renderings that can be used by President Veitch and the Institutional Advancement Team in fundraising for the project.

Here is an image from the schematic design. For more information, contact Marsha Schnirring (mschnirring@oxy.edu).

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August 26, 2014

Occidental College has received a four-year, $700,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation designed to allow the College to extend and deepen its successful efforts to integrate digital resources into student and faculty learning, teaching, and scholarship. Building on the work made possible by Mellon support in 2010, the grant will fund a faculty fellows program, support for postdoctoral scholars and graduate research fellows, the development of regional partnerships with  like-minded institutions, and a steady stream of speakers, workshops, and programming.

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August 26, 2014

As part of the 2014 Mellon grant (“Developing Leadership in the Digital Liberal Arts”) (link above), fourteen Occidental faculty members over the course of the next three years will serve as faculty fellows associated with the Center for Digital Learning + Research. During these semester-long fellowships, the faculty fellows will have the opportunity to develop digital research projects and experiment with new pedagogical approaches. This work will be supported by a course release, funds for required equipment, and the collaborative labor of postdoctoral fellows affiliated with the CDLR. These...

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August 26, 2014

We are nearly finished spending the $70K grant from the Connell Foundation to launch a Critical Making Studio housed in the Academic Commons. Working in coordination with the Media, Arts, and Culture program, we have purchased four professional production kits (cameras, lenses, lights, audio recorders, and associated stands) and have configured five computers to serve as high-end post-production stations available to all students at the college.

 

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August 26, 2014

2013-14 was a big year for the advancement of digital technologies at Occidental College with the completion of the Johnson Hall renovation and opening of the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs.

This remarkable building combines the best of the old and the new, with the preservation of historical exterior and interior details, and the invention of a bold new teaching and learning space, which integrates online and physical communication. On April 26, 2014, Occidental celebrated the formal Dedication of the McKinnon Center, along with the Varelas Innovation Lab, Choi Auditorium, and Irwin Field Media Classroom.

At the nerve center of these spaces are the Global Forum media wall and its web-based scholarly authoring platform, Global Crossroads. In preparation for the opening, staff and student workers from Scholarship Technology worked closely with faculty, administrators and staff of the McKinnon Center, International Programs Office,...

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August 26, 2014

This summer the subject specialists in the Academic Commons have been hard at work on a number of projects, and are excited for you to see the new version of the Research Guides.

Research Guides are organized by academic department and offer students a better way to understand which library databases may be relevant to their field of study, along with a number of other helpful tips and resources for reference, citation, and finding data and media resources.

The new guides have a sleeker design and greater control over customization, plus advanced statistics that help us understand user needs. We think you’ll be most interested in the new Database Finder and Subject pages. The new Database Finder includes multiple filtering options for finding the perfect databases for your research. You can limit by vendor, resource type, and subject, and will see a new tier of resources that the specialists have...

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August 26, 2014

Over the summer we upgraded Moodle to a new version and gave it a facelift.  

The result is a platform with a cleaner look, a responsive design that improves usability across all devices, including tablets and smartphones, and new features such as the ability to annotate assignments submitted as PDFs directly within Moodle.

New look and feel

The change you’re likely to notice first is the new design and layout. The new look brings Moodle into closer alignment with Oxy’s website. In terms of layout, course pages now feature three columns, instead of two. Now you will find your Navigation and Administration blocks in the left column, course content in the middle, and all other default blocks in the right column.

Old Moodle layout

Before -- Navigation and Administration...

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August 26, 2014

ITS made significant progress this summer on our plan to improve classroom AV equipment.

Classroom upgrades were completed in the following locations:

  • New media classroom installation in Keck 208,
  • New media cart installation in the Galarza Room,
  • Full system upgrades in Weingart 209, Weingart 210; Berkus 242 to be completed by 8/27,
  • System components upgraded in order to add High-Definition Media Interface (HDMI) connections in Fowler 110, 111, 112, 209, 302, and 309,
  • Mobile computer lectern added to Fowler 113,
  • ALL media classrooms fully tested and controls reconfigured where necessary both for consistency among the classrooms and to prepare for implementing a system that will assist with maintaining  media equipment in classrooms;...
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