During the summer of 2016, several faculty members, the Provost’s Office, and ITS staff worked with the Grant’s Office to craft and submit a National Science Foundation grant proposal to boost the College’s on-campus academic network and to establish a more robust research network. With Bruce Maxwell of Computer Science in the PI role, NSF funded the proposal. Much of the work in the grant was completed this summer.  Read more »


 

The Qualtrics survey tool is an easy-to-use, full-featured, web-based tool for creating and conducting online surveys. Colby ITS provides a campus license for anyone with a Colby email account.

Qualtrics has added a new question type that will add a calendar date selector to your registration forms or other surveys. The Qualtrics Calendar Question is a hidden gem embedded in the Qualtrics Survey Library.

Here’s a short video to show you how to customize the calendar question type.

 


 

To learn more about using Qualtrics at Colby, visit the Qualtrics help page.


Google Drive has recently released the “Team Drives” feature. This is a way to use Google Drive as a more traditional file server by removing the connection between a user’s account and shared files.

 

 


For teams, organizations, and group projects, there are many benefits to using a Team Drive over a normal Drive:

  • Team Drive ensures that all members of the Drive will be able to access all files across all devices
  • Members immediately have access to Team files. There’s no need to send individual invitations for viewing to users
  • Administrators of the Team Drive can manage the permissions of all members of the Drive
  • Files are owned by the team, not the individual. Putting files on a Team Drive assures that files will continue to be available even if the account that created them is deleted or disabled or if the user that put them in the drive is no longer a member (i.e. if a member leaves Colby)

To access the Team Drives function and get started with your own, go to your Google Drive and click the “Team Drives” tab on Drive’s left menu.

For a more in-depth description of Team Drives benefits and capabilities, visit Google’s Team Drive page.


Rainy day? Time on your hands? Take a course this summer on Lynda.com!

Lynda.com has an easy to use interface, a range of short and long courses, and well-curated learning paths. The mobile features are great and allow for offline viewing and audio only.
Read more »


Story Maps is interactive, digital storytelling software that allows users to “harness the power of the map” to tell historical, geographical, and social narratives. Below is a basic tutorial on beginning to use the software.

  1. Creating a Story

First, go to the site: storymaps.arcgis.com. To create a story, select My Stories. The screen you are directed to should look like this: 

After clicking “Create Story,” there are several different options for formats. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will be using the “Map Journal” format.

Read more »


Drones, also known as a UAS (unmanned aerial system), have become increasingly popular among consumers in recent years. Despite being consumer-focused, many of these drones are powerful tools for academia.

What is a drone and why would I use it?

While drones initially made headlines due to their military benefits, consumer drones are typically small (1-5 pounds) devices with 4 to 8 rotors. They often will have a camera attached or have a cargo area to support a payload. A few of the advantages to a drone are:

  • Quickly deployable
  • Small, lightweight, and low cost
  • Capture high resolution (4K) still images and video
  • Long range of flight — over 4 miles, depending on the model
  • Offers repeatable autonomous GPS-guided flight
  • Potential for remote sensing operations

Read more »


 

If you create a custom email when you distribute a survey, then this change affects you. Qualtrics has added an opt-out link to all email distributions.

Even if you’re good at sending survey invitations without being irritating, some of your panelists may want to opt-out and some emails may bounce. Those who choose to opt-out will remain in your contact list, but they will be flagged as “unsubscribed.” Knowing how to manage and limit bounces and opt-outs is an important part of panel management.


Lindsay Mayka | Flipped Classroom and Blended Learning

Students of Assistant Professor of Government Lindsay Mayka come into the classroom with varying levels of knowledge and experience in the subject being taught.  To accommodate these differences, Professor Mayka records lectures before class.  This allows students to watch multiple times if they need to deepen their understanding of the topic.  Learn more about the Faculty Instructional Technology (FIT) Fellowship.