Recently, he has been working on the Academic Cyberinfrastructure Transformation Team (ACTT), which is composed of technologists from various Middlebury affiliated schools and programs. It aims to investigate how Middlebury, as a distributed organization, looks at technologies that are actively being used, examines how they evolve, and evaluates whether they are still the most appropriate tools for our community. The ACTT has developed a cyclical process that integrates ways for new technologies to be piloted and for change to take place. By analyzing the life-cycle stages of the platforms in use, this integration project can suggest innovations for making teaching, learning and research more successful. This process is currently playing out in the current re-evaluation of Moodle, the Fall 2015 term pilot of the Canvas learning management system, and the recently announced plan to adopt Canvas across Middlebury programs here in Monterey, at the undergraduate college in Vermont, and with the schools abroad.
With Netta Avineri, TESOL-TFL Visiting Professor and Chair of the intercultural Competence Committee, Bob helped to co-found the Intercultural Digital Storytelling Project, also known as #IDSP. During the 2015-16 academic year the project selected two senior fellows, Anna Santos and Katie Barthelow, to manage the project. IDSP was designed for students at MIIS involved in immersive learning activities to merge and develop their inductive research, peer mentorship, reflection, and digital media skills. On May 4th, 2016 they held a community showcase where participants shared their experiences around the world through a screening of their digital stories.
Another task force Bob has been involved with is the Intellectual Property Working Group (IPWG). As a member of the IPWG research team, he contributed to a survey of existing policies and practices at peer institutions in order to draft a new intellectual property policy for the faculty at Middlebury and the Institute. The first draft was recently shared for comment and will be brought to the Board of Trustees for consideration. This policy is especially important to the Middlebury community right now given the growing interest in pursuing a digital strategy that includes the development of hybrid and online courses. When working with subject matter experts on these courses, there is often a grey area about who has ownership of the content. The proposed policy framework assumes a creator-friendly position which the IP working group hopes will provide an innovation-friendly foundation for how the Middlebury community responds to these questions while considering all the stakeholders involved in the production.
A core theme of Bob’s latest projects has been developing good connection points with staff and faculty at Middlebury College. Moving forward, Bob hopes to encourage more conversations about shared resources and how to best integrate the DLC’s work with the local goals of the Institute and those being envisioned for the greater Middlebury community. He feels that we are now at a stage to assess how Middlebury resources are organized and work to foster closer relationships with colleagues across the Middlebury network. For Bob this has become increasingly important since so much of his work involves collaborative efforts with faculty, staff, and students located here in Monterey and remotely.