Text Formatting Changes on TheHub

For the last 8 years or so, TheHub has allowed formatted text on evaluations.  This includes BOLD, italics, underlining and many others.  We realize the need for formatting to properly cite works as well as the ability for superscripts or subscripts to be used in math, chemistry or other sciences.

However, one of the problems we have with evaluations on TheHub is lack of consistency in fonts, colors, line spacing, etc.  This is exacerbated considering that many like to write their evaluations offline using Word or other editor, and then cut/paste the formatted text into TheHub.  By doing so, this introduces a lot of variability in fonts, line spacing and more – which TheHub has been preserving.

Starting March 30, 2015, TheHub will begin to strip this formatting out.  Some examples of why this is important:

A course description with incredibly small font from MS Word:

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 2.38.15 PM

A self-evaluation with large vertical line spacing:

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 3.13.16 PM


In summary, by eliminating all formatting except for:

  • bold
  • italic
  • underline
  • superscripts/subscripts

we will improve the consistency of evaluations for students, faculty and staff who need to read these on a regular basis.

As we head into Fall

The change of seasons is upon us and the life-cycle of the tomato plants at the farm center has me thinking about life-cycles in general. I have been doing  some reading lately about the life-cycles of organizations. I found this great GIF on the web that illustrates the challenges faced by maturing organizations.





The real question I have is where are we on this curve? I suspect that we are reaching maturity, which in and of itself is not problematic if addressed properly. The key to success in the future will be actually tracking where we are on this curve and crafting a strategy to move forward.

There is a great deal being written recently in various publications about the topic of Design Thinking. Roger Martin has a great book that is a quick read: http://www.amazon.ca/Design-Business-Thinking-Competitive-Advantage/dp/1422177807

The book is a good primer on the subject and one that I would recommend. We will all soon be involved in the planning of the College’s future. New research around ideas like Design Thinking will help us to answer the tough questions as we move forward and allow Hampshire to once again become disruptive in the marketplace.

Bob C

Icons and Notifications: Coming to TheHub!

It’s a busy time of the year and we’re trying to push ahead with continuous updates on TheHub to better support faculty and make it easier to know when certain actions are required.  To that end, we’re introducing some new icons and beginning to work on proper notifications.

Div II/III Contracts

Filing deadlines are looming which means Div II and III students are revising and/or submitting their contracts for faculty signatures.  To help faculty identify which contracts require a signature, we’re introducing a new icon in your advising list: small-s

The “S” icon indicates a document is awaiting your Signature.  At this point we are only introducing this for Div II/III contracts, but will later expand to other items.  This icon will make itself know quite clearly in your advising list:


In this case, the two students pictured have a Div III contract awaiting your signature. In both cases since you are the prospective chairperson since the Div III icon contains “c”.

Required Midterm Course Evaluations

Shortly, midterm evaluations will be upon us.  Recall that midterm course evaluations are required of all first-year students and optional for all other students in your courses.  To let you know which students you must write midterm evaluations, we have added the evaluation icon small-e.  This is contrast to the Pending icon status_pending.  Both of these icons indicate that you have not finalized a midterm evaluation for a student, but a midterm evaluation is not required in the latter case.


Soon you will start to see notifications on your home screen when you log in.  These will notify you of events such as pending filing or evaluation deadlines as well as specific contracts or evaluations which require your attention in a timely manner.

As always, please send feedback to thehub@hampshire.edu if you have comments or questions.


TheHub Changes: Courses and Evaluations

Many faculty are getting their first taste of the last major change to the interface on TheHub. Recently, we introduced the new look for Courses: how faculty access courses, rosters and course-based evaluations.

Course List
When you log in and click on Courses you’ll get a list of your current (active) and upcoming courses. In the example above, the faculty member has two courses for Fall 2013. Note that courses for prior semesters are not listed.

If you click Complete in the sidebar, all your previously completed courses will be displayed:

Clicking on the course name for any course (upcoming, active or complete) will take you directly to a class roster and basic enrollment information:

The new version of TheHub will prominently display privacy warnings for your advisees and students in your courses with a red border around the picture and details about the student’s request will appear on any course evaluation.

Any faculty member who may be red/green color blind should contact Jeff Butera (jbutera@hampshire.edu) and we can address concerns.fac_courses

To either read or write evaluations for a student, either click Evaluations directly from the Course listing or click the link on the left sidebar of the roster. When the evaluation page is displayed, you can see the status of every course evaluation for every student at once: Midterm Self-Evaluation, Instructor Midterm Evaluation, Final Self-Evaluation and Instructor Final Evaluation.

Later in the Fall 2013 semester faculty will also be able to view summaries of student assessment of the course and instructor.

The process of writing evaluations by clicking “Write” on the evaluation list takes you to the same forms that were previously used. However, you will now see more information about each student, including their preferred pronoun to use when writing an evaluation:

Advising on TheHub: What do all those icons mean?

Faculty will soon have a new interface on TheHub to write evaluations, much akin to that developed on betahub.  For those who may not be familiar here’s a summary of advising information and what all the new icons mean.

Advising List
When you log in and click on Advisees you’ll get a list of your advisees. In these examples, student 87 was a previous Div I advisee you passed, and you are chair for his Div II committee.  You are a current Div II member for student 66, and current Div II co-chair for student 35.


In this second example, you previously served as student 32’s Div II chair (and passed him), and are currently his Div III co-chair.  You are the current Div III chair for student 96, and Div II member for student 13.


So what are all those icons?  Here’s a complete list explaining each:

The roman icons with no circle mean you have no relation with a student for the given Division:
none_div1 none_div2 none_div3

A light blue color means you are the prospective Div II/III member, chair or cochair:

prosp_member prosp_chair prosp_cochair

A dark blue color means you are the current Div I advisor, Div II/III member, chair or cochair:

curr_div1 curr_member curr_chair curr_cochair

A white color means you passed the student for Div I, or as their Div II/III member, chair or cochair:

past_div1 past_member past_chair past_cochair

Lastly, you might see “a” indicating you are the non-divisional advisor. This means the student has been manually assigned to you as an advisee by CASA, even if you do not have a Div I, II or III committee relationship with them.

prosp_advisor curr_advisor past_advisor

By working with students and faculty to develop this listing we hope you find it very simple yet conveys a lot of information in a relatively small space.


HighEdWeb New England Conference

HighEdWeb New England is being hosted at Mount Holyoke College on Monday, March 18, 2013.

What is HighEdWeb New England?HighEdWeb New England

HighEdWeb New England is a regional conference for web professionals within higher education, encompassing a range of positions from systems and programming to marketing and communications, and anywhere in between. The HighEdWeb organization hosts an annual conference in October, and this is a smaller, shorter conference to attract attendees in the New England region and surrounding area. The HighEdWeb Association’s mission is: “To advance Web professionals, technologies, and standards in higher education.”

What involvement does Hampshire IT have in this conference?

HighEdWeb New England is being coordinated by a team of higher ed web folks who work in institutions throughout New England, including Sarah Ryder, senior web programmer at Hampshire College. The conference program includes several presentations from higher ed folks around the United States, including a lightning talk titled “Breaking the Divide for Great Web Apps” by our very own Jeff Butera, associate director of information technology for applications and web services.

Five Colleges, Inc is one of the sponsors of this conference, and there are over 30 people from within the five colleges who are attending HighEdWeb New England.

The Best Technology for the Holidays

None. It is kind of odd that I would say that in a blog devoted to technology, isn’t it?

I will start my day many times with a 5K run along a beautiful stretch down Green Pond Rd in Montague.  Like many other runners, my companions for this ritual are my dog and, of course, my iPod.  Today’s music mix about halfway through brought up John Mayer’s “Stop this Train,” live from, I believe, a show in Berkley.  In that song, he sings “stop this train I want to get off- its moving way to fast”.   As I ran along I thought how appropriate that song was for this past week.  Indeed, we all wanted to stop the crazy train, and with it the horrific events that recently unfolded.

My best friend is of Wampanoag decent, and I have spent a lot of time with him and his family and attended many events and celebrations.  Central to Native American culture is the notion that the warrior is a key figure in that society.  This is certainly true, and the responsibility of those individuals is to protect and provide with emphasis on the latter being key, not the former. To provide brings a great level of respect for the individual and families.

Families or individuals doing something called “Giving Away” marks most events and celebrations. When you want to honor someone, you give away something of value to you. People sometimes give away large amounts of material things.  You will also typically feed everyone gathered.  The sign of a great family is a large “give away,” and providing for everyone is key.

As we start this holiday season I want to challenge you to think a little differently.  Granted, the instinct to protect and provide is certainly present, and obviously amplified given recent events. I would also ask you to Engage. Take time to unplug, unwind and actually engage with family, friends and those around you.  I have written in the past about the need to unplug and engage but I felt it was time to restate the case.

I teach First Aid at various levels, and one of the first things we need to teach people is how to engage. How to actually ask “Hey are you okay?”. We are very good at simply walking past or deciding that someone else will take care of the problem. We need to change that; we need to stop and engage people. We as a society need to get the kids away from the computer or video game. We need to get out and engage with society and the world around us. That is the only way to build the world we all want to live in. Engage.

So this holiday season, even if just for one day, leave the iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or whatever it is in the drawer and Engage and enjoy family, friends, and the season.


Bob C