Information Technology Services

Drop Shadow

Minutes April 10, 2013

Minutes of the IRC Meeting, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Meeting 12:00 - 1:30 pm

The meeting convened at 12:00 pm. In attendance were Chris Wessells, Doug Burke, Michael O’Brien, Shahra Meshkaty, Karl Gruben, Daniel Lopez-Perez, Stephanie Hoie, Johan Perols, Kenneth Bates, Lisa Cannon, Hayley Umayam, Karen Macauley, Kathleen Kramer, Sandra Sgoutas-Emch, Liza Peterson-Gary, Mary Kowit, Michael Marchand, Susana Martin del Campo, and Apple representatives: Andrew Curreh and Jennifer Dame.

Chris Wessells opened the meeting with a brief outline of the information the ITS directors were to convey and introduced the Apple representatives.

Apple Impact and Opportunities in Education. (Andrew Curreh) Apple has begun to dramatically reshape the format of teaching through the use of iPads in the K-12 educational system and is now looking to impact Higher Education Institutions. Technology is seeing a dramatic shift from traditional PCs to Tablets/Mobile Computer experiences. Apple has sold 8 million iPads directly to educational facilities including San Diego Unified School District, Coachella Valley, Sweetwater, etc. The goal is to harness visual media to engage students in the learning process. Mobile devices in the class room allow for interactive teaching in the classroom.

Representative talked about three pillars, or apps, that are drastically changing the layout of the classroom and the way we teach.

  • iBooks Author is a free app that allows you to make your own textbook through the use of audio, video and multi widgets sources. It allows textbooks to become interactive and you can publish them in the iBooks store.

  • iTunes U allows the creation of content to iOS devices. It is also a free app that allows for courses to be created and downloaded to student iPads. It can be private to only paying students or public for use by anyone. An example of the opportunities these create are notes online and handouts at the touch of a button.

  • Part 3 of the pillars is the way that iPad is a catalyst for a broader form to retain and get information. Example is UC Irvine’s iMeded. Every student gets an iPad and runs through the program based on the course outline on the device. Eighty-five percent of UC Irvine’s medical students chose this program based on iMeded. The first class that went through this program scored 23% higher than the national average. Bottom line, it improves academic outcome and engages students.

Library and Web Services Highlights (Michael O’Brien) This year has focused on digitizing books. Libraries are moving to offer more books online in digital form. New services implemented this year are Express Books which focuses on physical material such as requests for books online, to be picked up in the library or on some occasions delivered. Library and Web services will also be implementing a system for email/text notifications when books are in.

RapidILL and Get It Now focused on shortening intralibrary loan turnaround times and after-hours access.

Johan Perols inquired whether library material could be delivered to mailboxes. Michael said that capability is possibly in the works.

There are many upcoming projects and services including JSTOR being offered to alumni this year as well as preservation efforts and upgrades to the library system this summer. The Sierra system is much more streamlined, a great boon on the management side. The Circuit is already 15 years old. Michael also mentioned the Hoehn graphics collection, which is now in the process of also being digitized.

In presenting the University web services’ new projects for this coming year, Michael remarked that the Changemaker Hub has been a huge success. Boot camp day seminars and trainings will be offered for Search Engine Optimization and responsive designs to wireless iCloud type sharing to mobile devices. There is also a scheduled redesign planned for different schools including realignment cleanings and optimization.

Network Infrastructure Highlights (Doug Burke) The upgrade to 10 gig has been completed and wireless upgrade is now capable of the 10 gig. Virtualization of the data center includes an N + 1 system which means that for every server there is one virtual server.

There is a higher availability through diverse routes of networks to campus which should eliminate breaks if there are excavations or underground work done on campus.  Doug said that if there were any problems with the wireless network to please call extension 7900.

                Of the other highlights this year was the implementation of a wireless system in facilities management by which they could remotely control the sprinkler system, for example, therefore being able to more easily modify usage depending on weather, which aids in conservation efforts.

                In the coming year Network Infrastructure will be looking to find a system of storage such as a Cloud system to allow for larger capacity of storage and retrieval.

Academic Technology Services (Shahra Meshkaty) Highlights for this year are that migration to Blackboard 9 have been completed and that IT training workshops have been opened to both new and established faculty, with a total of 204 workshops. The goal is to be at the forefront of tablet implementation by beginning iPad projects and getting resources into the classroom. The time needed to deploy computers to faculty and staff has also been greatly reduced and the process has become more efficient.

                Coming projects include Summer Innovative Institute which is going to be launched this summer and is a two-week condensed program dedicated to rebuilding online courses. Chris mentions that there will be incentives for the attendees such as iPads, etc.

                Blackboard content to include more shared material or portal and organization of non-academic groups as well. Mediasite will be brought in to stream lectures online and will replace Echo360. Digitization of VHS and DVD will also be conducted. Through Service Now looking to get a central location from which information could be drawn and used first by faculty and then students. Finally, planning a project to implement power saving techniques in a green initiative through Farnoics PowerSave.

EASS Major Projects (Steffanie Hoie) Steffanie pointed out that Banner was upgraded to 8.4 as well as performing numerous other upgrades to meet with new regulatory requirements. Included is the implementation of SUNAPSIS which is a way to comply with government regulations in tracking international students. Students may now petition to graduate online and transcripts can be sent electronically. EASS has aided in updating department directories like the Law School directory with pictures.

 Next year there will be a Banner upgrade to 8.5 and in August there will be a portal migration from MySanDiego to Luminis 5. Looking to implement a Grant Management software as well as implement an Enterprise Data Warehouse which will allow for reporting over time so information can be attained and viewed over a span of 5 years, for example.

Questions and Answers

Johan Perols asked about the possibility of exporting grades from Blackboard into Banner. Shahra replied that because of all the different vendors involved, we’re awaiting the next Banner upgrade to explore this issue.

Ken Bates said he can only see the first 8 or so students on his roster. Shahra asked whether he had downloaded the latest upgrade, which should solve the problem. Michael Marchand of the Help Desk said that the turnaround time on new computer deployments has decreased to about half of what it was a year ago.

Shahra answered that it was an average of 10 days for normal non-critical tickets and could be as fast as 10 hours to two days for critical tickets. This is a dramatic improvement over previous response times.

Doug answered that there is a search for new vendors that would allow for more compatibility with mobile devices.

Kathleen Kramer mentioned that she’s had a lot of problems registering freshmen and she’s only able to register new students in the office and not from home. She has to drive to the office to register them.

Doug answered that this was a unique problem to that particular professor because the system has worked for others from home and should be working in this respect. They are going to try to replicate the problem to see if they could fix this issue.

Johan Perols asked about Blackboard’s ability to be modified and add students. Why can’t this be done by professors?

Shahra answered that it had been purposely blocked to prevent misuse, which had been occurring. In order to add new students to courses the professors are required to check with the registrar to verify availability and then ITS manually inputs the student. Shahra said that there is a new tab in Blackboard to help Students and Faculty address specific needs.

Meeting adjourned at 1:30 pm.

Minutes provided by Susana Martin del Campo and Mary Kowit
April 13, 2013