Duke ITAC - August 10, 2000 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - August 10, 2000 Minutes


August 10, 2000

Attending: Pakis Bessias, John Board, Dick Danner, David Ferriero, Nevin Fouts, Mike Gower, Donna Hewitt, David Jamieson-Drake, Betty Leydon, Roger Lloyd, Melissa Mills, John Oates, Lynne O'Brien, Mike Pickett, Rafael Rodriguez, Mike Russell, Robert Wolpert, David Kirby, Bob Newlin

Also in attendance: Robert Thompson, Billy Herndon, Ed Gomes

Review of Minutes and Announcements:

  • The minutes from the previous meeting were accepted with no changes.
  • Betty Leydon announced that Rafael Rodriguez has been hired by Landen Bain to be Associate Chief Information Officer of the Medical Center/Health System. His responsibilities will include operations, security, technology, and infrastructure.

Curriculum 2000

    • Making the learning experience inquiry-based - finding better ways through technology to connect students to the scholarship of the faculty
    • Making investments in active learning processes ("pedagogies of engagement")
    • Managing the increasing faculty expectation of students' I/T skills (support services needed for students to "catch up" - a skills survey for the freshman class will help identify gaps)
    • Reinstitution of the language requirement (technology needs for instructional support)
    • I/T support for new writing class requirements - creation of electronic portfolios for students
    • More intelligent classrooms
    • Questions about outside access to the course materials (faculty were on both sides of this issue)
    • Inability to integrate the software with the enterprise security schemes (available in a recently-released but more expensive version)
    • Concern about support and reliability as usage increases
    • Lack of integration with other systems
    • guest speakers
    • resource guides
    • faculty project grants
    • training on in-house projects
    • planning with schools
  2. Dean Bob Thompson of Trinity College of Arts and Sciences spoke about Curriculum 2000 and the I/T issues with the undergraduate experience offered in C2K:

    Dean Thompson welcomed advice from ITAC members.

    Lynne O'Brien from the Center for Instructional Technology reviewed the pilot of CourseInfo (slides available at http://cit.duke.edu/about/reports-courseinfo-7-7-00.html). The question was whether this software was useful for the faculty in conducting courses. By the end of the spring semester there were 200 courses using it - far exceeding CIT's expectations. The reason clearly was its ease of use and the attractiveness of accessing course materials easily. The primary negative about the pilot was performance - attributed to both software and hardware issues.

    Other issues:

    The question remains as to whether CourseInfo is the right tool for Duke faculty.

    David Jamieson-Drake asked if ASP-like services were available in this field.
    Dr. O'Brien noted that Blackboard will host courses for a fee, but that most software in this field share similar issues. (Note: The School of Nursing is using software written by an Eduprise (http://eduprize.com/) programmer for similar purposes.)

    Robert Wolpert noted that several of the issues are not with the software but with process and etiquette. He asked if there were developing standards.
    Dr. O'Brien noted that they are coming, but slowly.

    Donna Hewitt stated that Eduprise is working to integrate its functions with PeopleSoft Student Information System (http://www.siss.duke.edu/SISS/student2.htm), and that would likely force some standards.

    Robert Wolpert asked if the product is being used by faculty who are both technologically-oriented and not.
    Dr. O'Brien answered that both types are using it, but that the majority of users are relatively inexperienced with computing.

    Dr. Wolpert focused on the key issues in his mind - scalability, security, and privacy.

    John Board asked about help-desk support.
    Dr. O'Brien noted that CIT personnel had to support the password functions as well as problems with ISPs and browsers.
    Dr. Board suggested that the help desk should handle user interface and password issues and that Duke should definitely upgrade to the version of the software that supports authentication. This version would allow integration to other campus systems.

    Betty Leydon agreed that if CourseInfo goes beyond a pilot stage that OIT should extend support to it. She also asked how hard it would be for the School of Nursing to convert from its Eduprise system to CourseInfo. It was guessed that it would not be easy, but it could be done for a fee.

    Dr. O'Brien then gave the CIT Annual Report (available in .pdf format at http://cit.duke.edu/about/reports-cit-annual-report-07-17-00.pdf). She noted that her early goals are still valid:

    All faculty grants had an assessment component required.

    CIT is considering a faculty "show-and-tell" conference for this year to demonstrate results of faculty projects.

    David Kirby asked if some of the infrastructure developed for instructional technology might help with staff training.
    Dr. O'Brien did not think that was likely, but it might be possible in individual cases.

    Dr. Board asked who does offer Pagemaker/Framemaker courses for faculty or staff.
    No one does, though Learning and Organizational Development can access such courses through its training contractor; however, these are not suitable for faculty and students.

    David Kirby asked whether there was concern over buying and selling of course content.
    Dr. O'Brien replied that it had not come up except in discussions around in strategic planning.

    Donna Hewitt stated that there was basic (and reasonably cheap) online instruction at http://www.learn2.com; some School of Nursing students have used it.

The meeting adjourned at 5:30.