Duke ITAC - March 3, 2005 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - March 3, 2005 Minutes


March 03, 2005

Members present : Owen Astrachan, John Board, Shailesh Chandrasekharan, Deborah Jakubs, Paul Conway, Christopher Gelpi, Daron Gunn, David Jamieson-Drake, David Jarmul, Gregory McCarthy, Kyle Johnson, George Oberlander, Mike Pickett, Rafael Rodriguez, Dick Danner represented by Wayne Miller, Paul Harrod represented by Alfred Trozzo, Lynne O'Brien represented by Yvonne Belanger, Dalene Stangl, Molly Tamarkin, Robert Wolpert, Steve Woody

Guests: Hannah Arps, A&SIST; Matthew Drummond, DukeCard; Ginny Cake, OIT; Ben Riseling, DNC

Start time : 4:07 p.m.


I. Review of Minutes and Announcements:

  • Introduction and welcome to the new Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs - Deborah Jakubs

    Deborah says collaboration for the library is very important; we really don't exist in a vacuum. We're not the kind of library waiting for people to come in and use us and see how it goes. We're actively pursuing partnerships. Some of the ways we relate to ITAC is through CIT, we're involved increasingly in planning for central campus, where there's talk of library services; we're also going to be renovating Perkins Library. We have a group charged by the provost to look at science and engineering sciences, it is a faculty committee, and they are about to turn in their report. They are looking at what kind of library facilities and services science will need in the next ten years. The committee goes to meet with each department to talk about how they use libraries currently and how they anticipate using them in the future. A really interesting finding is that people really want library space: everything being digital doesn't eliminate the need for carrels, for places to meet, etc.

    The other area I want to mention is planning for the information commons. It is truly a collaborative effort: we have students engaged, we have OIT engaged, and other groups are also involved. Naturally there are a lot of other things going on

    David Jamieson-Drake asks if they have a model in place for the commons.

    Deborah says in ‘93 the first commons was set up at the University of Iowa , and last week there was a symposium on it at the Friday Center .

    Paul Conway says there is a basic model that talks about a seamless barrier between information and technology. The models also often involve deep partnerships with the campus community in terms of sharing spaces and functions. In the end we need to make it our own.

    David Jamieson-Drake asks will there be some things you already do that will move to the information commons?

    Paul says the core of it is basic services offered in a different environment. We're looking at adding more multimedia capabilities. So, there's some new but it starts with a basic public service idea.

    Deborah says digital@duke is a couple years old now, we're going to have people come from outside to take a look and give us some appraisal of what they see. This will happen late this spring.

    John Board asks do we have a sense of what amongst our peer institutions we're doing well and things that need some attention?

    Deborah says there are some places that have a more advanced digital system, but there are Duke-specific things we want to take care of.

    aul says I think we've moved fast in three years to catch up, with the new integrated library system and some website work and a broader array of staff services. We're far from the bleeding edge, but in terms of the innovation of techniques things are bubbling near the surface.

II. Overview and Update from the DukeCard Office - Matt Drummond

Matt says we are kind of a pioneer in the multi-use card. If you were here in the early 80's there were multiple cards for ID, dining, library, etc. In 1985 the DukeCard was introduced. This August we're celebrating our 20 th year. We're involved in a lot of applications around campus, including vending, dining, copying, parking, and ePrint. We're a cost recovery operation, we have two offices, and employ 15 full-time employees. We're open 24-7, every day of the year. We have about 120,000 cards in our database, process over 350,00 transactions per day through 1450 devices. Last year we processed over $20 million in revenue.

Some of the new services: we now accept debit cards, whereas previously we only accepted cash and check. You can now view food and FLEX balances in DukePass. We're hoping to improve this channel over the summer to provide more information, like the last five activities on your card. Another is the wireless campus card terminal. About a year ago Duke approved the concept that a handheld device could be used to scan card. Now there are about 30 schools in the nation with these devices. We have sixteen, and currently they're all checked out. The first use was for checking people into a basketball game in March 2004. They have been used for accepting donations, yearbook distribution, at the student services fair, and for iPod distribution. Athletic Concessions has 48 of these devices. We collaborated with Elon College so that they were able to use their cards to purchase concessions at Cameron. We think this function has a lot of potential, especially with NC State and UNC when their students come over here. Another new thing is the DukeCard Express Station, basically a free-standing service that allows students to do basic DukeCard services. Now they can check food and FLEX balances, add food points or cash; we want it to accept debit cards.

We've adjusted the plan a little for dining selections. They'll be able to walk to a tabletop unit, swipe their card, and it will register is electronically. We have a virtual card reader for websites so students can charge in real time.

In the future, we're looking at an online card office. We're working to have it behind NetID authentication. It will provide account balances, allow users to view recent activity, view statements, and add money to accounts. We're also looking at adding FLEX and charge to the bursar account, paying for textbooks online with FLEX, online food ordering for Merchants on Points, and adding additional express station uses.

Future technologies we've been looking at are “smart” chip cards, and the question seems to be what is smart about them. With these cards, the cardholder loses funds if the card is lost, sales reporting is decentralized, there is a slower transaction speed, and PKI for network authentication requires additional hardware. Another technology is biometrics, which comes in a variety of formats from fingerprints to iris scans to voice recognition. Were looking at the question of reliability, and many people are concerned about the privacy of the cardholder. Biometrics is often viewed as intrusive.

John Board says the DukeCard wasn't invented as a security device, yet one of its biggest duties is in controlling access. At CIEMAS, for example, there were many places where we asked if it would be good to control access. The cost recovery is causing people to put in local models. I have concerns that the cost model is causing people to use less good models.

att says initially that the fee has dropped - it's been at its current rate since 1998. There was a proposal to drop the cost, but Blackboard increased their service contract prices by 400%. One concept that is important is that not every door needs a reader.

III. Report on the Duke Web Community & Update on Web Accessibility at Duke - Ben Riseling

Ben says one of the core missions of OWS is to engage and grow web community and build a relationship with Duke communicators. To achieve that, one thing we did is form a web community group that forms once a month for anyone interested in any aspect of the web. We've had three meetings, the format is fairly reminiscent of David's web communicators group, there are a couple guest speakers and time for Q&A. Out third meeting was about web accessibility, led by Mark Olson and Brett Walters from the Franklin center. Mark and Brett's presentation on accessibility can be accessed at http://www.jhfc.duke.edu/olson/accessibility.html. (They've used an open source [gasp] alternative to Power Point. Clicking on each page reveals the next bullet point, and rolling over the bottom of the page reveals navigation to progress to the next page.

All are invited to attend if you like to. Right now it's a meeting that happens once a month and a listserv. There are approx 80 people on the listserv. We have hopes to launch a wiki soon so we can host things like library suggested reading and things like that. The reason we decided to talk about web accessibility is because in a survey we sent out, it was a burning issue. Mark did a good job of framing the issue. Essentially what Mark and Brett did is they made the case for accessibility: whether legal, moral, or business, there are reasons. It then broke into topics about best practices, one I though was effective was how people should expand their idea of what a user is.

We came up with a long list of action plans; we realized there are several groups on campus already addressing web accessibility, and they don't seem to know about each other. This will be something Web Com could address, and through the wiki we could have information on resources, etc. However, a question raised right away is does Duke have an official stance on web accessibility and should it? Princeton just re-launched their website with a new CMS, and it has an accessibility stance. To date, the only consistent utterance about accessibility has been that it is recommended. What we found from Mark Olson is that there are production standards that can make you more accessible. Some questions are: Is Duke providing common toolsets that allow for this? Are there accessibility validators available for training? The answer is no. An even greater topic was what content we need to address.

John Board says yes, we need to think about this, and we haven't really yet.

Robert Wolpert says the compliance standard would have huge technical implications.

Ben says the consensus is we aren't looking for an official policy, but more for a recommendation with certain toolsets. It seems timely since we're about to roll out the CMS

IV. Duke iPod Evaluation: Update and Discussion - Yvonne Belanger, Provost Lange

Yvonne says this is not a summary of all of the data we've collected so far, in the interest of time and keeping the discussion focused. Evaluation questions included things like the extent to which faculty have explored and implemented the iPod, how students use the iPod, what features have students reported as most useful, and how did the project show us something about Duke's technology infrastructure and how it's impacted our partnerships and contacts with people beyond Duke. The evaluation was limited by the open-ended nature of the project, not that that is a bad thing per se; the innovative nature of the project and that it is early in its implementation; difficulties in making comparisons; and fairly low response rates from faculty.

Types of iPod uses: distribution and portable digital audio; lots of recording (lectures, field notes, student performance practice); recording and distribution of audio feedback; hands-on lab activities and programming; use as a hard drive for large multimedia files; “podcasting” and audio blogging, which has pretty much only started in the last couple of weeks. Podcasting addresses one concern about students not wanting to take time to download web content.

In the fall CIT supported 11 projects with participation of 23 faculty, 2 non-IT staff, and 628 unique students that involved 2 really huge courses.

In the spring, there are 17 projects plus two continuing from the fall; we don't know how many unique students yet. There is a range of courses and departments; some numbers have question marks because we don't know how many used iPods for the course. There is a lot of potential use that wouldn't need to be supported by CIT. We've also had some non-course use at libraries.

About 20% of students responded; the surveys were sent to 450 faculty and we got 56 responses.

Of all the features, 60% of students say the recording feature was the most used for academic features. 75% said they used an iPod feature for academic uses, half said they weren't in an iPod course but used it for other academic purposes. Students were generally positive, it doesn't seem to matter if they used it for academic purposes or not.

Faculty that used iPods seemed to think they didn't have enough information to know if the iPod had had an impact or not on their courses.

There was a range of technology issues: content distribution mechanisms; hardware/software wasn't too much of a challenge for the Help Desk, but keeping up with iTunes and iPod software updates was more challenging.

Secondary impacts of the project were extensive (unanticipated) publicity; increased perception of Duke University as a technology innovator; increased collaboration, cooperation, and communication among campus IT groups, and communication, partnerships, and new possibilities with other institutions as well as publishers of potentially useful academic content.

Some open questions are what are the interesting questions that merit further investigation, and what can we learn institutionally from this initiative that would inform decisions about similar opportunities in the future.

Peter Lange says we've had two experiences in the last five years where we put a stake in the ground early in a fairly dramatic way, and whatever we did subsequently, putting out the stake has made a big difference in the way Duke has been perceived. One was that we were going to require laptops, and this is the second. Part of the issue is cultural change; we have to recognize that cultural change happens on campus with regard to technology and other things, not necessarily in small incremental steps.

Second, we were totally blindsided by the amount of attention that this has gotten. More self-critically, in order to get this going this year we didn't prepare the ground as well as we might, but it was an issue of starting it in the fall with new freshman arriving or not.

I think we would be foolish to throw away what we've learned; what the exact right strategy for doing that is, we have to look at this data and reflect on what the best move forward is.

V. Other Business


End time : 5:23 p.m.