Duke ITAC - April 9, 2015 Minutes

Duke ITAC - April 9, 2015 Minutes

ITAC Meeting Minutes

Thursday April 9, 2015

I. Announcements

  • The ITAC 20 Year celebration will be held in two weeks in Perkins 217. Both Betty Leydon (OIT’s First CIO) will be in attendance and Mick Pickett will appear by video 

II. Agenda Items

4:05 – 4:50 – Undergraduate presentation, State of IT, ITAC Student Representatives (25 minute presentation, 20 minute discussion)

What it is: ITAC Student Representatives from DSG will present on the state of IT from their perspective.

Why it’s relevant: Feedback from the students allows IT representatives to hear firsthand the challenges that students face on a regular basis. This information can help set goals and priorities for various IT projects.

Robert Ansel, Oren Bukspan, Gavin Ovsak

  • Survey with 148 respondents; analyzed by use and market potential to identify underused services.
  • ePrint score went up quite a bit.
    • Request for more stations
    • Request for scheduling print items in queue
    • Desire for mobile ePrint
      • App has been built; perhaps the university could take that over.
  • Box overwhelmingly isn't used.
    • Students don't know about it and don't know how to use it.
    • Desire for more publicity, use in classes, and integration with Sakai.
  • Panopto is liked but not widely used.
    • We’ve seen issues with AV quality and video cutting out in the middle of a lecture.
    • Finding and grouping of classes is difficult; desire for UI improvements from vendor.
  • MFA overwhelmingly isn't used.
    • Not many constructive comments.
  • TransLoc widely liked.
    • Desire for actual bus usage info
    • Desire for WiFi at bus stops.
  • Common room Roku boxes is widely disliked.
    • Marketing: earlier issues with IPS routing of traffic have been fixed, but the students may not know that.
    • Complaints about performance during games.
    • Many students don't know how to stream to the Roku.
    • Frustration with lost remotes.
    • Desire for a less locked down interface, so custom channels, etc., could be used.
  • DukeAlert is widely liked.
    • Balance between testing and 
  • Office 365 Webmail interface is mostly liked.
    • Bulk of non-users are forwarding to Gmail.
    • Big win in acceptance compared to previous webmail interface.
  • Sakai's scores have dropped
    • Sakai is no longer being compared directly against Blackboard, which may affect scores.
    • Interest in mobile apps.
    • Interest in external service integration; students want professors to use them more.
      • Piazza
      • Box
  • ACES Registration score has gone down – Comments from students
    • Question has changed: not "What do you think of ACES" but "and bookbagging".
    • "Honestly, a paper schedule would be easier."
    • Desire for removing the early morning registration windows.
    • Complaints about UI.
    • Suggestion to use a wrapper like Mobile ACES to improve the desktop experience.
  • DukeSchedulator.com is liked by its users.
    • Even with flawed data, it's still considered better than ACES Schedule Builder.
  • ACES Schedule Builder has a way to go until it matches the popularity of Schedulator.
  • Online Learning: Flipped Classrooms
    • Math & Sciences may require more time to mull over.
    • We can provide data to anyone interested; many responses.
  • On-campus Internet: people like it a lot.  Rating has dropped over past 2 years.
    • More comments about internet going down randomly
    • Perhaps a better reporting system for students would help.
    • Suggestion to use DukeAlert to report WiFi issues.  For many students, WiFi is their sole Duke network connection.
  • Cellular service an overall negative but markedly improved.
    • Many Verizon and T-Mobile complaints.
  • Duke Mobile App
    • Feels no better or faster than going to website.
    • Comments that this is of limited use as as simple link aggregator
  • OIT Software Downloads
    • Lots of requests for Adobe and other specific 
    • Complaints about slow MatLab in Teer.
    • Some of the required fields (like Department) seem unnecessary.
    • Most students really enjoy availability of no-cost software.
  • OIT Service Desk overall well-received
    • Not widely used.
    • Most people seemed to be referring to the Link; some references to the DukeCard office, and more frustration with service at DukeCard office.
  • qDuke
    • Surveyed as a baseline for future comparison.
  • m.duke.edu mostly not used.
    • Mobile app is more widely used.
    • Ambivalent response.
  • Innovation Co-Lab
    • Generally good ratings from those who use it.
    • Lots of students want access outside of 9-5 due to class schedules.  Lots of interest in evening hours.
    • People who hadn't heard about it were happy to learn about it.
  • Co-Lab APIs
    • Interest in DukeCard, ePrint, 25Live APIs
    • Interest in better class metadata
  •  25Live lowest rating for any OIT service.
    • Extension complaints about speed and interface usability.
    • UI wrapper could go a long way toward 25Live.  Students are interested in making their own interface instead of using the native one.
  • Duke VMs
    • Some are looking at VCLs; some at Co-Lab.
    • Student VMs are liked; VCL seems to have problems with scheduling service.
  • Computer Labs
    • Students are still using them.
    • Request for dual-screen or multi-screen configuration, especially in Perkins media lab.
    • Some complaints about messiness.
  • Maker Spaces
    • Not widely used.
    • Interest in changing hours of operation.
    • Interest in more printers being made available.
  • Comparative Summary
    • Everybody likes ePrint
    • Nobody likes 25Live, Roku boxes.
    • Students tend to like compartmentalized, very specific tools; tools that solve one problem.
    • Less enthusiasm for aggregators like DukeMobile.
  • Service Market Potential
    • Innovation Co-Lab #1 on list
  • Duke Technology Wishlist
    • Sign-in to Wilson Gym using a phone (very high demand)
    • Philo access via PC
    • Inter-university collaboration on building more dependable apps that can be used universally.
  • OIT, can you fix...
    • 25Live
    • Bring Android support on par with iOS support
    • DukeCard/Flex office service
    • Duke Maps links and building directions
  • Thinking Big
    • DukeCard - lots of opportunity for improvement
      • FOB systems instead of swiping
        • RFID, NFC, etc.
      • Grant temporary dorm/location access
      • Grant access to personal DukeCard metadata
        • Let an individual report on their own DukeCard location data
        • Not just recent merchants, but data on their own merchant transactions

Questions and Discussion

  • Quick update on Philo service (Tim Bounds): 
    • As of last Friday we bypassed all scanning of traffic from Philo to Roku servers.  Philo engineers are also looking into this.
    • We are probably not going to unlock the Rokus to avoid content purchasing from the Roku devices.
  • Chris Meyer: We have had discussions about 25Live and are aware of its limitations.  We're working on an assessment of what we have in comparison to other schools that aren't having as much pain with it.  We're recruiting for a new University Registrar since Bruce Cunningham has announced his retirement; this will be an item on the agenda following this.
  • Comments about the ACES system: There was a wrapper historically; but each time Oracle made a change, the Duke interface malfunctioned.  Agreeably, the Oracle interface has not been very user-friendly.  If third parties are writing wrappers because they dislike the Oracle interface so much, maybe we should consider going back to that approach.  The good news is that Oracle is providing lots of opportunities for developing with their system as a base and improvements are coming.
  • Communication: Maybe a place to focus is on communication, spreading the word among students about the services.
  • Have you worked to identify your heirs apparent? We've given recommendations and advised that they apply.
  • Access to metadata of DukeCard: We have to be careful about access to that data since a bad actor could do a lot of damage.

4:50 – 5:10 – Graduate Student presentation, State of IT, ITAC Graduate Student Representatives (10 minute presentation, 10 minute discussion)

What it is: ITAC Graduate Student Representatives will present on the state of IT from their perspective.

Why it’s relevant: Feedback from the students allows IT representatives to hear firsthand the challenges that students face on a regular basis. This information can help set goals and priorities for various IT projects.

Tanmay Gokhale

  • Info is from survey in the last week of GPSC members.
  • Email
    • 50% use O365 webmail, but many aren't aware that this is what they use.
    • 25% Gmail
    • 25% desktop clients
    • Experience 50% positive, 30% neutral.
    • Biggest complaint: If you go to mail.duke.edu, it takes too many clicks to get to email.
    • Adding attachments is more difficult than it was in previous client; it takes too many clicks.
    • Email forwarding after graduation:
      • Desire for lifetime email forwarding after graduation.
  • Connectivity
    • 87% positive ratings for WiFi
      • Most issues were outdoors.
    • 50% reported cellular issues
      • Top complaint: LSRC on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
  • Service / Support
    • Most students are happy with their experiences with the central service desks.
    • Some difficulty finding information on OIT website.
    • Some confusion on how to file tickets, which support group to pick.
      • Useful change: move OIT to top of the list.
  • Box
    • 50% use Box.
    • Many are using this to share data with their research group and collaborators.
    • For non-users, there are questions of utility over Dropbox for personal use.
    • Students are unaware of existing training opportunities.
  •  Software
    • Most use site-licensed software downloads.
    • Several requested additional training on this software; they aren't aware of existing trianing.
    • Suggestion: curate the available training and link to it from download pages.
    • Requests:
      • Over 33% request Adobe Acrobat Professional.
      • Tableau
      • Other Adobe products
  • Other services
    • 25Live
      • Slow and difficult to use
    • MFA
      • 20% reported using it; neutral or favorable experiences.
    • ACES
      • Very mixed response; functional but clunky.
      • Browser Back button doesn't work.
      • Several asked why bookbagging exists; the experience for graduate students is different.
    • ePrint
      • 75% positive
      • Requested color printing outside library
      • Requested duplexing chosen from the terminal
    • Innovation Co-Lab and Research Computing
      • Well-liked but poorly known.
  • Requests
    • Adobe softawre
    • Better options for personal and student group websites; not only Wordpress
    • Add named rooms to Duke Maps / Mobile app
      • e.g., where is Love Auditorium?  Not found on a map of campus.
    • Improve discoverability of information on OIT website.
  • Wishlist
    • Personal laptop backup service
    • DukeCard on your phone
      • For ID, payment, library access.

Questions and Discussion

  • There is a large overlap between graduate and undergraduate responses.
  • Students in School of Medicine overwhelmingly use the Guest network, which has very limited accessibility.  They don't use Clubs because it requires DHE, and many don't know what DHE is.  Those who have tried have given up because their passwords or accounts have expired.

 5:10 – 5:25 – Special Guest, Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs (Still waiting to confirm Stephen Nowicki) (15 minute update)

What it is: Student Affairs operates numerous IT systems that support students.  Larry Moneta will give an update on current and future initiatives planned for Student Affairs.

Why it’s relevant: Duke's IT ecosystem includes not only centrally provided, but also locally provided systems.  As a significant provider of services that support students, it relevant to have insight into those future initiatives as we evaluate the Duke-wide needs and opportunities.

  • All of the issues raised by students have been of interest, especially 25Live, which we have given back to the Registrar's office.
  • Looking for an enterprise approach to student applications.
    • We're looking at the universe of applications we have.
      • Career center
      • Conduct office / conduct database
      • Student health / dual medical records systems
      • Counseling Center / Titanium medical records
      • Student Activities / managing student clubs & organizations, plus their financial records. 
  • About 30 different programs are in use.  All these applications are unique, with none speaking to each other.  Each requires its own custom interface to PeopleSoft, and only a few of those are A-level.  We're considering an enterprise approach to rethinking our model for these critical student applications, many of which are directly used by students.  Oracle Insights is one, IBM is considering this space, along with SAP expressing interest.  Most companies when they hear "student services" are thinking of registrar services, and not the complex world of applications that are used for this.
  • West Union completion is upcoming.
    • This building is going to be high-tech.
      • Increased digital signage capacity
      • Outdoor projection
      • iPad food ordering at restaurants
      • Teaching and demonstration kitchen with 16 food stations, broadcasting classes through an interface that aligns with the digital signage.
  • Edens Quad Renovation
    • Introducing attractors such as a gaming studio.
      • Customized studios
        • Xbox, Wii, etc.
        • Competitive gaming studio
          • Fun, not arena-sized, but with spectator space.
    • We have enormous data about student usage but not good analytics.

Questions and Discussion

    • The gamin studio will be ready this fall and our best guess is that whatever we build will immediately be too small.
  • Will West Union be ready by the fall semester?
    • By first quarter 2016, some part of the Union will be open, but the bulk of the building will not be open until summer 2016.
  • Do any of our peers have any handle on the services-aggregation need?
    • No.  Many of these apps were homebuilt 20 years ago and were then put on the market; many Student Affairs apps were built that way.
    • Comment: 25 years ago the same was true of our business & financial systems.
  • To those who attend IVY+ and similar meetings: hasn't this topic come up? 
    • A consortium of universities will probably find common needs, and might be able to have something produced.   The timing has been right for us on this; Tim has given us a snapshot of all that we're doing, so we can provide a list of what we're trying to accomplish and the interoperability we seek.
  • Are there functions now that are largely manual that you don't have any app for yet?
    • There are a number of processes that use spreadsheets or other local data for which we don't have anywhere to put it yet.
    • It's not a small amount of money we spend on licensing; it's worth our while to investigate a new approach.

5:25 – 5:30 – Student Course Registration Update,Chris Meyer (5 minute update)

What it is:  SISS infrastructure was migrated to the Linux Infrastructure using the Virtual Machine (VM) technology during the Summer ‘14. This transition enables the SISS PeopleSoft (ACES and STORM) to take full advantage of the robust and vast VM infrastructure that Duke has invested in over the past few years.

Why it’s relevant:  We will provide a brief update on the recent performance and lessons learned from the Spring ’15 and Fall ’15 Registration cycle.

  • We’re happy to report a successful senior registration in our virtualized environment; you'll recall we moved from AIX hardware to the virtual environment.
  • We had some problems with previous registration and we expected this to take some time to get things right, but we’re happy to report success.
  • We had 18 CPU and 64 GB of RAM, while normally we have 12 CPU and 64 GB RAM.
  • Last fall on AIX:
    • First minute of registration: 48.6% of eligible seniors were able to register by 07:01
    • 44% were able to by that time the previous fall.
  • 1700 seniors register; in the first 5 minutes we registered 1200.
    • We reached 75% in 15 minutes.
    • We get most of our registrations in the first minute or two.
  • At 7:05 we had 70%; the rest probably hadn't yet tried to register yet.

Questions and Discussion

  • Is the reason for choosing 7 AM to spread out the registrations?
    • One of the first times of the day that no student has a class.
    • Fairness: We wanted to prevent a group of students to be blocked from getting in. Last year when we had problems we moved the entire window, not parts of them, to ensure fairness.
    • Some classes have only 15 seats and high competition for seats; others don't require registrants to get up early to register.
    • Some students wanted a competitive advantage to have some control over their destiny.
      • We've also made proposals to randomize registration once bookbagging is done, to maintain fairness.  As we saw last semester, some crafty students scripted the registration experience.  There's nothing to stop them from doing that and this option will be revisited.