I.    Announcements

  •  Yahoo has announced the hack of a half-billion accounts, probably by a nation-state attacker.
  • Tracy sends her apologies; she is unavailable today.

II.     Agenda Items

4:05 – 4:20 – Diversify IT Update, Ron Altiery, DeAnna Hall (10 minute presentation, 5 minute discussion)

What it is:  Diversify IT is a voluntary group of Duke Professionals working in the IT field who seek to address issues of diversity in the IT workforce.  Beginning as the “Women in Tech” group focusing on gender and technology, the group expanded its scope in 2015 to focus on valuing differences in the workplace while advancing inclusion efforts of the University.

Why it’s relevant:  The need for increased inclusivity and diversity to improve the quality of IT organizations is an evolving initiative at many higher education institutions.  The translation of people diversity into functional diversity is prompting many universities to shift the focus from acquiring the best individuals to assembling and empowering the most effective teams.  At Duke, we believe that diversity and inclusion are essential to a thriving community.  Ron and DeAnna will discuss the efforts of the Diversify IT group that have fostered Duke’s inclusion efforts.

Where do I belong?

What opportunities are there for my voice to be heard and my experiences? To be valued.

Women in Tech group formed 2015.  It hosted a lecture series in the Full Frame Film Theater at American Tobacco.

Questions arose regarding other diversity dimensions: national origin; faith; environment; role in the organization.  All of these are factors that form one’s identity.  It was quickly determined that there was a need for a group to address all of these factors, not just the underrepresentation of women in IT.

Mission: Encourage the Duke IT community to join the conversation about the value of differences in the workplace while advancing inclusion and diversity in our community by providing professional development, networking, and outreach opportunities.

Ron and DeAnna became co-chairs in January 2016.

Professional Development

  • 2015 Lecture Series
  • 2016 TechExpo
  • 2016 Implicit Bias Training
  • Last summer, we had a lecture series at Full Frame Theater, with help from Paul James of OIE.  The lecture series had three components: an open discussion; a lecture; a panel discussion from the Duke community.
  • This year we had a presence at TechExpo.
  • We followed that with implicit bias training.


  • Monthly brown bag series, meeting either at American Tobacco or at West Campus.  This is an open discussion, with no agenda.
  • Game nights, playing Taboo with IT terms, and playing “people bingo”, challenging participants to meet persons meeting characteristics listed on a card.
  • We also had a photo booth at TechExpo to highlight the people who make up IT at Duke.  We created a collage and video of these photos, to show what IT at Duke looks like beyond the numbers.


2016 Black Girls Code Build a Webpage Day – this program encourages young women to get into coding, realizing that by the time a lot of women graduate from college they are not participating in STEM.  We were amazed at the creativity and production of the young women who participated.

Where are we headed?

  • 2016 Lecture Series – October and November 2016.  For most of us in this room, we’ve experienced technology as it has expanded.  For current students, their relationship with technology is different.
  • We want to expand our group into Duke Health.
  • We’re working with Durham Public Schools, Black Girls Code, and HackDuke.
  • Cultural awareness training in conjunction with the International House.  We’re very excited about this.
  • TechExpo 2017
  • Working on a day camp for faculty & staff: bring in your children to have them experience technology.
  • Special thanks to Tracy, Paul James, Dr. Ben Reese, and Scooter Freeney for their sponsorship.
  • Our mailing list is diversifyit@duke.edu.

Questions and Discussion

Question: What about influencing the hiring manager?

Answer: We’re discussing future directions with that, and we’ve explored “fit bias” as part of the series.

Question: What about disability diversity?

Answer: This does factor into our thinking.  We’ll make a note to include this in our training components.
The Office of Institutional Equity is helping us keep in mind that diversity is a vast topic, not limited to particular areas (race and gender).

4:20 – 4:40 –West Union Building Opening, Tim Bounds (10 minute presentation,  10 minute discussion)

What it is:  West Union opened in 2016 and is posed to be the center of community and activity on campus.  Students, faculty, staff, groups and organizations are able to gather there for delicious food, diverse social and education experiences, and exciting entertainment in the heart of campus center.

Why it’s relevant:  The campus’ newest eating facility is also one of its oldest.  The renovated West Union Building boasts 13 venues, bringing Durham’s nationally recognized foodie culture onto campus and contributing to the economic vitality of Duke’s home town.  Tim will discuss how and what technology was integral to helping make West Union a place where experiences bring people together, memories are made, and relationships are forged.

The main purpose of West Union continues to be dining.  Lots of updates have been done to the space.

Digital signage is implemented in an unobtrusive way: welcome to the building; event announcements.

There are three touchscreen-enabled video panels, capable of TV feeds.

There are just two TV lounges in the building, hidden in the corners so as not to distract from the flow of people and gathering spaces.

One of the coolest spaces is the Chef’s Kitchen on the second floor.  This is planned to be a demonstration kitchen, with famous chefs exhibiting their work.

There are a number of meeting rooms and multipurpose rooms within the space.

All rooms have Crestron panels that allow on-demand room reservations.  Reserved rooms result in red Crestron displays so users can tell from yards away whether the room is available.  (Rooms are also bookable through Conference & Event Services.)

Another cool thing hopefully coming soon: the Asian venue lets you order and pay directly from a tablet device at your table.

There are security cameras at key points throughout the building. 

Questions and Discussion

Question: Could the kitchen be used by other groups, or only by invited chefs?

Answer: Good question.  We could talk to the dining services group.  There is also a kitchen in Smith Warehouse that might meet academic requirements.

Question: Is rent required?

Answer: Depends on the space.

4:40 – 5:00 –ePortfolios (PebblePad), Shawn Miller (10 minute presentation,  10 minute discussion)

What it is:  PebblePad is a suite of tools that support eportfolio, e-assessment and personalized tutoring technology.

Why it’s relevant:  Duke has experimented with 3-4 eportfolio solutions in various schools and departments since 2001.  The current rollout of PebblePad has the potential to not only impact students and individual courses, but to extend to academic advising, career counseling and even various mentorship programs.  Shawn will discuss how the product is being used at Duke and what the future holds for its capabilities.

We’re in the 2nd or 3rd generation of ePortfolio tools.  The pedagogical practice of creating portfolios of your work (collections of artifacts plus reflection and communication) has never gone away.  Evidence, sometimes called artifacts, are collected; this is connected with critical reflection between faculty and student, sometimes between student and student. The new thought is for the “e” in “ePortfolio” to less represent “electronic”, and instead, experience, engagement, exploration, empowerment and so on.

ePortfolios are more about goals and process, and less about technology. There are lots of ways to put together a portfolio (such as paper).

Duke once had a “Portfolio@Duke” app.  It didn’t have a good user interface and assessment tools were lacking.

We in CIT did a small pilot of Chalk&Wire.  Nursing, Divinity, and Education became involved, but it became clear this wasn’t going to work for us.  The tool never reached enterprise suitability and was stuck in pilot mode.

We rolled out WordPress for all sorts of uses; some groups use this for portfolios.  The main drawback of WordPress is that it lacks an assessment layer to facilitate conversations about rubrics and ratings.  An assessment layer would help track how a student is doing over time; without it these data must be produced and tracked through some other system.

In 2011, the Office of Assessment started a new group involving Ed Gomes, Elizabeth Fox, and others.  Eventually then-Vice Provost Academic Affairs Keith Whitfield convened a new ePortfolio working group, which settled on PebblePad.

PebblePad sells itself as a portfolio platform, and maybe more.  It tracks student generated portfolios, and it includes an assessment layer and allows for external and peer evaluation.  It connects student work to documented learning outcomes.  We hope it might be extended to manage other assessment processes at the university.

[Demo of PebblePad]

Summer 2016 was our initial implementation and security review.  We selected three faculty mentors who are working with Elise Mueller of CIT.

This fall, faculty members and our consultant are providing one-on-one and group training and consulting.

We could add this to Sakai so you could create PebblePad elements based on courses.  We’re also considering SISS integrations to pre-populate whole rosters from the schools.

We’re shooting for a broad rollout in spring 2017.  Our faculty mentors will be with us at least through the summer of 2017.  We’re heading toward implementations in Nursing, Divinity, and some other areas.  We’ll spend part of this spring evaluating the rollout.

This is Shibbolized.  If our SISS integration testing works, we’ll know this fall.

Faculty may be aware of a program called Weave that’s part of the accreditation process.  PebblePad might be part of replacing that, but that isn’t the focus of PebblePad at the moment.

In the past, when smaller programs came to us wanting to use ePortfolios, we found that the hardest piece is the design process: determining educational goals.

For more information:

http://sites.duke.edu/portfolio/portfolio@duke.edu(link sends e-mail)

5:00 – 5:30 – Information Security: LastPass, Richard Biever, John Straffin, Paula Batton (10 minute presentation, 20 minute demonstration)

What it is:  LastPass allows users to centrally manage their passwords by saving them to an easy to use “vault”.  With features such as generating random passwords, password auditing, managing secure notes (insurance cards, memberships, WiFi logins, etc.), and creating profiles for online shopping, LastPass is a trusted, reliable, source to store secure information.

Why it’s relevant:  Beginning in December 2013, Duke faculty, students and staff are able to manage their digital lives with free access to the premium version of LastPass.  The premium version allows Duke users to take full advantage of the secure cross-browser, cross-platform syncing capabilities to access login data from anywhere, at any time. Richard and Paula’s teams will provide a brief overview of the product and will provide assistance to anyone wishing to take advantage of Duke’s offering by installing it on their laptops and/or mobile devices.

John Straffin from IT Security Office.

There are three utilities we highly recommend to improve your browser security:

  1. HTTPS Everywhere
    This tries, for any address you put in, to find a secure (HTTPS) version of that website.  If there is, it goes there, whether you specified HTTPS or not.  If there isn’t, it will send you to the nonencrypted one.  You can also choose for it to block connections to all nonencrypted websites.
  2. Web of Trust.
    Reputation engines can tell you what the rest of the world (particularly security professionals) think of a given website.
    We recommend Web of Trust.
  3. uBlock Origin
    Revenue questions aside, there has been malware delivered through compromised web sites.  We recommend uBlock Origin as an ad blocker.
    AdBlock Plus, very well known, is not our favorite as it has begun displaying ads from key parties.


We’d prefer moving away from the idea of “passwords”, and think of this as “passphrases”.
Find an office or a scene you’re familiar with.

The “How Big is Your Haystack?” tool at https://www.grc.com/haystack.htm
can help you figure out how difficult a password is for a computer to guess.

What’s important is to use lots of different passwords for lots of different systems.

LastPass allows us to remember very few passwords, and use one tool to remember lots of passwords for you.

LastPass saves your passwords in a cloud-stored but locally-decrypted blob.

Through Duke, you can get a premium account at LastPass for no cost; LastPass Enterprise is also available as well if your team needs to store common passwords (Software Licensing can help you get started).

LastPass can also work as a basic form filler.

Questions and Discussion

Question: What about sites that require multifactor authentication?

Answer: LastPass can help remember the password (or generate the password), but you’ll still need to use your second factor.