Agenda – March 18, 2021
4:00 - 4:05 p.m. - Announcements (5 minutes)
4:05 - 4:20 p.m. - DukeHub, Sakai, and Edtech Integrations, Michael Greene, Chris Derickson (10 minute presentation, 5 minute discussion)
What it is: In response to faculty feedback from Fall 2020, Learning Innovation, the Office of Information Technology, and Student Information Services and Systems began a working group to analyze and improve the workflows and integrations between Sakai, Dukehub, and other systems such as Gradescope. The group has identified some problem areas and potential improvements that we'd like to share and receive feedback on before moving further in the development cycle.
Why it’s relevant: Duke’s distributed educational technology ecosystem provides a wealth of functionality to faculty, staff, and students. Improving how these tools communicate with each other can improve productivity, engagement, and satisfaction with these tools.
Michael Greene started the presentation and said that the following presentation is a collaboration between Michael’s team, Chris Derickson team and OIT that has been going on for a few months. Part of this collaboration has been in response to the pandemic but also this has been part of a bigger effort that the two groups have been working on.
Chris Derickson continued to mention that this project is in response to feedback from faculty along with Tracy tasking the groups with trying to look at the integration of these systems and to look for ways of improving them. Relevant to this project was the upgrade to DukeHub that happened the first week of December along with upgrades to Kits and Sakai later that month.
While there is integration between the systems, there are certainly a lot of differences and even how user information is presented, which can be confusing and probably frustrating, said Chris. As a result of this, a working group was created to address some of the issues. The working Group was comprised of members from DLI, OIT, and SISS groups.
The goals of the working group:
• Develop shared understanding among appropriate OIT, DLI, and SISS staff on how our systems integrate with each other; starting with DukeHub, Sakai, and Gradescope and expanding, as necessary.
• Document necessary improvements to the technology ecosystem relating to integrations.
• Create an implementation plan for high value, high impact improvements.
Some of the reported problems regarding these systems were:
• Can’t sync accounts when students use different email address for Gradescope and Sakai
• Can’t manually override grades that came from Gradescope
• Can't easily upload Sakai exports to DukeHub
• Can't easily manage grades for large, complex cross-listed courses
• There is no field that can be used reliably to get a consistent sort of student lists from GradeScope, Sakai and DukeHub
• Names listed differently between Sakai, Dukehub, Kits, and Gradescope
Aside from the issues noted above, Michael posed a question to the group to think about as the presentation continues:
Are there issues you’d add to this list?
Michael continued to share screenshots that showed the problems addressed earlier. Being that every system is not customizable, this is what the group came up with as part of planned improvements:
• all platforms should have access to three main identifiers - name, eppn, DUID.
• name displayed as last name, preferred first name
• the identifiers displayed should be sortable and exportable
• sort users by last name. secondary sort order: DUID
• each system will have to handle this differently.
final grade submission:
• improve Dukehub/Sakai connect
• spreadsheet upload (removed in Dukehub 2.0; re-add back.)
• add Gradescope as an LTI integration in Sakai & Kits.
• Share what we’ve learned with the Service Desk and other support groups
DukeHub 3-20-21 updates:
As part of feedback from faculty and from inside Dukehub 2.0,
DUID, pronoun at high level, Dean, Exp Grad Term. Were added to the Class roster in DukeHub.
As far the Sakai connect improvements. Devon Nance has worked on continuing to improve this connection and testing of the connection is wrapping up in the next week or so, said Chris.
Lastly, Michael and Chris discussed the upcoming changes in the next weeks (some changes as early as this weekend) along with a timeline of what’s to come for the next year.
• DukeHub and Sakai Connect pieces before final grades this term
• Over the summer, develop and test the changes discussed earlier
• Dukehub Spreadhseet upload, the group is trying to get this in as soon as possible.
Q: Was dukehub 2.0 released for general use prematurely?
A: No. It was worth the time; we knew we had the fallback with the old DukeHub. Students are benefiting from dukehub 2.0 and many faculty are happy with the new system.
We tried to go with a more delivered “out of the box” approach. I would agree fully that it is not working to the level it should be for faculty. I think it was worth the effort to try to see how much we could go with the delivered product. The cloud is not too far down the road, and I think even in my early presentations to ITAC you know we are attempting to move as much as possible to a more delivered solution as it is provided by the vendor rather than heavily customized.
I think students are benefiting exceedingly well from Dukehub 2.0. Staff are very happy with the improvements we've made. I think advisors are generally happy. But we still have some work to do to further improve the product for the faculty experience.
Tracy thanked the entire working group at large for all the work they do.
Q: will these names reflect the names in duke directory and streamer? what about middle name?
A: yes, preferred name is already pulled from the directory.
4:20 – 5:00 p.m. - Undergraduate Student Presentation - State of IT, Chase Barclay, Jackson Kennedy, Shrey Majmudar (30 minute presentation, 10 minute discussion)
Jackson Kennedy started the presentation and thanked everyone for the opportunity to talk at ITAC along with being members of the group.
Jackson shared a link to the group for the Detailed Qualtrics report:
First, Jackson outlined some of the goals of the survey. Jackson mentioned that the goal of the survey is to evaluate student sentiments around IT on campus. Jackson said that this was a unique opportunity after the transition to COVID to evaluate how some of these strategies and changes were working out on the student side. Hopefully we can identify some aspects that can be improved upon, offer new areas of focus and to generally update the group on how students are feeling, commented Jackson.
• Survey a large, representative portion of the undergraduate student body
• Assess effectiveness and utilization of newly prominent platforms based on COVID-19 adaptations
• Identify aspects of IT that can be improved upon
• Gauge ongoing success of newer IT initiatives
• Pinpoint new areas of focus for OIT, DLI, and/or other departments to explore
• Provide crucial undergraduate student data to ITAC and relevant IT leaders
Regarding the data collection of the survey, Jackson outlined the following:
• The survey was released on March 3rd which gave students two weeks to complete the survey.
• Remote students were not asked about on-campus services
• Five $10.00 Amazon gift cards for random participants with ITAC funding
• Advertised through all four Class Facebook groups, Duke Student Government and Engineering Student Government social media
• Respondents likely are disproportionately:
• Friends with those in DSG circles (selection bias)
• More tech-savvy (selection bias)
• More dissatisfied (voluntary response bias)
Outlined below is the data collected from the survey:
(Last Year’s Total = 232)
• Total Students = 227
• First Years: 79
• Sophomores: 49
• Juniors: 57
• Seniors: 42
• East campus:
• West campus:
• Other Duke Housing (Washington Duke, Blue light, Avana):
• 300 swift apartments: 5
• Non-Duke Housing, in Durham area: 61
• Non-Duke Housing, not in Durham area: 9
Area of Study:
Top 10 Majors / Primary Areas of Study Represented in Survey:
Computer Science – 25 students
Biology – 22 students
Economics – 22 students
Public Policy Studies – 17 students
Mechanical Engineering – 15 students
Electrical and Computer Engineering – 14 students
Statistical Science – 13 students
Mathematics – 11 students
Neuroscience – 11 students
Psychology – 11 students
Operating Systems Used:
Mac: 141 – 36.47%
Windows: 90 – 21.74%
iOS: 150 – 36.23%
Android: 20 – 4.83%
Linux: 3 – 0.72%
operating systems used.
Preferred Internet Browser:
Chrome: 173 – 76.21%
Safari: 37 - 16.30%
Firefox: 5 – 2.20%
Other: 12 – 5.29% - Brave (3) Edge (6)
In terms of Academic Survey results:
Zoom: Very few negative comments on Zoom. Most of the feedback was centered around weak WiFi spots on campus causing issues for Zoom calls, particularly in outside areas.
The Zoom-Sakai integration of Zoom links had a very positive sentiment. Easy and accessible to find the links.
Zoom waiting Rooms and passcodes: positive feedback from the students but there was a large preference of waiting rooms instead of passcodes. Passcodes can be hard to find. The students also prefer waiting rooms from teachers as well.
Negative feedback on dropping of zoom with bad internet.
A general feeling of appreciation for Gradescope without specific complaints.
Academics- general respondent.
Students are generally satisfied with Sakai. There were a few comments from students about recommendations and requests:
• Request for ability to download multiple resources at once
• One place where all courses’ assignments/grades can be seen
• “Change stagnant time warning in Assessments”
• Assignment submission comments usually lose formatting transferring to gradebook
• “It feels like the back button should work, but it doesn’t”
• Improved utilization of the homepage:
o Auto populating calendar
o Unified assignments listings
• Avoiding unexpected logout
• Majority of complaints involve professor ineptitude
There is a demand for Gmail. But students are generally satisfied with using Microsoft Outlook. Open comments mentioned/promoted Googles email service.
Dukehub 2.0 –
People are neutral or satisfied. Not many students were very satisfied with DukeHub 2.0 but it might be due to the upgraded system.
One question the survey asked was regarding the My Planner and the What If/Academic Advisement report. The sentiment from the students ranged from neutral to satisfied but rarely anyone said they were very satisfied. There were a few students who were not aware of the course evaluation process as well as the My Planner and the What If reports.
In terms of the DukeHub User experience, comparing the results of last year, generally, shift upwards toward neutral and satisfaction. There was some dissatisfaction sentiment toward class search and registration. As stated above, the My Planner and the What If reports, many students were not aware of the reports or were not satisfied. In terms of feature familiarity, most response were satisfied. There are however some students that are not familiar with some of the new features. for example, the declaring your major feature, students don’t know how to do.
Box – Many students were satisfied but some are unaware about what the service is.
Duke Mobile -
Many students don’t use Duke Mobile. some students were unaware of the existence of duke mobile. Those that do know about Duke Mobile mentioned that the app mostly links to webpages and they are not very fond of it.
The students are mostly satisfied. There is room for ePrint to become more friendly.
The service is underused, relatively unpopular, essential to have but doesn’t function as well as it could. Students don’t know how to set it up.
Many students don’t use because of the less frequency of riding due to the pandemic.
but there are still those usual concerns about the service. Buses don’t show up, inaccurate times, confusing to navigate.
Other: (Duke Calendar, 25 Live Room Reservation, TV Boxes in dorms, University Desktop Computers, Virtual Machines.)
Most people don’t know about a lot of these resources. Those who do are generally satisfied with TV Boxes in dorms.
Getting into the IT section here are some of results:
WiFi – Rate user Experience
wifi experience - duke blue - students are satisfied.
other wifis are neutral.
For outdoor connectivity, there is a high rate of dissatisfaction.
AT&T Users are very satisfied, Verizon suffers at the fringes of campus but is excellent on the most-traveled parts of west campus. T-Mobile users largely dissatisfied.
Mobile Duke Card:
Mobile Duke card is an excellent program, distinguishes us as a university from peers. For students with an apple watch it’s particularly a game changer. Not all readers have fully adapted though. There are a few Problematic Card Reader Locations: Wilson, Hollows doors, Smith Warehouse, and Hudson basement.
Duke Licensed Software:
The top comments from the student survey are below:
• desire for google drive
• video editing software (Final Cut)
• simplify downloading process
• longer license after graduation
• increased advertising, resources for how to install software.
• appreciation for software very popular
• STATA & Maple -> Free to students?
many students were satisfied with the ease of access.
a recent request - now that people have been getting vaccinated. how can we log it that students have been vaccinated?
current amount is fine.
most of the students are aware. Many students on Macs feel like they don’t need antivirus.
Cisco anyconnect is very annoying with MFA.
Services and miscellaneous(New software, Smart Dorm Devices, Online Platforms, IT help, frustrations + Improvements.):
Slack: many use Slack. nothing changed here:
smart home devices: many don’t have smart devices in dorm room. 128 respondents said no, and 27 said they do have smart home devices.
feedback regarding smart devices:
• “Difficult to get them on DukeBlue, but easy to get them on DukeVisitor”
• No 2.4 GHz network availability → especially difficult for smart lights
• “A relatively easy and straightforward [process]. I did have to look up how to do so as the information wasn’t very accessible”
• Mixed reviews → “mostly smooth and easy” & “very hard to set up”
in terms of seeking help for IT resources, many students mentioned that they ask friends for help. The next avenue is going to Duke websites for help with IT resources, and lastly users use the Service desk for help.
Takeaways + concrete improvements:
Copied from the presentation slide here are the takeaways/improvements from the undergraduate perspective:
• Transloc/Rider is still an issue despite low usage in COVID semesters, and will flare up again upon resumption of normal activities
• DukeMobile app is an underutilized opportunity to connect different resources and programs across Duke, both unused and unappreciated
• Outdoor connectivity is a massive problem students are facing, especially with COVID forcing them outside → Wifi dropping or slow connection are still main concerns
• Overall students like Zoom, and prefer waiting rooms over passcodes
• Faculty implementation of Sakai is lacking in consistency and effectiveness
• Mobile DukeCard continues to be a student favorite!
• Slack has continued to be a very popular service among student, and many hope for it to become a service available through Duke
• DukeHub 2.0 has been well-received, but students are still adjusting and need to gain more familiarity with the system
• SymMon and Gradescope, necessitated by the pandemic, are very popular and well-liked
• Students generally are struggling with printing services, both mobile and ePrint itself → need for greater advertising/messaging on the platforms and repair some nagging problems
• Still daunting to set up IOT devices in dorm rooms
Tracy said fantastic job to everyone for gathering these details.
The discussion of the survey results happened at the end of the Graduate presentation in a combined discussion.
5:00 - 5:30 p.m. - Graduate Student Presentation - State of IT, Brandon Lê, Chas Kissick, Stephen Luciani, Varunram Ganesh (20 minute presentation, 10 minute discussion)
What it is: ITAC Student Representatives appointed by the Duke Student Government and Graduate & Professional Student Council will present on the state of IT from the student perspective.
Why it’s relevant: Feedback from the students allows IT administrators to hear firsthand the challenges that students face on a regular basis. This information can help set goals and priorities for various IT projects and initiatives. By presenting these viewpoints earlier in the spring semester, IT leadership can respond to the students’ issues and concerns before the end of the academic year.
Chas Kissick covers the demographics of the survey respondents. There were 148 respondents:
68 first years
43 second years
20 third years
Email, Zoom and SymMon are being used daily. Email is primarily being used via a desktop client followed by webmail. Slack usage tripled and GroupMe and Teams used increased a lot as well.
Most are satisfied with Security. Most are satisfied with Duke Research Computing.
Last year, 81% were satisfied or extremely satisfied with Duke Hub; this year, 71% are satisfied. Also looking at Duke email, the number of extremely satisfied and satisfied people dropped by 10% so this may be function of who is answering the survey this year vs last year. This year, 83% of respondents are satisfied with Zoom and last year, Zoom was not in the survey.
Brandon Le continues that there were many pandemic-related compliments including: The IT Help Desk is friendly and helpful, and Most issues were resolved with a single call to the Help Desk. “Great service when needed.”
Respondents would like more outreach because respondents do not know about all the IT resources offered. Most respondents share an internet connection with one other person, and most are satisfied with the quality of their internet connection. There were complaints about disconnections between campus buildings; this is needed more than ever due to the pandemic.
Chas Kissick says last year most complaints were about Multi Factor Authentication (MFA.) This year, there is only one complaint about having to authorize every 3 days. Chas hypothesizes that the one click MFA is popular, or people have gotten over it.
This year, most complaints were about printing especially on mobile devices. People are really struggling to print at the Law School and some are struggling at Fuqua as well. Some do not know how to use the printing offerings at Duke.
Pandemic related responses included:
Some had a great IT experience.
Some would like equipment.
Some would like training.
Some requested moving to GSuite away from Microsoft Teams; Slack was also requested.
This year, a question about Canvas was added. Last year, only Sakai was on the questionnaire. Mostly, respondents did not like Canvas. Canvas’ main selling point is that it is so flexible, but this also means that every professor is using Canvas differently and putting things in different places.
Q. Stephen Luciani “I just wanted to comment on some of the recommendations that we received as well.” Broadly, awareness was what students brought up – awareness of subscriptions and services; maybe a newsletter with offerings would be beneficial.
Q. John Board – It’s hard to separate the anomalies of the pandemic year from the baseline. Do you have a sense of whether things that were drifting in the wrong direction were do so irrespective of the pandemic?
A. Chas Kissick – I was surprised to Duke Hub satisfaction go down. I am not sure what to say about that. That there were more comments about cybersecurity was interesting, but cybersecurity has been a lot more in the news. I would not say printing is much worse this year compared to last just because we got a lot of comments on it. It is a small survey, and it depends on who decides to take it and on what they are thinking about this week. Chas says eprint is a clunky to set up and use. Maybe students are at a library printer one day and another day are in a classroom so there are non-standard locations and different types of use.
A. Evan Levine – It is interesting though that both undergraduate and graduate say printing was not so great. Printing has been trending up for a while a good number of year and this year, print usage is at an all-time low so I would have thought print would be better this year.
A. JoAnne Van Tuyl – is trying not to have students print as much.
A. Brandon Le says Grad students like printing research articles to read.
A. Jackson Kennedy – Students are on campus less. Also, things are trending digital so less paper is being used. Only Duke Hub seemed like reverse progress was being made.
A. Chase Barclay – Some students want to have their materials printed out because they are tired of looking at their screens all day. Students also like being able to highlight and annotate on paper.
Q. Tracy Futhey - As far as cybersecurity, was your sense that the issue was more about awareness or about concern or shortcomings in the level of security that we provide.
A. Chas Kissick – I think it was more about awareness. People are saying, “I have heard of people getting hacked and I am scared I might get hacked and I’m wondering if anybody is looking into that at Duke.”
Q. John Board – Did the students have a question about the too many tools issue? Some of this is because the students don’t like the tools that we provide.
A. Jackson Kennedy – is fine with navigating Sakai and GradeScope. One issue is how professors use email addresses in Piazza– firstname.lastname@example.org email address or email@example.com. This creates confusion as far as finding all classes because these 2 forms of email addresses are separate in the system.
Tracy thanks Chas and Brandon and Stephen for the insights.
John Shaw closes the meeting.