Minutes from 9/1/22

4:00 - 4:10pm: Announcements and Introduction of New ITAC Faculty (10 minutes)

ITAC is beginning in-person meetings in the Allen Building Board Room starting today.


David MacAlpine has been the ITAC chair for the last two years. He will be stepping down and Victoria Szabo will be taking over. Victoria is on sabbatical, however, and David will continue as chair until Victoria is back.


Logan Roger is moving off as ITAC coordinator and Ryn Nasser will be stepping into the role.


Everyone introduces themselves. Some are new ITAC members replacing those whose term has ended.


4:10 - 4:35pm: Assessing the Impact of the Co-Lab - Sharique Hasan, Michael Faber (15-minute presentation, 10-minute discussion)

• What it is: The Innovation Co-Lab is an OIT-run resource for students who are interested in learning and building with technology.

• Why it’s relevant:  As we approach our 10-year anniversary of the original spark of the Co-Lab, we’re looking back at our data to glean insights and looking forward at some interventions that will continue to shed light on the Co-Lab’s impact. We’ll be sharing some of those insights and also how we intend to continue to evaluate the value that this co-curricular program has on the curricular side of Duke. Read more about the Innovation Co-Lab at colab.duke.edu


Evan Levine announces that Michael Faber just had twins 7 weeks early and so is not with us. This is a follow-up to a presentation that Michael gave to ITACpreviously where the need for assessment was discussed. Sharique Hasan, Associate Professor of Business Administration, has been partnering with Michael and will be presenting today.


Sharique Hasan has been working with Michael to assess the Co-Lab’s impact. This began with looking for ways in which to assess impact, and included studying and formatting existing data, and collecting new data.


Sharique says the Co-Lab is a space as well as a set of courses. The Co-Lab is not just for undergrads but also for graduate students and postdocs and includes faculty participation. Sharique shows a graph of Co-Lab utilization which shows growing engagement, a significant increase in the number of courses taken, and in the intensity of engagement. In 2015, about 500 courses were taken compared to 2021 in which 3500 courses were taken.


This led to the question of what creates engagement. After digging into the data, this is the baseline sense:


• -12% less likely to take future classes if waitlisted on first class

• -10% less likely to take another class if the class is large

• -10% lower levels of 3D printing for females

• +6% increase in 3D printing for every additional Roots class taken

• +10% female Roots participation if the instructor is female


Then, Sharique presents results on which undergrads use the Co-Lab 3D printing:


• Lowest use by African American students

• -5% use by female students

• +16% Asian undergrads

• +12% Roots participation

• +20% 3D printing usage


Going forward, the plan is to provide a similar study for Co-Lab class engagement.


Sharique underscores that while it is nice to look at this data, one can not conclude that these factors are causal.


Recently, the assessment team has been brainstorming ways to increase engagement. This includes “A/B testing our way to more impact” with:

• Status quo

• Basic reminder

• People focused

• Technology focused


The team also hopes to discern whether students don’t know about Co-Lab or whether specific technology offerings drive participation. Ultimately, the question is what drives STEM engagement and participation.


Questions to ITAC:


1. What should we ask of the data that would be useful to the mission of the university?

2. How do we increase engagement?

3. How should we assess the impact on the short- and long-term outcomes for our students?

4. How do we leverage the Co-Lab for collaboration between different parts of the university?


Q. Zoe Tishaev – Have you looked at the breakdown between Trinity and Pratt students?


A. Sharique – Yes, there is a big difference. However, the increase in usage has been across the board including Trinity.


Q. Sunshine Hillygus – questions how 3D printing is relevant to all departments.


A. Evan Levine – The Co-Lab provides co-curricular training on many topics as well as 3D printing. The Co-Lab does provide for a wide range of 3D printing from student-level printing up through laser cutters and CNC machines used by Duke Medicine. For example, there was a recent article about 3D printing used in heart surgery.


A. Sunshine – Matlab and Python training would be relevant for Sunshine’s field of data analytics but not so much 3D printing. A number of undergraduate and graduate students would benefit from course offerings, but Sunshine does not think emails would be effective. Instead, reach out to faculty if the courses support their curriculum.


A. Evan says the Co-Lab also offers office hours where people can receive help with software applications. This is something that we would like to expand.


A. Tracy Futhey – If each faculty wants to suggest a class that would relieve your teaching burden, we can try to tie that into the co-curricular classes.


A. John Board – We have Co-Lab course prereqs.


A. Sunshine – We are desperate for data science support. It would be great to know how the Co-Lab fits in, to make it well-known, and know there is a central stop where we can go.


A. Tim McGeary – says the library has the Center for Data and Visualization that has office hours and beginning of semester events. The library has also been collaborating with the Center for Computational Thinking.


A. Evan – The Center of Computational Thinking could help with “how to find this stuff” at Duke.


A. Brandon Lee – From a grad student perspective, food is great for getting students in the door. Also, events where no prep is needed are great. Also, it would be useful to address how what the Co-Lab offers would be helpful to students in the various majors.


Q, Steffen Bass – It may be useful to students to learn where this space is because the space is incredibly cool. Why not think about hosting social events like an ice cream social or make your own silicon mold just to bring people in so they can see this cool space?


Q. Mark Palmeri – In terms of value, what is the minimal impact needed to justify support for the Co-Lab in the budget?


A. Tracy - % of students who use.


Q. Mark Palmeri – What is the minimal yield needed? This should be defined for an annual investment, yet we never hear what it is. It could be an intangible deliverable; that’s fine. We have an advantage in that we walk by the Co-Lab space, but some do not know it is there. Also, being able to off-load is great but what happens when that support disappears? For example, when Chip left, we realized all the things that were now missing and had to figure out how to support what was missing.


A. Sharique – Co-Lab courses are integrated into the Fuqua education so I think we can get these minimum thresholds from the data.


A. Joanne Van Tuyl – is a professor of the Humanities and not Visual Arts. Going into the facility, one can look around and see that it is cool, but this doesn’t give a clue about what you can do with it. A “Come see what it is and how you can use it” workshop would be valuable. This could be targeted to those not normally interested to provide a glimpse of what is available. Getting a glimpse of the possibilities would get attendees thinking about their own ideas of how this could enhance one’s own field of study.


Q. Zoe Tishaev – Upon entering, the space feels unwelcoming and all you see are a lot of Pratt students who know what they are doing. Zoe would like to see:

1. increased signage and instruction on how to use the space

2. Promotion of Co-Lab facility and abilities to 1st-year students


A. Evan – There are marketing challenges that need to be improved. I love Steffen’s idea about events and maybe we could target not the usual suspects to make the space more accessible to students not used to this technology. There are many people in the Co-Lab who would love to help you.


A. Joanne – How about if they wear stickers: “How Can I Help You”?


A. Jax Nailey – I just learned about the Co-Lab today. It looks like an OIT building and not a building that I would enter.


A. Zoe – agrees that visual identity is needed. The Co-Lab looks like a bunker from the outside. Zoe suggests some cool imagery like a banner or something that can be seen from the outside.


Q. Paul Jaskot – suggests promoting with student stories. Have people who graduated not just in engineering but in English talk about how the Co-Lab helped them.


Q. David MacAlpine – How much more engagement can you have? What is your capacity? At some point, won’t the printers be unavailable?


A. Evan – We are not at capacity and there are other facilities at Duke as well. Some of these prints cost cents. And the Co-Lab is not just 3D printing. There is so much more going on and a ton of room to grow.


Q. Sunshine – Having a video is not support.


A. Evan – Install Fest is a day when students can bring their laptops and get help with whatever they need.


Q. Joann – wants hands-on help with software that she needs to use.


A. Steffen Bass – suggests rent-an-expert.


A. Tracy – would like a request list from the faculty for workshops we need to deliver.


4:35 - 4:45pm: Status update on the Duke Wiki - Ed Gomes (5-minute presentation, 5-minute discussion)

• What it is: Duke Wiki is an OIT-supported, collaborative editing and web-based content organizing tool available at no cost to Duke for more than a decade. Duke Wiki is powered by the software called Confluence, which was created and is owned by a company called Atlassian.

• Why it’s relevant: Earlier this spring we reported to ITAC that we had been in negotiations with Atlassian for some time but had yet to secure specific license renewal terms for our contract that was due to end in early 2023, and further that Atlassian Confluence (Wiki) will cease its on-premise support in 2024. At the time we indicated it was likely we would need to shift to a new Wiki tool, or for Duke units to consider moving to the Confluence cloud product (at a cost). This update will review what’s transpired in the last 6 months regarding ongoing negotiations with Atlassian, the evaluation/selection of an alternative Wiki product for general Duke use, and pilot migrations and user testing. We will also update ITAC on an adjustment to the timeline—a one year extension to early 2024— for migrating out of Confluence.


Ed Gomes says that it was announced to ITAC in July that Duke was going to have to switch from Atlassian Confluence on-premise to Atlassian Confluence in the cloud which will be significantly more expensive. Ed is happy to announce that his team went back to the vendor and was able to get an extension for another year. This will enable more time to study other tools that could replace this functionality, more time to determine what will be needed to migrate to the Atlassian Confluence cloud, and more time to figure out what can be deleted or migrated elsewhere. So far MediaWiki has worked best in testing given what people want to do. Soon the opportunity for testing will be opened up to more who want to test in the Duke community.


Q. Steffen – Who are the main users?


A. Ed – For Jira, IT and the library. For Confluence, use is all over the place. The Duke wiki is Confluence. We have been talking to colleagues in Ivy Plus and Atlassian has lost a number of customers.


Q. Damaris Murray – It is unclear who will make the final call on whether global access will end. Will the Provost make the decision and be taking on the cost?


A. Ed – We will study how many of you need this. Then, there may be shared costs or some centrally funded opportunities.


A. Chris Meyer – Use of Jira for ticketing is not high and we are working on whittling down the numbers. Having another ticketing system is not cost effective but Jira is much more affordable than Confluence.


A. Ed – We are working with the vendors. We will get pricing months before an agreement is in place. We are also pushing to get costs that scale.


4:45 – 5:15pm: Beginning of the Year Celebration


Break for celebration.