ITAC Agenda– September 14, 2023 

Allen Building Boardroom

4:00 - 4:05pm: Announcements (5 minutes)


Victoria Szabo:  Welcome and announcements:

  • Learning Innovation’s Signature Event, Emerging Pedagogies Summit, held October 5-6 at Karsh Alumni and Visitor Center.
  • Lori Bennear has announced a significant change in Nicholas IT support.  IT operations will soon be managed by OIT.
  • Sean Miller departing Duke October 2nd, for job as Associate Provost for Digital Learning and Strategy at Rice University. Warm congratulations and sad goodbyes.
  • Richard Biever, Chief Information and Security Officer for the last 13 years, is leaving Duke to take on an exciting new security role in biotech. Last day is 10/20.
  • Larry Carin is back on the faculty focusing on research into all things AI and his particular interest in health.
  • Approval of minutes from April 27 and August 17.


Victoria Szabo: Next on our agenda, we are going to hear from Michael Greene with a Learning Innovation update.


4:05 – 4:45pm: Learning Innovation Update - Michael Greene (30-minutes presentation, 10 minutes Q&A) 


What it is: Learning Innovation update. We will present on recent organizational changes, the canvas, transition, AI efforts, and our upcoming emerging pedagogies event. 


Why it’s relevant: Learning Innovation is an evolving organization whose goals focus on making Duke a powerhouse for lifetime education. Three major efforts this fall are the canvas transition, work around AI and teaching, and new events, focused on several emerging pedagogies.  


Michael Greene: Thanks for your time today. I’m here with colleagues Elise Mueller and Amy Kenyon. We’ll highlight some strategic and organizational changes. We’ll follow by digging into our Canvas transition efforts, efforts around AI, and our signature event, the Emerging Pedagogies Summit.


Begin slide presentation


Last year Vice Provost Yakut Gazi came and shared this vision statement with us, to put Duke on

the map as a powerhouse for lifetime education and learning innovation. During the past year, we've begun creating a framework to apply this to President Price's strategic vision and pillars. Out of that effort we’ve established four goals:

  • Grow global learners and focus on learner engagement, pre-college to post-career through programs and services powered by digital education.
  • Integrate academic innovations and allow empirical and data-informed decisions to drive the practice of teaching and learning in all modes.
  • Broaden access to a Duke education, remediate, amplify and accelerate learning for all at any time, at any age through the power of digital education.
  • Nurture a culture of achievement and establish preeminence as a trusted partner with strong teams, focusing on results and providing value in all relationships.


A series of organizational changes have been core to prepare our unit for this work and we are preparing our interim plan and we will share that with you all as soon as we have it available.


One of the most visible change efforts is the Canvas transition. We are leaving Sakai because it's an open-source community that has been declining to an unsustainable level. While this hasn’t impacted our user base to date, we would be in serious trouble in a few years if we had not made this decision last year to move.


Where we are now: We are 14 months into this 36-month effort and after spending the summer focusing on our 600 early adopters, we had a series of events this week, opening up all our training and support efforts to everybody in preparation for spring.


Michael shares some quotes here from our early adopters.


The goal is for Canvas to be Duke's primary system in the spring and that by next fall,

no more courses will be on Canvas. The caveat is that we are working with some schools who have made their own transition plans with a plan to go one semester longer, but the broad messaging is that by fall, everyone will be on Canvas.


Sakai will remain for a period to let folks migrate their materials off it.  We are advertising July 1, 2025 as a prompt to encourage folks to think about this.


Canvas is not meant to be a long-term storage platform. Some of the things you may want to store long-term won’t come over to Canvas, like student data for writing that student letter of recommendation. And so, we want to work with faculty to make sure you have what you need locally or in some other solution.  We are not going to be deleting the database July 1.


Sunshine Hillygus: What we heard last was that there would be a transitional period to transfer things over, but what you describe isn’t long as I was expecting. My teaching cycle is on a two or three-year cycle and my preference would be to not have to worry about transferring over until I’m teaching a particular class.


Paul Jaskot: Folks coming back from leave, not expecting to transition completely, will probably need some extra help late summer 2024.


Michael Greene: From a technical perspective, the DukeHub integration that allows you to pick your courses will be turned off.  Sakai still exists in a production-ready environment beyond July 1; if there's an emergency and you absolutely have to run your class on Sakai, we can make that happen, but we have to put things in place to get folks to move over.


Tracy Futhey: Are you going to say anything about the Chronicle article


Michael Greene: The Chronicle has an article about Canvas. The students don't appreciate being in multiple platforms.


Tracy Futhey: Right; we heard from and acknowledged with ITAC students from that outset that the multi-platform period would be painful, but we didn’t imagine a way that that we could have a big enough test with without some students having to use both systems.


Michael Greene: Our method, the phased approach, was recommended to us, was what almost all our peers did when they did their Canvas implementation. We knew there was going to be some pain associated with that.


Sunshine Hillygus: So where are we in terms of percentage of faculty?


Michael Greene: 18 percent of courses are on Canvas this term.


Sunshine Hillygus: You’re basically expecting everyone to transition in the spring?


Michael Greene: The goal is to hit 75% in the spring.


Sunshine Hillygus: I wonder if there’s a way that’s not everyone the day before classes all looking for support.


Michael Greene: What we didn't expect was the 45% of students that would get hit with Canvas this term. Our original goal was 25% of classes and we fell a little bit short of that. Not everybody that's in our early adopter group is teaching all their classes on Canvas. They are doing some stuff on Sakai because of collaborative work or one reason or another.


Steffan Bass: We're trying this out with our biggest classes. That's how that happened.


JoAnne Van Tuyl: What did you say the goal was for spring?


Michael Greene: For spring, our goal for courses and faculty is to hit 75% of those teaching in the spring.


Colin Rundel: What are the options for the spring?

Michael Greene: It still remains opt-in. We're going to continue with messaging in Sakai but we're not putting barriers in place. We are trying to figure out the right balance, and welcome feedback on that if you think we’re doing too little or too much to get people over.


Steffan Bass: In the quotes, someone mentioned the built-in grading system.  Will that replace

dedicated tools like GradeScope?


Michael Greene: The speed grader could replace GradeScope for some folks or folks that never felt like GradeScope was quite right. It does work with a wide variety of assignment types but will not fully replace GradeScope. Our peers are using both GradeScope and Canvas.


JoAnne Van Tuyl: So both will be available?


Michael Greene: Yes. All of the integrations that are available in Sakai will be available in Canvas. We have two that are not deployed yet: Panopto, will be turned on in January and library course reserves will be turned on next Fall.


Victoria Szabo: I like Canvas, except that I can’t see netids. Also, I’m wondering about the status of Kits and whether that's going to basically stay the same during this whole process.

Michael Greene: The visibility of netids in Canvas is something we’re looking at. Cavnas is fully integrated with the directory and SSO, but we chose to move away from netid to Duke Unique ID after a lot of discussion with OIT around what is the best possible identifier. There are still populations that don’t get a netid and so if we can move forward to a future where everybody that might ever want to use Canvas can get a netid, then maybe we can make changes along those lines. So we're working with the OIT dev team on ways to expose it in the people tool or where you might want to see it.


Regarding Kits, it continues to work the way it does for all non-course related projects. We aren’t replicating the Kits-Sakai integration into a Kits-Canvas integration We’ll have more discussions on what the right future between Kits and Canvas is, but right now we're looking to use the Canvas functionality and not embed Kits inside of Canvas, which is what we did with Sakai. That caused a lot of confusion and complexity.


Mark Palmeri: It is training going to be required as it was for the pilot 600?


Michael Greene: No.


Mark Palmeri:  Could there be a rapid Teams chat window going for the on-the-fly stuff instead of the email process of asking how to do stuff?  Because a lot of it is to the point and a lot of the same problems 10,000 people will have at once. A lot of the things are really amenable, and I think a quick back and forth with someone who’s manning the chat.


Michael Greene: We have available the 24x7 help service that everyone---faculty, staff, students----have access to inside of Canvas.  Inside the platform there’s a help button on the global navigation on the left opens a context-sensitive window and gives you some self-service stuff. If you can’t find what you are looking for you can call, e-mail, chat. It’s a person, not a bot.


Mark Palmeri:  The biggest headache is the stock documentation: “If your institution has this …” and then you have no idea if Duke has that enabled, or if you just can’t find it, or it needs to be turned on. Also, most of the integrations seem like links to external services, and creates problems when those services have authentication issues. From the student side, it syncs the roster but doesn’t integrate in the content stuff.


Michael Greene: Let’s talk afterwards and make sure there aren’t any technical issues we need to fix. I wanted to point out that the launching of a new tab vs. embedding in a window or iFrame is the current trend, as browser manufacturers hate iFrames.


Colin Rundel: I seem to have students who drop the class and they are still showing up. Also, netids are the most useful identifier for us, although I realize there is a bigger picture there.


Michael Greene: that's a thing we're calling “Ghost Drops.” We made a change over the summer on how the Duke integration works. We had no record at the time of who dropped the classes prior to August 1st, so Canvas thinks they’re still in there. There is no way to force the issue without risking removing everybody. People had to reach out to us, and we know it’s been frustrating. It’s only an issue for this term that will never be an issue again because we are not turning off the setting we made over the summer.


Colin Rundel: One other thing. It will create a different Canvas site for every lecture and lab section in our department. Generally, we have one thing for just the lectures and the lab sections. I mean that there's the cross-listing tool that you can collapse them, but that is a clunky process. Having a tool/option where you can opt-in to having them all together vs. each section would be great.


Michael Greene: We can investigate that. It’s not built to accommodate both, you have to make a choice.


When we looked at the data, the majority of folks who used Sakai did not have cross-listed sites. And so that's why that's why we made this choice, we said instead of making the 2/3 do something we will make the 1/3 do something. And we’ve got to make it better for the 1/3 and keep improving that.


Sunshine Hillygus: For spring courses, could faculty be reminded to set their courses up in Canvas when they are in the system?  To avoid the rush at the end of the semester?


Michael Greene: Sometime in October they are in the system. We're trying things in an automated way with DukeHub much more than with Sakai. So, I don't know if it'll be the same day, but it will be much closer to that date that you will be able to see your site in Canvas.


Elise Mueller: You won't have to create your Canvas site. Once your instructor record and registration goes, it's there.


Sunshine Hillygus: I just want to migrate everything in before the teaching site starts.


Elise Mueller: You migrate your copy of your Sakai things into Canvas and work with that all you want. It's not going into your teaching site. You can do that all you want until your class is populated.


Michael Greene: We launched an updated version of the GoCanvas website this week, with all this and more, such as requesting the Sakai migration or signing up for a workshop. We have a lot of videos, self-paced guides. You can request a sandbox. We have one-on-one consultations. I will turn it over now.


Elise Mueller: Hi, I’m Elise Mueller and I work in Learning Innovation with Amy and Michael. It’s my job to hear from faculty who use AI in their research and teaching, hearing their concerns. I write documentation for folks who are interested in AI for teaching and learning, talk to instructors who want to learn how to better their assignments if people are using it, those sorts of things.


My message of the semester is if you have not used generative AI yet, now is the time Because to have an AI policy and to speak to students is your most important thing to do right now based on the current situation. I've created a lot of resources for people about policies that already exist and the great brain work that's already out there from people in every single discipline. Thinking about what does generative AI mean to writing in history, or coding


Whatever your stance is on AI in your classroom, talk to your students about it. We can’t stay silent. Having this conversation across academia I think it’s really important; we're at a moment where if we don't start talking about it, it's going to get away from us. And I think as a society that is true as well.


Please don't say AI detection software is your AI policy. Studies show AI detection software has

Its own biases. Open AI killed its own AI detection software, so that tells you something about its accuracy rate.


The Duke Community Standard is still our number one deterrent against cheating and plagiarism, whether it's through generative AI or ordering a paper online. And you should emphasize that with your students that both the definition of cheating and the definition of plagiarism includes not only human authors but other sorts of materials as well. If everyone wants to add kind of something that is a little more a AI specific, the simplest statement is to say, unless you were told by an instructor that “this is okay,” it is not okay. And if they say it's okay, then you need to cite and not steal.


Something that I'm passionate about is helping folks with figuring out if they are interested in using generative AI in their assignments. Think about ways to change assignments, so that AI use is minimized.


This fall we’ll be going all over campus to talk about these sorts of things, tracking experimentation in different fields for projects in the future. Anyone who wants to tell me their stories about their students in their classes, I want to hear it so I can help tell the Duke story of what we're doing. I really want to talk to students about their use and where they're at because I talk to many faculty already.


And then there are various launching-off points now into research into AI. Pratt has a new group which focuses on using generative AI for educational technology. We’re looking for other experimenters. We'll have an AI event at the Emerging Pedagogy Summit. And that leads me to our last speaker of today, which is Amy Kenyon.


Vitctoria Szabo: Any Questions?


David MacAlpine: I want to encourage my students to use AI too. Are we going to have a site license?


Elise Mueller: Before we talk about whether we should have an enterprise license, we need to make sure that we’re not making any of these assignments required for anything other than the entry-level ChatGPT. Just to make sure we're not disadvantaging students by making it be a premium service.


Mark Palmeri: You mentioned the conscious decision of the student to go out and use AI, but AI is already getting put into backend of a lot of our tools that we don’t know what it is using. If you’re writing code, you will get suggestions, or if you’re using MS Office products. Opt-in to using is almost like not the norm to some degree.


Elise Mueller: Which is why my number one message is that you have to start thinking about it for yourself and speaking to your students.


Mark Palmeri: Like when you go to the citation part of the Community Standard, a lot of those tools on the backend aren’t even telling you where that’s coming from. Are students going to cite MS Word?  How to come up with a syllabus policy? Or, if I'm using Visual Studio Code or brain's tool and it's providing me with snippets. It’s hard, you are being prompted with it rather than choosing or not choosing to use it. It’s an ambiguous slope.


Elise Mueller: I don't know either. The workspaces that have integrated PowerPoint.  It might be a “turn off” situation.


Steffan Bass: I have a policy question which goes beyond the use of education. Let’s say, in the research space I have a new idea for a thermonuclear device that I want to patent. I wouldn’t be using chatbots to brush up the language of my patent application, because that might be teaching my competitor in North Korea who may also be using the same AI. There is a danger with respect to intellectual property here on campus and the inadvertent use of this, potential for this to be disseminated in ways that undermines our own intellectual property.  I haven’t seen any Duke policy on this.


David MacAlpine: Every time you write a document in Word, it's sending everything up into the Cloud. You have AI, you have the grammar check. With Open AI policy you can opt-in or opt-out on whether your data is trained on. We have to trust these tools. We trust Microsoft Word. Google.


Steffan Bass: But there is still a difference between the grammar check in Word.

Matthew Hirschey: You can now run a billion-parameter local version of a LLM on your laptop. Next week it will be our phones. Your concerns are valid within the constraints of the current technology, but next week….


Tracy Futhey: Are you using “next week” in a literal or figurative sense? 


Matthew Hirshey: Right now, there are smaller models like in the tens or hundreds of million parameters that run on your phone. So, both.


Tracy Futhey: So slightly figurative here but not unrealistic. It’s not coming next week, but it’s coming soon.


Steffan Bass: So perhaps we need a Duke instance, that so to speak, you've got to be on campus?


Tracy Futhey: Michigan has done something in that vein. We might want to invite them to come to a meeting and talk about what they’ve done.


David MacAlpine: Didn’t the School of Medicine announce something like that too?


Tracy Futhey: That was an announcement about our intent and our efforts underway with Microsoft, but it is not quite yet what Michigan has done, which is “here's a website to access our AI sandbox… anyone who wants to use can go here.”


Amy Kenyon: I know we have another topic, so let me take 2 minutes to make you aware of the Emerging Pedagogies Summit 2023. This is our first year, but we’re intending for it to become a signature event going forward. We're starting this year with a two-and-a-half-day event (October 4, 5 & 6)


Dr. Sanjay Sarma, MIT, is delivering the keynote address Learning in the Age of Rapid Technological Change. This virtual October 4 keynote is open to anyone. There will be opening remarks by the Provost.


The in-person events on October 5th and sixth are Duke-only.


Seven themes were selected because they are high-priority focus areas for Learning Innovation and Digital Education in support of the vision to put Duke on the map as a powerhouse for learning, innovation, and lifetime education.


Each theme will have a presentation or a panel, spread out over the two in-person days (10/4 & 10/5), and they'll be opportunities for discussion and reflection and opportunities to start forming communities of practice or talking about potential applied educational research.


You can register for the keynote at Pedagogies. There are two registration streams, one for the keynote only, and one for the entire event. The event is waitlisted, but we hope some spaces will open up as people look at their schedules and realize that they can’t attend. Please register if you’re interested.

We also intend to record the panels and presentations with the panelists and presenters’ permission.


Victoria Szabo: Next up, Michael Faber with the state of the Co-Lab.


4:45 – 5:15pm: The State of the Co-Lab - Michael Faber (20-minutes presentation, 10 minutes Q&A) 


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


Why it’s relevant: We will provide an update on everything new and improved about the Co-Lab, including updates on the Telcom flood, new building changes, our learning experience strategy, advanced 3d printing, and more. 


Michael Faber: This is a hodgepodge of updates for the semester, things we’ve been working on over the summer and past year, and things looking forward.


First and foremost, we had an unintentional “indoor shower” at the TEC August 2nd, about four weeks to the day before the start of the fall semester. A high-pressure water line broke on the third floor of the telecom building and for about an hour soaked the entire building releasing tens of thousands of gallons of water.  It did not soak the computers. Here are some pictures; walls, baseboards, carpets had to be removed.


We didn’t lose a lot because the water seeped. The computers were not on the ground, so we didn’t have to replace them. 


By the Friday before the first day of classes, we were pulling the painter’s tape off the wall and moved everything in. We reopened for the first day of class, which was amazing. The place looks better than it did before.  A big thank you to all the FMD contractors, my team and everyone that had to do all this work to get it back together.


Building updates: we now have a couple of drop-in workspaces for staff and a new Zoom conference room (144.) The furniture changes---this brings me to my next topic, which is our update office hours situation. We now have a setup in the rotunda room. (slide)


One of my asks for faculty and department heads who are here: we want to be like the writing center, but for technology. If you need help on your assignment, or you are writing code and you need some support with that, we want to be a resource for students. It's not really meant to be like the Link support where something is broken, but more like “I'm working on a technology project and I need some support.”


We’ve implemented something like that Code+ program, but just for our dev students when they have down time. We’ve assigned them projects to work on (see the robot arm in the background, as we are playing with IoT connected devices and things like that.)  Other projects are an interactive game that will be sharing information about the Co-Lab. It’s a marketing opportunity and we could potentially turn into roots classes. We also have a 3D printer dashboard project to improve the live view of what’s happening in the space.


These students are Code+ alums, and we have really taken advantage of that pipeline.

They have gotten that experience and they're ready to hit the ground running when they start working with us.


Another project is Pathways, our co-curricular workshop training management system that has been going for a year. We have departments that create modules, such as Intro to Python, that might be scheduled or self-paced. Those can be organized into pathways that reinforce and build upon a topic. Currently there are 3 departments with discussions in place about others joining.


Anyone who joins a class from the Co-Lab has the exposure to create content without having to go to three different systems. We have in the first year over 2,000 individual users that have logged in, and a surprisingly high number of staff.  The Roots program ran 194 instances of 87 different classes. 17 are now self-paced classes, and we are developing more of that kind of content where people can do it on their own time. We have 4500 enrollments and a 24% attendance rate, undercounted since there are classes that don’t take attendance.

10% of our enrollments are for self-paced classes.


We are weaving the Pathways infrastructure with and EdStem lessons, which is our self-paced workshop experience. This is our webpage view to see content, videos, consoles, and terminals.

This is the platform that we're using for developing most of our asynchronous content, which has led us to an “async first” design strategy. I’ve pushed this with my team so that when we design our classes going forward, they are designed for async first.


The async approach makes the class more accessible, and has multiple advantages.


The hard pivot I promised earlier: I'm going to talk about the Co-Lab Pro a little bit, which are our pro services:


  • BlueSmith, our cost-recovery, high-end medical and research-caliber printing service. You may have seen us talk about all the work we do with the medical side printing parts for pediatric cardiology cases.
  • DesignHub, providing design support for people with ideas that need that CAD or design. They don’t have that skillset and need help building that thing that they care about.


The big updates we have are that Isaac (Rattey) is joining us and also that we have become a service center for Duke, which is really important for anyone doing research that is going to involve 3D printing, especially grant-funded research. We can now be listed alongside those other service centers at Duke that are supporting direct grant research. And it's also now part of the myResearchPath and listed on the core facilities and services page as well.


We also rebuilt our entire Co-Lab website. If you have questions, I know have a short time for a couple.


Victoria Szabo: I love the asynch first approach. How do you decide what you’re going to do workshops on, and when do you decide to do your own vs. use someone else’s course?


Michael Faber: The first way is to take the approach of things we haven’t done yet-—new classes we are developing. The second question has been on the table since day one; there is always going to be good content out there for learning Python or web development. We’ve tried to bring our own flavor to that, integrating Duke resources when we can but at the end of the day, I think there's still value in having that individual teach it to a group of people with their stamp on it.


John Board: How is our 3D printer fleet this year?


Michael Faber: The numbers are constant and utilization remains high. We haven't added anything to the standard fleet, but it remains used all the time, running all the time except for the three weeks we were flooded. We may refresh next year, and we are looking at some other machines to see if we’re going to stick with Ultimaker.


Victoria Szabo adjourns the meeting.