Minutes of the November 17, 2010 ACPAC Meeting

Academic Computing Policy Advisory Committee

Minutes of November 17, 2010

  • In Attendance: Brzycki, Kornfeld, P. McDevitt, T. McDevitt, McElroy, McGowan, Mocek, Nelson, O'Neil, Onyett, Pagnucci, Pankaj, Powers, Sherwood, Scandrett, D. Smith, VanWieren, Yuhas.
  • Excused: Balint, Branthoover, Giever, Lenze, J.B. Smith, Yost.
  • Absent: Asamoah, Blood, Dadson, Gruber, Janosko, Kemp, Papakie, Woodland.
  • Guests: Defelice.

Proceedings of the Meeting

  • Approval of Minutes
    • October 20, 2010 Meeting:The following corrections were made to the October 20, 2010 minutes and the minutes were approved with the corrections (M/S Sherwood/O'Neil and passed unanimously):
    • O'Neil was excused, not absent
  • Whiteboards -moved to Emerging Technology.
  • Financial Report
    • Lloyd Onyett reported that the current balance in SAP is $12,904, but the rollover still has not occurred.
  • Membership
    • New members appointed to ACPAC:
      • Mike Nelson - student representative
      • Michele Pedake - returned from deployment
      • Theresa McDevitt - Library representative
  • Standing Reports:
    • CIO office (Balint)
      • No report (Bill was at a meeting off campus and not able to attend).
    • Virtual Environments Coordinating Committee (Onyett)
      • The VECC has been discussing the increase in the cost of islands in Second Life. Linden Lab (the company that owns Second Life) will be eliminating the 50% educational discount on December 31, 2010. The new cost per year for each island will be $3,400. At this point, it appears that IUP will need to drop Research Island, Archeology Island, and Crimson Island because of lack of funding. It appears that we will be able to continue funding for Comm Media Island (funded by the College of Education and Communications) and Whitmyre Island (funded by the Robert Cook Foundation). The VECC is looking at other options for the future. Options include hosting our own (using the OpenSim software on one of our own servers), or moving to one of the other free or less expensive virtual worlds such as Reaction Grid, Blue Mars, Digital Spaces, etc.
    • Emerging Technologies Subcommittee (D. Smith)
      • David Smith is developing a set of survey questions for students regarding smartphone usage. He has been looking at data from other universities regarding student usage of smartphones.
      • David Smith also discussed the use of smartphones as a possible replacement for clickers in classrooms. Dan Yuhas discussed how the clickers can be registered by students in URSA to provide authentication.
      • Dan Yuhas is working to have Smartboard Corporation come in for demonstrations of their products. Emerging Technologies will review other interactive board products as well.
      • Paul Kornfeld asked if there is a way of storing cumulative attendance data from the clickers, and Dan Yuhas said he will investigate it.
  • Reports from the Action Teams:
    • E-Portfolio (Scandrett)
      • Jack Scandrett indicated that Keith Dils has been keeping the action team informed regarding the electronic portfolio needs for the College of Education and Communications and education majors across the university. Some of the other PASSHE universities (Chaney, Westchester, Mansfield) are going with D2L. We are waiting to see if our needs can be met with D2L, or if we need to look at other solutions. Dan Yuhas indicated that he doesn't think that the portfolio module of D2L is included in the regular price, so we will probably need to pay extra for that option.
      • Lloyd Onyett indicated that Keith Dils has been gathering additional information regarding the D2L portfolio module. There are import and export capabilities so apparently students could export their portfolios when they graduate, so they won't have to pay an annual fee to maintain their portfolios if they don't want to. There are controls so that advisors and other people can be given permission by the students to be able to view their portfolios. Keith Dils also indicated that he understood the price may be around $9 per student per year. Dan Yuhas talked about two different uses for e-portfolios: a creative student e-portfolio vs. a more formal assessment e-portfolio. Dolores Brzycki asked about outcomes measurement, and Lloyd indicated that Keith Dils had not been able to find out if that was available in the D2L module (he has since found that it is part of the D2L module).
    • Email (Onyett)
      • Dan Yuhas discussed the need to determine a date to shut off legacy webmail. Dan indicated that we need faculty input regarding new interface and why some are still using the legacy version. Pankaj said that he has found that in some locations overseas the legacy version seems faster. He also indicated that some faculty are in need of training so they can use the features of the new version. Lloyd mentioned the ability to import entire address books into the new version has been a great help for some faculty.
      • Ken Sherwood suggested three questions that need to be answered: how many people are still using the legacy version; if they are still using the legacy version, then why are they using it; and is there some features that the legacy version has that are not included in the new version. The Email Action Team will check with faculty regarding use of the new interface.
      • Thunderbird is available for IUP employees, since Outlook Express is not available in Windows 7. Thunderbird was recommended by the Email Action Team and adopted by ACPAC last spring as the default client email system.
      • There is a calendar within the new webmail, and also a calendar plug-in called Lightening for Thunderbird. The plan by IT Support is to do away with the current Webcal and replace it with Communigate Pro. With that change, email, calendar, and contacts can all be stored in a single set of products.
    • Clicker (Giever)
      • Dennis Giever was not able to attend, but there was a general discussion regarding the cost and use of the clicker technology. Students are supposed to purchase their own clicker at the bookstore (or can be purchased online) similar to the way they purchase books. There are now approximately 1800 student clickers registered through URSA. Dolores Brzycki asked if we should provide more information about the clickers, and also provide more training. Paul Kornfeld asked if we should conduct a survey to determine which courses are using the clickers and why or why not faculty are using them in their classes. Several issues were brought up regarding using smartphones instead of clickers.
  • New Business:
    • Guest Wireless - postponed to December meeting so Bill Balint can update us on progress in obtaining a vendor to provide guest wireless on campus.
    • PATH Lab - If faculty want specific software to be available in the PATH Lab, they need to talk with Rich DiStanislao. Currently Tech Fee funds are being used to by software for the PATH Lab. The software in the PATH Lab should be the same as found in the public labs.
    • ACPAC Website - Nate and Lloyd asked the ACPAC members if there was a need to continue to have the ACPAC website require a secure login? A motion was made and passed unanimously to discontinue secure login for access to the ACPAC website (M/S Pagnucci/Brzycki).
    • LMS - The letter supporting the OLC recommendations was sent to Bill Balint so he could escalate the issues to the Council of Deans, the Provost, and the President.
  • Old Business:
    • Distance Education Planning and Workgroup - Dolores Brzycki discussed how information is communicated to students about online courses when they enroll in them. She indicated that the new Executive Director of Distance Learning and Continuing Education, Stephen Anspacher, and Dave Porter are working on a process for better communication with students taking online courses. Ken Sherwood suggested that only general information should be sent to online students, while specific information should come from the faculty. Dan Yuhas explained that the Banner system automatically will generate an information email to all winter session students (all online courses).
    • Copyright Taskforce - Dolores Brzycki explained that PASSHE is moving toward a plan for annual training on copyright information for faculty.
    • Online Evaluation of Faculty - Dolores Brzycki discussed issues related to poor participation by students in online course evaluations for faculty, which is an issue for faculty going up for tenure, promotion. Some students have been reticent to do online course evaluations for several reasons including: not sure if the evaluations are truly anonymous because they must log in to do them, and having to do the evaluations several weeks before the end of the semester so they are not sure in some instances how well they are doing in the class. Dolores indicated that it might help to provide better information to students regarding the evaluation process for online courses, and she will pursue the issues.
    • Online Grad Program Initiative -Dolores Brzycki announced that three graduate programs currently not online, will get special assistance to assist with getting them online for fall 2011. The programs are: Food and Nutrition Masters degree, Special Education Certificate program, and the Adult and Community Education Masters degree.
  • Other Business:
    • Ken Sherwood asked about the training for D2L in Spring 2011, and Dan Yuhas explained that there will be 12 faculty and 3 IT staff that will receive 2 days of training. The 3 IT staff will then conduct training of all faculty interested in receiving D2L training, and the 12 faculty may help as mentors for other faculty, but would not be expected to become trainers.
    • Ken also asked about the conversion process from Moodle to D2L. Dan explained that there will be a system developed to assist with the conversion of courses from Moodle to D2L for those faculty who want that kind of assistance. Dan also explained that the course shells for winter term have been populated already and will be done for spring semester very soon.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:50 PM.