Academic Computing Policy Advisory Committee

Minutes of December 15, 2010

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

Proceedings of the Meeting

  • Approval of Minutes
    • November 17, 2010 Meeting - The November 17 minutes were approved as written (M/S Sherwood/JB Smith). Dr. Blood abstained because she was not present for the November 17 meeting.
  • Financial Report
    • The ACPAC balance is currently 12,804.92
  • Standing Reports:
    • CIO office (Balint)
      1. E-portfolio - the College of Education and Communications is going forward with the D2L e-portfolio component. The D2L e-portfolio component is not part of the standard D2L, so there will be an additional cost for using it.
      2. Learning Management System - D2L will be coming Feb 22-25, 2011 for initial training for train the trainer. It is anticipated that beginning approximately March 14th, D2L workshops will be offered by the IT staff. Bill's current understanding is that classes for new faculty and those new to distance education should be started in D2L, since the support will be tied to D2L. That does not mean that the support for Moodle will go away. All 3 graduate programs being modified to be offered online starting in Fall 2011 will be set up in D2L. Stephen Anspacher is the new Executive Director of Academic Programs and Extended Learning. Now that Stephen is here, the transition has started and IT will be pulling back to deal with more of the structural/technical issues related to supporting online learning. As far as Bill understands, we will be allowed to continue supporting Moodle. We still do not have a date for when there will be a conversion utility for Moodle to D2L.
      3. Recommendations regarding Moodle and D2L - There has been no official management response to the letter sent from ACPAC supporting the OLC recommendations regarding Moodle and D2L. There was a discussion regarding the lack of a response from the administration, but it was decided to wait until the January 2011 ACPAC meeting to see if we receive any information from the administration about the concerns that were raised in the letter we sent.
      4. Financial support for ongoing educational student support for Moodle - Bill indicated that it will continue for the foreseeable future.
      5. Moodle went down today for a brief period. We have now increased memory (doubled) and added a 5th front end server. We have never had the quantity of simultaneous access quizzes by multiple students to the extent we have seen this week. We continue to address issues as they arise.
      6. Spanish Programming Channel - with a partnership between Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and IT for financial support, we added a Spanish television channel that is available across campus.
      7. Project ranking by Academic Affairs Council - Priority Ranking: Test Scoring, Student Pictures, Blogging Enhancement (completed). Secondary ranking: Moodle Community Service, Digital Repository.
      8. Digital Repository - The Library is to be the cornerstone for the effort of Digital Repository and it is a ranked project.
    • Virtual Environments Coordinating Committee (Onyett)
      • There have been several recent issues with Second Life. They no longer give a 50% discount for educational institutions and non-profit organizations. The annual fee for islands will increase from $1,700 up to $3,400. The committee has decided to not renew the subscription for Crimson Island and for Research Island. The committee is looking at other virtual worlds, especially at Reaction Grid. While there is not as much content on any of the other virtual worlds as exists in Second Life, it appears that most educational institutions are moving to Reaction Grid.
    • Student Computing Subcommittee (McDevitt)
      • It was decided that instead of conduction the large survey that was conducted in the past, a series of small surveys will be made available about once per month.
    • Online Learning Subcommittee (Brzycki)
      • OLC was asked to select 6 faculty would like to go for the initial D2L "train the trainer" training in February. If anyone from ACPAC is interested, they can be put on a waiting list. Those faculty getting the initial training will not be expected to do training, but instead can serve as mentors for other faculty.
      • Revisions to the Distance Education site are underway so that it will do a better job of communicating to distance education students.
      • PASSHE deans and directors list is receiving invitations to comment on or help make decisions regarding technology related issues, but in an extremely short time frame. Faculty need to be included in this process. OLC is trying to determine how to react and respond when PASSHE throws these invitations out.
      • Is there a way to have a conversation with PASSHE to modify mode of operation they are using?
      • How can we handle required quick responses?
      • It was recommended that IUP should continue to use the methods we have been using for software and system selection, even if it means that we have to bypass savings provided by PASSHE. OLC will discuss and bring this topic back to ACPAC at the January 2011 meeting.
      • The Accessibility sub-committee will meet several times during the spring semester to look at various issues including the situation of Penn State being sued by the National Federation of the Blind. The sub-committee does need at least one more faculty member.
    • Emerging Technologies Subcommittee (D. Smith)
      • Several items will be placed into the Student Computing survey regarding emerging technologies issues. Several "smart board" vendors will be sending representatives to demonstrate their products during the spring semester.
    • DE Planning and Work Group (Brzycki)
      • No report
  • Reports from the Action Teams:
    • E-Portfolio -The College of Education and Communications has selected the e-portfolio module in D2L. The action team will continue to evaluate possible solutions for the rest of the university.
    • Optical Test Scoring - Testing of the software is underway to determine needed reports, and the committee will be reviewing and looking at practical application issues.
  • New Business:
    • Desktop Services Coordinator - Ben Dadson has been appointed as the Desktop Services Coordinator in IT Services. He will still be acting as the CTM for CHSS, and will be reporting to Todd. This is not a new position, but is filling a vacancy. IT Services will use a team approach to address CHSS issues and needs.
    • Guest Wireless - The system that is being implemented in the spring semester is with ATT and is very similar to what Penn State is using. The ATT "SIDs" will ride on the current IUP wireless network. The system will be a "pay as you go" system ($5.99 for 24 hours), with half of the money going to ATT and half to IUP. The Conference Services office at KCAC will manage the system. The monthly fee to ATT for the service is being paid by KCAC. IUP offices will be able to purchase access cards for the system for $3.00 for 24 hours (funds only go to ATT in this case). Communication regarding implementation will be coming out when the system is ready to activate.
    • ACPAC Innovation Funds Competition - With limited funds and spending guidelines, we have modified the previous ACPAC guidelines. The deadline for submission of proposals will be 3/31/2011. There will not be a set amount per college, but instead there will be a maximum of 6 projects with a limit of $1,500 in category #1 for conference travel, scholarly activities, etc. (ACPAC funds), and a maximum of 6 projects with a limit of $3,500 in category #2 that must be for hardware, software, and certain types of services (Tech Fee funded). Colleges will still rank the proposals and forward them to ACPAC for evaluation and selection for funding by ACPAC.
  • Old Business:
    • NONE
  • Other Business:
    • Bill discussed how, since May 2009 until now, there has been a reduction of 7 positions in technology support (central IT Services and the colleges) at IUP, and that this trend of reductions will most likely continue. He also said that the lines of delineation are becoming blurred between college IT support and the central IT support areas. Also, there has been a 35% decrease in the student employment budgets for IT support.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:40 PM.