Provost's Academic Computing Advisory Committee by hcj


									Provost’s Academic Computing Advisory Committee Minutes for February 23, 2006
February 23, 2006 PACAC Agenda
1) IT Fee summary of proposals - John Campbell 2) Technology Literacy Status Report - Bev Amer 3) Strategic Planning Status Report - Bruce Palmer 4) New ITS Initiatives - John Campbell 5) E-Learning Center Initiatives - Don Carter 6) Other 7) Optional Presentation on Student Response Systems ("Clickers") - Barry Lutz

Meeting Minutes
Attending: Bev Amer, Claudia Bakula, Melanie Birck, Michael Blocher, John Campbell, Don Carter, Fred Estrella, Angie Golden, Jerry Hughes, Bryan Loveless for Marc Lord, Barry Lutz, Jo Mae Maris, Georgia Michalicek, Dieter Otte, Susan Rieck, Gary Weidenaar, and guests, Bruce Palmer and Tom Rogers. IT Fee Summary of Proposals John Campbell reported that the IT Fee subcommittee, consisting of five students and five faculty and staff members met today. John said there are approximately $660,000 of requested funds competing for a total of about $200,000 in collected fees. Therefore some of the proposals will go to Fred Estrella as unmet needs. More than half of the proposals were for smart classrooms for first year funding, and many included requests for ongoing funds. This identifies a large unmet need to retrofit old buildings. John said the subcommittee will decide which projects to fund, and present a proposal at the March 30 meeting to PACAC. Fred Estrella informed the committee that certain items funded last year require permanent ongoing funds, and we may need to ask the students to add another fifty cents or more to the IT Fee in order to get more projects funded. There is also a 14% setback taken out for financial aid. There was a brief discussion between members about smart classrooms and other unmet needs, and whether they should be paid for out of student generated funds. Fred stated the disparity between colleges has been problematic for many years on campus and the PACAC Minutes for February 23, 2006 – Page 1

Provost is very concerned. He said PACAC now has an identified need they can show to the Provost. Barry Lutz asked if PACAC is willing to support the concept that there is a strong need to develop funding sources to meet unmet college needs. Michael Blocher said he hoped any endeavor would be met with universal support rather than forcing colleges to be competitive since some would be eligible for more grants, for instance, than others. Barry will add this topic to the next meeting agenda for further discussion. Technology Literacy Status Report Bev Amer reported that the Technology Literacy subcommittee had met, and that the College of Business Administration (CBA) and the College of Forestry had conducted a survey and assessment of technology skills that are integrated into individual courses. Pit Kolodinsky also did a survey of faculty in the College of Education (CoE) and reported 59 responses to date. He said his results show that the CoE faculty overwhelmingly believe they should help students become literate in technology. He now plans to do further work to see what faculty think they need to do. Tina Adams, of the Cline Library, conducted an informal survey of other colleges and universities to help inform the subcommittee. Her results show that 58% of those who responded have some kind of technology literacy initiative in place, but only 26% have any kind of technology skills assessment in place. The survey also showed those who responded were all over the map in what they required as a skill set. The survey results and documentation gathered by Tina can be found on the PACAC web site ( under Technology Literacy Subcommittee Work. Bev reported that the Technology Literacy subcommittee agreed that the technology goals already identified by previous PACAC subcommittee work were still appropriate. However, this year’s subcommittee reorganized and reordered the goals. An updated final draft of the document, reflecting a more logical and understandable ordering of the technology literacy goals can be found on the PACAC web site at Following a discussion concerning how these goals and the report of the subcommittee would move forward, the committee asked Barry Lutz to present the report on Functional Technology Literacy Goals For Undergraduate Students to the Faculty Senate as best practices, and to ask the senate to disseminate the report to faculty. Strategic Planning Status Report Bruce Palmer reported the Strategic Plan subcommittee had met and identified several areas they would like to put their attention on, and then, plan to identify projects that support them. The areas of focus include:  Identity management and security issues PACAC Minutes for February 23, 2006 – Page 2

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Coherence and consciousness raising around existing technologies and services (e.g. email, remote storage) Support for specialized applications Universal design, access, and single point of entry “Institutional Repository of Intellectual Capital” Always Available Everywhere (in support of mobile learning) Social networking and collaborative communication …continuous partial attention

The subcommittee will hold two more meetings this semester, and anyone from the full committee is welcome to participate. Fred Estrella encouraged the subcommittee to link their projects to the university strategic plan. He stated that Information Technology Services (ITS) will be starting a major effort in identity management, due to federal regulations, involving inter-university collaboration. He said it is difficult to talk about this with so much already going on, and he asked PACAC to help raise awareness of these important initiatives. New ITS Initiatives John Campbell reported that the Mozilla Thunderbird email client is now supported by ITS. He said he would like Eudora put on a future PACAC agenda for discussion. John informed the committee that there is a new type of application called open community software. As examples, he stated that we are already using the Linux operating system in-house; there is even a replacement for Vista available. The fact that we cannot share or collaborate what we have done to make Vista work now is a good example of how proprietary software and open community software are different. John also reported that NAU retirees can now get NAU accounts with limited services. Information will be included in their retirement packets provided by Human Resources. John opened a discussion by asking the committee, “Does Vista make my modem obsolete?” He said this is a discussion we have not had on campus. However, Marc Lord had informed him that a number of distance students now have broadband. Barry asked whether we have a sense of how many students are using the NAU modem pools. Fred Estrella said they get a lot of use. John said the point of the discussion is that we can no longer control what we get from vendors. He said, “We are in a catch-22. While we’d like to roll back the clock, we no longer control it.” The discussion continued with the following points:     Satellite and Distance Learning Services computer labs are an alternative Alternatives may not work for working family members Excitement about new technologies has come at a cost; students can’t afford it Maybe we need mode of delivery that is modem friendly PACAC Minutes for February 23, 2006 – Page 3

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Most universities do not run free modem pools anymore Is broadband important to learning? Some grad students definitely expect new technologies in online courses; don’t want to read textbooks anymore Students have high expectations; especially when they are mobile (traveling) Notes are put in Peoplesoft when high bandwidth is necessary for course Can’t guarantee the next release of Vista will be usable on a modem Need to have conversation about it

Barry Lutz asked about ITS support for the Mozilla Firefox browser, stating that Netscape and Internet Explorer (IE) are not satisfactory. Fred Estrella said that even though Firefox is available from the ITS Software Download page, it is not officially supported because so many products only work with IE. Fred will discuss this at his next Directors meeting. Fred then informed the committee that the new Staff and Faculty Acceptable Use Policy is on the ITS web site. He also said that ITS had started blocking SPAM at the mailgate which has improved the ability to handle legitimate email and has also reduced the amount of SPAM. He said they are looking at an open community initiative as the architecture for email and will let the committee know when a decision is made. E-Learning Center Initiatives Don Carter said upcoming eLearning workshops are on the Faculty Development calendar, and the new eLearning web site. There will be a discussion on classroom response systems on March 1 and a Faculty Showcase on March 31. The second eLearning Institute will take place the end of May this year and will focus on social software, blogs, podcasting, etc. Don told the group that more than half of NAU’s online courses are now on Vista for a projected total of 25,000 enrollments this year. Some of the plug-ins being used with Vista includes Elluminate, Turnitin, and Respondus. He also informed the committee that he is expecting to turn off WebCT Campus Edition in Fall’06 and that it will no longer be available for delivery of courses at that time. Don will be attending the WebCT product advisory committee meeting in a couple weeks and plans to take a compilation of Vista bugs to them. Upon returning, he will have more information about new Vista features, such as rubrics and e-portfolios, due out with the next upgrade. Other Business Fred Estrella said last Friday was leadership day, when chairs, deans, and cabinet members submitted funding priorities for next budget year. The lead priority submitted by ITS was a project for network and wireless expansion. This would require an upgrade of connections to the core routers in ITS. Currently 80% are at the 100Mbps range, with PACAC Minutes for February 23, 2006 – Page 4

some still at 10Mbps. Newer buildings, such as business, engineering and the library, are at 1Gbps speeds. The cost to upgrade nearly all segments to 1Gbps is $750,000, with $2.5 million needed to complete the campus upgrade and then add wireless on top. Fred told the committee that ITS will be competing with student enrollment and other priorities. However, he also noted that according to the annual Casey Green survey of IT in higher ed, 70% of other campuses have full wireless or plans to get to full wireless this year. If the project is not funded, that would put NAU in the bottom 30%. Optional Presentation on Student Response Systems ("Clickers") Barry Lutz invited all members to stay for the optional vendor demonstration on clickers, telling the committee that the primary purpose for the presentation was due to the desire to adopt a standard for classroom use in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Don Carter said he could do a demo at another time for PACAC members who could not stay. It was noted that some open source options are on the horizon, such as iClicker, developed by the University of Illinois, but the perspective coming from that school is this is a fad. John Campbell stated he had seen connections to Vista for iClicker, and Don said Turning Point already has one, too. The next PACAC meeting will be held on March 30 at 2:30 p.m. in the ITS Annex Conference room. Members can call in at 3-9997 to attend from other NAU locations.

PACAC Minutes for February 23, 2006 – Page 5

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