ISIT Report — April 2013

Issues impacting students and teaching

  1. The BMIT department will be piloting Microsoft Office 2013—in the computer labs in which they have classes including B2, B11, SE7, L148 and at Delano room 1101. We will need to make sure that the new software suite will work with Dragon and other accessibility programs in L148. Faculty who teach in those computer labs and have concerns about how the upgrade will affect their own computer curriculum and lecture should contact Information Services ASAP. Some of the pods in the Computer Commons (bottom floor of Library) will be upgraded to Office 2013.

  2. The nursing department decided not to pursue "Echo360"a lecture capture system mentioned in last month's report, so the demo of the system mentioned in last month's report did not take place. They will be looking for a different lecture capture system.

  3. Our course management system, Moodle, will be upgraded—from the current version 1.9 to either version 2.2 or 2.3. At least four training sessions on campus and at least two at Delano for current Moodle users will be held in April to get them up to speed on the changes. Each 30-minute training session stands on its own, so current Moodle users need to attend just one of the sessions. Look for emails from Tracy Lovelace telling when the sessions will take place.

  4. The suite of Google Apps available to our students—through their campus email account (which is offered through Gmail) will include YouTube starting between the summer and fall terms. Students will see an ONE-time end-user license agreement for that YouTube to which they'll have to agree when YouTube account access is turned on. After they agree to the end-user license agreement, they will not have to see it again.

  5. No legal opinion about requiring students to purchase Classroom/Student Response Systems ("clickers") yet.

  6. Updated data from Technology Request forms from the APR—were reviewed by ISIT. Some of the items have been implemented through grants or specially-designated department funds. ISIT took a stab at possible criteria for prioritizing requests in the unfunded category (non-grant, non-department funded) beyond upgrading computer labs first. They include giving higher priority to classrooms that are used by multiple departments, giving higher priority to adding technology to classrooms without any technology, and possibly giving lower priority to office desktops or laptops than to computers directly used by students. Note that it is difficult to do prioritization of the requests when we do not even know how much money we have to work with since the amount available to allocate among the requests will certainly affect the prioritization (i.e., do we have $600,000 to work with or do we have just $60,000 to work with?). Also, if we have zero dollars to work with (as with this year), then there's not much incentive to expend energy on the prioritization.

    Although only a few classrooms now do not have video and/or computer technology enhancement, adding more technology to the campus does increase the replacement cycle costs of Information Services. Currently, Information Services needs at least $500,000 every year to replace computers (labs+offices) on a three-five year cycle (the $500,000 would be for a five-year replacement cycle---the upper time limit in the industry standards). However, Bakersfield College has not had allocated the needed funds for such a replacement cycle in years (ever?). Since technology money is always among the first things cut, we have tried to replace the computer labs as much as possible, leaving many offices with ancient equipment (that become big paper weights as people bring in their own laptops). Media Services needs $20,000 to $25,000 annually to have a 5-7 year replacement of the video technology. Again, such funds have not been allocated for years (approx 10+ years). Therefore, if we ADD technology to the BC inventory, do we have the ongoing funds to replace it as video/computer ages? Another large item in the unfunded category is the all-dome SciDome video system used in the Planetarium; a $100,000 projector that will need to be replaced soon (not the optical-mechanical star projector). The SciDome projector is computer technology that is now seven years old. (With Planetarium technology upgrades funded every 40+ years, the planetarium director is a bit nervous about what will happen with the SciDome.)

    All totaled the amount of non-funded technology requests is $695,427. If you exclude the $500,000 Information Services, $25,000 Media Services, and $100,000 Planetarium items, there are $70,427 in unfunded needs. We will able use some of the computers that were set aside for replacement of dead computers in the case of Prop 30 not passing. With the passage of Prop 30, the cuts won't be as deep as feared and it was decided that the 31 computers in the ESL Language Lab (LA 225) will be replaced from that "stash". That knocks the unfunded amount down to $45,933 (besides the $625K items, of course).

    Reminder about grant-funded technology: All groups going out for grants need to work with Information Services and Media Services to take into account the Total Cost of Ownership—all of the behind-the-scenes network + power infrastructure and personnel support expenses. Most grants enable the institution to purchase equipment as a test of its use or as a jump start to improvements BUT the institution is expected to "institutionalize" the equipment and personnel support after the grant runs out. That means BC would pick up the costs of maintaining and upgrading the technology after the grant runs out (usually within just a few short years) and that requires people to do the maintenance, upgrading, and providing technical support. Does our grant approval process worked out by the College Council task force have that in mind? We know that there wasn't the long-term planning with Information Services for the technology purchased with the STEM grant.

    Another thing brought up with the review of the technology request form data is that the Information Services department's (with Media Services) technology request needs to occur after the processing of the other departments' technology requests since Information Services & Media Services base their budget requests on what the other departments are requesting. That is something that will need to be worked out with the Program Review Committee on future iterations of the Annual Program Review process.

Other Items of Note

  1. The outline of Bakersfield College's response to the Accreditation College Recommendation #7—was reviewed. Accreditation College Recommendation #7 says that the College must "develop and use an assessment methodology to evaluate how well technology resources support institutional goals and use the result of the evaluation as a basis for improvement (III.C.2)." Ways to meet the recommendation will include:
    1. Short-term assessment of new technology implementation. The assessment will include online surveys in conjunction with focus-group type interviews of employees using the new technology after they have had some time using the technology under "real world" conditions. Ideally, the time period would be something like a semester. To meet the deadlines of the accreditation recommendation response (mid-April), we are only surveying faculty using the nine classrooms in Math-Science that have recently-installed smart boards/short-throw projectors and the counselors using the new "thin client" lab in SS151 for orientation of new students, including the creation of their education plans---no focus group interview for them.
    2. Adjusting the Annual Program Review form or the Technology Request Form ("ISIT form") to include a section for assessment and evaluation of recently implemented technologies and other general technology. Which way to go needs to be worked out with the Program Review Committee. The College could use student success metrics before and after the implementation of the technology and/or get faculty satisfaction data and service call data in the APR. One difficulty, though, will be that the program review will now be done for degrees and certificates (the Title V definition of "program"). Will departments fill out a Technology Request Form for each of their degrees/certificates? Seems a bit unwieldy!
    3. Do an annual survey to find out how satisfied campus employees are with the classroom and office equipment and training needs much like the technology questions asked in last spring's accreditation survey. The survey will also include satisfaction with the response rates of the IS+MS departments. Finally, the survey needs to also include the major software applications in use at the college: Curricunet, InsideBC portal, and DegreeWorks and be updated as new major campuswide software applications are installed.

    The College has to have all of the college recommendations figured out, implemented, and written up by April 22nd, so the timeline is extremely short! Pieces of evidence that will be put in the Recommendation#7 Response will include:

    1. Survey responses from the STEM classrooms+SS151 faculty and those committees using the new Committees website (ISIT, PRC, College Council)
    2. Revised APR form (or revised "ISIT form")
    3. Sample questions for the annual survey
    4. Diagram of Technology Processes that demonstrates participate governance involvement (see graphic below)

last update: April 3, 2013

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Document author: Nick Strobel
Math-Science 101 (Planetarium), 395-4526