ISIT Report — February 2009

Issues impacting students and teaching

  1. The Luminis portal will become the primary method for internal communication—including our interaction with current students instead of the BC website. The BC website will be changed to focus primarily on broadcasting news to the outside community and for marketing purposes. Those two things have been decided. As part of that change in focus, it has been proposed that most instructor and course websites will migrate to the Luminis Course Studio or a supported course management system (e.g., Moodle & Etudes) or a template-driven site through the newly purchased Content Management System. A first draft of the web strategy was shared at the ISIT meeting and is copied at the end of this report (and in the ISIT public folder in the Document sub-folder). Your ISIT rep needs feedback on this draft---will the proposed restrictions on college-related websites be acceptable? We have had a tradition of giving instructors and departments great freedom of creativity with their sites hosted on the college servers. While this has produced some creative designs, it has also brought increased liability for the college for Section 508 violations and increased LRIT staff workload because of faculty training needs.

  2. Online course support need becoming critical—as our online offerings continue to expand. Approximately 10% of our classes are now online and we are still using processes designed for times about 10 years ago. We should have at least 1 full-time technician/computer programmer dedicated to our online education program (one who would do web & database programming).

  3. ISIT recommends that we move to implement the move to google campus email for students as soon as possible. The move to the gmail service with bakersfieldcollege.edu branding (see the March 2008 report) was put on hold because it was thought Luminis would take care of our email communication with students. With the delays in Luminis and the recent spate of spam blacklistings that have prevented our emailing our students, we need to find an email solution in time for summer+fall registration. If the gmail service is implemented, should we require all of our students to get an account and send all college email correspondence exclusively to that account? It would help us get through to the students even if we have been spam blacklisted. Gmail does have a forwarding feature so that a student could set it to forward campus email to whatever other email account they use regularly.

  4. Spam blacklisting probably from staff/faculty members responding to phishing emails—that asked the persons to send their email/campus network password via email. Campus and district IT and Media Services will NEVER ask you to send usernames/passwords via email. They will never even ask you via an email message to enter username/password information on some web form. Requests like that are usually from someone on the outside with malevolent intent posing as a legitimate employee.

Other items of note

  1. ISIT has begun looking at technology needs identified in unit program review plans—and has found even more gaps in addition to the Media Services ones mentioned in the December report. Of the 44 unit plans, only 14 departments identified computer technology needs. Computers in the hubs/deans offices are not included in any of the unit plans. We also found out that office computers have not been budgeted for anywhere in the college budget. Classroom/lab computer hardware and all software is paid out of the IT budget but not office computers. Many of our office computers are 5+ years old and are having problems due to age. We also need to plan for a regular computer replacement schedule. Even if departments do not have funds for new/used computers (and audio-visual technology), the department/program technology needs must be listed in the unit plans.

    There needs to be a "technology needs" section in the unit plan form (inserted between chart C3 and Chart D) that clearly distinguishes audio-visual technology needs from computer technology needs. Since all equipment requests must be backed up by what is in the unit plan (i.e., if it's not in the unit plan, it's not in the budget), department chairs need training on the type of information that should go into the technology needs section of the unit plan. A simple table in the unit plan like the following would go a long way in identifying campus technology needs:

    Type of DeviceNumber of unitsList of peopleCost estimate
    Desktop computers      
    Laptop computers      
    Peripherals      
    Data/video Projectors      
    Software      

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Web Strategy February 2009 Draft

Guiding Principles

It is important to the college that our web sites:

As such, we recommend the following policies:

Main BC website purpose: targeted to those outside

To provide outsiders a view into how Bakersfield College can enrich their lives through education, entertainment, events, etc. This involves:

In addition to the above primary purpose, a secondary purpose of the homepage will be to direct other important audiences to their respective sites. For example, a portion of the homepage will be dedicated to directing current students to use the portal.

Luminis portal purpose: targeted to those inside

To provide the majority of interactions with current students, staff, faculty, and alumni via highly targeted information. This will involve a new task of defining a target audience for content. Content will be easier to find for your audience and deeper in the site or unavailable for others.

External Websites

Our students and potential students are using sites like MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube all the time. We should, as a matter of strategy, explore how we can use these tools to reach these individuals and try to reserve appropriate usernames when possible.

Instructor Websites

It is our desire to provide faculty with the means to distribute class information and communicate with their students via the web. Traditionally, that meant providing ongoing support for the creation and maintenance of webpages via web development tools like Microsoft FrontPage. Unfortunately, this strategy resulted in increased liability for the college via Section 508 violations,
an increased support staff workload, and significant effort on the part of faculty to learn how to use a web development tool and comply with Section 508 laws. In the future, we anticipate supporting some combination of these 3 tools:

We recognize that these solutions will not meet the needs of every faculty member, but we anticipate that the combination will meet the needs of the majority. As such, exceptions will be made for Faculty members who:

============= end of Web Strategy draft =========

last update: February 5, 2009

Go to ISIT home

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