Because this past academic year began with the untimely passing of Alan Candiotti, our long-time and beloved leader, all of us in University Technology dedicate our work this year to his memory. We continue to rely on the guidance we received from Alan for so many years, and we hope that the group he mentored and led is living up to his high standards.
University Technology has been very busy in the 2013-14 school year implementing a number of large projects to improve teaching and learning, provide enhancement to administrative processes, and provide needed updates to technology infrastructure. Here are just a few of the highlights:
Teaching and Learning
This has been a busy year for the instructional technology staff as we participated in a number of activities to enhance instruction, including:
- Launched Moodle 2.4 and educated faculty on new features.
- Worked with faculty on incorporating Google Apps for Education, especially Drive and Groups as a way to enhance communication and collaborative work for courses.
- The Faculty Lab expanded support for third-party tools for courses, such as Tumblr, Wikispaces, and others.
- The Faculty Lab and Video Services provided support to create and edit videos to “Flip” a Social Psychology class for Scott Morgan.
- FacLab and STEL led a number of in-class workshops on technology tools including Prezi, PowerPoint for posters, Wikispaces, and Music Capstone Portfolios.
- With the rest of University Technology, participated in “Technorientation” to introduce technology services to the the Drew Class of 2017.
- The Student Technology Education Lab expanded on-demand support for a variety of tools for courses (WordPress, ooVoo, Weebly, PDF Xchange) on top of existing offerings for Microsoft Office, Google Apps).
- STEL students had shifts at the Reference Desk in the Library to offer technology support for students on-site where they study.
- STEL supported 35 graduate students with formatting dissertations/theses etc also with transition to online submission.
- Held University Technology Faculty Showcase to highlight innovative use of technology for teaching and learning.
- With Classroom Technology, conducted a Faculty Survey to find gauge satisfaction and gather faculty requests to shape future offerings.
- With the Library, worked on planning the new Academic Commons at Drew
In response to the mounting challenge of maintaining information security in today’s world, University Technology developed a new Responsible Use of University Data policy for all faculty and staff and implemented Two-Factor Authentication with Duo Security. Keep an eye on our Security Initiatives web page for continuing developments in information security at Drew.
As part of a University Technology wide re-organization, we completed the implementation of the University Technology Service Center under the direction of Betsy Black and Audrey Joubert, providing access to all technology support services at a single phone number. We also re-organized the areas responsible for field services into a single unit: the Infrastructure, Telecommunications, and On-Site Services (ITO) unit provides field services for PCs, telephones, networking, and all networked devices on campus under the direction of Wayne Hunter. To complement the unification of our service offerings, we re-launched and re-branded our ticket tracking system as help.drew.edu, which provides a single point of contact online for all UT services. The Service Center has processed over 3500 support tickets since June 1, 2013.
We performed major upgrades to the campus network and storage infrastructure.
- We replaced two 14-year-old Cisco network switches responsible for passing nearly all of our network traffic with new Brocade switches, providing a faster 10GB network backbone. Switches used to connect key University systems in the third data center in Pepin were also upgraded to 10GB and given a more direct path to the rest of the campus network, improving performance and reliability.
- We replaced the central networked storage systems. These storage arrays house most of our on-campus IT services, and store the majority of the University’s data. The solution includes a pair of HP 3PAR arrays – a primary system in Learning Center which replicates to a second array in Pepin for disaster recovery purposes.
Facilities Capital Project Coordination
It has been a very busy year for the Drew Facilities department and with that comes the need for technology support to ensure that the buildings have full wired and wireless coverage and required AV support. The ITO team has been working tirelessly to support a number of these capital projects, including:
- Hall of Science renovation
- Communications department move to 22 Madison Avenue
- INTO move to the University Commons and in the future, Tilghman House
- Tilghman offices move to Holloway
- University Technology moves to Learning Center
- Academic Commons
With the major work of the Drew 360 project now complete, the Enterprise Technology team has been able to shift their focus from migrating form AIMS and implementing replacement functionality in Banner, to using the new technology platforms to provide enhanced service. Some of these activities include:
- Providing training and support for the implementation of electronic document imaging in Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar, and Business Office.
- Implementing an electronic application reading workflow for undergraduate admissions, replacing a paper-based process. Admissions counselors can now read files and render admissions decisions from anywhere in the world.
- Providing support to Human Resources to implement Banner’s online benefits enrollment feature, utilized this year for Open Enrollment. .
- Working with the Financial Aid office to add further automation to the processes for packaging financial aid, enabling the office to issue award packages to new admitted students earlier than ever before.
- Working with the Communications office and Advancement to provide system integration support to replace an outsourced alumni portal with a Drew solution, which provides additional functionality for alumni, including access to a Drew Google Apps account and access to the former student’s TreeHouse academic records.
- Providing technical support and integration with Banner to the Global Education office to implement a new software product for accepting Study Abroad applications.
- Creating instructional videos for student processes on TreeHouse for registration, student accounts, and financial aid.
- Integrating and automating data exchange between INTO’s Salesforce platform for admissions and finance with Drew’s Banner Student system.
- Working with the Finance office and Advancement to streamline the process of pledge reconciliation between Advancement and Finance as well as implementing new Banner Finance functionality such as Endowment Tracking.
- Working with Human Resources, Bursar, and Registrar to design an automated workflow for employee tuition remission, to be completed this summer.
- Completing over 200 customer requests for new and enhanced Argos reports.
- The Media Resource Center continues to support audio visual needs for virtually every event on campus, as well as stream live events, support videoconferencing, and produce videos.
- 2013 was the busiest year for the MRC since we started tracking orders in 2009, with 1549 orders. The previous busiest year was 2010, with 1436 orders.
- 2014 is already the busiest start to a year we’ve ever had (596 orders from January – April)
- We have live streamed 16 campus events since commencement 2013 (which we also live streamed).
- There were over 1000 combined viewers for 3 Forum Lectures, the Ranger Hall of Fame, the OC Auction, US/A Service Luncheon…)
- We have produced approximately 40 videos for the Library, Student Activities, Residence Life, Campus Recreation and CRCC. These were all uploaded to our Drew Vimeo.com site.
- Together with instructional technology, we produced 5 videos to demonstrate to Drew users how to register for classes, navigate online financial aid services, and use Duo Security.
- We’ve helped increase the use of webcams for both class discussion and job searches with 30 webcam usages since 6/13.
Technology Classroom Updates
A number of classroom updates were planned and will be implemented as rooms are renovated.
- Classroom BC-20 was a new install, which was finished in August of 2013. A Crestron digital control system along with an NEC digital projector were installed.
- 7 classrooms were updated with the new NEC digital projector.
- The future rooms will have Drew standard along with 16:9 motorized screen and Wi- Fi content sharing capability from any device.
With Drew 360 largely completed, we have been able to focus on upgrading other applications which were put on hold during the Banner implementation. This includes upgrading Moodle, U-KNOW, the campus web infrastructure, identity management and web single-sign-on, and others. We have also stayed current with releases from Ellucian for Banner and related products.
Over half of University Technology staff members participated in formal Professional Development activities, such as:
- Presenting at and attending conferences
- Participating in technical training
- On-site through online and other resources
- Off-site at vendor and independent training facilities
- Certifications and re-certifications to keep professional skills current
New University Technology Staff
- September 2013: Pat Tagg began as the University Technology Administrative Assistant.
- January 2014: Vince Gimmelli joined the Enterprise Technology Center as the new Application Developer & Consultant.
- February 2014: Oliver Tong came on board as the new Manager of Classroom & Media Technology.
A look ahead to 2014-2015
We will announce specifics after our annual strategic planning meeting in June, so please stay tuned to learn how University Technology will be supporting these and other projects in the coming year!