University of Washington Bothell
Technology Advisory Committee
March 8, 2012
Andreas Brockhaus, Brian Fletcher, David Goldstein, Laura Mansfield, Molly Ormsby, Tim Rhoades, Joe Shelley, Betsy Tippens
Andreas reminded everyone that Blackboard will be down from Tuesday, March 20 at 6 pm to Friday, March 23 at 9 am so that all courses, for both academic classes and operational groups, can be transferred to the new site. The project team has sent a message to all students because the enrollment process is a bit different (just the button has changed).
We are exploring integrating Blackboard 9 with the Seattle student information system for course registration. If this works, class rosters could be automatically populated and students, staff, and faculty could all log in with UW Net IDs. The new Blackboard system has several new features, including wikis, blogs, and grading enhancements. A test server has been available to faculty all quarter, but we haven't heard much feedback.
In the big picture, we've purchased this version of Blackboard on a 3 year contract. Seattle is expected to decide whether to adopt Canvas as a tri-campus LMS solution this Spring. There is a faculty group in Seattle participating in the process and some UW Bothell faculty have been involved in the Canvas pilot.
In addition, the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges has also been involved in an RFP process for a system-wide LMS. Their final three candidates are Blackboard, Canvas, and Desire2Learn. The SBCTC system has written into the RFP that 4-year state colleges and universities will be able to purchase licenses of the selected LMS at the same rates as the community colleges.
Once these external decisions are made and our options are clarified, IT will start a campus-wide engagement to determine UW Bothell’s future direction for a learning management system. TAC will play an important role in that work.
UW Bothell Horizon Report Faculty Survey
Joe provided some preliminary data from the teaching and learning technology faculty survey that was discussed at the last TAC meeting. More details will be forthcoming once we’ve had a chance to really look at the data. Some highlights:
- There were 73 responses, of which 40% were tenured or tenure track faculty, and another 12% were full time lecturers. Every academic program was represented.
- When asked about the most important motivation for using technology in teaching, 61% of respondents said desire to improve student learning.
- When asked about barriers to the use of technology in their teaching, 67% reported lack of time. 14% reported that they didn’t perceive any barriers.
- When asked whether UW Bothell is on the right track with regard to the technology of teaching and learning, 85% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed.
- 27% of respondents have taught a hybrid course, and 50% are interested in teaching a hybrid course.
- The technology picked most often as providing the highest value in teaching was a learning management system (LMS).
As reported at the last TAC meeting, the next step in this Horizon Report planning process will involve faculty focus groups. Information from those focus groups will be combined with data from the faculty survey to create a report that will be presented to various campus groups including TAC, IRSC, and AC. Input from those groups, along with information from this report, will be used to make recommendations to the campus for further growth in the technology of teaching and learning. Our goal is to provide data to the campus so that the campus community can make an informed decision about the direction of this effort.
Strategic Planning Process
IT has produced annual project portfolio plans for the past several years, but we are now beginning to move into multi-year strategic planning. We would like TAC to help us create a good, inclusive process for technology strategic planning that engages the whole campus. We want IT strategic planning to add value to the campus, rather than just to define IT process.
We will, of course, still need to respond to changing campus needs and evolving campus growth through our annual project portfolios, but we plan to layer 2 or 3 larger technology goals on top of that. We are thinking the strategic plan will only go 2 or 3 years out. It’s hard to plan beyond that both because of quickly evolving technology and because of our quickly growing campus.
At our next meeting, we still start the process of developing a plan for doing this work.
IT Budget Proposal Priorities
Betsy shared an extremely preliminary list of budget proposals being considered by IT. The list is too long, and we'd like help from TAC in prioritizing these requests. These are divided into sections reflecting the needs we think each proposal addresses. It is likely that we will decide to fund a few of the temporary requests through the IT carry-forward budget, and to defer some others until next year.
There are a couple of new areas, such as the Interactive Media Design degree and the Game Design Certificate, where we do not have any defined budgetary needs. These are still in development and their technology needs are not yet clear. It’s possible that identifying technology needs might happen too late for this year’s budget process. Normally, as new degrees are discussed, they come up in Academic Council and the program directors will connect with the Academic Services units at that point.
Betsy briefly went through each request and we gathered some feedback:
- One request was for faculty incentives for teaching hybrid courses, and David suggested that we carefully define how these funds will be used and whether or not these awards would be processed as payroll.
- David also suggested that equipment replacement increases should have high priority.
- There was support for the universal design specialist, and a suggestion that we collaborate with the Teaching and Learning Center and with Advancement (Laura's shop).
- Molly shared that supporting the new degrees is a big priority for admissions.
- Molly also felt that mobile labs should be given priority.
- Laura felt that funding the student workers is a real necessity.
- For the liaison template, we'd like to get feedback from TAC. We are hoping this will help address a strategic direction around the conversations about centralization vs. decentralization. Joe will share the template with TAC after Betsy has looked it over.
Betsy will send out notes on our budget proposals in email tomorrow (Friday 3/9) so that TAC can give feedback with some more time. We will also share our final proposals with TAC.