CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE
Submitted by Donna Mohr, Chair
Faculty Members: Donna Mohr (Chair), Ching-Hua Chuan, John Ouyang, Tammy Johnson, John McEldowney, Jose Franco, Robb Waltner
Non-Voting Members: Gordon Rakita, Reggie Brinson, James George, Jeff Durfee, Alison Cruess, Deb Miller, Daniel Choisser, Dmitriy Bond
This year, the committee focused on a small number of important but time-consuming tasks.
Recommendation on the CANVAS Opt-In.
Some committee members were invited to participate in a quick review of CANVAS, BLACKBOARD and BRIGHTSPACE during the late fall semester, as part of the State’s review process. Following the State’s choice of CANVAS, Provost Traynham charged the CTC (and the Distance Learning Committee) with making a recommendation as to whether UNF should ‘opt-in’ and convert to CANVAS.
The full committee organized for this task in its January 2016 meeting by listing the most important features of a good LMS, and assigning members to make sure they learned as much as possible about specific features. The committee then met for a lengthy discussion of the findings in February 2016.
The results of these discussions was a recommendation that UNF shift to CANVAS, but only if strong support systems were in place, and a replacement was found for ‘SafeAssign’.
Review and Recommendations of Faculty Technology Grant Applications.
The Faculty Technology Grants are a new opportunity designed to expand faculty access to information technology related to their discipline. The first funding opportunity was in Fall 2015. Gordon Rakita (Academic Technology Director) collected the applications, summarized them, and then assigned three reviewers to each. Reviewers were from the faculty members of the CTC, but not of the same college as the applicant. Of the 13 applicants in Fall 2016, four were recommended for immediate funding and four more for funding if more money could be found.
Based on the quality of the proposals, Dr. Rakita was able to obtain more funds from the Administration.
With an initial round of applications to inform us, the committee recommended several simplifications to the application and review process. These were implemented in the Spring 2016 funding round.
In the Spring, there were 14 applications. Five were recommended for full funding and one for partial funding.
Recommendation for a screen-casting application to be available campus-wide.
Beginning during the Summer of 2015, Gordon Rakita called a sub-committee together to review several potential screen-casting applications. Members experimented with several, including ScreenCast-o-Matic and Camtasia. The subcommittee recommended ScreenCast-o-Matic as both sufficiently functional for most faculty and very inexpensive. Camtasia will continue to be available through CIRT for those who need more advanced features.
Consider policies and services related to campus technology.
The Committee continues to advise on any issue related to campus information technology. As examples:
- in the Fall, the CTC relayed to the Distance Learning Committee that there was a rising concern about the University’s vendor for remote proctoring of exams. This meshed with other input reaching the DLC, and led to the formation of a subcommittee of the DLC charged with considering potential replacements;
- the CTC reviewed a proposed policy from CIRT regarding refusal to checkout equipment to faculty who have frequently returned equipment late or with damage;
- the CTC reviewed changes to VLAB’s access to Adobe products necessitated by Adobe’s change in pricing;
- monitored reports of Blackboard outages (this was a factor in the CTC decision to recommend Canvas).