IT Forum on MOOCs

26 08 2013

The first IT Forum for Fall 2013 will be on MOOCs and Evolving Information Technology. I’ll be there and will try to post notes and slides afterwards. Here’s the official announcement from IR:

MOOCs and Evolving Information Technology

The IT Forum for September 19th, will be held in Brennan 509. It will begin at 11:30 a.m. and lunch will be served.

Information Technology (IT) continues to evolve at a rapid pace creating opportunities for change and sometimes challenges to be dealt with. This session will focus on the current IT trends and their impact on the higher education IT landscape. Further, the presentation will drill down to examine on-line education and the emergence of MOOCs discussing how/why institutions decide to adopt these teaching/learning paradigms to achieve student success. The session will allow time for questions and answers.

To register for the IT Forum go to:;
or go to, on the Home Tab, select University Links. Then in Events and Facilities, choose IT Services Training and Event Registration.

Discussion on Online Learning

4 05 2013
Reposting from Bboard — all are welcome!
The Technology and Learning discussion group will meet for our last Spring 2013 session on Monday, May 6th, from 6:00pm-7:15pm in LSC238. All University community members are welcome to attend.

For this week’s discussion, which will be moderated by CTLE staff member Brian Snapp, we’ll be focusing in on online learning: e.g., can online discussions foster critical thinking? can they improve writing and communications skills? To prepare for the discussion, Brian suggested browsing some of the articles on Eloquentia Perfecta in the latest issue of Conversations (

We’ll wrap up with a big picture discussion of technology issues and opportunities in higher education and talk about whether or not we’d like to continue the discussion group in Fall 2013.

Technology and Learning Discussion on MOOCs

11 04 2013

Just a reminder that the Technology and Learning discussion group will reconvene on Monday, April 15, 6:00pm-7:15pm-ish in LSC 238 for our MOOC discussion (the one we had to postpone due to snow). All University community members are welcome, so feel free to spread the word!

MOOC Discussion – Postponed

18 03 2013

Due to the unsightly weather forecasted for tonight, the Technology and Learning Discussion on MOOCs scheduled for tonight is postponed. Due to spring break and Easter, we’re tentatively rescheduling it for Monday, April 15th at the same time (6:00pm-7:15pmish) and same place (LSC238). I’ll post a reminder or notice if that changes. Thanks so much and please pass on the word to anyone else planning to attend! Safe travels to all tonight.

Technology and Learning Discussion on MOOCs

7 03 2013

Reposting from Bboard — all are welcome!


The Technology and Learning discussion group (open to all University community members) will convene for a third meeting on Monday, March 18, 6:00pm-7:15pm in LSC 238 (the Forum/Faculty Dining Area), unless otherwise stated.

The theme of the evening’s discussion will be “all things MOOC.” Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) were initially offered by faculty from Stanford and other prestigious universities as a way for their faculty to offer free courses online to tens of thousands of students at once. Since first offered through Stanford in 2011, faculty from many other institutions have begun offering MOOCs. The increasing popularity of MOOCs has caused a stir in higher education with arguments for and against their usefulness as an educational platform. We’re looking forward to a lively and informative discussion!

If you’d like to attend, please prepare for the discussion by reading/watching/browsing an article/video/website/etc of your choice that relates to MOOCs. Some suggestions if you don’t know where to start:

MOOC Hosting Sites:

History and General Articles About the “MOOC Revolution”:
What you Need to Know About MOOCs
The Year of the MOOC
Revolution Hits the Universities
Online Education (MOOCs)
Online Education Giant Gets Bigger
California to Give Web Courses a Big Trial
Big MOOCs on Campus

MOOCs for College Credit?
College Credits Eyed for Online Courses
MOOCs for Credit
MOOCs Take a Step Toward College Credit

Problems with and Arguments Against MOOCs:
MOOC Mess (MOOC course on building MOOC courses cancelled for technical issues)
The Real Digital Divide
Bandwidth Divide Could Bar Some from online Learning
Keeping an Eye on Online Test Takers
A New Era of Unfounded Hyperbole (MOOCs are Like Fancy Textbooks)
The Trouble with Online Education
Professor Leaves MOOC mid-Course in Dispute over Teaching

Universities Try MOOCs in Bid to Lure Successful Students to Online Programs
Replacing Live Lectures with Videos Increased Test Scores
In Colleges’ Rush to Try MOOCs, Faculty Are Not Always in the Conversation

FERPA considerations for cloud services

11 09 2012

I sat in on today’s meeting of IMAC (the Information Management Advisory Committee) on behalf of TAG. There were two major items discussed – a revision to the Records Management & Retention Policy (which I don’t think will have much direct impact on faculty) and a set of Guidelines for the Use of Cloud Computing Services.

The Guidelines are not policy – the document just list some of the concerns and considerations faculty and staff should be aware of when signing up for cloud services like Gmail, Google Docs, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, PayPal, etc.

The Guidelines are currently in draft format, so I’ve been asked not to distribute them outside of TAG. Non-TAG members, the new Guidelines will be sent out in 3-4 weeks, but in the meantime take a look at former Information Security Officer Tony Maszeroski’s Guidance on the Use of Cloud Applications by Individuals – the new Guidelines are similar in content.

One of the major concerns with using cloud services for University-related work (like teaching) is that it introduces all sorts of privacy and security issues. Almost all student information, like grades, transcripts, class lists, etc, is classified as restricted or confidential (see the Information Classification Policy) due to FERPA.

Classified or restricted information should not be stored or transferred on non-University systems, so faculty need to be very aware of what information we’re sharing with what third parties. If you’re using cloud tools or social media as part of your class or lab, you need to be very conscious of any potential privacy violations, and be upfront with students about the terms of service.

(See EDUCAUSE’s 2010 report on Privacy Considerations in Cloud-Based Teaching and Learning Environments. Colorado Community Colleges Online has posted some scenarios relating to respecting FERPA in an online classroom.)

I don’t think this is an issue that most faculty are very aware of, and I’d like to get a sense of how TAG can help faculty sort out these considerations in their classes. So let me know what you think – What questions do you have? What resources or references would be useful?

TAG Meeting Notes 3/6/12

8 03 2012

TAG held its second Spring 2012 meeting on Tuesday.

Online Course Evaluations:

  • We started the meeting with a discussion about online course evaluations.  Jerry Muir, as a representative from the Course Evaluation Committee, led the discussion.
  • The Course Evaluation Committee is concerned about decreasing response rates for the evaluations. In the last two semesters, the overall response rate was below 60%.
  • Response rates were higher (~80%) when students had to complete evaluations in order to see their final grades. But this policy had some serious problems – e.g., students were sometimes completing the evaluations after taking their final exam, or they would rush through the evaluations just to see their grades.
  • The Course Evaluation Committee is looking for ideas to improve response rates for online evaluations. One idea under discussion is to ask faculty to grant students 15 minutes of class time during the last week of class to complete the online evaluations in class. Students could use mobile devices like laptops, tablets, or smartphones – although smartphones wouldn’t really facilitate comments, which many faculty find to be the most valuable part of the evaluation.
  • S.P. suggested that course evaluations could be tied into the Passport system for KSOM students. Sandy and Teresa agreed that the Passport system under development in PCPS might be useful in the same way.
  • Dave pointed out that the current structure of the online evaluations doesn’t necessarily fit for online courses (e.g., there are questions about “classroom management”).  There should either be separate evaluation forms for online vs. traditional classes, or the questions should be standardized to meet both situations.

Standing Committees:


  • IRAC (the Information Resources Advisory Council) met on February 16 and discussed the idea of a service catalog that would outline what services IR provides and set expectations for both the providers and the recipients of those services.  This is still under development and will be brought back to IRAC in the fall.

Learning Management System (LMS) Work Group

  • The LMS Work Group brought three vendors (Desire2Learn, MoodleRooms, and Blackboard) to campus for demonstrations. The demos were open to the University community.
  • Attendees at the demonstrations were invited to complete evaluation forms. The average evaluation scores for Blackboard and Desire2Learn were relatively close, while MoodleRooms’ score was further behind.
  • The next step is to obtain sandbox versions of each system for demonstration and experimentation.  CTLE has asked some of the faculty participants in the LMS Work Group for sample course content to use for the sandboxes.
  • S.P. mentioned that DelTech, the vendor that hosts the KSOM and PCPS online-only programs, is moving from Angel to Moodle (that is, their own customized version of Moodle, not MoodleRooms). Instructors who teach both online and in-person versions of a course would have to navigate two different LMSes.

Information Management Advisory Committee (IMAC)

  • TAG does not have a sitting representative on IMAC, but Jeremy and Kristen have been invited to recent meetings since there are new policies under development that would affect faculty.
  • At a February 13 meeting, IR introduced two new policies under development: a Privacy & Confidentiality Statement and the Employee Separation Procedures document.
  • The “Privacy & Confidentiality Statement” is still in rough draft form. It is intended to describe how staff members in the Planning & Information Resources division will handle electronic information, in compliance with the Information Classification Policy and other information management standards. IR asked for feedback from IMAC members and will release the next draft of the Statement for wider review.
  • The “Employee Separation Procedures: Information Resources” document outlines the divisional procedures that IR staff will follow when an employee (faculty or staff) member separates from the University.  The procedures address the departing employee’s access to information resources, including hardware, email, Royal Drive data storage, etc.   TAG briefly discussed the idea of having a checklist of technology items (for example, data transfer, email forwarding) that faculty should prepare for or be aware of prior to a separation. Sandy and Kristen will ask Anne Marie if and how a technology checklist could be incorporated into the Academic Affairs separation procedures.

Previous Action Items

Incidental Use Policy

  • Jeremy and Kristen presented a draft of the Incidental Use Policy to Faculty Senate on February 10, with Robyn Dickinson and Tony Maszeroski representing IR.  Robyn and Tony will take the input from the Faculty Senate discussion (mostly clarifications in the policy language) into consideration for the next draft of the policy.

Academic Technology Plan

  • At the February 10 Faculty Senate meeting, Hal reported that the Academic Technology Plan was essentially dead in the water since there is no budget to support it.
  • TAG members agreed that the Plan should drive a technology budget, rather than the reverse. [The same conclusion was agreed upon at the Deans’ Group half-day retreat last spring.] A plan is needed to establish goals and vision, which in turn are needed in order for progress to be assessed.
  • Jeremy and Kristen will work with Anne Marie to figure out next steps for writing and implementing a Plan.

New Business

Leahy Hall and classroom technology

  • Our discussion of the Academic Technology Plan led into a discussion about the new PCPS building to be constructed on the Leahy Hall site.
  • TAG would like there to be a consistent faculty voice on classroom technology issues during new construction or renovation. TAG had some input into classroom mediation decisions in the Loyola Science Center, but not on a consistent, continued basis.
  • Sandy and Teresa will explore this idea with Deb Pellegrino as planning for the new building begins.  Dave has been already providing classroom technology input on the St. Thomas renovations.

Networking computers and desktop sharing

  • TAG received a complaint from a faculty member about the difficulties involved in setting up desktop sharing between a faculty computer (on the faculty virtual network) and lab classroom computers (on the student network).  IR had suggested that RoyalDrive be used instead, but that solution did not meet the faculty member’s needs.  A temporary solution has been worked out by placing the lab computers on the faculty network.  The faculty member initially requested the service in September 2011, and the temporary solution is being put in place this week.
  • We did not arrive at an action step on this complaint during the TAG meeting.

Having run out of time (as usual!), we adjourned. The next TAG meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 12, from 10:00am-11:15am in WML305.

Code of Responsible Computing

6 09 2011

Jerry DeSanto recently sent an e-mail to the University community defining the responsible uses of the computing resources on campus. I’d like to call your attention particularly to the “Code of Responsible Computing for Faculty & Staff”. This is a document which I would suggest all members of the Faculty and Staff read through, simply to be aware of what is and is not “acceptable” under the university policy.

Other information can be found here.

Online Course Development Stipends

27 09 2010

CTLE announced this year’s Development Stipends for Online Courses today.  If you didn’t see the email or the paper notices, here’s the text of the announcement.  Don’t forget that applications are due November 1.

Note: the stipends are only available for full-time faculty.


TO: Full-Time Faculty
FROM: Charles E. Kratz, Dean of the Library & Information Fluency
SUBJECT: 2010-2011 Development Stipends for Online Courses
DATE: September 27, 2010
The Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence (CTLE) is pleased to announce that stipends of $5,000 are available for full-time faculty interested in obtaining funding to assist with the initial development of a 3-credit online course created on the ANGEL Course Management System or stipends of $3,000 are available for full-time faculty interested in obtaining funding to assist with the revision of a 3-credit online course currently offered on the Angel Course Management System. For courses being revised, courses must have been taught three or more years online to be eligible for the stipend. Stipends for one or two credit courses will be prorated.

Priority will be given to proposals that incorporate multimedia resources.  Faculty must have the course online by summer 2011 or fall 2011. Faculty will receive payment after the course is online and the course syllabus has been submitted to Charles Kratz, Dean of the Library & Information Fluency.

Proposals should not exceed 2 pages and must include the following information:

  • Intended audience for the online course;
  • Statement about why the course should be online and the benefits for it being online (100 words or less);
  • Course description;
  • Student learning outcomes and assessment;
  • Pedagogical approach for the use of technology in the course;
  • Plan for use of multimedia materials (e.g., audio, video, streaming materials);
  • Sample syllabus for online course that will incorporate ANGEL features (e.g., chat, discussion board);
  • Commitment to develop the course in collaboration with the CTLE Instructional Curriculum Designer and the Library Faculty Liaison to your Academic Department;
  • A specific timeline for the course development, including start and completion date;
  • Specific resources needed for the course development;
  • Letter of Support from Department Chair or Dean.

Applicants are encouraged to consult Eugeniu Grigorescu, the Associate Director of the CTLE and Instructional Curriculum Designer, prior to submitting their applications.  Proposals will be reviewed by a faculty subcommittee of the CTLE Advisory Group. All applicants will be notified in December 2010.  Faculty will have the spring and summer semesters to develop the online course(s).  Faculty will be asked to share their experiences and their course(s) with their colleagues at a CTLE workshop.  Please note that stipends are subject to taxes.

Please submit applications via campus mail to:

Charles E. Kratz, Dean of the Library & Information Fluency
Weinberg Library
Ext. 4008

Application Deadline:
Monday, November 1, 2010

Streaming Video

22 09 2010

The Library is working on setting up a campus Video Streaming Committee “to develop guidelines for the provision of services related to streaming video.”  Issues that would be discussed would include policies for streaming video use and distribution on campus, the impact on the Library and University budget, and ensuring compliance with copyright law.

Right now, the Library provides media services primarily by purchasing physical media (CD, DVD, and even the occasional VHS tape) requested by faculty members and then allowing them to check out the item to show in class.  We’ve just started to dip our toes into the world of providing access to high quality educational streaming video – so faculty could either show video in class or post it to Angel for asynchronous viewing.

The Committee will be organized by the Library’s associate director Bonnie Strohl, who has so far invited representatives from IR, the communications department, the general counsel’s office, and the Library (of course) to participate.  I’ve volunteered to serve on the committee and can keep TAG up-to-date on any relevant discussions – but if anyone else is interested, Bonnie is still looking for willing volunteers.  You can email her at if you’d like to serve.