How do we tie IT Strategic Plan to Teaching & Learning Mission?
Can IT move beyond its traditional role to expand its presence in and support for the academic enterprise?
Marin Stanek – UC Boulder
New IT strategic plan – the first one to focus on the academic mission.
Evolving role of IT – from being the fixer to a focuser. Creating new systems and services. Evolving to listening to campus, leading to further evolution to competence. We have the capacity to understand multiple agendas, and focus on overarching mission.
Focus on students – analytics, retention, etc. A rising rhetoric. Chancellor goal – increase grad rate from 68% to 80% in four years.
Went from a strategic plan with 20-some chapters to one that has the meat in four pages – it’s all about students. Small changes turn into larger results. Utilized LMS to put content first for student welcome. Brought innovative classroom techniques to administrative purpose.
Retention: Large Lecture redesign. Packed lecture hall with mediocre technology experiences. Identified 30 gateway courses that are strong predictor of student success. IT redesign team is engaged. Look at analysis and data to enhance the learning experience and student engagement. E-Bio class – 20% of students take this class. Held a design thinking challenge to understand student behaviors. Discovered that the TA plays a pivotal role in student success. How quickly TAs responded to student questions was the critical issue.
Strategy on a Page / Strategy, It’s Personal – Tom Lewis & Phil Reid, University of Washington
Example: When things go sideways – initiatives get started with no clear goals or clear points of contact. End result – still planning for the plan after 1.5 years. (names scrubbed to protect the innocent).
Strategic goal – strategy on a page. A way to articulate value and for partners to understand and align. Three columns: Change drivers; Initiatives; Outcomes.
Supporting the Academic Enterprise in New Ways: Ben Maddox, NYU
The teaching & learning mission is rife with … opportunity
Case Study 1: all politics are local – learning analytics exploration:
context: Hosted university-wide event to gauge interest (standing room only); distributed instructional technology team; no learning analytics data steward; new leadership (president, provost, CIO)
Identified willing partner to build vocabulary around learning analytics that make sense to faculty; Developed working group and business case; built a site.
Challenge: learning analytics is a sprawling, undefined space. Sudden moves in the space freak people out. Local interests may not transfer to broader needs.
Merits: academic sponsorship; justification for dedicated FTE; credibility through local partnership; leverages standing governance structure to define broader needs.
Strategic Support for Education from IT at Duke – John Board
25% of all Duke students take assembly language-based intro to computer architecture. 40% of all students take intermediate programming (and over half are women). Falure to persuade many under-represented students to go further. Teaching very large classes of 220 a semester is not in the ethos of ECE and CompSci. The Modest Disagreement: Programming should fun to draw people into field, vs. programming classes should train people to be “real” programmers. Standard curriculum instills almost no practical systems knowledge. Faculty are looking to IT to help remedy this. Most of the knowledge of real computing is in IT! Can be used to improve skill set of students who are going to be in the field in the real world. IT developed courses for students to take extra-curricularly in developing code.
Advice: don’t have separate advisory groups for admin and academic IT – it’s all connected.
Strategic planning process: 25 faculty and even more staff from central and distributed IT units) populating 7 working groups: living and learning; research computing support; communications and infrastructure; IT security; administrative and business systems; support models, procurement and licensing; mobile and web
Many recommendations: help people use tech more effectively; prov; support innovation in research and education
Under innovation, relevant points: support the evolving computing needs of our researchers; improve Duke’s competency in data analytics;
Technology engagement center: Windowless telephone with bunker has been transformed into bank of 3d printers. Co-lab with app developers, creating APIs, video production operations; mini courses in many topics; hardware hacking (arduino, sensors, IoT); research computing – led to graduates who wanted to donate specifically to IT
What are the merits and challenges of integrated models, where IT partners with units that support instructional spaces, pedagogy, and assessment, to provide unified instructional support to campus?
Phil Reid: Why unified T&L support, and why IT?
Goal – promote and support innovation in teaching and learning
Barrier: faculty motivation to change (and you can’t blame them – incentives aren’t aligned)
Ideas to overcome barrier:
- inspirational leaders in novel pedagogy
- better student learning outcomes
- improved efficiency
- disruptive technology
Instructional systems are the “ERP” of teaching and learning
Improving the student experience
Improving the faculty experience
What faculty want is one stop shopping – pedagogy, technology, classrooms, assessment/measurement – they want the Genius Bar
Marin Stanek – How do we bring people together?
There are simple tools that seem like magic to campus. Eg. tap into IT project management discipline for transformative academic projects. Advantages: creates structure; sets expectations for timelines, resources and responsibilities of the partnering department; executive sponsorship help momentum, buy-in and hand-off of initiatives. The IT project portfolio now has a preponderance of initiatives for teaching and learning.
Example – Pathway to Space (a new minor in Aerospace, designed to pull in non-engineering majors). Utilized project portfolio process: project definitions/charter doc; schedule, budget, timeline; exec sponsorship, watch warning signs; change management process; communicate! transparency & updates; crossing the chasm – handing off the creating or build it into the team
Ben Maddox: Running the Governance Gauntlet
Context: university-wide service pilot for instructional tech support; added 10 new instructional technologists based at the schools (“a distributed model, centrally convened”); added instructional tech committee to standing governance structure; new role (joint to IT & Provost) convenes monthly meeting; group sets and recommends shared service model.
Challenge: requires increased coordination and strong sponsorship. For schools that were less resourced, there was Provost support, with management from central IT.
Deans had to write proposals to Provost to ask for the instructional support.
Jenn Stringer (Berkeley) – Academic Innovation Studio (AIS): A Collaborative Service Model
Faculty was getting “no, but” instead of “yes, and”
Space + Partners + Commitment + Trust = AIS (no unit names included). Open to every faculty, instructor, etc.
2k sq ft of space. 4 partners deliver service: research IT; Ed Tech Services; Center for Teaching & Learning; Library; Collaborative Services (google, box, etc).
Commitment is key – part was not branding as IT space. It’s faculty space. Everybody was at table to design space. f2f time – built trust.
Oren Sreebny – Central IT and the University Innovation Sector
Challenge: No clear career path for research computing profesiionals
No formal educational track; reward system missing; lmited career path
Solution: Create MA in research computing and a formal collaboration between Research Computing & the Libraries. Develop and advance data science and digital scholarship through discovery & reuse
Certificate in Cybersecurity
Challenge: further develop Cybersecurity track utilizing existing interdisciplinary telecom program. Use existing grad school structure to minimize admin hurdles. Tap into existing courses to create certificate program.
Staff member was teaching a course at another university – there was no clear reward program for him to teach on campus. Story in unfolding, requires tenacity from professionals, but requires incentive structure, and need to happen at speed to keep momentum.
Ben – Supporting Teaching & Learning by TEaching
Consultations for teaching and learning with technology increased by 60%-plus. Center for Advancement of Teaching had no tech curriculum. New Inst. Tech Groups that had lots of instructional experience. Faculty Collaborators value team members with teaching experience. Appetite for Share.
Created online interactive tutorials for T&L Services. Center for Advancement of Teaching uses Instructional Tech Teams to new Tech-oriented curriculum; Provost agreed to sponsor 2 University-wide events per year. Made schools aware that staff were interested in teaching opportunities.
Evan – Duke – Technology classes at Co-Lab
Co-Lab is a technology innovation incubator to encourage students. Started with challenges, but weren’t as effective as they’d hoped. Flipped it around to ask for ideas first. Turned it into more of a grants program, but a persistent problem is that they didn’t have as many students with development skills as they thought. Roots program – teach Python, HTML, Web Development, etc. https://colab.duke.edu/roots – Taught by IT professionals. Faculty began to notice – told them that students were less technical than they used to be. Worked with faculty to develop an intro to Linux course that they use as an informal prerequisite. Going to do a git class for a Physics course.
Duke Digital Initiative – innovation funding for faculty. Over 20 proposals from faculty, funded 10 of them. Why IT? Who else knows how to program a drone, take 360 degree video, and put it on a web site?
A Day in the life of Rob Fatland, Cloud Czar – Tom Lewis
Cloud and Data Research Computing – originated out of UW E-Science institute. Out and about on campus every day, looking for researchers to help. Build – Test – Share
Success stories: ORCA Transit Data – patterns of how people commute. Digital curation at the library – LIDAR data. Genomics – cut cost per genome from $60 – $15 w/help from AWS. Democratizing data and software: cloud plus GitHub plus software carpentry workshops.
Supporting the continuum of research computing – Oren
Data for Researchers – Jenn
Providing learning data to researchers from learning records store. Data warehouse for the interactivity data from your learning systems. Things you mine to get information on student success. Berkeley has a billion records from 2.5 years of data from LMS. Researchers want to mine the data to get insights into how people learn. Most data governance organizations are not thinking about this kind of data at all. There are standards around this data – two competing: xAPI, Caliper.
Take log data and convert into standardized statements – pushing for vendors to hand data over in that format. Canvas doesn’t (yet) so UCB has to convert.
Learning Record Store: AWS based Learning Record Store; Multi-tenant LRS that can support multiple institutions; Scalability and cost; Faster deployments – lower dev/ops overhead; Lambda architecture which encompasses both Batch and real-time interaction. Have an API for researchers who go through proper approval process to get de-identified data.
Are we telling students what we do with their data? They’ve created an agency dashboard for students (not in production yet). Allows students to opt-in or out of use of their data (where appropriate). Lots of discussion of data ownership, but regardless, they want transparency and agency.
UC Learning Data Privacy Principles: pulled together leaders from across the UC system. Working to draft principles. Something to point procurement and vendors to.
Learning Data Recommended Practices – been circulating them, taking to committees, etc to socialize and increase awareness.
John – Using infrastructure for faculty researh
There are faculty who want to use the infrastructure for research. NSF did us a favor with the first round of CCNIE proposals – thinking about SDN in particular. Insisted PI had to be the University CIO. Unexpected benefit was to have regular meetings on progress. Regular conversation on new opportunities for cyber infrastructure grants. IT staff get opportunities to have time bought out to work on interesting problems. Faculty develop respect for the expertise of IT. OIT thinking about hiring a full-time grant writer on the staff.