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Division of Information Technology
PO Box 1510
Pembroke, NC 28372

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Email: Location: D.F. Lowry Building, Room 110

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The Division of Information Technology
910.521.6260 |

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Academic Support Services Subcommittee Report

School opening Help Desk call report: August 19-September 4, 2009

New storage system for students
The Division of Information Technology is focused on providing robust systems for the UNCP campus. Several new and updated systems greeted faculty, staff and students at the beginning of fall semester. For students, our BraveMail email system now offers students 25GB of free storage called SkyDrive. Students may now sign in via a link from inside BraveWeb and access their 25GB SkyDrive to store and share files and photos. Access to the student’s own SkyDrive is from anywhere the Internet is available and accounts are password-protected using their UNCP login information.  

New voicemail system for faculty and staff
Faculty and staff will gain access to a new voicemail system this fall replacing a decade old Octel system. With the rollout of the new voicemail comes a slate of new services that promise to consolidate communications, offer increased services, and may eventually change inter-office communications. Unified Messaging, along with UNCP’s new Office Communications Server, will not only allow users to listen to messages on the telephone but also have the system read email or calendar events, share contact information, and allow the user to send email – all from logging into voicemail on the telephone, no matter the location. In addition, all voicemails will now appear in the users’ UNCP email inbox so they may click on the audio file and listen. They will also get missed call notices in their email automatically. UNCP along with Davidson and East Carolina received an implementation grant from Microsoft to deploy these services.

New Storage Area Network (SAN)
This summer DoIT completed the move to the new faculty and staff filer network storage system to replace the aging Harmony server storage. This move greatly simplifies our server environment for both Windows and Mac users and provides increased and more reliable network storage for UNCP users. It is great to see this project implemented following two years of planning. This move completes our storage infrastructure implementation that provides the campus a modern and redundant storage infrastructure for faculty, staff and students.

Course management system
This past spring the Faculty Senate asked to continue the pilot for the Moodle course management system for offering classes on the Web. Over the summer a team from the Teaching and Learning Center and DoIT worked together to provide a local version of Moodle to support the pilot project this fall. Approximately 30 courses were launched in August. A campus decision to select the official and fully-supported course management system for UNCP is needed fall semester. Our current course management system is Blackboard.

Temporary storage space for students
DoIT will begin providing access to large amounts of temporary storage space for students this fall. Large digital media files typically include video or graphic files, audio files, or multi-media files containing a combination of these formats. Courses needing this type of storage available for students may be offered by Art, Mass Communications and Media Integration.
Another major project has the capacity to positively impact teaching and learning at UNCP. Podcast Producer is an Apple application that will allow faculty to capture lectures live or record their desktop presentations to be saved as podcasts and used repeatedly by students via iTunesU or any Web browser that supports the podcast format. Podcast Producer can assist in creating audio, video, screen and file podcasts via an infrastructure which includes the application installed on the computer from which the lecture or presentation is given and a server for recording, processing and storing the podcast. Several classrooms will be equipped this fall to support lecture capture to capitalize on this infrastructure.

Projects for the new academic year
Client Services has completed a number of tasks in preparation for the new academic year in order to provide requested services and become more efficient in providing services:

  • LabStats, a software program that provides monitoring of lab machines as well as usage statistics has been installed in the campus labs.
  • A joint-venture between DoIT and the Math/Computer Science Department is being finalized to provide extended computing services to fill the needs of computer science teaching and learning.
  • LANDesk has been utilized to continue installing and upgrading software, such as Office Suite 2007 as well as uninstalling software no longer necessary, such as the Novell Client.
  • Faculty refresh and new faculty computers have been installed or are scheduled for installation.
  • The Teaching Fellows for the first time received computer training upon receiving their program laptops.
  • Melanie Jacobs provided four training sessions with 62 attendees and nine one-one-one training sessions.
  • Liz Cummings and the DoIT BraveTechs closed 240 work orders alone.
  • The process of cleaning computers of data before being repurposed or being sent to surplus has been transferred from DoIT to Business Services. Charles Kearney provided the training for the Business Services staff.
  • A server (Gargamel) has been set up on a private VLAN to facilitate imaging multiple machines. This will be beneficial in imaging the Honors College and Teaching Fellows Mac laptops, as well as other group imaging projects.

Focus areas for next year
Client Services just completed its review of new faculty orientation for areas of improvement. With a better understanding of the orientation process, the offices involved, and the needs and expectations of both administration and the new faculty, DoIT worked toward making the following changes, which proved to make the process and transition smoother: While this year was a major step forward for the IT portion over previous years, the following are focus areas for next year.

  • create a streamlined “tree” of who receives account requests and task one individual to create all appropriate accounts
  • document all new faculty email addresses and add to the new faculty listserv
  • access to more computers next year if number of new faculty continue to increase or divide into two rooms according to the status of the accounts for new faculty
  • verifying that all the classroom technologies work appropriately and afford the widest variety for demonstration or at least the standard fare of media
  • Depending upon whether new faculty have completed all the appropriate paperwork, including the DoIT account application and the Institutional Effectiveness Faculty Information Form, faculty would be divided into two groups: 1) those who have completed all the necessary paperwork and can access their accounts would proceed to receive training in access and applications; 2) those who are lacking completed paperwork and/or are having issues accessing their accounts or applications would be assisted by DoIT staff onsite to resolve issues. Institutional Effectiveness would be on call to assist as needed. Issues that are relative to Human Resources will need to be discussed. When all paperwork is completed and access is confirmed, this group would proceed to receive training in access and applications.
  • Schedule computer installations while we have the faculty in the orientation to eliminate duplicate efforts

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