Tag Archives: Meetings

ACTT Notes

News & Updates

Joe is still working with Panopto on testing updated integrations before activating. Faculty are seeing errors when they preview a quiz in Panopto.

Agenda:

  1. Discussion: ITS Governance

The portfolio meeting last week provided a more formal review and discussion of the ITS governance process that ACTT has been introduced to in prior meetings. The team is hopeful that the process will improve prioritization of academic and digital learning projects relative to the other portfolio groups.

Questions remain about the relationship between the ACTT and the ATDL portfolio group. ACTT in its current configuration may well serve to help academic projects ‘bubble up’ to the next level for improved visibility and prioritization. ACTT’s work can help inform the governance process through evaluations, pilots, and recommendations. The portfolio group is a place where such activities can be shared to help inform decisions about projects.

The governance process will require some adjustment to technical processes and perhaps some additional communication and education of stakeholders to help non-IT community members engage.

Some questions arose in reflecting on the first meeting:

  • How might we better engage all members of the portfolio team in discussions of academic tech and digital learning beyond technical considerations?
  • How might we work to develop shared language to talk about academic projects and needs?

Additional questions considered:

  • First question: Do we all need to be there?
  • What representation do we want/need?

No immediate decision or changes agreed on regarding current membership or attendance at ITS gov monthly meetings. Expected organizational directions and may result in revisions to current portfolio group membership in governance process. This topic will be revisited.

 

  1. Discussion / Action: Canvas Orientation sites for students to be added to Course Hub as a resource

We briefly reviewed a couple of resources with a student audience:

Sean’s site – https://middlebury.instructure.com/courses/123

Bob’s site – https://middlebury.instructure.com/courses/364

Canvas orientation site for students project will need to continue to be improved and revised. Agreed on a desire to update a single resource for all Middlebury students and faculty. Monterey integrated the student quickguide for students at the course-level menu in the Institute’s sub-account for all courses. Based on schools abroad and Institute sites, different strategies for presenting Canvas orientations were discussed.

What do we want these sites to do for students? What needs to be there?

Sean is interested in getting some additional feedback from students (ODL and DLC interns) to determine how we to proceed. Expects to work with Amy S. on ways to collaborate, collect feedback, and improve the orientation experience for first-time Canvas users.

Action Plan:

  • Joe will add a link to the Student Canvas Orientation (Sean’s version) in the Primary Canvas HELP menu
  • Adam will add the Orientation site to Course Hub (College and Monterey) as a “shared Canvas resource”
  • Sean will follow-up with Amy Slay regarding input from students and revision of the orientation site for an all-Middlebury student audience
  • ACTT will plan to track usage of the orientation site through AY17-18 via Hub and Canvas analytics before making further recommendations

 

  1. Added Discussion: Course Hub Refactoring & Integration

Bob raised the issue of integrating College and Institute Course Hub sites. Adam provided an update on the status of the Course Hub Drupal 8 and Refactoring project which had previously been cancelled. Bob agreed to be a co-sponsor on the project to help advocate for continued integration of currently separate platforms (e.g. sites dot WordPress at Midd and MIIS) link to project: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fnzG_T18DP5E0ReWQ6PG39vSuSMBFwN8QiSTV3Gvf1M/edit#

ACTT Notes: Canvas Evaluation Review

Announcements / Updates:

Request to add “UDOIT” to Canvas: Accessibility LTI that generates a report on a Canvas site to let faculty know when accessibility issues are present in a course. Joe will meet with the faculty to determine what the implementation is for, and whether this should become a project.

No ACTT meeting next week as we’ll be meeting as IT-GOV-ATDL.

A couple of requests to add “Poll Everywhere” to Canvas. Allows for polls to be administered directly through Canvas in a synchronous / on-ground classroom.

 

Canvas Data Evaluation

How useful is the information? What can / should we use? What do we not need? And what is missing?

We have Canvas for three years. We need to be able to evaluate its use in order to determine whether Canvas (or any LMS) is a good technological choice for Middlebury.

Is there a reliable connection between statistics and “engagement” or “quality” of learning?

Numbers are not enough to say that “Canvas is improving teaching and learning at Middlebury.”

Biggest use at Monterey is for class resource web sites and for flipped instruction models. Monterey has very few purely online courses. There’s a certificate program with several online courses, but is blended with on-ground courses.

The College does not have online courses. The Hebrew School is “hybrid” but also fully online part of the year.

Can we define Canvas as a learning space–as more than a platform for distribution and submission? Should it / can it be used for more than file sharing? Or should we be looking at implementation of other technologies that accomplish the same thing?

What kinds of functions can we look at to determine if Canvas is being used well for teaching and learning? How do we measure those functions?

How do we apply an analytic to determine good pedagogy or successful teaching and learning? We can’t really understand what’s happening in classes without talking to students and teachers.

Should we figure out a way to do some qualitative research with teachers and students across Middlebury to determine how Canvas is being used? What works? What doesn’t work? What does teaching with technology look like at Middlebury?

We could try to align Canvas data with our findings from doing qualitative research. Start with “power users” to begin developing stories about how Canvas is being used. Expand the view out by looking at teachers who are using other digital tools in teaching and collect those stories — all to support an analysis of what tools are best for Middlebury.

Look for faculty from different programs to talk about use of Canvas.

Possible plan:

  1. Invite Canvas “power users” to discuss use of Canvas for later in this fall.
  2. Align findings with Canvas data.
  3. Expand that discussion to include other technologies.
  4. Begin larger discussion about use of digital technologies for learning and teaching in Canvas.

This could provide a model for qualitative research for future tech evaluations.

ACTT Notes: Canvas Evaluation

ACTT Extended Team Meeting August 29, 2017

Agenda

Instructure, the company that hosts Canvas, will be presenting an Executive Business Review, sharing data pertaining to Middlebury’s use of Canvas in the first year. This presentation will provide us with insights into how Canvas is being used and supported, and lay the groundwork for future evaluations.

 

Notes

Kelly Jerome, our Customer Success Manager from Instructure presented.

  • Stats are per-month, due to rolling on and off of terms, the data isn’t always reflective of a particular term.
  • Can get details on sub-accounts.
  • Includes support details, SLA compliance, support mechanism (phone, chat, email), and user-type.
  • For real-time reporting, the Canvas data-API would need to be used. For much custom reporting this would require our own developer time to leverage. Instructure has several pre-built reports that could be purchased that wouldn’t require local resources.

EBR

A copy of the report can be seen here. Please log in with your Middlebury username and password to view.

ACTT Notes: One-year Evaluation

Presentation Slides

 

The proposal for the ACTT called for an evaluation at the one-year and two-year marks. The one-year evaluation was designed to assess the Team’s activities so that changes could be made. The evaluation was also designed to have as few survey questions as possible, some of the evaluations questions are designed to be answered with collected data. A brief survey was shared with Core members, Extended Team members, and members of the Project Teams.

 

Slide 3: Academic Cyberinfrastructure Inventory

We now have a searchable database of the web-based services that support academic work, with infrastructure dependencies. Now that budget decisions are being made, services are moving from pilot to production and enterprise phases, the information in the database needs to be updated.

 

Slide 4: Canvas

When Moodle was launched we saw a decrease in use from Fall to Spring. This year we saw an increase in Canvas use.

 

Slide 5: Canvas

Some faculty used Canvas in the Fall but did not use it in the Spring, and vice versa. Also, faculty did not use Canvas for all of their courses. This may mean that faculty are thinking critically about whether Canvas supports their teaching on a course by course basis. The CTLR-sponsored a number of Canvas-based workshops.

 

Slide 6: Panopto

Panopto is not just a streaming media service, it also offers expanded functionality for screen capturing, broadcasting, and media discussion. A CTLR-sponsored workshop used Panopto for flipping the classroom activities.

 

Slide 7: Zoom

The videoconferencing evaluation used an interesting method. 4 services were used in one hour in a round-robin style. The Team was able to quickly determine the top choices. The pilot of Zoom was so successful, and the platform so popular, that we needed to expand to a campus-wide license before the end.

 

Slide 8: RStudio

A handful of classes used RStudio Server this year. DLA-sponsored workshops on DATA were delivered, and a Data Study group was created.

The company has let us know that they will be launching a cloud-based version of RSTudio Server.

 

Slide 9: Who Took the Survey

We had a 75% return rate for the survey. All of the Core Team and most of the Extended Team took the survey. Some may have mis-identified themselves.

 

Slide 10: Other Roles

Many members of the ACTT serve on multiple teams. There are four members that serve on the Core, Extended, and Project Teams.

 

Slide 11: Usefulness of Information

Most members find the published information useful for their jobs.

 

Slide 12: Usefulness of Meetings

The majority of members in all roles believe that the information shared at meetings is useful for their jobs. 25% are Not Sure, which seems high. Some more investigation is needed.

Note from Discussion: Some may be feeling unsure about the usefulness because of their own participation in some of the discussions. We should look for ways to craft the discussions so that everyone feels they are able to participate.

Some feel that the multiple points of view are very valuable, otherwise they would be receiving one point of view, or a filtered point of view, from individuals. The Team has done well at being inclusive in its information gathering and sharing.

 

Slide 13: Meetings

This question is flawed, since members were not asked if they had a role on the CTT. It is expected that Core members that served on the CTT would see no change, new Core members would see an increase. Extended Team members that served on the CTT would see a decrease, new members would see an increase. Some follow up questions will need to be asked.

The projected number of Extended Team meetings was one per month. The average is very close, however it is noted that most of these meetings occurred in the fall as recommendations were crafted for budget proposals.

Note from Discussion: Some noted that the weekly meeting creates efficiencies, they are meeting collectively with people that they would meet with individually anyways.

 

Slides 14-17: Additional Notes

Some comments were broken up, with an attempt to group ideas based on content.

Notes from Discussion: There are outstanding questions about the relationship of the ACTT and ITS Governance/Priority Setting. We also identified future projects: WordPress sites and MiddCreate; Moodle Archiving; Panopto Rollout; Canvas LTIs.

 

Slide 18: Next Steps?

  • Joe will post the notes from this meeting.
  • The ACTT Core will discuss.
  • We will have follow-up conversations with members and others.

Notes: March 14, 2017

1. WordPress review

Recap recent history of review prep. MIIS has its own instance of WordPress separate from Midd. College. WordPress has grown quite a bit — 1000s of websites in our instance. WordPress has been difficult to keep up-to-date at times in the past; is WordPress sustainable going forward, or should we be looking at other ways to keep it functional? We’ve had the idea that MiddCreate should be part of the solution. MIIS has not been invited into subsequent meetings, but Bob has seen the charter. One thing they’ll be discussing will be creating one instance including MIIS, will MiddCreate be part of that environment? Last time we were talking about WordPress, a lot of time has been spent on supporting WordPress. Is there a way to re-think WordPress/MiddCreate as a blogging/website creation environment?

Some schools have taken the use of WordPress and separated it by use: individual and academic instances. Some have departmental WordPress sites to support projects, and there are some boutique sites with custom programming/theme. These have separate needs, can we separate them out?

It becomes a different conversation if we’re all going to be brought under the same instance. You could bundle functions/use cases in MiddCreate as well. Communications may want to rein in some of these admin uses.

If we’re paying attention to what other schools are doing, why are we not paying attention to how other schools are using domain of one’s own? Not just for personal use, it’s more nimble than that.

In past conversations, we didn’t have domain of one’s own, so it may become part of the conversation going forward.

ITS has not touched MiddCreate; they helped with authentication, security review and contract negotiations, but they haven’t been involved since then, don’t know how they’re supporting it, if they are at all.

2. Canvas Assessment

This was brought up by FLAC (Faculty Library Advisory Committee), they want to know what’s being done with assessing Canvas, looking at differences with Moodle, etc. Looking at any difference to help desk, tickets to Instructure, etc. Two most common questions have to do with assignments (unpublished); and enrollment, which has more to do with Add/Drop process than with Canvas itself. Other than that, not sure what else to assess Canvas on at this point. For undergrad Canvas is supplemental only, so uses of Canvas are varied; without standards, we don’t have anything to assess Canvas on other than tickets and increase in adoption. Canvas is being adopted at a faster rate than Moodle across Fall and Spring terms. It might also be a little early to ask the question. Feedback has been positive, acknowledging that some adjustments have been necessary. Instructure has also been undergoing some changes as they grow as a company.

3. Hypothes.is

Jeremy is going to be on campus in a couple of weeks for a possible workshop.

4. Future meeting agenda items

Joe will put a call out on Slack for future meeting agenda items.

Notes: Moodle Archving

Guest – Billy Sneed

  • We’re transitioning away from Moodle, but we’re still somewhat reliant on it, even though we’ve migrated to Canvas.
    • We can’t totally turn Moodle off. Need to think thoughtfully about what we still need access to in Moodle and for how long?
    • How do we keep from disrupting policy and practices?
  • Project request was submitted (Billy S. here to speak more to that)
  • What do we still rely on Moodle for?
    • Faculty need to offer course content evidence up to 7 years back, specifically class activity online. They are being evaluated on how they interact with students online and what students get out of the course.
    • No one in the public needs to see any Moodle content, students shouldn’t need access either.
    • Content backups (MIIS). Not student data, just faculty content.
    • We’re still in transition, migration of course sites is not complete. Faculty need to have access to all their Moodle content so they can migrate it over in the future if they need it
    • Tenure review process
    • User access management: tenure review committee and faculty would need access
    • MIIS doesn’t have tenure review, we have contract review.
    • Relatively small group of faculty get reviewed for tenure at Midd.
    • Could we use some sort of non-public archival tool?
  • There are challenges in moving content from Moodle to Canvas.
    • Process strips out user data.
    • We may not be able to do this with future versions of Moodle, either. So even if we maintain a Moodle instance, that may not solve the problem.
  • Why did we decide to have Moodle be a hosted service?
    • We have the resources for this, $ or otherwise
    • What’s the cost benefit analysis of a hosted instance or an internally maintained instance?
    • It was a political decision – maintaining an instance of Moodle for archival purposes would also be a political decision
  • We can’t just export it and keep the data because we need to be able to see how the interaction with students played out
  • Another solution: desktop virtualization system
    • Adjust authentication settings
    • One administrator account
    • If anyone needs to review anything, they can pull up the Moodle instance ONLY via that local computer
    • If there is only one machine and it’s physically located on the College campus, this wouldn’t serve Monterey
  • We need to comply with the policy and keep Moodle pages with student data available for 2 years, the need changes for years 3-7
    • December 2018 is when we’ve told the community Moodle archives will no longer be accessible
    • Beyond that point, Moodle instance does not need to be accessible to more than 2 or 3 people (Joe, Bob, Amy S). Then we can just add people when they need access for review process.
  • We like the idea of a phased approach. One plan for years 1-2 and then emergency/auxiliary access beyond that
    • Not sure, but it will be difficult at best to maintain a piece of software like this on a virtual machine for this extended amount of time
    • Could AWS host this and handle the patches? Is there a way to fire things up in a hosted environment as needed?
  • Moodle is a PHP application
    • That’s a lot of data…
    • This is why promoting services like Panopto/Google Apps is going to be super important going forward
    • Not an obvious win, but could be doable
    • Reticent to commit to 7 years, chances are it’s going to break. The more time, the greater the fragility
    • Can it be kept up to date for 2 years? 7 years? It’s going to break, then what happens?
    • From the web applications side of things, it would be yet another application to maintain, but after initial setup, it won’t need much network. While it’s live, we’ll need to monitor for Moodle security issues that come up and apply patches in a timely manner. Not hard, more of the same, low usage. Probably easier to maintain than most of our other services. Would be a couple days work to get a new VM set up. Then monitoring the mailing list and setting up security patches.
    • How much data are we talking about, storage wise? 590GB
    • Annual maintenance as of 2015 for 1 TB was $1800 – just for storage (licensing, support, maintenance) doesn’t include staff time or other support pieces
  • Immediate needs…
    • We need to make sure we are covered for when the “no” gets vetoed.
    • How can we treat this as an education opportunity? Can we direct faculty make screencaptures of their courses? No administrator actually wants to go digging around in a Moodle page
    • Anyone can install their own Moodle instance on Middcreate
    • Faculty need to be more accountable for their data, but they have an expectation that everything will be available.
    • There needs to be some shift of ownership to faculty who will need this information, but it’s going to be a slow shift. Policy says the data will be accessible for two years, not beyond that.
  • Technology changes – we have no guarantee of what’s going to happen/Canvas’ longevity
  • How do we change the culture? Use these two years (until Dec 2018) to work with faculty to move their Moodle data where they need it to go
    • About 35-50 faculty at Midd
    • To change the culture, we have to constantly keep to policy
    • Ties into the growing need for education around how people interact with and take ownership of their data (digital literacies)
    • A lot of the time, we don’t take threats seriously until we have to
    • Set clear expectations and timeline
    • Communicate with list of relevant faculty
    • We would need to look at faculty over the past 5 years who are going through the tenure process
  • Would still advocate for paying remote learner to host the service through Dec 2018
  • Service availability is what makes things complicated – just downloading and storing static data would not be a problem.
    • Maybe that’s what we do after 2 years? We’ll export and keep the data, but faculty won’t be able to interact with it via a live service
    • In those 2 years, there needs to be good and repetitive communication with faculty about what they might to do to maintain access to the course interaction beyond those 2 years (Moodle hosted on Middcreate, screencapture of course pages, etc)
  • Time frame for moving content out of remote learner to wherever it will go?
    • Our RL contract is up in August – we’d need to have the new location up and ready to go in August – that’s our deadline
    • How long does web team need to make this happen?
      • Theoretically, it would take 1 person 1 week to get things up and running. But, web team is going to be short-staffed and has a substantive project pipeline. Other projects and staffing could make things take much longer.
    • Push for us to reach a decision by April 1 – this is not a joke (Joe)
    • Joe commits to getting the numbers to the group by the end of this week or next week. Joe will work with Billy on the numbers.

 

Notes for Core Team Meeting: Hypothes.is

February 28, 2017

Guests: Jeremy Dean and Nate Angell

The ACTT Core Team met with Jeremy (Director of Education) and Nate (Director of Marketing) from Hypothes.is ( https://hypothes.is ). This followed A two-week “facilitated online experience” using Hypothes.is was led by Sean and Jeremy from late January to early February, and Joe, Sean, and Jeremy had a previous conversation about Middlebury adopting Hypothes.is.

What is Hypothes.is?

  • All-purpose annotation tool.
  • Can be used for fact-checking.
  • Non-profit, open model.
  • Brings back the idea of an annotated web, dropped in early Mozilla projects.
  • Text is highlighted and links to annotations, which can be text, urls, audio, and video.
  • Uses the W3C adopted standards for online annotation.
  • Groups can be created to filter annotations. Ex. MiddAnnotate
  • Can be used as a commenting feature in a document.
  • Adding annotations requires an account.
  • Can be installed as a Chrome browser plugin.

Plugins and Integrations

  • There is a plugin for WordPress
    • Creates an experience similar to CommentPress
    • Is not theme dependent.
  • Canvas plugin
    • Can be used within Canvas, inline with pdfs.
    • Can be an assignment submission type
      • Can be assessed in the SpeedGrader.
  • Plugins are not browser-dependent.
  • Can be self-hosted, not recommended.

Challenges and Questions

  • What happens when content changes?
    • Answer released next week.
    • All annotations are saved.
    • If content changes, annotations will appear in an “orphans” tab.
    • Annotations can be loaded using Internet Archive.
      • Robot.txt files can block archiving.
  • Diigo is similar, can you import content?
    • If it uses the W3C standards
    • Annotations can be exported.
    • Currently, import and export for Hypothesis are supported via API. John Udell has an export utility that uses API: https://jonudell.info/h/facet.html
  • Browser limitations.
  • Content behind a pay-wall has limitations.
  • Some answers are available in the FAQ ( https://hypothes.is/faq/ ).

Middlebury and Hypothes.is

  • Some faculty and programs are using Hypothes.is.
    • Accounts are not tied to Middlebury authentication.
  • Course use vs. Institutional adoption
    • Agreement is currently between the faculty and student for course use.
    • Institutional adoption would involve:
      • Integrating with existing systems (Canvas, WordPress, etc.).
      • Using Middlebury authentication credentials
      • Require adherence to security and data standards.

 

Next Steps

  • Jeremy will share Education Offering documentation with team (DONE).
  • Joe will share Data Classification Policy with Jeremy (DONE).
  • Team will have a follow up meeting to discuss.
  • Jeremy will keep the Team informed on Hypothes.is development.