Tag Archives: notes

ACI – The Academic Cyberinfrastructure Inventory

Last Spring we gathered information on all of the services that make up our academic cyberinfrastructure, services and innovations for teaching, learning, research and creativity. This resulted in a long list of services in various stages of adoption. Since collecting this information we have merged it with the ITS Services Catalog, creating one huge list. This long list became unwieldy as spreadsheets, so we have put it into an application form that allows users to filter the list.

The application is available here – http://act.middcreate.net/aci/

or you can reach it via GO-link – go/aci

Now, we need your help before we share the inventory with the world. Some of the information has changed since the inventory was gathered, and there may be some items that we missed. Also, the application may not filter the information in a way that is useful to you.

So please visit and browse the ACI and contact Joe if:

  • Any of the information you see is incorrect and needs updating.
  • Anything needs to be added to the inventory.
  • You have a use-case for the inventory.

Thank you, in advance, for helping us make this a useful service for Middlebury.

Notes for In-progress Project Presentation for Web Conferencing

Bob C.

Where we are at with the project.

act.middcreate.net/site/projects/web- confercing – service

Adobe Connect has been in Production for a few years. Adobe’s change in pricing structure, created impetus to review options. ITS was looking into options for unified communication with telephone which may have had some options.

Oct 11th, update narrowed selection to Zoom and Blue Jeans. Zoom actively being tested.

Mack P.

Adobe price change caused review. What do we currently get from Adobe connect? Could be tied into replacement of legacy phone system, which had been previously reviewed and recommended, but not funded. Skype for Business was piloted, but determined not to be phone system for Middlebury. ITS Media Services was brought into looking into telephone systems which have some video conf features(presence, chat…).

If new phone system is funded it would have Jabber for video and chat.

Decided to pursue a separate product for academic web conf.

Zoom and Blue Jeans have similar feature set. Zoom is approximately ½ of the price of Blue Jeans, Blue Jeans has some features that Middlebury wouldn’t benefit from(ability to host 500 person meeting). Zoom would lock in price for a term. Blue Jeans would match Zoom for one year only, then increase to approximately $98k. Prior users of Blue Jeans have given negative review of product for meeting use.

Zoom feedback to date has been positive. Easy to start each course.

Joe A.

Reviewed spreadsheet of services we reviewed, initially 10 services. Narrowed to 3-4 offerings. Vidyo was dropped due to cost and inclusion of video conf equipment, older tool without modern feel. Down to 3 services.

ACTT had a “round robin” where over the course of a single meeting, we took a first pass of all the services, 15 mins per service with large group. Zoom, WebX, Blue Jean and Adobe Connect, tracked issues and reminded ourselves why we are departing from Adobe Connect. Follow up meeting identified Zoom and Blue Jeans, as preferred options. Zoom allowed everyone to be visible on the screen, Blue Jeans limited to 9, others would fall off. Blue Jeans prioritized quality to speaker. Zoom quality seemed more consistent. Moved forward with Zoom pilot, one class had already requested Zoom.

Joe A. demo review following Zoom practice. Recorded to test feature in Zoom.

Screen sharing allows option to present slides, but presenter remains in presenter mode for slideshow. May be allowed only with two screens.

Video of call participants can be turn on/off be each participant.

Power, Source, Filter: Vocal production of sound.

Explication of slides.

Played Ted video via Youtube.

Issue with getting video fullscreen, common with other video conf options. Need to share desktop to share full screen, can’t do it via application sharing.

Audio needs to be shared with application. Mack P. knows the tricks.

Video recorded as MP4 file. Pilot saved locally.

Pay version allows for cloud recording.

Dotty, Hebrew Course and Zoom.

  • Prefer freedom to do what they want with recordings. Exported out of Adobe Connect.
  • Improved entrance for students.
  • Less issues with bandwidth for international students.
  • Adobe Connect frequently had issues with Flash
  • Has been using Zoom in the ‘democratized’ format with similar size videos

Mack P. Review:

  • Mack P. has better success getting people up and running during meetings. 100% self starting
  • Been working well with Polycom room systems.
  • Polycom client often been blocked by firewalls of travelers.
  • Built in phone line has allowed people to call into sessions.

Sean M.:

  • Been testing Zoom during meetings
  • Preferred over Google Hangouts
  • Testing Friday with large meeting

Bob C.

  • Plans to test Zoom with Critical Issues Forum that previously used Adobe Connect, connecting with High School Teachers
  • This use case involves recording for viewing later, wants to pull prior videos from Adobe Connect
  • Did a test with Zoom recording which was positive.

Question how to view the suite of people of people coming into session, when something is being shared.

Option to raise hand is not readily visible.

Can make the active speaker large.

Need to develop best practices and training to go along with the tools.

Zoom does have a webinar format, which may have more participant functions.

How long to we envision best of breed for variety of use cases?

Polycom room equipment needed in room. Polycom servers contracted for 2 more years, Zoom maybe able to replace some of that functions.

Zoom Webinar has more options.

Notes for In-progress Project Presentation for Panopto Pilot

  • Panopto status update
  • Recap of original charge and proposal, history of project including Media Core process and funding. General consensus that Pantopo isn’t perfect but is pretty good, and definitely the best of all available options. The goal is to make a proposal for FY18 by January. Current Panopto contract runs through June.
  • Q:Will legacy streaming platforms, MiddMedia, archived items be a part of this process?
    • A:Not during this initial phase; with the decline in available data space, eventually we’ll need to examine those assets.
  • Rate of video storage has increased x20.
  • Most Panopto views are administrative, with some faculty using it for courses as well.
  • Students don’t have to leave Canvas to view videos in Panopto, but do have to log in again. Panopto creates a new user using single sign-on credentials. A Panopto viewer window embedded in Canvas will popup a login window; the issue is with what Canvas passes to Panopto. This issue is on Panopto’s development timeline, tentatively for late fall or winter. We’re meeting with them as well, working on code.
  • Embedding in WordPress doesn’t work, trying to write some code for that. We should be able to turn on a Panopto plugin for WordPress.
  • Some faculty are using Panopto at MIIS, have also used the webcasting feature successfully, including interactive and note-taking features. Sharing videos through a link has resulted in a good user experience. This is the legacy of Panopto as a lecture capture platform; perhaps we should talk about that while we’re talking about video conferencing. Should remember that Panopto charged based on views.
  • Q:Heather has asked whether we can embed Panopto on Sharepoint pages
    • A: not at present.
  • Thoughts on recent training? Seems pretty straightforward. We have two hours of training left, most topics are also available through support documentation and video.
  • Windows version of Panopto software has many more features than the Mac version (e.g., the focus feature); we may get questions related to that difference.
  • Panopto rep did send statistics on first training session; the analytics are very thorough with very specific usage info. Panopto may have applications for original research.
  • Panopto is currently not embeddable in Drupal because of the way Drupal filters code, but other schools have solved this issue; may take some work to make it possible.
  • Searchability is limited to English only, users will need to upload a caption file for other languages. Users can also supply keywords to make videos more searchable.
  • Q: If we do additional training, can we focus on other features?
    • A: Potential for more creative uses than simply streaming video.
  • Lecture capture is a non-starter at Middlebury; faculty don’t want it and the costs were prohibitive. MIIS can still use it that way. May be useful for making guest speakers/special lecturers available to students abroad.
  • Part of the proposal to continue Panopto would be a 3-5 year commitment to encourage user investment in the platform.
  • Media workload at MIIS is increasing, so we’re looking to Panopto as a possible assist in that regard. The goal is for self-service, self-empowerment. Lots of need to cover recurring classes, to record and make available later, which has been difficult to staff and organize. There may be some capacity to use Panopto to automate some of that process, but it would require upgrading a space to achieve it.
  • Feedback on Panopto has been generally good, and good enough to go forward.

Notes for Extended Team Meeting: Panopto Training

Presenter: Rebecca Lessem, Director of Training

Training & support resources under training tab of homepage

    • Webinars (basic and advanced) plus Friday Q+A with Rebecca at noon eastern time

Overview of how recordings move through the Panopto system

  • All videos are “deeply searchable” via automatic speech recognition + OCR software
    • Special plugin to powerpoint makes slide text searchable, too!
    • Title, keywords, metadata
    • Searchability is only English language-based? (Petar)
      • Yes
      • For other languages, uploading captions is recommended for searchability.
  • Recording
    • You can record from any device (downloadable app)
    • Remote recorder functionality – start and stop times can be pre-set (not available for Macs, PC only)
    • You can also record outside of Panopto and upload to the platform
      • Will be processed and searchable the same as other videos
    • Quality of OCR? (Shel)
      • it depends – usually works well for printed text and/or stuff that’s on-screen for a while; handwriting is obviously trickier
    • Creators can add PDFs to their recordings as well as slides
  • Viewing Panopto content
    • Interactive web viewer
    • Accessible via any browser
    • Android and iOS apps
    • Display is automatically optimized for the device you are viewing from
    • Mp4, mp3, tablet, android, and iOS viewing formats are available for every recording made or uploaded to Panopto
    • Admins have brand customization options
    • Are there multiple quality versions for adaptive streaming, or just one encoding per device type? (Zach)
      • Panopto should adjust automatically as long as you are accessing via the web viewer; mobile apps have just one encoding each, but creators can specify

Roles in Panopto and their permissions (creator, viewer, administrator)

Folders

  • Course folder – shared with instructor and students
  • My folder – personal to every user
  • Assignment folder – allow for student recording
    • Everyone who is a viewer in the course would be able to record via this folder without technically being a creator
    • Can students easily download any videos they make for portfolio reasons? (Zach)
      • Yes – multiple output options can be selected and processed into a single mp4
  • Shared with me
    • Any content you’ve been added to
  • Bookmarked
  • Browse
  • Each folder has its own permissions which can be adjusted
    • Share – Google-esque options (specific people, organization wide, groups, public on the web, etc.)
      • Groups are not auto-synced from AD (too many); course groups synced on demand from the Hub, others must be (re-)created manually.
    • When you share a folder, you can assign read only, edit, or publish permissions
      • If enabled, “publisher” would have to give approval for content to become visible to viewers
  • Our folders are set up by Program -> Year -> Semester -> Course (Joe)
    • We could structure our Panopto folders to reflect this
  • Parent folder settings can be set to to apply to subfolders, or not
  • Is there a master file? (Petar)
    • Each file is a master file
      • A copy of a file would be it’s own master file and would have to be deleted/adjusted separately from the original

Panopto from the viewer perspective

  • Can adjust video speed
    • Fastforward
    • Slow motion
  • Can annotate videos
  • Can take notes
    • Private by default, can be adjusted
    • Notes can be taken in a group channel so everyone in the group can see/search each other’s notes
    • Saved as metadata so student can see/search later
    • Creator can delete notes
  • Can participate in discussion
    • Like a group chat, more public than notes
    • Saved as metadata so student can see/search later
    • Creator can delete discussions (if content is problematic or creator uses same video from semester to semester)
    • Cannot be exported, we can submit feature request

Canvas Integration

  • We don’t have it, but maybe we want it
  • When enabled, Panopto shows up as a tab in the course menu
    • Embedded, searchable Panopto iframe within Canvas
  • Instructor can make new recordings, adjust video settings, edit videos, share videos within Canvas via the integration
  • Panopto button will show up in Canvas rich text editor
    • Content can be directly embedded into discussions, assignments, etc
    • Recordings will live in Panopto
  • Permissions for Panopto files would carry over from semester to semester without having to copy the video. This can currently be done using the Course Hub.

Statistics

  • Counts live stream watching? (Petar)
    • Yes

Can a live webcast be embedded? (Mack)

  • When you prepare the link in advance, you can embed it, but it won’t show anything until the session begins.
    • Does it embed the live webcast or just the recording? Didn’t seem to work when we tested. (Mack)
      • Rebecca will follow up

Notes for Core Team October 18, 2016

Moodle Archiving

  • No courses using Moodle sites after December.
  • Q: What form does the Moodle archive need to take?
    • A: Read-only
  • Q: How long do we need to keep the sites?
    • Policy says 2 years, until December 2018
  • Q: Can Segue decommissioning be used as a model?
    • Q: Can Moodle sites be exported in a usable format?
      • A: They can be exported as .mbz files, we may be able to extract files and pages from them.
    • Q: Is that enough?
      • Review process may need to see student data, this is stripped on an import into Canvas
    • A: Segue model is probably not viable
  • Q: What hosting solutions are possible?
    • Local – considerations are that it needs to be set up the same way as the R-L hosted version. Adam will follow up.
    • Keep at R-L for a reduced cost. Joe will follow up.
    • MiddCreate – concern is the Moodle instance may be too big. Sean will follow up.
  • Q: How long do we have before an archive solution needs to be in place?
    • A: August 2017
  • Other considerations
    • Leng course content. Sean will follow up.
    • Chinese Placement Exam. ODL is working with the Chinese School to use the UNC hosted version of the adaptive placement exam for the near term.
  • This is the start of the conversation, please be prepared to discuss in the future.

 

ACI (Academic Cyberinfrastructure Inventory)

  • Doreen has been adding inventory items (THANK YOU!!!). She is currently working on the items in the ITS Service Catalog.
  • Joe will present the inventory at an all-Library meeting. Please share with people you feel are interested in the inventory, we would like to know how it can be useful. We also need to update the information and make additions.
  • Most of the dependencies are in the ITS list, these will be added.
    • Q: Should dependencies be a cascading or a flat list?
      • A: TBD these are the kinds of questions and discussions we want to have.
  • Needs taxonomy definitions.
  • Extended Team will be asked to review items from their area on a 2-4 times per year. The ACTT will update based on the progress of our evaluations.
  • Inventory is available at http://go.middlebury.edu/aci or http://act.middcreate.net/aci

Values

The Team sorted values collected in Padlet, then each member summarized the values in a category. The results are below.

From https://padlet.com/bcole8/n30ltevlwnfd

Collaborative Partnerships

We engage in our work with Middlebury community partners, colleagues, and amongst ourselves with a collaborative spirit and a commitment to fostering and supporting agency, empathy, and curiosity on all sides.

Critical Thinking

We approach our work from a critical lens, taking into consideration the technical, administrative, as well as pedagogical sides of each recommendation to ensure that solutions truly address underlying needs.

Inclusivity

We strive to serve all our constituents equitably across campuses. This necessitates intentional and mindful communication internally, as well as with the parties represented/impacted by our recommendations and decisions.

Leadership

We lead and participate in complex evaluations, balancing the current needs of the institution with the need to change and innovate. We encourage exploration of what is possible, and inspire others to do the same.

Openness & Growth

We are open to new ideas, suggestions, and ways of doing things; continually inquiring and learning as individuals and a team.

Transparency

ACTT activities are accessible, discoverable and visible to the Middlebury community. Secrecy is utilized as little as necessary.

Notes for Core Team Septembr 13, 2016

Google Hangout

  • Took some time to get the meeting going, meeting was not showing up in some people’s Hangout dashboard
  • Sean showed Joe how to park a Hangout url, we will use that from now on

Canvas LTI Governance

  • Joe shared Bill K’s feedback with the rest of the ACTT
  • Requests should be submitted to ATG/DLC/ODL by faculty, requests should be shared with the ACTT
  • ATG/DLC/ODL members will evaluate the LTI
    • Test installation
    • Confirm utility with requestor
    • Check use of student data by the LTI
    • Complete the SaaS if necessary.
  • ACTT will confirm completion of the evaluation, and will evaluate for the sub-account and platform levels.
  • A flowchart of the process is available here.
  • Q: Can we create a list of LTIs and where they are in the process?
    • A: yes. Let’s start with a spreadsheet, then see if that is adequate
  • Q: Do we know what LTIs have been installed already?
    • A: yes. Canvas can export an LTI report. Joe will run the report and share it.
  • Attendance tool was disabled, it creates conflicts with the gradebook. We’ll collect requests, examine the feature, and maybe address the conflict with education for the following semester.

Web Conferencing/Adobe Connect Replacement

  • Bob, Sean and Joe met with Petar and Mack to discuss a plan for looking at 4 services in a short amount of time. The hope is we can either eliminate a few, or identify one that is noticeably better than the others.
  • In one meeting the Extended Team and other guests will spend 10-15 minutes in each services, test features, then jump to the next service.
  • The invitation will be shared on the All Things Digital Slack channel, as well
  • Interested faculty can join via invitation.
  • Plan is to do this at the Extended Team meeting on October 4th.
  • Bob, Sean, Petar, Mack and Joe will design a detailed plan on October 3rd, Joe will share out with the meeting invitation.
  • We will have an open In-progress Project meeting on October 11th to discuss the results.

Notes for Adobe Connect Replacement, LTI Governance

Housekeeping

  • Google Apps for Edu allows for up to 15 participants on hangouts (as opposed to 10).
  • Storage project is now underway (Zach)
    • Goal: reduce dependency on local storage infrastructure and improve access across devices and locations.
    • Email migration was first step, second step will be migration of home directories on Midd/MIIS files to the cloud.
    • Strong sense that we will be recommending One Drive as default best option, but Google Drive will continue to be supported.
  • Checking in on how Hangouts is working for our team communication/meetings
    • Have presenters join individually via Hangouts so that they aren’t just presenting “to the room”?
    • Would be helpful to provide docs/resources referenced in the meeting via the Hangout chat (Jamie)
    • Lower thirds have been super helpful
    • Core team has been meeting exclusively via Hangouts (everyone joins separately), would be great if we could practice this for extended team meetings, as well

Adobe Connect Replacement

    • Features for Web Conferencing Platform (adobe connect replacement)
    • Mack and Petar presented  to us on the status of this project in July
    • 80 host licenses on our current Adobe Connect contract – we’ve hit capacity and purchase 10 or more licenses a year
    • Adobe got rid of edu discount, so next fiscal year we’ll be using an alternative
      • 4 alternative platforms are being considered:
      • Related to another IT driven project – phone system replacement at the College
        • Most of the systems being considered have a UC (unified communications) component.
        • Webex and Vidyo are being considered as alternatives to AC as part of the phone replacement project
      • Zoom and Blue Jeans are two additional web conferencing platforms being considered (independent of phone replacement)

 

  • If there is a clear front runner after rigorous testing of different options, we will proceed with a pilot (Mack)

 

    • Zoom Webex and Blue Jeans meet our needs as a replacement for Adobe Connect, according to the criteria we set in above form
    • Options that have been ruled out for various administrative/functionality-related reasons
      • Skype for business
      • Gotomeeting
    • How AC is currently being used
      • School of Hebrew hybrid program
      • Language School pre-immersion (Russian + Korean)
      • Administrative working groups at College
      • MIIS: probably 20 active users per semester
        • IEM program relies heavily on web conferencing each semester
          • Symposium, synchronous practicum course throughout the semester, guest speakers
        • Recruiting: virtual recruiting series each semester
        • Annual Nonproliferation teacher training – virtual workshops

 

  • For now, how do we test these different tools?

 

      • Our group will test out the 4 different platforms during our meetings
        • Musical chairs, 15 minutes?
      • Our group will try to identify the one tool that stands out and then pilot that group with the various academic/administrative groups reliant AC

 

  • During those 15 minutes, we’ll be evaluating

 

  • Project team: Mack, Petar, Joe, Bob, ODL (Sean or Amy C)
    • Project team will share meeting links with us to attend via the different platforms, a member of the project team will lead each test.

LTI Governance

    • Learning Technology Integration (LTI)
    • Canvas has the ability to link to other services internally
    • LTIs can be linked at
      • Course level (by faculty)
      • Subaccount level (MIIS, Breadloaf, etc.)
      • Uber admin level (available for all courses across the board)
    • Eduapps
      • Right now, faculty can find direct links to services and add them directly
    • Governance questions and next steps

 

  • Next steps: Joe has drafted a recommendation and will be sharing for feedback, then we’ll decide how to move forward

 

  • Additional questions from the group
    • What was the process for Moodle/LTI? (Petar)
      • College only had one LTI request ever – no precedent
    • Replace “student data” with “protected data” in flowchart?
      • Comply with FERPA
      • Health data?
    • WordPress parallel – how do plugin requests get vetted? Do we need to be talking about governance processes more broadly? (Bob)
    • If we do approve the request, at what level does that take place? Subaccount? Everyone?
    • If the LTI has a cost, which budget would it come out of? (Mack)
      • Cost will be addressed on a case by case basis
    • Streamlining the faculty experience – should we try to ensure that this request process is similar to requesting WordPress plugins or Google Apps integrations (Zach)?
      • Joe’s gut reaction: we should stick to focusing on Canvas, the governance question is new to us. Let’s focus on success with Canvas governance and then think about how it could be a model for future platforms. We can have the conversation about Google Apps at a later date.
      • Currently no governing body that approves or denies WordPress plugin requests. There has never been a formal system for vetting requests beyond whether adding them will break anything. (Adam)