Meeting Notes - October 6, 2016
Present: Gainer, Hansen, Hernandez, Hui, Kaur, King, Moreau, Owiesny, Pape, Ranck, Rosenberg, Shannakian, Spatafore; Vanessa Smith (notes)
The group started with introductions. Hui will be added to the committee as the Library representative. Hui noted that the Tech Committee is still listed as Tech Task Force in the A-Z directory on the website. Spatafore said it would be corrected.
Approval of June Minutes
Kaur wanted to know the sample size of the survey. Spatafore said they could check specifics with Mallory Newell but overall, the group was pleased with the number of respondents.
Spatafore said the workgroup had met over the summer to work on the plan. She and Pape are looking for feedback on the progress thus far. Moreau asked if the workgroup identified the four strategic capabilities. Spatafore reminded him the capabilities came from an earlier workshop held for senior staff as agreed upon by the group.
Spatafore added that items with no responses need to be reviewed. Kaur asked if the plan includes the survey conducted as part of accreditation. Spatafore acknowledged the process is confusing because the group is working on two distinct documents – the Technology Plan and Accreditation Standard III.C – at the same time. Spatafore said the survey most relevant to the present discussion is the technology survey.
The workgroup decided on certain instructional/student services goals to focus on. Moreau added that certain things are the responsibility of the district and the district will refer to those items in their own plan. The committee can do the same and reference the district plan.
Ranck said there was a list of brainstorming items that people came up with at past meetings and they got a lot of feedback. From that list the workgroup tried to work within the frame of the four areas. Spatafore noted that the software standards item comes up often. King elaborated that there are things people are trying to do that district standards don’t allow. There has to be some advice or resources to bring consistency and avoid duplication of effort. Pape said a great example of that is in the Business division because they do want to work toward having the syllabus for all courses available to students. If everyone is using different software, the students have a harder time getting what they need.
Moreau said Canvas could be that central repository. Pape said it will take a while for all faculty to get on board, but it’s an option. Kaur asked if they meant all syllabi. Pape said yes, especially for upcoming quarters. At many schools, students can browse all syllabi from the same place on the website. Ranck added it’s not meant to be an advantage to online students but a resource for all students. She and Alex Harrell have already discussed a project plan to develop a simple repository for syllabi.
Kaur asked for clarification. Pape explained that on the website there would be a direct repository anyone could search for whatever class they like. Spatafore added that the links could also be on department pages. Kaur said some faculty might have an issue with their syllabi being available. Shannakian said that students like to know what they’re getting into. Rosenberg noted that students who transfer often need a syllabus for their four-year school. Others agreed.
Rosenberg added that students also want to know office hours and it would be helpful if that was included in the repository. He said his division posts this information on their section of the website, but students don’t know if it’s for the whole campus.
Hansen noted there is no contractual requirement for faculty to supply syllabi, or include them in a syllabi repository. Faculty cannot be penalized for not doing so. Spatafore acknowledged this, adding that faculty could be encouraged to participate. Pape agreed that if everybody started doing it, people would get on board.
Ranck said in the online space, divisions are not intuitive to students organizationally. They’re not going to know they need to go to PSME, for example, for something. Kaur said she asked because her division has a 20 percent compliance rate for sending syllabi. On services to provide, Rosenberg said to add office hours and access to tutoring/scheduling.
As an aside, Kaur asked if the group is submitting feedback for the website redesign. Spatafore said a number of faculty are on the web redesign committee and referred to the webpage, surveys and other opportunities for input.
Rosenberg said he would like to see some wording specific to cellphone technology in the teaching, learning and student engagement goal. Moreau proposed the term “mobile” as preferable. Moreau talked about the survey on device ownership and usage and said he’ll share results at the next meeting.
Kaur asked how online tutoring is affected by the lack of a budget for Smarthinking. Ranck said they are limiting hours for online tutoring and may move to a different vendor. They are set for fall and planning for future terms where the tutoring could be moved into the course management system. Hernandez asked if the student-tutors are busy. Ranck said yes. Hernandez asked about setting up Zoom meetings for tutoring. Moreau said they have access to World Wide Whiteboard for tutoring sessions. It’s available through OEI at no cost. The college can use that platform with any kind of tutoring. Professional tutors can be used through the same contract. Ranck added availability is an issue -– if a student needs help late, they don’t have anyone available. Pape asked about CCC Confer. Moreau said it’s not highly reliable.
Owiesny asked about improving ways to take roll and report that. Spatafore said taking attendance could likely be addressed as part of the planning. Moreau said it could be accomplished by using mobile technology.
Spatafore presented the timeline and asked if anyone wanted to join the workgroup. There were no additional volunteers. When the plan is returned to the committee in November, it should be in good shape.
Accreditation Self-Study Standard III.C
Spatafore reiterated that though the two plans intersect they are different. The group reviewed survey questions and the different templates. Spatafore explained the reasoning behind responding to the matrix questions the way they did. The group looked at the rough draft of the Standard III.C and looked at what areas still need filling in. The group went through the timeline, which is a month later than that of the Tech Plan.
Spatafore asked for feedback and for the group to scan the document. Owiesny reiterated her comment from previous meetings about not having wireless access in the PE area or her office. Moreau said wi-fi is being expanded as ETS project scheduling permits.
Online Education Advisory Group
Ranck needed to leave, so gave an update on her group outside of the agenda, earlier in the meeting. She said the online advisory group hasn’t met yet this quarter. She said, thanks to ETS, the planning and work with Banner for Canvas implementation has progressed well. Information on Canvas training went to those who used Catalyst in the last 15 months. Almost 100 people signed up in 48 hours. They don’t expect all classes to switch over for winter and are taking a different approach by empowering faculty to do things on their own. Two systems will be in place through spring. King is making flowcharts to explain the features of Canvas versus Catalyst.
Rosenberg said many places have automated their course management system so faculty gets a shell automatically. If there’s a new system it’s an ideal time to make that the goal. Moreau said certain restrictions have been lifted allowing faculty to have as many course shells as they need or want. King said technically everyone will have the ability to request a shell in MyPortal.
Moreau said the new telephone implementation is rolling out well on schedule and on budget. They are scheduled to be available at De Anza in November. Every classroom will also have a phone that can be integrated into the emergency alert system. A&R has implemented some of the more complex automatic call features.
Moreau added that the Sunnyvale Center is fully functional and impressive. They brought it online in about three weeks. Classes and labs are well-equipped.
Moreau said that OEI will begin a proof of concept project on e-signatures. Ninety-four colleges have committed to using Canvas. Six or seven others are about to sign on. By the calendar year, 100 colleges should be on board and all 113 will hopefully commit by the end of the academic year.
OEI also received an additional $120 million allocation from the governor that will allow for a variety of new projects. They’re piloting a new tool called Ally to automatically assess the accessibility of course content. If it’s not accessible, Ally will try to fix it automatically and post for instructors. If it can’t be fixed, Ally explains why it’s not accessible and what needs to be done to make it so.
OEI was honored with the Focus on Efficiency Award from the CA Higher Education Collaborative Business Conference.