Reed Issue 9 report

From Gerry Reed in OIT – For Strategic Issue 9
Students, faculty and staff do not always have access to up-to-date, effective technologies that
support learning and professional success.
This report was prepared by Jerry Reed with assistance and input from Jenny Nevarez, Angelique Smith,
Bob Seal, Bruce Marshall, Gordon Cain, Jeff Kurtz and Jeff Vena.
The college is addressing the challenges of providing timely and effective technology to all college
community members via the following initiatives:
1. A continuing collaborative approach to the design, specification, acquisition and deployment of
educational technology among OIT and all stakeholders
The guidance provided for our web and portal applications by the Web and Portal
Advisory Group (WPAG),
the governance and support provided by the Alternative Delivery Steering Committee
(ADSC) for our current and future Learning Management Systems (LMS, currently
Blackboard CE8, aka WebCT),
Prioritization of Administrative computing system upgrades, enhancements and fixes by
representatives from all divisions of the college, in the form of the Atlas Project
Improvement Team (APIT).
2. An active program of software and hardware refresh, which provides upgraded client (PC) and
server computers to the college user community.
OIT refreshed over 1,300 computers during the last fiscal year. This represents 300 new
laptops, 1,000 new desktop PCs and 15 new servers.
Although the rate of refresh varies with the need, with some computing-intensive
academic areas (e.g. CAD) refreshed more often, the typical refresh interval for staff,
faculty and lab PCs is 3.5 years.
The college continues to evaluate alternatives for enhancement of our Learning
Management System.
3. Active programs are in place to enhance our local area and wide area network access,
availability and performance.
Our Internet connectivity is currently a total of 200 Megabits/Second, split across two
providers. The college has plans in place to increase this connectivity to and from our
campus systems to a total of 300 Megabits/second, in support of increased traffic from
web registration, online course work and other portal access.
Wireless (WiFi) networks exist on each campus and are presently being extended in
capability and range. The college is experimenting with using wireless connectivity
within computer lab on campus, and support is provided for shared network
infrastructure with UCF in the University Center, facilitating access by both Valencia and
UCF users.
4. On-going support and training are provided for campus and off-campus users of our portal,
administrative and Learning Management systems.
Telephone support, in the form of the Office of Information Technology (OIT) Help Desk
handles over 13,000 calls per year.
Telephone support for our online courses via the WebCT helpdesk handles over 16,000
calls per year.
Faculty, staff and students are also provided support for technical issues via email or live
chat, as well as given access to an FAQ knowledge base for technical and training related
questions on WebCT/Blackboard.
Students are provided with telephone and e-mail support for technical issues by phone
and e-mail. Walk-in assistance is provided in the Atlas Labs on each campus.
Multi-modal training for faculty on the college Learning Management System is
provided through a partnership between the Learning Technology Team (OIT) and the
Faculty Development Team (Academic Affairs).
Individualized training opportunities and onsite support in the design and development
of courses is provided for faculty members at the various campus learning technology
centers (OIT).