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IRC News

Minutes provided by Sue Ellen Richey, Recording Secretary*

Committee Graphic

February 15, 2005

VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:   PHILIP TURNER, ELIZABETH HINKLE-TURNER, JONEEL HARRIS, MARGARET AMBUEHL, SCOTT JOYCE (for CHUCK FULLER), PATRICK PLUSCHT, JUDITH ADKISON, JON NELSON, CENGIZ CAPAN, WIL CLARK (for JOHN PRICE), RAMU MUTHIAH, JIM CURRY, LOU ANN BRADLEY, CRAIG BERRY (for MAX KAZEMZADEH), GUILLERMO OYARCE NON-VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:  JOE ADAMO, PHILIP BACZEWSKI, SUE ELLEN RICHEY  (Recording Secretary) MEMBERS ABSENT:  COY HOGGARD, MAURICE LEATHERBURY, KENN MOFFITT,  DON GROSE,  KATHY SWIGGER, ROBERT NIMOCKS, BRUCE HUNTER, SANDRA TERRELL, ABRAHAM JOHN, CHRISTY CRUTSINGER, DOUG MAINS, BOBBY CARTER GUESTS:  CHARLOTTE RUSSELL

IR Steering Committee      

The Chair reported that the IR Steering Committee had met and approved the Email Retention Policy, but that the committee had asked Dr. Leatherbury and Mr. Rafes to revise the Retention Procedure document.

Distributed Computing Support Management Team**

Philip Baczewski reported for the Distributed Computing Support Management Team that they met on February 4th at which time they had a follow-up discussion on PDA/GroupWise synchronizing products. They have identified several possibilities to support that, including one product from Novell. They hope to have a product to recommend soon. They plan to begin an initiative to develop a common interface to student id card pictures which would aid the Check-in system as well as WebCT, for the purpose of student identification. Cengiz Capan added that COBA uses a product that allows faculty to click on a student’s ID on an Excel roster and get a picture. They also have the capability to produce a seating chart with students’ pictures shown. Philip said that DCSMT’s goal is to have a common interface that can be used by all departments, so that individual departments don’t have to go out and develop or find their own. Dr. Turner added that WebCT Vista was supposed to have the capability of showing a picture of a student, but that hasn’t been developed yet.  DCSMT meets again on Feb. 18th.

Learning Enhancement Planning Group

Patrick Pluscht reported for the Learning Enhancement Planning Group that UNT eCampus had 8,000 hits in January,  over 7,000 of which were from unique IP addresses. Their goal is to have 80% of the information on Summer and Fall courses available by the time of early registration, around April 4th. Patrick reported that he wrote an article for Benchmarks about Turn It In.com.  Patrick announced that they have initiated an Excellence in On-line Course Development & Teaching award of $500.00. April 15th is the deadline for nominations. Additional non-monetary awards will be given for course design. The Center for Distributed Learning is gathering completion and success  data on the web courses now offered, explaining that completion means that of those students registered on the 12th class day the number who get a letter grade of some kind, and that success means all those registered who get an A, B or C if undergraduate or A or B or Pass if a graduate student.  They are going to do a comparison between on-campus courses versus online courses in the rate of completion and success. They will share their findings with the IRC.

Communications Planning Group  

Lou Ann Bradley reported for the Communications Planning Group that they have met but they still do not have a current charge. Their meetings consist of information sharing. She asked for input regarding issues they could address. The Chair asked Lou Ann to send their original charge in writing to the Recording Secretary who would then share that with the entire membership.

EIS Planning Group 

Joneel Harris reported for the EIS Planning Group that they continue to work on getting data and reports out of the system. Cengiz Capan has volunteered to be the focal point for the academic units in piloting a data warehousing project, which will be very helpful. For the student module, they are testing a single session term concept for Summer 2005. Ginny Anderson and Jean Bush are working on EPM and Budget. The Oracle takeover of PeopleSoft continues to present issues for UNT and all other PeopleSoft users. UNT no longer has an executive sponsor. Joneel said there will be several UNT staff attending the Higher Education Users’ Group meeting in March where they hope to get more information regarding the effects of the merger. Oracle says they are planning a migration path from the current product to what we expect to be some combination of PeopleSoft and Oracle products, and they also say they will support the PeopleSoft product until 2013, but there are questions about what “support” means. Cengiz stated that College of Business had gotten permission to teach the PeopleSoft HR module in their classes but they don’t know where that stands now.

Student Computing Planning Group

Elizabeth Hinkle Turner reported for the Student Computing Planning Group that General Access Lab Managers are working in cooperation with the Student Senate to provide easy access to SGA elections. She also reported that Lab Managers have concluded research on PCounter, (which has been used in Willis Library lab for about six weeks), which serves print cues for all the printers, but it allows printing policies to be entered in detail, and that will allow print settings to be uniform across all of the labs. For example, if a student tries to print a document more than once, it will stop the printer and send a message back to the user. It will also direct documents to the best printer for that job. In addition, Elizabeth announced that Jaws, V. 6 is out; they haven’t received media yet, however.  There is a 30-day version available for downloading from the web at this time.  She noted that there is evidently some kind of problem with Jaws 5 with WebCT. 

Joneel Harris asked about giving students who are enrolled in cooperative programs through other colleges being given rights to use the general access labs, even if charged a guest-rate fee. Elizabeth stated that technically that is easily done; however, GALC would have to decide if it can be done, and consider charging a fee or not. Cengiz Capan stated that if they pay a fee, there would be no problem, and could even be granted use as an “exception” since there aren’t too many. There was further discussion about the use of TexShare cards that are available to anyone attending Texas colleges, and questions about the continued funding of this service.

Dr. Turner reported that many resources are being spent by UNT on replicating various problems with WebCT.  On a weekly basis, volunteer student groups and a testing group are dealing with the issues and problems, replicating problems, and essentially trying to break it.  They had to re-set a node yesterday and are trying to figure out why it went down.  Also, the load balancers that CITC ordered have arrived.  Dr. Turner asked that people let him know if they experience any problems using Vista.

Learning Enhancement Planning Group  

Cengiz Capan suggested two items for the Learning Enhancement Planning Group to consider.  COBA has been looking at two products for use in electronic instruction, one is called Key Instruction, which involves a  radio frequency with remote control, for use in registration or taking tests.  A local company says they will put this product in all classrooms and just sell the remote control units to students at the bookstore for $8-10.  The other is a technology that would deliver video-web on the internet, called M68.  It is not streaming video, it uses very low bandwidth, and there are no front-end costs.  They have servers in north Dallas; they capture your video, then charge students to watch it.  According to Cengiz, these would be very useful tools.

 


* For a list of IRC Regular and Ex-officio Members click here.

**DCSMT Minutes can be found here.

IRC Meeting Schedule

The IRC generally meets on the third Tuesday of each month, from 2-4 p.m., in the Administration Building Board Room. From time to time there are planned exceptions to this schedule. All meetings of the IRC, its program groups, and other committees, are open to all faculty, staff, and students.

 

 

 

 

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