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UW Information Technology

UW-IT Insights – Spring 2014

eNewsletter sent May 27, 2014

UW-IT Insights eNewsletter Masthead
A quarterly review of what UW-IT is delivering to the UW community

Contents: MyPlan for community colleges | UW Profiles custom demos | New lecture capture | Curriculum management | Classroom improvements | Check help@uw requests | HR/P preparing for change | Service Catalog changes | Office 365 update | In brief


Grant will extend MyPlan to community college students

Community CollegeA $1 million Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant was awarded to UW-IT to fund the extension of the MyPlan academic planning tool to
students at Washington’s 34 Community and Technical Colleges. The work will help students prepare to transfer to the UW, apply for their major, and plan and ultimately attain their UW degree. The grant supports the
Foundation’s Road Map Project goal to double the
number of students in south King County and south Seattle who graduate from college or earn a career credential by 2020. UW-IT will partner with Undergraduate Admissions, the Registrar’s Office and Undergraduate Academic Advising on this effort over the next two years.


UW Profiles offers customized workshops, single sign-on

UW Profiles New customized demonstrations can help your unit learn how to use UW Profiles, Web-based dashboards that provide a dynamic, graphical way to understand and work with basic University data. The workshops are tailored to your group’s needs and available by request in your office at no charge. The College of Arts & Sciences and the College of the Environment are two of the units already taking advantage of this new training, provided by the Office of Planning & Budgeting and UW-IT. Request a workshop or demo.

Also, UW Profiles now offers easier access through single sign-on. Users save time, entering their UW NetID only once in an eight-hour period.


New enterprise lecture capture system, Panopto, coming

Kane hall lecture To meet faculty requests for a single lecture capture solution for the University, UW-IT will make Panopto available to all UW campuses this summer, replacing both Tegrity and UW Coursecasting. An extensive needs assessment and pilot with faculty and students this academic year showed that Panopto is the best-performing, highest-value tool, providing robust, user-friendly features and easy Canvas integration. The transition to Panopto from Tegrity and UW Coursecasting will begin this summer and continue through fall. During this time, UW-IT will work with faculty interested in moving their existing Tegrity content into Panopto. Workshops to introduce faculty and staff to Panopto will be offered this summer. UW-IT partnered with the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, which selected Panopto for its 34 colleges, and other Washington universities to secure a cost-effective statewide contract with Panopto. Read more in the lecture capture assessment report.


Transforming how UW manages its curriculum

Kuali Student Logo In a major step toward transforming how the University manages its curriculum, the UW Registrar’s Office is now using a new system to easily search, update and publish the UW course catalog. Partnering with UW-IT, the Registrar’s Office implemented Kuali Student Curriculum Management (KS CM) to replace a manual process and multiple data entry steps, and to bring the UW’s course information into one authoritative system of record. The next step is to expand the use of KS CM to manage all course data, eliminating data entry in two systems.

Work also has begun to redesign and digitize the UW’s course review and approval process using KS CM. UW-IT is working with a committee charged by the Provost to evaluate opportunities for streamlining this process and to address policy and process issues. The goal is to implement a faster, more cost-effective course development process that captures all documentation and approvals, including committee reviews and accreditation requirements, and better supports new modes of instruction. Students will benefit by having a single, consistent source of course and program information at their fingertips. Once developed, the new process will be piloted this fall, with broader implementation targeted for 2015.


Technology-focused enhancements coming to UW Seattle learning spaces

Classroom A major project will kick off this summer to enhance UW Seattle classrooms and informal learning spaces with next-generation technology, design improvements and ease of use. The work is part of an overall classroom improvement strategy guided by a Provost-appointed task force of representatives from the Faculty Senate, Health Sciences Administration, the Provost’s and Registrar’s offices, Undergraduate Academic Affairs and UW-IT. The task force worked with expert learning spaces consultants, who involved stakeholders from all academic units.

The draft consultants’ report includes five classroom technology-related recommendations:

  • Establish a replacement plan for technology in general assignment classrooms
  • Formalize classroom technology standards
  • Increase the diversity of classroom configurations
  • Renovate and/or increase the number of informal learning spaces with desirable amenities and in preferred locations
  • Establish procedures to enhance coordination of technology between upper campus, Health Sciences and departmental learning spaces

Once the final report is released this summer, UW-IT and campus partners will determine next steps.


Check real-time status of UW-IT service requests and outages

Connect logo This summer, faculty, staff and students will be able to check the real-time status of their UW-IT service requests, outages and other incidents with a new system being launched by UW-IT. Called “UW Connect,” it is part of a larger effort to improve customer support using new service management tools and processes that make interacting with UW-IT faster, easier and more transparent. Also this summer, UW-IT will streamline how to get help by providing a single point of contact for all its services (help@uw.edu and 206-221-5000).


HR/Payroll Modernization: Preparing UW for change

timeline for HR/P Preparing the University for change is a major focus of the HR/Payroll Modernization project as implementation of a new HR/Payroll system gets underway, with the system vendor Workday. The project will go live in December 2015 for the first payroll of January 2016 and is now in the design phase, which will:

  • Prepare the UW for change by reaching out to stakeholders in every UW unit to raise awareness and identify specific unit needs.
  • Finalize business processes in key areas by working with University experts in HR, payroll, benefits, compensation, absence management, time tracking and talent management. UW policies that need to be modified also will be identified.
  • Identify system integrations by working with stakeholders to evaluate which systems need to integrate with the new HR/Payroll solution, and which can be retired.

See more information on the design phase and the project timeline.


To create capacity, four UW-IT services will be retired

To help free up resources for new and expanded offerings in high demand areas, four services will be retired from the UW-IT Service Catalog, under recommendations from the IT Service Management Board. The Board made its proposal after reviewing the roughly 80 services in the Catalog, identifying those with low usage or superseded by more modern offerings. UW-IT evaluated the recommendations and identified four services to retire this summer:

In planning the retirement of these services, UW-IT is reaching out to users during the transition. Up next: UW-IT continues to evaluate the other seven service recommendations in the report, Services to Retire, Remove, or Review for Change from the UW-IT Service Catalog.


Microsoft Office 365: New tools for email, collaboration, storage

Office 365 logo By summer’s end, most of the 8,000 UW Exchange Local mailboxes will have moved to cloud-based UW Exchange, with 50GB of storage, covered by the Technology Recharge Fee. The move is part of UW-IT’s effort to provide a more cost-effective, centrally hosted email and calendaring service for the University through Microsoft Office 365 for Education. Up next: UW Exchange will be made available to any UW faculty, staff or student who wants it.

A new collaboration tool, UW Lync, offers instant messaging, virtual whiteboards, online meetings and conferencing connections to on- and off-campus users. It is automatically enabled for current UW students, faculty and staff. Also, UW SkyDrive Pro is now called UW OneDrive for Business, providing 1 terabyte of cloud-based file storage and sharing.


In brief:
  • The Technology Recharge Fee (TRF) rates for FY 2015 will remain the same as FY 2014, under a recommendation by the IT Service Investment Board and approved by the Provost. The TRF provides support for critical information technology services delivered by UW-IT. The FY 2015 Self-Sustaining Services rate sheet  also is now available.  
  • The 2014 UW-IT Strategic Investment Plan  updates UW-IT’s strategic plan by outlining a three-year strategy on how best to leverage current and emerging technologies and resources to support students, faculty and staff while managing risk and delivering services in the most efficient, cost-effective way.
  • UW-IT has two new associate vice presidents: Dan Jordt leads Networks, Data Centers & Telecommunications; Aaron Powell is head of Information Management. Jordt previously served as UW-IT’s Director of Research Networks, and Powell was Director of Computing and Communications for The Evergreen State College.
  • A strong turnout at the one-day UW TechConnect conference on March 25 attracted 400 members of the UW’s information technology community for technology talks, workshops and demo labs. Visit the website for presentation materials, and to see photos, comments and more.
  • Both the number of courses in Canvas, UW’s learning management system, and the number of instructors using it have increased four-fold in the past year. It is now easier to export content from Catalyst CommonView and use a variety of secure, integrated third-party tools in the Canvas App Center.
  • A major upgrade to Washington’s K-20 Education Network has quadrupled its speed to 40 gigabits per second, better meeting the growing demand for mobile device use. The state-funded network, operated by UW-IT, connects state schools, community colleges, universities, libraries and remote medical sites.
  • The 2013 Information Security and Privacy Annual Report from the UW Office of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) is now available.
  • New UW Google Apps include Google Groups, Google Now and Lucidchart, which adds diagramming, charts, mind mapping and more to the suite of apps already available through Google Drive.
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