A meeting of the Committee on Information Systems (CIS) was held Wednesday, April 19, 2017 from 1:00-2:00 PM in Library Room 115. This was the final meeting for the Spring 2017 Semester. The attendees were:
1. Robert Adcock (SIS)
2. Stefano Costanzi (CAS)
3. Alan Isaac (CAS)
4. Terry Fernandez (OIT)
5. Stefan Kramer (LIB)
6. Joseph Mortati (KSB)
7. Lindsay Murphy (CTRL)
8. Sarah Menke-Fish (SOC)
9. Scott Vanek (eLearning, guest speaker)
10. Stef Woods (CAS)
11. Chenyang Xiao (CAS)
The following items of business were discussed.
1. March 2017 minutes (https://blogs.library.american.edu/cis/minutes-march-22-2017-draft/) were approved.
2. The composition of the Committee and its leadership was discussed. The following members’ terms are expiring and they will not be returning in the Fall: Stefan Kramer (LIB), Sarah Menke-Fish (SOC), and Chenyang Xiao (CAS). Their replacements are yet to be named but a formal announcement should be made by mid-June. Additionally, after three years as co-chair, Joseph Mortati (KSB), said he would like to step down from that position (but he will remain a member). Stefano Costanzi (CAS) expressed interest in returning as co-chair in the Fall. That said, an election for a replacement for chairperson will have to wait till September.
3. The majority of the meeting was spent continuing our discussion from last month with Scott Vanek, Assistant Director, e-Learning & Instructional Design Services, University Library, regarding closer cooperation between CIS and the e-Learning (formerly AU’s Blackboard Support). Items/questions discussed were:
• A CIS issue is certification for online teaching varies across schools and vendors (there are multiple Learning Management Systems). This should be queued up for the next meeting.
• Technical “Teas” (a suggestion from the previous month) were discussed among the eLearning Team and it was decided to work in conjunction with CTRL at the beginning of next semester.
• Encouraging faculty to use Blackboard more.
o Having school or department experts; need to flesh out the plan.
o Discussed students being tech support. Joseph Mortati offered the 10 TAs he will be managing this Fall as a test group; if it’s successful, it could be rolled out to TAs for other courses in other schools.
o eLearning Team is working on several self-produced video tutorials that will be available before the Fall 2017 semester.
• Scott said that a job posting for a student to work technical support; he will email the requisition to the committee to ask for our help in identifying candidates.
• There was some discussion regarding the difficulty of using Blackboard help functions. Scott pointed out there is a clearly-marked Help function on the login page (i.e., before you login) with the following links:
Help for Students
Help for Faculty
Contact Blackboard Support
4. The following CIS issues list items were discussed:
Online Learning Review
Resulted in a discussion about online learning and copyright issues related to who does the work – faculty (current copyright protection) or staff (no copyright protection because they are considered Work for Hire). Scott Vanek mentioned that Stephanie Brookstein, Assistant Dean for Online Learning SPExS Graduate and Online Learning Programs, to our first Fall 2017 meeting.
Chris Lewis, is copyright person at Library; he may be another person to be invited to speak in the Fall.
Action Item: follow-up with other committees – eLearning and Copyright – to see who has discussed this before (Terry Fernandez, OIT).
Big Data Policies
What agreements or policy is in-place regarding use of data collected on third party platforms (e.g., Blackboard, 2U, etc.).
AU-Wide license to Top Hat or similar (e.g., Pearson Mobile)
Third parties sell software learning packages to individual faculty members (e.g., Top Hat, Pearson Mobile)
Sarah Menke-Fish (SOC) said there are issues related to using Top Hat (https://tophat.com/). Stefano Costanzi raised a similar issue regarding requiring resources that result in costs beyond tuition and fees.
Alan Isaac asked if an attendance or polling feature could be added. Scott Vanek said such a feature was demonstrated in Blackboard World in 2017 but it looks unlikely to be added anytime soon.
4. There being no additional business for the good of the order, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be held sometime in early Fall 2017.