Summary from iLevel Advisory Meeting, May 18, 2004
Basic Skills Exam
Emmy indicated that the latest version of the test has been given to advisors with excellent results. For the SOAR sessions, each test session will be given with a proctor and a tech mentor. Education and CIS faculty will be primarily involved, but proctoring this test does not require computing specialists, so in the future, any faculty can proctor.
The good news about the test is that it has officially migrated out of the Title III area and has been successfully integrated into the university infrastructure. The Tech Mentors are also moving into this direction since some of them will now be hired to work with UAS, where they will tutor students on computing skills and oversee walk-ins for the exam. It is crucial to provide UAS with as much support as possible as the exam gets integrated fully into student orientation.
On that note, Tom Jeffrey is doing research on automating the exam, or at least putting it in a more automatic format for easier grading, streamlining of the process. Thompson Learning’s Course Technology has a product that appears to be promising. Saint Bonaventure and University of Kentucky have had software customized for their purposes. Tom would like to see if we can get templates and format it for our own situation.
Sarah suggested integrating the entire exam within Blackboard.
The committee reviewed the applicants for the summer academy and approved of all candidates. As Sarah Swart noted, there is an advantage of having only 8 participants; this will allow for a closer interaction of IDS personnel with each faculty member.
It seems that the “laptop giveaway” did not attract as many applicants as it did last year. This may be due to a number of factors:
1) the academy has increased from 5 days to 6;
2) faculty have less of a need for equipment due to the recent refresh program;
3) faculty were reluctant to use Blackboard to register due to the current intellectual property debates;
4) faculty were reluctant to use Blackboard to register due to unfamiliarity with the interface, and possibly frustration with the login process.
The committee agrees that it may be advisable to discontinue the “free laptop” portion of the twta next year. The program seems to have run its course, and there are now plenty of faculty members who have graduated from the program and who are playing a role of exemplar for their colleagues.
One possible alternative for next year’s “summer institute” would be to organize a conference and have these faculty exemplars and guest speakers give presentations. Workshops by IDS and the Library could also be included, and vendors could be invited to attend. The conference could be held in the fall when faculty are more likely to attend.
Elaine Bell suggested that rather than having a fall conference, we should concentrate on new faculty coming in.
Another possibility would be to hold the TWTA again, but just give away software. In general iLevel could use its funds to give away software to faculty and increase student access to software by increasing site license numbers.
College of Business Administration
Funding has already been dedicated to purchasing podium-style technology for classrooms in C&F building. This will be the last major iSmart project of the Title III Grant.
As discussed at a previous meeting, the iSmart funding for Social Sciences will be allocated to the College of Liberal Arts in general. The committee will discuss this with new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts when he arrives in July.
It’s time to start looking into applying for “the next grant.” It seems unlikely that we will be eligible for another Title III Grant based on the improvements in our I.T. infrastructure. Even if we were eligible, we would have to get through a “waiting period.” It seems more appropriate to start seeking other grant opportunities, using the success of the Title III Grant as a way of leveraging funds.
The committee needs to communicate with Adrian Kerrigan about looking forward financially.