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CURRENT INITIATIVES


 

 

Zoom for remote teaching

Over the summer, faculty voiced their preference for Zoom to facilitate synchronous teaching. We listened to them and found that this video conferencing platform offered an intuitive user interface and features not available in Blackboard Collaborate. One of the most popular features being the capacity of its video gallery. A large video gallery is important to faculty as it provides visual feedback related to student engagement and understanding of lecture topics. Another interesting use of this feature is for exam proctoring.

Fall 2020 Results:

  • 1,322 active users
  • 50,366 meetings with 364,534 participants
  • 15 webinars with 784 participants
  • Faculty usage by department (top 3): Music, Psychology, and Mathematical Sciences

 


 

Upgrade tech-enhanced classrooms to support HyFlex teaching

We refer to a HyFlex course as a Hybrid course where students are given the flexibility to attend class lectures in-person or virtually. This teaching modality has gained popularity during the pandemic and it is a good model to keep once we are back to the new norm. Designing a course for HyFlex teaching provides the added benefit of course continuation in case of natural disasters or another pandemic where in-person instruction is not possible. HyFlex courses can be used to increase student enrollment caps. We do need to provide the technology for instructors to expand their in-classroom lectures to remote students.

This project aims to find scalable, sustainable, and easy-to-use technology models for faculty to teach courses with students in and beyond the classroom’s physical space.

There are three solutions/models that we need to develop:

  1. Fixed technology model for large lecture halls, HyFlex Auditorium
  2. Fixed technology model for standard size classrooms, HyFlex Classroom
  3. Portable all-in-one unit

Results to achieve by June 7, 2021:

  • Install either one of the fixed technology models in twenty classrooms
  • Collaborate with faculty teaching HyFlex courses for model optimization
  • Quickstart video: Using portable unit for synchronous teaching

Results to achieve by August 16, 2021:

  • Develop a 3-year plan to add HyFlex equipment into tech-enhanced classrooms across campus

 


 

Learning Studio

As has been made clear during the COVID-19 pandemic there is a huge need on campus for a space that can facilitate simple recording for faculty and students at the push of a button. The Learning Studio specifically addresses those needs in a variety of ways. There are three "stations" in the room built to help facilitate the most commonly requested services: podcasting, lecture capture, and live streaming.

Equipment in the Learning Studio:

  • Large-sized digital interactive screen
  • 82-inch lightboard
  • Conferencing audio system
  • Motorized pan, tilt and zoom conference cameras
  • Broadcast studio voice-over microphones

 


 

Streamline installation of UTEP licensed software

We implemented a self-service application to empower our users to install or upgrade UTEP licensed software. The application catalog is available from UTEP-owned Windows and Mac computers for software installations. An effective and consistent solution is essential for increased user adoption; therefore, the latest versions of UTEP licensed software and a high success ratio of software deployment are required.

The goal of this project is to achieve a 97% or better success rate with software deployed via our self-service software portal.

 


 

Blackboard Learn Ultra Course View, Pilot

The Ultra Course View (UCV) is a new design in Blackboard Learn that creates a more streamlined and efficient experience for both faculty and students. In fall 2019, the new Ultra Base Navigation was introduced to campus. This changed the look and feel of the Blackboard landing page; and how faculty and students access information outside of their courses. The UCV is the continuation of that update into a new online teaching and learning experience within the course. This spring, we have organized a group of faculty to pilot UCV in at least one course of their choosing. This pilot is a great opportunity to restructure teaching processes, streamline work, and create a new learning experience for both faculty and students.

To conclude the pilot, the team will create a report by collecting data from faculty, students, and our incident management system. This report will include strategies to address major issues or concerns identified in the collected data and use this information for the implementation of the next phase(s) of this streamlined and intuitive course interface.

 


 

Request Management System of the future

Manage Engine’s Service Desk Plus has been IT’s request management system for over a decade. This system has been working well for us, however, we believe it is time to evaluate its cloud offering and other competitors. This evaluation is driven by the following factors:

  • Need for advanced capabilities to provide customized customer surveys and reporting without third-party integrations (i.e. scheduled reporting, dashboards, etc.)
  • Provide integration with latest technologies (i.e. communication systems, telephony, etc.)
  • Enabling external departments to configure and customize their assigned environment to meet their operational needs

This initiative to improve our incident management system will enhance the overall customer experience by making request management processes more efficient and effective.

The goal of this project is to sign a 5-year agreement with the vendor of the selected solution.

 


 

TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT

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