Minutes of ACAC Meeting, 12 November 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 PM, Presidents Board Room, Canisius College.
Attending: Jim Dolan (Emeritus Professor of English and past Chair of ACAC), Chuck Wigley (Chair), Estelle Siener, Sue Margulis, Mark Gallimore, Marianne Djuth, Leah MacVie, B.J. Kahng, Nico Lorgnier, Mark Yim, Dan Drew, Martin Moleski, Bob Grabowski, James Oigara.
Jim Dolan, longtime leader of ACAC, was welcomed back to ACAC. Decided strictly according to the procedures of mob rule, Mark Gallimore was “voluntasked” for recording meeting notes.
MEDIA CENTER PORTAL & CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY
Bob Grabowski of the Media Center presented a greatly updated Media Center space within the Portal (my.canisius.edu), found under “More Communities.” The space’s “home” page contains office hours, a basic table of contents, and contact information for Media Center personnel.
The Classroom Technology dropdown menu features:
– a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.
– the “What’s in My Classroom?” tool.
– a log or chronicle of upgrades done in Campus classrooms and other spaces.
– a training and support page, including tutorials, step-by-steps for using classroom technology, audio/video adapter instructions, and related technology information.
The Media Services dropdown menu features:
– Guide to Media Services, an overview of media-related services for faculty and staff.
– Information concerning audio and video media production.
– Description of production facilities (such as the TV Studio) and possibilities.
– Instructions for equipment loans.
The “What’s in My Classroom Tool” can be reached directly at: www.canisius.edu/classrooms. This includes:
– a Full catalog of all classrooms, and the type of technology available in each.
– Search by tech level, or location on campus.
Bob Grabowski described changes made to classroom media touch panels in classrooms that now offer more explicit instructions. In response to specific concerns about connecting laptops to classroom media hardware, Bob reiterated that he will work with faculty to sort out any technical problems they have, so that they can get the best out of classroom technology.
Chuck Wigley said that, problematically, USB drives are frequently left on classroom tech podium/bunkers. Estelle Siener pointed out that unfortunately, if they were transferred to the HelpDesk, the USB drive’s owner would probably not know it. Dan Drew and Bob Grabowski stated that they will keep relevant faculty updated as to the status of a particular classroom’s technology, as they have regularly done in the past. Several faculty asked about procedures to follow if they find classroom tech cables that are too tight or unplugged. Bob Grabowski said that he will pay special attention to this as he makes updates in classrooms. Estelle Siener requested that faculty contact the Help Desk, whereupon ITS or media center personnel would remedy the problem. Chuck Wigley reiterated that Media Center folks do a tremendous job. Faculty present agreed.
PASSWORD EXPIRATION POLICY & STATISTICS SOFTWARE
Estelle Siener reported that a password expiration policy will be enacted across campus beginning in April. Faculty and Staff will receive ample warning via email before any password changes by individuals are required. Those who regularly change their password may not be bothered by warning messages, however.
For users of older versions of SPSS, Siener requested that they contact HelpDesk to set up an appointment to have their copy of SPSS upgraded. SPSS is now at version 22. Siener requested that those present inform their department members and anyone else who uses SPSS. Chuck Wigley asked what statistics packages were currently supported on campus. Siener replied that SPSS is the primary application, although Mathematics uses Minitab. Wigley warned that although SPSS has a “competitor” in PSPP, PSPP download packages frequently contain malware.
SPRING SEMESTER 2015 & D2L
Estelle Siener pointed out that spring courses had appeared in Desire2Learn, and although Help Desk was taking requests to merge sections in D2L, the actual merges would not take place until late in the fall semester, after registration is largely complete. After requesting a merge, faculty will be notified as to which section they could immediately use to build content. That content will then be transferred to the merged course. The FacTS Center maintains ample tutorial material at a special Wiki section for Desire2Learn, and is available for consultation with faculty members to answer any questions or concerns they may have as they build or modify courses in Desire2Learn. By default, students will not see Spring Semester courses in Desire2Learn until 9th of January.
ONGOING D2L CONCERNS
Some faculty present expressed concerns that students had difficulty submitting content to D2L dropboxes. Leah MacVie pointed out that students must submit files, rather than simply text comments, to D2L dropboxes. Moreover, students must complete the submission process. She offered to help faculty with any problems they were currently having with D2L dropboxes. Nico Lorgnier pointed out that D2L appeared to deactivate ratings when discussion boards copied from course to course. Is this a default? Can it be modified? Siener and MacVie offered to investigate the issue.
NEW SOFTWARE REQUESTS
Estelle Siener requested that faculty submit requirements for software to be installed on lab PCs or Macs by 1 December. For PCs, faculty should consult Lisa Mastropaolo. For Macs, faculty should talk to Scott Clark.
The meeting concluded with a look forward to the December 3rd Christmas Party. All ACAC interested persons are invited to attend!