IT forum presents information on improving campus technology services
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 15:09
The NDSU Information Technology Division convened an open forum for faculty, staff and students to learn more about the ongoing and upcoming changes affecting campus technology services, as well as its present state.
Marc Wallman, the NDSU interim vice president for the IT division, hosted the forum from 2 to 3 p.m. on Aug. 29, and 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 30 in the Memorial Union Century Theater.
Wallman began with an explanation of the services provided by the IT division. The division provides the technology services on campus, including the online Blackboard site, the computer help desk and printing and email services.
He then gave a report of cross-departmental meetings from the past six months and how they affected the IT’s services offered.
Wallman presented a compilation of comments and criticism from campus members, which can be found on the IT division website.
From the resulting data, the division put together a chart of the most used words and phrases and analyzed the results. Analysis showed that most members of the campus community gave positive feedback on the IT support such as at the phone service and the IACC help desk. Blackboard feedback differed at each meeting; certain departments gave positive feedback and others gave negative feedback.
Wallman also presented information gathered for the FY11 report from 2010-2011. The report gathers information of all types, including the source of funding for the IT division and the rising demand of Tegrity in classrooms. Professors use Tegrity to record their lectures so that after the lectures students can go to the Tegrity website and repeat the lecture, or go over any lectures they missed.
From feedback and the FY11 report, the division was able to identify the “strengths, needs, opportunities and possibilities for information technologies at NDSU,” Wallman said in a press release. The division has already started to work with the data, improving the search engine for the campus site.
Wallman mentioned the division’s plan to make the NDSU website more user-friendly for people with disabilities including, but not limited to, visual impairments and mental handicaps with the help of a legally blind former student.
He used a metaphor to describe the benefits of updating the website: Although handicap ramps were intended to benefit people in wheelchairs, they benefit many people they ramps weren’t intended for benefit from them as well. , and Wallman said, “Ththe same is true with accessibility with technology,” Wallman said..” By making the website accessible for visually impaired students and staff, Wallman believes the website will be more accessible to many other users as well.s
they didn’t consider the updates would help.
Faculty and staff are moving to a new email system in late September, as the current Microsoft system will be shutting down in October.
Also in the future for technology affecting students is a move to integrated calendars and an email system for students and staff, but it is still a work in progress.