Monday, February 22, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.
Attendees (16): Kristine Artello, Jonathan Becker, Colleen Bishop, Michael Cabral, Kim Case, Amita Chin, Alex Henson, Vimal Mishra, Kathryn Murphy-Judy, Sonali Rathore, Valerie Robnolt, Carmen Rodriguez, Mandara Savage, Debra Shockey, Dayanjan (Shanaka) Wijesinghe
Jana Avery (scribe)
Valerie Robnolt opened the meeting and everyone introduced themselves. Valerie and Colleen shared the purpose of this committee and thanked everyone for agreeing to participate.
Communication, Collaboration, and Logistics
- A Google Group will be created by Technology Services to use for member communications.
- A website will be created by Technology Services to share information about the committee’s purpose and the topics being discussed.
- Academic Technologies staff will assist with meeting minutes and other logistics.
Current technology questions, issues and/or concerns discussed:
Transition from Blackboard to Canvas
- ExamSoft issues with Canvas; not an enterprise-level integration that is only being used by a few groups; Sue McGinnis in the School of Nursing is leading the effort to address this
- fear of impacting current courses; how to make courses available to students; trying to teach in both Blackboard and Canvas
- how incompletes for courses taught in Blackboard will be handled; request form to Learning Systems for creation of a course to be used for incompletes
- how grade disputes for courses taught in Blackboard will be handled (data will be archived and stored and grade information can be extracted)
- how to save/export content from Blackboard courses
- Jon Becker shared what he has in place for his department, where faculty leaders will export all department Blackboard courses and store the zip files in a shared folder, allowing the course content to be imported into Canvas by anyone (including adjuncts).
- how to get access and training for summer adjuncts not in the system yet; workarounds; recorded training sessions; posting information on CTLE’s adjunct site; Kim Case shared rethinking online exams guide
- deadline for access to Blackboard; why May 31st? can it be extended a month or two? (contract expires in June); difficulty dealing with Blackboard before and after the decision to migrate to Canvas; substantial costs involved.
- faculty were previously interested; experiences with it were not very good
- Examity: Fall 2020 evaluation of Examity; small group, rushed, not enough representation or time to truly evaluate; current (Spring 2021), live pilot should help faculty test and provide feedback; decision will depend on the feedback and if proctoring is still a need/concern for faculty; COVID contributed to the “rush” for a proctoring solution
- proctoring needs differ between departments; evaluation and decisions should be at the department level; specific to department needs, rather than an enterprise solution
- suggestion that this committee be involved in enterprise solutions for instructional purposes; composition of the RFP Committee should be discussed; what processes are followed (or should be) when enterprise software is considered and/or purchased; link to procedures Colleen follows; many requests coming in, not just for proctoring
- once campus is back “open” students should be required to be on campus for testing; students might want to continue remote learning
Thoughts About the Return to Campus in the Fall and Expectations
- last year John Bogan led (COVID) focus groups; how to prepare the technology in the classrooms; needs, costs, etc.
- difficult for instructors to teach a single class online and in the classroom at the same time; should be one or the other; double preparation due to pedagogical differences, accessibility and technology considerations;.expectations of faculty are not to be forced to do it at the same time, but then pandemic arrived; committee will continue this discussion at future meetings
- hybrid is different from hyflex; hyflex requires multiple instructors, technology needs and prequalifying students; asynchronous or synchronous are options, but a lot of factors to consider and decisions as a university; determination of whether VCU is ready for distance learning
Next meeting will be April 5th, 2:00-3:00pm
- Request Google Group for committee communications
- Request development of a committee website
- Share February meeting minutes
- Add to next agenda: continue discussion about hybrid and hyflex challenges
- Invite these people to our April meeting: Academic Technologies’ staff:
- John Bogan, manager of Media Support Services (MSS)
- Jared Parker, manager of MSS Classroom Support
- Houston Griffith, manager of Labs & Classroom Computing
For the latest news, information and best practices for instructional technologies at VCU, subscribe to the VCU Academic Technologies’ blogs. Get the up-to-the-minute information about Canvas, Kaltura, Turnitin, Zoom and Classrooms in the following blogs: