Advances in UCO Technology
Members of the Faculty Tech Advisory Council meet on October 27, 2016 to talk about updates regarding IT projects on campus. Some of these projects include updates to D2L and technology improvements. Photo by Cara Johnson, The Vista.
Over the next few months changes are being made by the Office of Information Technology to varying technology commonly used by students and faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Learn@UCO, better known as D2L, is one aspect of campus technology that is constantly being updated and changed for the better according to Vice President of Office of Information Technology and Chair Information Officer, Cynthia Rolfe.
“In the coming months the updates to Learn@UCO are focused on navigation, user experience and overall workflow. Instructors will see changes to make creating quizzes easier, improved assessment using rubrics and changes to the grades area that are allowed to be customized to the individual course,” Rolfe said.
She also said students would see improvements in tracking their progress on D2L and aspects of the website will be easier to navigate.
.@UCOBronchos Monthly Maintenance: The next scheduled maintenance will be from 5 a.m. until noon, Nov. 13th. Questions? Call 974-2255.
— UCO OIT (@UCOGeeks) November 10, 2016
According to the Director of Technology Resources, Kathryn Wullstein, rather than having fewer and larger updates to the system, D2L will be changed in small ways every month.
“We’re on a system, which the company has asked everybody to move to, where every month you have updates and it’s called continuous delivery. That means every month we have new changes,” Wullstein said.
Wullstein said the D2L company Brightspace has a set schedule of the updates and though they have been minor so far, they have been beneficial for instructors and faculty.
In addition to constantly upgrading D2L, Brightspace has recently released an application, known as Pulse, in which students can easily access course information and notifications through D2L.
“What it’ll do is show calendar events so you can get all these really nice reminders. If you were taking an English class and there’s an essay coming up you’ll get a reminder on your phone…So what it does is [it] just makes it easier when you’re on the go and on your tablet,” Wullstein said.
Wullstein said the IT office is still in the planning stage, but there will soon be an announcement and some promotion for Pulse so that UCO community members can be more aware of its existence.
According to Rolfe, the UCO IT office is always working to improve the technology used on campus and their recent project is focusing mainly of the communication process between the university and students.
Need assistance downloading Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus? Come by the UCO Service Desk in Max Chambers Library. https://t.co/vnKac14aiV
— UCO OIT (@UCOGeeks) August 31, 2016
“One of those major projects we’re working on now is a client relationship management product. We have licensed it through the company that provides the primary information system for the university,” Rolfe said.
The CRM will essentially remodel how UCO connects with its students in regards to events and information pertaining to campus.
“The purpose of client relationship management is just that, it’s to help us manage the communication that we have with each of our clients. So in the case of a higher ed institution it would manage communications to students, to donors and to other stakeholders,” Rolfe said.
Rolfe said that the CRM would make campus communication more specific to each student. Simply meaning, rather than receiving numerous broad email blasts, students would receive other notifications about things pertaining more to their majors.
The IT office is currently planning to incorporate the CRM and hopes it will be available to the student body and faculty members by May or June of 2017.