This Week in LIS - 12 July 2013

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Headline of the Week: Big Ten+ CIC Online Learning Collaboration: A Vision and a Framework

I came across an interesting article that pointed to a more interesting vision paper, which had been put together by the CIC Ad Hoc Committee for Online Learning. The CIC is a consortium of the Big Ten universities (e.g. University of Iowa and University of Minnesota) plus the University of Chicago. The Ad Hoc committee is speaking on behalf of the CIC Provosts. The focus of their Vision and Framework paper is online learning and collaboration. It is a response to online learning innovations and investments underway by for-profit institutions and many of their own institutions. They desire to lead and to enjoy the level of uncertainty reduction that comes with leading.

The Provosts are proposing a number of “…exploratory efforts to conceive, deploy and assess online instruction across a group of participating CIC Universities…”

The first is to engage in a project to transition a targeted set of less commonly taught languages to a robust online environment. Although not explicitly stated, I expect this item makes the list because of the high cost associated with teaching small numbers of students. An online offering could aggregate students to fill classes driving down the per student cost. We experience the cost challenge especially in the more advanced language courses beyond the first year. The idea is to share them across CIC Universities.

An extraordinary part of this proposal is also sharing them externally including to partners in high-quality liberal arts colleges. What possibilities might collaboration enable? Might we be able to offer additional languages or more advanced courses in languages we do offer for small groups of passionate students that want more advanced language courses in additional to all the other things for which they have come to Luther?

The second idea is to develop tools and strategies to aid faculty in the establishment and adoption of new and effective modes of instruction. We have noted on a number of occasions that when working inside an electronic platform with very large online classes with the right instrumentation and the analytics, one can imagine learning much about what does and doesn’t work for students with different characteristics and learning affinities. Using the ideas that emerge from analytics, going forward, enables the possibility for adaptive learning. This seems like one of the best things that might come from the MOOC phenomena over time. This is the basis for personalizing education – much like professors do today during office hours with their different students.

The third item was to develop their own platform so they were not dependent on platforms from other efforts (e.g. edX or Coursera or others). It will be interesting to see if the platform that emerges will also be something they will be willing to share.

We are in the midst of a time with some trends that cannot continue and new forces operating on higher education. Change is underway. It is interesting to see various groups and organizations within higher education organize for conversation and action and how frequently collaboration emerges as an approach to dealing with change.

I met with Dr. Tiede, our new interim President, earlier this week. We talked about some of these forces at work in our corner of higher education. I was very encouraged by his interest in convening further conversation about vision and especially with faculty. What should be durable, unchanged and conserved? What could be different to seize opportunity that comes with change?

Just a fun tidbit – with all of the IT infrastructure across all the Big Ten schools, the CIC’s paper is hosted on Amazon’s cloud storage service.

Suggested Reading/Viewing/Listening:

Universities in Consortium Talk of Taking Back Control of Online Offerings

CIC Online Learning Collaboration: A Vision and a Framework

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LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:

Notes from LIS Council

LIS Council is the leadership team within LIS. Among the topics discussed the past three weeks were:

  • LIS Operational Agenda
    • Council members will be reporting on LIS operational views (metrics for processes and status of projects) regularly at LIS Council meetings. This week’s reports included the following:
    • Archives
      • Rachel shared patron statistics from June. Archives served 14 patrons, most of which were external to the college. The transactions were largely reference engagements.
      • The team and student workers are utilizing a new accessioning process that leverages a Google form to capture information during accessioning and to provide input to appraisal. Approximately 75 linear feet have been recently accessioned. There is on the order of 100-200 feet of materials ready for accessioning.
      • UNI and Luther received further funding for the Postville project from the HRDP. The funds will provide a worker at UNI and a worker at Luther and work to improve the user experience of the website.
      • One attendee at the recent Luther hosted Archives Leadership Institute created a Storify site highlighting their experience. Visit
      • The Archives are revisiting records management. A survey has been sent out and data is being collected.
    • Network & Systems
      • Wireless Updates
        • Acquiring used wireless access points – MSM422’s vs MSM430’s or MSM460’s – provides a substantial savings ($27,000 down to approx. $9,000) to provide 5Ghz wireless support in Main, Sampson and Valders. Adam will move forward on this purchase.
        • External Dual Band USB adaptors will be stocked by the Book Shop and two are currently being tested in Towers by our student workers. (Louis has one and Thando has the other.) These inexpensive devices enable students with laptops that only support 2.4Ghz to get onto the 5Ghz network. The expectation is that this will both improve their wireless experience and will provide more capacity for devices only capable of operating at 2.4Ghz.
        • We discussed methods for communicating to students regarding the benefit of using LCWireless5G rather than LCWireless.
      • Compellent SAN Upgrade – On Saturday, July 20, 2013 LIS will be performing an upgrade to our Storage Area Network. During the upgrade, many services such as KATIE, Reason, Citrix, printing to network printers, and access to network files (e.g. admin1/academic) will be unavailable. Internet access, the campus network, Datatel, Norse Apps, and the ability to log into workstations will remain operational.
      • Facilities Network Upgrade Friday 7/12 2PM – On Friday July 12, the campus wired and wireless networks will be down in the Facilities Management building, Ockham House, Storre Theatre, and the Heating Plant starting at 2PM. This downtime will allow LIS to move our network equipment in the Facilities Management building to a new wiring closet. It is expected that the work will be completed by early evening.
      • New Knuth – LIS is planning on building a Knuth yet this summer and will work with the Computer Science department on the project.
    • Software Development
      • A representative from AudienceView has been on campus this week working with the Box Office staff. The target go-live date is August 26 for the new ticketing system.
      • The document imaging project has been kicked off with Perceptive Software, the vendor for ImageNow. Scanners are being shipped. Training will soon be scheduled. The target go-live date for processing new mail within the Alumni and Development Offices is November 1. The timeline for scanning and coding the backfile has not yet been established.
      • Work is underway to enable online pay advices. This will simplify the payroll process and may reduce the amount of paper Luther consumes. Discussion is underway on communication and training plans.
    • User Services
      • Digital Media Planning – We are still awaiting cost and time estimates from Facilities in order to know how much monies LIS will have for networking, storage, and equipment for the new Multimedia Center and Multipurpose Studio.
      • Faculty Roll – Workstations are being prepped for the Summer 2013 Faculty Roll for Music and Nursing which begins Monday, July 8.
      • Main 113 – Main 113 has been gutted in preparation for the remodel which will be complete by the start of the Fall 2013 Semester.
      • Olin 207 & 208 – Both Olin 208 and Olin 208 will be receiving new, movable tables and chairs this summer. The fixed teaching desk and podium computer will be moving to an equipment rack.
      • Olin 301 – Olin 301 (formerly the Round Table Room) is not being used as much as a regular classroom as expected. LIS would like there to be more use of the space.
      • Library Hours – LIS submitted a letter of support for the extended hours proposal drafted by Campus Safety & Security.
      • RC 11 – Athletics would like the lab workstations removed/moved from RC11. Specialized software (e.g. Silicon Coach) needs to be available somewhere. Conversations are in progress.
      • Compellent SAN Upgrade – We discussed the plans for the upgrade and communication to the Luther Community regarding the upgrade.
  • New Items
    • StrengthsFinder for Work-Study Students
      • Luther College is engaging in a three-year pilot program to become a “strengths-based campus” using Gallup’s StrengthsQuest (SQ) program. In this program, SQ will be used by a targeted population of students, staff, and faculty to help them discover, develop and apply their talents for academic, personal, and career success. Paul will be meeting with Dan Bellrichard to begin the conversation with LIS student workers.
    • Library Faculty Offices/Carrels
      • Policies for usage of the faculty offices and carrels in the library will be changing prior to the start of the Fall 2013 Semester. Conversations are in progress with the Dean’s Office.
    • EduCause CORE Data Survey
      • As a member of CLAC we are expected to complete the EduCause CORE data survey. The survey opened July 1 and the deadline for completion is September 13, 2013. It is challenging to complete this because the CORE data model is different from what we are able to track within Datatel. We will utilize Google Docs to organize and distribute questions across the organization.
  • Returning Items
    • IT Security Audit
      • We are awaiting the results of the IT Security Audit rescan which was performed in June. We discussed the next steps for creating a summary report of Luther’s response to the IT Security Audit.
    • NESU and EXIT Processes
      • Marcia, Jean, Ben, Patty, and Chris are meeting on July 15th to explore possible efficiencies in the processes we use to handle employee arrivals, exits, and changes as it relates to information technology.
    • OCLC WMS
      • The LIS Council discussed what work remains prior to to cutover. Worldcat is live on our LIS Research page. The tabs to Encore and Magnus have been removed. We anticipate OCLC will move our instance to their production servers on July 15. This will interface with our LDAP and enable reports that will allow circulation to begin operating with the new library automation system. A student is updating the catalog links within the LibGuides. Remaining work includes dealing with links within KATIE that need to be updated to point to the new catalog.
    • Security
      • We discussed how to approach ongoing IT security work management. This includes finalizing the work emerging from our penetration testing as well as other security work. We agreed to identify representatives from each of the functions that will provide status on work from their function, discuss and assign new work and to identify dependencies and help needed. The goal is to minimize meeting overhead while continuing to build our organizational capability and improve our security posture. Marcia, Diane, and Adam have been asked to select their representative to manage their areas to join Adam, Ryan (library) and Paul. Patty will schedule standing meetings.
    • SAN Upgrade
      • On Saturday, July 20, 2013 LIS will be performing an upgrade to our Storage Area Network. See blog posting for systems that will be unaffected and those that will be impacted.
    • LIS Web Site
      • We will soon make the transition to Reason for our LIS website. Training is being scheduled for July 18 and Aug. 1 in anticipation of a go live date of Aug 5.
    • Mission/Purpose of LIS Council
      • Paul has shared out a draft document to LIS Council members on the mission and purpose of the LIS Council for future discussion.

Upcoming LIS Training, Instruction, and Professional Development Opportunities

Click on the event below for specific information and for a link to register. More information on training and development events is available.

Course Format Date Location Enrollment
Prezi & Visual Literacy Workshop Jul 16 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Closed
Luther Admissions: Building the first-year class Workshop Jul 17 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Dahl Centennial Union – Nansen Open
Prezi & Visual Literacy (Repeat offering) Workshop Jul 23 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Preus Library – Hovde Lounge Closed
Paideia 111 & 112: Reading the Works (Day 1 of 2) Workshop Aug 19 2013 – 9:00am 4:00pm Main 114 Open
Paideia 111 & 112: Reading the Works (Day 2 of 2) Workshop Aug 20 2013 – 9:00am 4:00pm Main 114 Open
So you want to do a survey: Doing online survey projects with Qualtrics Workshop Aug 21 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Main 114 Open
Luther sudents and the ability to reason Workshop Aug 22 2013 – 9:00am 4:00pm Loyalty Board Room Open
Paideia 111/112 New Instructor Workshop (Day 1 of 2) Workshop Aug 26 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Main 114 Open
Luther College as a Community of Faith and Learning (Day 1 of 2) Faculty Development Aug 26 2013 – 9:00am 3:30pm Loyalty Board Room Open
Paideia 111/112 New Instructor Workshop (Day 2 of 2) Workshop Aug 27 2013 – 9:00am 12:00pm Main 114 Open
Luther College as a Community of Faith and Learning (Day 2 of 2) Faculty Development Aug 27 2013 – 9:00am 3:30pm Loyalty Board Room Open
Updates for Academic Advisors Faculty Development Aug 28 2013 – 1:00pm 3:00pm Main 114 Open

Training and instruction is provided to the Luther Community through Faculty Development Sessions, Library Instruction Sessions, Product Demonstrations, Skills Training, Workshops, 1-on-1 Sessions, and Online Materials. To schedule a session, contact the LIS Technology Help Desk at x1000 or enter your request online at

This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Paul Mattson, Executive Director of LIS at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

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