Information Technology Services at The University of Iowa

Archive for the ‘Training/Professional development’ Category

IT Security Day 2012 is coming in October

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Security Day 2012 banner

Please join your colleagues and panel of presenters on 17 October for IT Security Day 2012, to learn how to better calculate risks, layer defenses and increase efficiencies within your areas. Click here to register for IT Security Day 2012 to register and view the day’s agenda.

Funding available for faculty interested in teaching with technology

Friday, September 21st, 2012

University of Iowa faculty members have a chance to pursue funding for technology projects through the Innovations in Teaching with Technology Award program. Proposals will be accepted through Oct. 17, and a total of $100,000 will be awarded.

The program aims to raise the level of teaching and learning at the UI by supporting significant and innovative instructional technology projects that impact student success and retention. The Academic Technologies Advisory Council looks for proposals that use collaborative learning strategies and emerging technologies that are new to the UI.

Priority will be given to proposals with potential for replication across the university. Cross-disciplinary projects are encouraged, though not required. Proposals geared toward the instruction of undergraduates are also encouraged, though the program is not limited to undergraduate education.

The number of awards will be determined by the quality of applications. Applications can be made to support the costs of hardware, software, and personnel. Funding is not available for faculty salaries or for projects that are technologically sophisticated but not oriented toward participatory learning. The advisory council will select applicants to interview, and will request a detailed budget, project timeline, and milestones for the second round of reviews.

In addition to funding support, recipients receive resources and consultation time with instructional services staff members from Information Technology Services (ITS). For pilot projects with potential for a “Phase II” follow-up project, instructors have an opportunity to compete for a second award.

Award winners must assess the impact of technology on student learning in a particular course and make two presentations about the award to UI campus audiences. They are expected to contribute to a culture of teaching excellence by disseminating the results of their efforts through workshops, publications, demonstrations, mentorships, wikis, or other peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

Winning proposals from previous years can be viewed here, and a summary of proposals submitted and awarded since the program is available here. Additional details are available in the application guidelines.

For more information, contact Les Finken at 319-335-5467, or e-mail ATAC-ITTA-PROPOSAL-SUBMISSION@list.uiowa.edu.

New web-based survey tool fuels spike in usage

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

A new web-based survey tool deployed by Information Technology Services last summer is proving to be a successful solution for the University of Iowa. Using Qualtrics, over 130,000 people have responded to more than 4,000 surveys since last June. Since the transition to this new online survey software, the number of web survey users at the UI more than doubled, from 600 to nearly 1,500.

The UI uses online surveys to conduct research, evaluate faculty and staff members, and gauge customer service. Event organizers create Qualtrics surveys for registration, and service managers use it to gather information from customers as they assess demand and preferences.

Ben Earnhart, who handles technology for the Department of Sociology and the Iowa Social Science Research Center, has worked with Qualtrics on a dozen or so projects, including one that garnered about 1,400 responses.

“For the most basic functionality, it’s really simple to use. For more advanced users, the flow control, randomization capabilities, and presentation of questions can be incredibly powerful,” he says.

Earnhart says Qualtrics meets researchers’ needs for security and compliance, and that collaboration capabilities allow them to easily edit surveys. He can maintain control over the technical aspects of the survey but still allow clients to view results in real time. Another plus is the presentation options, which range from built-in templates to custom colors, spacing, and graphics.

UI technology experts say in most cases, people can create, test, and deploy a survey in less than 30 minutes. Users can log in using their Hawk ID, and Qualtrics is hosted and fully supported by the vendor. Users receive help directly from Qualtrics by phone or e-mail, Qualtrics provides a wealth of support information, and training is available in a number of formats at no additional cost to users.

Prior to Qualtrics, the UI had used WebSurveyor since May of 2005. The Survey and Desktop Applications Group in ITS-Enterprise Services investigated what the market had to offer and guided the transition once Qualtrics was selected. The Directory and Authentication Group hooked Qualtrics into the university’s Shibboleth to allow enterprise authentication. By January of 2012, everything was shifted over and ITS was able to retire the old tool.

Campus IT partners such as Earnhart complimented ITS on keeping clients informed and seeking feedback about users’ needs. Qualtrics staff members were impressed by the smooth transition.

“I have never worked with a university that more effectively and efficiently rolled out a university-wide solution,” says Bryce Winkelman, a Qualtrics representative. “It has been an absolute pleasure working with your university.”

Qualtrics is one of the first cloud-based services ITS has deployed for the entire campus. In evaluating future cloud possibilities, the UI will look at this as one of the successful transitions for campus.

For more on Qualtrics, including training and support information, visit http://its.uiowa.edu/apps2/support/qualtrics.

INNOVATIONS IN TEACHING WITH TECHNOLOGY AWARDS: Call for Proposals

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The Academic Technologies Advisory Council is calling for proposals for the Innovations in Teaching with Technology Awards. The goal of the Innovations in Teaching with Technology Awards program is to raise the level of teaching and learning at The University of Iowa by supporting significant and innovative instructional technology projects that have the potential to directly impact student success and retention. Projects that call for the use of collaborative learning strategies and student use of emerging technologies for teaching and learning are encouraged. These projects should be considered “proof-of-concept” projects that are new to The University of Iowa.

Priorities: In the spirit of innovation, all new ideas are welcome, but the focus must be on instruction. Priority will be given to projects that, if proven successful, can be replicated throughout the University. Cross-disciplinary projects are encouraged, but not required.

Audience: Projects that primarily improve the instruction of undergraduates are encouraged. However, this program is not limited solely to undergraduate education.

Awards: A total of $100,000 is available for awards. The number of awards will be determined by the quality of the applications. A single award or multiple awards may be made. Applications can be made to support the costs of hardware, software, and personnel. Funding is not available to support faculty salaries.

Process: During the preparation of proposals, applicants are encouraged to contact Les Finken at 335-5467 or les-finken@uiowa.edu for assistance in determining whether your project is suitable for the funding program.

The steps for the 2011 Innovations in Teaching with Technology Awards are as follows:

  • October 18: Applications uploaded to ITTA proposal submission website.
  • November 15 & 16: Interview selected applicants
  • Mid December: Award winners notified and funds made available

For more information on the Innovations in Teaching with Technology Awards program and awards granted in previous years visit Academic Technologies Advisory Council website.

Annual 4CAST conference is Jan. 13

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The fourth annual Campus Academic Strategies and Technology (4CAST) conference will take place Thursday, Jan. 13, in the University Capitol Centre (UCC) Conference Center (UCC-2520).

The featured morning speaker for this year’s event is Dr. Alan Aycock, Acting Director of the Learning Technology Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Aycock will present an interactive session on redesigning courses for blended learning. The afternoon schedule features a teaching and learning scavenger hunt and interactive presentations from University faculty and staff.

Each year, the 4CAST conference offers University of Iowa faculty and instructional staff an opportunity to discuss how to purposefully integrate technology into their courses. 4CAST is jointly sponsored by ITS, the Center for Teaching, University of Iowa Libraries and the Division of Continuing Education.

There is no cost to attend 4CAST; however, seating is limited and registration is required.

IT Security Day 2010

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

The Art of WarThis year’s ‘IT Security Day’ theme is based upon Sun Tzu’s the Art of War, a text that has had great influence in eastern military strategy and one that finds continued life in today’s academic and corporate world. Sun Tzu’s idea of strategy was not planning in the sense of working through an established list, but rather that strategy requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions.

The continued exponential growth of digital networks and infrastructure has increased the need to further invest in IT security earlier on in the decision process. Increase your awareness efforts to better know your enemy (or the technology’s faults and weaknesses) equipping you to protect, plan and react accordingly for the overall greater good of the University and its business interests.

Security Day is free and open to all interested researchers, faculty, students, staff and members of the public; attend as many sessions as your schedule allows.

When: Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
Where: Bijou Theater, Iowa Memorial Union

Please register at here as seating is limited.

The agenda of the day’s events can be found here.

Speaker’s Bios can be viewed here.

Proposals due Oct. 18 for Innovations in Teaching with Technology Awards

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

The Academic Technologies Advisory Council is calling for proposals for the Innovations in Teaching with Technology Awards (ITTA).

The goal of this awards program is to raise the level of teaching and learning at The University of Iowa by supporting significant and innovative instructional technology projects that have the potential to improve student success and retention. These projects should be considered as “proof-of-concept” projects that are new to The University of Iowa. A summary of all the proposals awarded since the inception of the program is available at the ITTA website.

Priorities: In the spirit of innovation, all new ideas are welcome, but the focus must be on instruction. Priority will be given to projects that, if proven successful, can be replicated throughout the University. Cross-disciplinary projects are encouraged, but not required.

Audience: Projects that primarily improve the instruction of undergraduates are encouraged. However, this program is not limited solely to undergraduate education.

Awards: A total of $100,000 is available for awards. The number of awards will be determined by the quality of the applications. A single award or multiple awards may be made. Applications can be made to support the costs of hardware, software and personnel. Funding is not available to support faculty salaries.

Process: During the preparation of proposals, applicants are encouraged to contact Les Finken at 335-5467 or les-finken@uiowa.edu for assistance in determining whether your project is suitable for the funding program.

Key dates in the 2010 ITTA process are:

For more information on the Innovations in Teaching with Technology Awards program, go to http://its.uiowa.edu/instruction/atac/.

Applications for TILE Faculty Institute are due on Sept. 24

Monday, September 13th, 2010

The TILE (Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage) classroom is an active-learning space that promotes student collaboration and supports the University of Iowa’s commitment to transforming undergraduate education and increasing opportunities for student success.

Located on the first floor of Main Library, the first TILE classroom seats 54 students at six round tables, with an instructor’s station in the center of the room. The room features flat-panel monitors for displaying students’ work, white boards on each wall for collaboration, and broadband connectivity for every student. The room’s setup promotes lively interaction, enhanced learning, and increased faculty/student engagement.

ITS-Instructional Services and the Center for Teaching will offer a year-long TILE Faculty Institute, beginning with an intensive training event Oct. 14-16 (Thursday evening and all day Friday and Saturday). The Institute will provide support and training for faculty who seek to implement TILE-based teaching strategies into their courses. Institute fellows also will learn how to effectively use the TILE spaces and technology.

The event will be conducted by Dr. Jon Gaffney, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Physics, University of Kentucky. Dr. Gaffney has worked closely with Dr. Bob Beichner, who directs the SCALE-UP program at North Carolina State University and conducted the summer 2010 TILE Faculty Institute. The nationally recognized SCALE-UP Project is a resource for institutions that want to create and assess classroom environments that support interactive, collaborative learning.

We welcome applications from University of Iowa tenured, tenure-track and clinical faculty members. The TILE Executive Team will select the faculty participants who will be given a $1,000 research/professional development account in support of curriculum development in a TILE learning space.

More information and an application can be found here.

Fall NExTT workshops are August 16-20

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Looking for new ways to use technology in the classroom? Need a refresher on the latest changes to the ICON system?

The NExTT workshops – New Experiences with Teaching Technology – are aimed at instructors and instructional support staff who want to use classroom technologies more effectively. The hands-on nature of the workshop sessions allows you to fully explore a variety of technology options, and coaches are available to assist you along the way. There is no charge to attend.

The fall NExTT workshops are Aug. 16-20. Most sessions will be held in the ITS training room (UCC-2523) or the new TILE classroom in Main Library (Room 1022).

Topics for the sessions include:  ICON, Wikis, Blogs and Clickers.

View the session list, and click on a session title to learn more and to register.

Eighteen seminars are offered over the course of the weeklong workshop, and participants are free to register for only those sessions they wish to attend.

NExTT workshops are presented twice each year (near the start of the fall and spring semesters) by ITS Instructional Services.


Spaces available in computational science summer courses

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Want to learn how to use graphics processors for scientific computing? Scale your parallel code to tens of thousands of CPU cores? Deal with enormous data sets? Then check out the 2010 summer program offered by the Virtual School of Computational Science and Engineering (VSCSE).

During VSCSE summer school, attendees learn new techniques for applying high-performance computing systems to their work or research. Courses are held in a state-of-the-art classroom equipped with live, high-definition, two-way videoconferencing technology that provides a high-quality learning experience. Course participants apply the techniques learned in hands-on lab sessions, assisted by skilled teaching assistants who work one-on-one and in small groups to answer questions and solve problems posed during the sessions. The VSCSE 2010 program will be run at 21 academic and research institutions across the country, including the University of Iowa.

ITS-Research Services is pleased to be collaborating with the VSCSE in providing classroom space (instructors will be remote) at the UI. This summer’s VSCSE courses at the UI are:

These courses are aimed at practical aspects of computational science that often fall between the cracks, as computer science departments focus on what computer scientists need to know, and domain science and engineering departments focus on the applications of computer science to those disciplines.

The VSCSE is an educational initiative of the Blue Waters Project with a goal of preparing the current and next generation of scientists and engineers to use leading-edge computer systems. Blue Waters is a joint effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, its National Center for Supercomputing Applications, IBM, and the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation, of which the UI is a member. When Blue Waters comes online in 2011, it is expected to be the most powerful supercomputer in the world for open scientific research. It will be the first system of its kind to sustain one petaflop performance on a range of science and engineering applications.

Later this summer, a campus shared High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster with approximately 1,600 cores will be established on The University of Iowa campus. Successfully completing courses like the ones offered through the VSCSE can position UI faculty, researchers and student assistants to potentially leverage such a resource.

The University Capitol Centre Conference Center will host the VSCSE classes, but participation is “first-come, first-served” and seating is limited, so register early to reserve your seat. You will be billed $100 per course, which must be paid within two weeks of registration. Lunch each day and a first evening reception will be provided. To enroll go to: http://www.vscse.org/news/register-summer-2010.html.

Accepted participants can take online short courses on MPI, OpenMP, and CUDA that are designed to help meet course prerequisites at no additional cost.

Participants are required to provide their own laptops. The ITS Rental service offers short-term laptop rentals for UI departments needing equipment for conferences, travel and other purposes. For more information about this service and to reserve equipment, please visit: http://its.uiowa.edu/rental.

If you have further questions after visiting the registration website, please contact jerry-protheroe@uiowa.edu.