FY11 Annual Report

Overview

UIT Educational & Scholarly Technology Services (ESTS) is a university-wide service organization supporting innovation and meaningful integration of technology for clients engaged in teaching, learning, and collaboration across diverse academic contexts at Tufts and beyond.

ESTS Highlights from FY11:

  • Implementing Trunk, the new Tufts University platform for learning, teaching, and collaboration based on Sakai, and creating the coordinated service and support model for Trunk. Completed a six-month TUSK-Trunk Planning Task Force endeavor, including functional gap analysis between Trunk/Sakai and TUSK, review of technical integration options, and high-level cost estimation for the Phase 3 work of integrating all essential and unique TUSK functionality with the university platform.

    Trunk Phase 1 Implementation & Migration for Medford!

  • Successful inaugural year of the Academic Technology Fellows Program and expansion of the program for FY12.
  • Implementation of the Academic Integrity Tutorial that all new students in Arts & Sciences and Engineering will complete beginning this fall.
  • Design, development, and systems administration support for the GeoData portal at Tufts. Project led by Patrick Florance, Manager of Geospatial Technology Services, RGTS.

    GeoData @ Tufts

    GeoData @ Tufts – Design, Development & Systems Support

  • Surpassing 120,000 worldwide users and contributions of multiple language translations for the Visual Understanding Environment (VUE). Twelve translations have been contributed by global members of the VUE open source community.
  • Expanded role for the Tufts Digital Library. Successfully created new content models and initiated development of the Hydra middleware layer to support expanded use of the TDL by Tufts Libraries and allied stewards of digital resources and collections.  TDL redesign project initiated. Facilitation of the Data & Metadata Storage and Management working group.
  • Enhancements to MediaMarkup (self-service upload and embed options) and WordPress (new templates and plug-ins) in the Spark suite of communication and collaboration tools.
  • Partnerships with faculty on a variety of internal and external grant projects, including Tufts Collaborates, Tufts Innovates, and NEH.
  • Mobile Technology R&D and prototyping, as well as guidance for the Tufts Art Center on their mobile app development project with Computer Science students.
  • Organizational redesign -  During FY11 ESTS moved successfully into a new structure as part of a broader UIT organizational design process to meet the evolving information technology goals of Tufts University.

See our e-newsletter, TLR Innovations, for additional stories of academic technology innovation and partnership.

Outreach & Communication:

  • Trunk communications and outreach on the Medford campus, where we have been preparing for Phase 1 launch of the new service on August 1, 2011. Outreach has included Quick Start Guides in all faculty mailboxes; the Trunk Support site with information about migration, registration for faculty workshops, and rich multimedia resources for self-service help; emails from the Trunk team and the Deans, presentations at department meetings, and more.
  • TLR Innovations - two new issues

    TLR Innovations

    TLR Innovations – Read all about academic technology at Tufts!

  • Faculty IT Liaison Program (FITLP) – completed Year 3 in School of Arts & Sciences and School of Engineering, and Year 2 in the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy
  • Teaching @ Tufts implementation in partnership with CELT. Due to launch in fall 2011.
  • Participation in New Faculty Orientations and TA Orientation 2010
  • GIFT Program presentation 2011
  • AT Fellows blog
  • ESTS Senior Solutions Specialist blog
  • Regional and national presentations and participation at NERCOMP annual conference and one-day workshops, Sakai annual conference, Harvard GIS conference, etc. Chaired NERCOMP Annual Conference Program Committee.

Consultation & Planning:

  • ~430 Consultations across the University in FY11 (outside of Trunk support consultations)
  • Consultation and technical support for Trunk, Spark, iClickers, VUE, Adobe Connect, VisWall, and GIS Lab
  • Grant/proposal consultations and authorship including Tufts Collaborates! and Tufts Innovates! awards, review of Open Access Awards via Scholarly Communications Team and University Committee on Teaching and Faculty Development, NEH follow-on grant for Bengali Intellectual Oral History project, and NEH HCRR digital humanities  proposal.
  • Frontline support for VUE users within Tufts and internationally (120,000+ users worldwide; increase of 50,000 over past year)

    VUE

    VUE tops 120,000 users this year!

  • UCTFD – Participation on University Committee on Teaching & Faculty Development (UCTFD)
  • Participation on University Library Council (ULC) and preparation for ULC Strategic Planning process
  • Participation on Tufts Libraries‘ Emerging Technologies Activation Team, Scholarly Communications Team, Next Generation Search & Discovery Task Force, and Staff Development Team
  • Participation on IT Leaders Forum (ITLF) and support for IT Advisory Council (ITAC)
  • Co-facilitated Tufts Distance Learning Consortium during Year 3. Successfully advocated for blended learning as focus of the December 2011 University Teaching Conference, currently in planning stages. Strategic planning underway for potential enhancements to central university services for distance and blended learning program development and support.
  • Regular strategic planning and collaboration with partners at CELT and Libraries. CELT/ESTS planning to develop comprehensive faculty development overview for Tufts.
  • Participated on Tisch Library Director Search Committee
  • Data & Metadata Storage and Management – facilitated group that includes DCA, ESTS, RGTS, Tisch Library, and ULTS
  • Tufts Re-accreditation – will participate on “Library and Other Information Resources” working group

Projects & Partnerships:

  • Bengali Oral History follow-on work via NEH grant.
  • Digital storytelling projects with Biology and Italian courses

    Biology 7 Digital Storytelling Project

    Biology 7 Digital Storytelling Project

  • Digital Design Studio planning with Tisch Library for Fall 2011 launch
  • Poincaré Institute – technology consultation and support for middle school math educators program online, using Sakai
  • ePortfolio and Learning Outcomes Assessment – Melissa Peet “Integrative Knowledge” event for the community in March 2011. Approval for project to implement Sakai-based Portfolio Sites in FY12. Renewed institutional membership with AAEEBL.
  • UIT Network Data Center project and associated Virtualization Working Group
  • IT Service Management project
  • Simplified Sign-On (SSO) implementation support
  • UIT Service Brochure

Continuing Programs & Services:

New Shape for ESTS:

  • In January/February 2011, UIT Academic Technology was transformed into two directorates: UIT Educational & Scholarly Technology Services (ESTS) and UIT Research & Geospatial Technology Services (RGTS). Given the rising demand across both of these academic technology services areas, we have given each of these areas significant new emphasis in UIT, and we continue to partner closely to support clients and academic technology projects across the university.

    UIT Educational & Scholarly Technology Services - org map

    ESTS org map

  • ESTS includes four main areas:
    • ESTS Client Services – the team that coordinates outreach, consultation, workshop offerings, faculty development programming, and support for available tools and services. Assistant Director: Sheryl Barnes.
    • ESTS Technology Services – the team that provides architectural design, software programming, and systems administration for application development, enhancement, and integration in support of teaching, learning, and scholarship. Manager: Matthew McVey.
    • Design & Usability Services – the team that supports User-Centered Design (UCD) practices across ESTS and UIT  more broadly, working to integrate these practices and associated User Experience (UX) focus into our work with the Tufts community. Manager: Mélanie St. James.
    • Senior Solutions Specialist – oversees the AT Fellows Program, enabling rapid prototyping of new solutions for ESTS clients and assisting clients directly with the meaningful use of existing tools and services. Senior Solutions Specialist: David Grogan.

Additional Organizational Development & Enhancement:

  • Educational Technology Services Planning Retreat 2010
  • UIT Action Planning Committee
  • Six ESTS staff members participating in the inaugural UIT Tufts Gordon Institute (TGI) leadership development course.
  • Expanded awareness of UIT Change Control and Service Disruption policies and practices; expansion of practices for new Trunk Service
  • Continued support for UIT Projects wiki environment
  • Successful recruitment of Project Manager for LMS Implementation, Manager of LMS Services, and Senior Client Support & Multimedia/LMS Specialist.
  • Internal promotions of staff as part of redesign. Congratulations to Sheryl Barnes, Matt McVey, and Mélanie St. James!
  • New role as part of redesign. Congratulations to David Grogan!
  • Internal promotion in filling vacated position. Congratulations to Steve McDonald!
  • Current recruitment for Senior Systems Administrator – LMS, Interactive Media Designer, and Software Engineer positions.