- Assignment: bold indicates a delegated task
- Recommendations: italics
- Josh Markle, Lance Grigg, Ken Heidebrecht, Lorraine Beaudin, Scott Powell, Marlo Steed
- Regrets: Craig Loewen, Sandra Dixon, Jeff Meadows (Teaching Centre)
Technology Support Report (Scott):
Teaching Centre (Jeff):
Instructional Support (Ken):
Items for Information
Online Authoring for Asynchronous Instruction
Marlo shared the email conversation between Marlo and David with the committee as a backdrop to this discussion. The fundamental issue is: Can the Faculty afford to purchase a licence for a commercial Authoring system that would make it easier for instructors to create interactive content? This initiative could reduce the number of instructors and at the same time increase enrollment limits - for some courses.
The discussion revolved around the differences between open-source and proprietary software - the pros and cons. Integrate is a commercial proprietary app that is user-friendly and has some unique features compared to open-source apps like Moodle. The educational value of increasing enrollments was discussed. The general consensus of the group looked on increasing enrolments with scepticism and fear of the slippery slope associated with going down that road. For instance, the ongoing training of GAs is brought out as a downside. However, at the same time, it was recognized that there may be courses or components of courses that might benefit from this approach. This issue needs more consideration and discussion at the Faculty level. Perhaps a conversation at a COW.
Items for Action
Adjudicated Robert LaBlanc's Technology Applications & Research Fund Proposal
Robert's proposal for audio equipment for his was discussed. It was cofimrmed that this would be for a different purpose than his previously funded applicatios, the propoal was approved in principle and passed on to adminnisration for approval.
Faculty Website Maintenance
The Faculty website is a platform for communicating stories about individuals and groups in the Faculty but also represents the interface between stakeholders and the calendar/program and requires continual attention. Faculty Council approves handbook changes, but no such procedure is in place to monitor changes to the Faculty website.
To this point in time, changes to the website have been mainly ad hoc. Some offices are good at updating their web pages, and others may not be as prompt. In the past, Darcy and Marlo have attended to global changes as the need arose. However, there has been no formalized and regularized review of the website. Recently the Faculty hired Leston, but it has not been easy because he hasn’t known the program well (although his initiative and work has been welcome).
The committee recommends that the Faculty consider a more formalized path forward with website maintenance. Here are ideas raised during our conversation:
- One thought was to hire a student each summer, but the concern is a lack of understanding of the program and lack of continuity.
- Another thought was to have someone from IT assigned to the Faculty of Education and be responsible. The problem with this idea is that IT has not had a good track record with supporting us in the past, and the concern is that whoever would be assigned would be drawn off for other purposes.
The committee is not a decision-making group, but here are recommendations for the Faculty to consider:
- Faculty Website Manager: Have someone responsible for the overall website maintenance; someone like Kevin Orr who has knowledge of the program but could develop the technical skills for working with Droople (the website editor). That person could act as a liaison with the offices, communications officer and periodically review the entire website. That person ensures the design and layout are consistent with University guidelines and Faculty conventions, checks links to confirm those are accurate, content is up to date, and the web pages exhibit readability and legibility. That person will probably have other responsibilities, but website maintenance would part of their job description.
- Website Committee: Establish a website committee with representatives from each office, the communications officer, the website manager, are representative from Faculty and administration. This group would meet once a year to review the website and identify areas in need of attention; consider updates, enhancements, and navigational changes.
- Approval Process: Editorial changes and updates to documents could still be made in a timely manner without formal approval. The committee would approve significant changes to the website. Significant changes go to Faculty Council as information items. The definition of “significant” would need to be defined and articulated.