Information Technology Plan
The Information Technology Plan focuses on the use of information technology in support of teaching, learning, and administrative support services. Technology has become an integral part of teaching, learning, research and most administrative support services. IT provides an infrastructure for interaction, investigation and collaboration. Information Technology can be a transformative agent that not only enhances traditional modes of teaching and learning, but also enables new methods of teaching and learning.
Technology has the potential to facilitate and enable change across the University and help the University achieve its goals. In 2009-2010, the University increased the network bandwidth and added high-speed connections to both Madison and Green Bay, giving the University the reliability and access to network resources needed to support teaching, learning and administrative support services for the foreseeable future. In 2010-2011, significant technology investments are being made to provide technology in the new academic building, continued expansion of wireless network services and improved delivery of internal business services with the creation of a campus-wide Intranet project.
Technology is a key factor in engaged learning. IT assists students and faculty with tools, such as Web-based course management (Desire2Learn), classroom response systems (clickers), digitizing course materials for use with iPods or similar devices, campus simulation and research technology.
Key accomplishments for 2009-2010 include the following:
- Supported nearly 2,300 students using classroom response systems (50 percent increase);
- Supported online instruction with 6.2 percent of undergraduate courses, 28 percent of graduate course and 50 percent of summer session 2010 courses being online.
- Increased campus bandwidth and reliability to the Internet with the acquisition of new fiber pathways to Madison and Green Bay, ensuring that online course delivery, business functions and community area networks served by UW Oshkosh are not interrupted;
- Upgraded the University’s wireless network infrastructure by adding more than 250 access points to improve coverage in buildings across the campus;
- Improved the quality and availability of technology for instruction with the installation of 30 new data projectors, upgrade of four lecture halls and addition of four new technology rooms;
- Provided students with seamless access to campus printing services by implementing the Pharos print management system in campus GCA labs, the library and SLIC;
- Reduced energy costs and supported the campus sustainability efforts by completing the replacement of tube monitors with flat panel monitors designated for student use, and recycled monitors and computer equipment responsibly;
- Provided 74 training sessions (MS Office Suite, podcasting, Plone content management system, D2L course management system, TitanFiles, etc.) to 511 University participants;
- Assisted the Student Health Center with its move to electronic records, maintaining appropriate data access and security;
- Established an on-campus Apple Repair service to provide students and employees with direct hardware assistance.
Key goals for 2010-2011 include the following:
- Upgrade to Windows 7, Office 2007 standard across campus;
- Upgrade to Sun Convergence for mail, calendar, tasks, address book;
- Participate in developing university-wide procedures and standards for development and review of online and hybrid courses;
- Upgrade the hardware infrastructure of the University’s Student Information System in preparation for a major software upgrade in the next fiscal year;
- Provide structure and policy for campus data security and the infrastructure for secure remote access to campus resources;
- Provide students and employees with direct hardware assistance through an on-campus virus cleaning service;
- Create at least two new technology classrooms (computer, projector and video sources);
- Establish a campuswide Intranet and complete one or two projects that redesign business processes using automated work-flow procedures for easier use and to increase efficiency and reduce paper consumption.
- Create a new Windows domain, provide student accounts, shift file services from Novell to TitanFiles or Windows file servers;
- Provide Faronics Insight to control teaching lab computers and courses to train instructors how to use the tool.
IT strives to be internal consultants to and partners with college offices, departments and individuals on campus in evaluating, planning and implementing technology that assists in developing solutions to challenges faced by the campus community.
Major challenges in 2010-2011 include the following:
- A projected budget lapse will make the replacement of outdated computers and data projectors and the creation of new technology classrooms a challenge to fund.
- The increasing sophistication of malicious software and the insidious methods used to infect campus computers from remote Internet locations are a significant challenge for protecting sensitive data stored on University computers.
- Retaining highly skilled information technology professionals will be an increasing challenge because of continued state-mandated furloughs, a lack of compensation increases and active recruiting by private sector companies.
- A major long-term challenge is completing the fault-tolerant campus network design that requires the construction of a small data center in the basement of Polk library to house critical equipment that is automatically activated when primary network connections or equipment fail.