December, 2017 CIO Update
As we begin to wind down 2017 and prepare for 2018, I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone on the Technology Services team for their hard work, dedication, and professionalism. We have accomplished much this year and continue to be a critical part of supporting key initiatives at VCU. I also thank my colleagues in other VCU IT organizations and VCU Health Systems IT for our productive and collaborative relationships. Working together we continue to make VCU a great place to work, learn, and live. Following please find a couple of examples:
Student Response Systems (SRS, aka “clickers”)
Earlier this year, an Request for Proposal (RFP) process was initiated to fully assess and identify a reliable, affordable and effective SRS for the University. This initiative was based on feedback from faculty and students, current proliferation of response systems across VCU, critical issues and limitations of the current SRS (Turning Technologies), academic and technical functionality, and student financial requirements.
A variety of technologies were presented and evaluated by an RFP evaluation committee, comprised of teaching and administrative faculty, instructional designers and technologists, and academic technology faculty and staff. As result, VCU now has a contract with Top Hat, which will become the University’s standard, supported SRS.
Careful consideration has been given to the timeline for the transition to Top Hat and it’s impact to our faculty and students. Academic Technologies staff have begun sharing information, providing support resources, and scheduling training and Q&A sessions. Top Hat is available for use now, and the vendor has dedicated resources ready to assist a our faculty with getting started. We are committed to ensuring a successful implementation that is 100% functional by the start of Fall 2018 classes. More information about this initiative and implementation can be found in the TS askIT knowledge base.
SAS Visual Analytics
Over the past year, we have built a new business intelligence and reporting environment utilizing SAS Visual Analytics. This has enabled our colleagues from
the Office of Planning and Decision Support to begin building new and improved reports and dashboards and has also enabled our Administrative systems team to start to build better dashboards to support Finance (and the new budget model), Human Resources (and the HR redesign), as well as help the Office of the President and the Office of the VP for Administration track and report on key performance indicators (KPIs). More of this work will continue into 2018 , and I will provide further updates.