DUKE ITAC - August 9, 2007 Minutes

ITAC minutes

August 9, 2007

Start: 4:05

Attendees: Pakis Bessias, John Board, Bill Cannon, Tammy Closs, Wayne Miller for Dick Danner, Tracy Futhey, Gene Galin, Michael Goodman, Rick Hoyle, Ed Games for Deborah Jakubs, Bob Newlin for David Jamieson-Drake, Roger Loyd, Jackie Gottlieb, Tim Bounds for Caroline Nisbet, Lynne O’Brien, Rafael Rodriques, Molly Tamarkin, Trey Turnet III, Robert Wolpert.

Guests:Matt Young of OIT TAG, Kevin Miller of OIT, Jim Siebow, Boyd Carlson of DHTS, Aurora Collado of UNC, Neail Caidin of CIT, Hugh Crumley of CIT, Tim Pyatt of University Archives

Announcements:

Duke hosted Ivy Plus at the data center. Discussed the importance of proper data center cooling.

Duke Wiki has gone live at wiki.duke.edu

WebFiles will go live on Monday, August 13. Klara appreciated the feedback from pre-launch users

Pratt helped with the Novell outage a couple of weeks ago

Faculty and staff are reminded that freshmen will be in on 21, 22, and 23

Agenda Item 1: Blackboard Update
Neil Caidin and Lynne O’Brien


Attendees were presented with a three-page blackboard Summary Report handout
The Report provided information about Highlights for AY 2006-07, Plan for AY 2007-08, Blackboard 6.3 upgrade, Blackboard support, Use of Blackboard and other systems for multimedia, Blackboard and Open Source, Details for 2007-08 plans.

Graphs show how many active courses faculty are turning on the course site. There were 1520 active courses in spring 2006

Disk space has grown exponentially since 2000 – 780 gigabytes used in Spring 2007

Part of the reason for this disk storage growth is that DDI courses and other courses are using more multimedia

Projected Blackboard 7 upgrade next year. Current version is 6.3

Subject was brought up about courses having four years of “life” in the system, beginning with courses created for Fall 2007. The concern is that if there are no limits to how long courses remain in the system they could be possible “degradation” and compatibility problems when making future upgrades.

Integration with other applications is important.

Neil is hoping to do a pilot with mobile messaging technologies. This has been put on hold for the time being.

Duke Library is conducting a pilot about integrating more of their content into Blackboard.

Second Life and Blackboard are talking about integration.

There is already some integration going on between Second Life and Google

1500 courses are currently active for fall 2007.

80% of active regular rank faculty use Blackboard.

Improved Duke Blackboard support web site at blackboard.duke.edu

There have been some concerns about non-regular non-full semester courses being integrated into Blackboard. Examples of this are courses that are funded with grants – i.e. training nursing home personnel.

Some non-standard courses are using moodle (moodle.org/) to create their online learning communities.

Blackboard does have an option to self-register. This feature is not turned on in the Duke environment.

Questions arose about how to integrate Duke and non-Duke people into a course site.

Neil is a member of a Blackboard grassroots user group that that is interested in open source tools that can integrate with other tools.

Tracy asked about open source network interaction with MIT.

This is something Duke continues to be involved with.

A question came about archiving courses for four years. Neil mentioned that the common model is to only archive for two years.

There are difference ways to archive the courses. The integrity of older courses can become unstable by upgrades of the Blackboard system.

As data storage pricing goes down and capacity goes up, “costs” associated with maintaining archives become negligible.

UNC has concerns about archiving classes for too long.

More universities are putting effort into Blackboard versus going with an open source model.

Fair use issues come into play with how much content can be put “on-line” and into storage.

Duke is licensing electronic resources. Licensing allows Duke students and faculty to access content online through the Duke system. Licensing is by Duke FTE. Licensing fees are based on how many duke affiliates are logged in.

E-Learning Exploration at UNC
Aurora Collado filled in for Charlie Green


UNC is looking at open source solutions as an alternative to Blackboard.

The North Carolina and UNC distance learning committee reports states that the University system should use open source to compliment commercial systems for economic reasons. Another reason is that it might allow for more collaboration between applications.

In spite of open source alternatives, Blackboard remains a critical resource for the University. Learning management systems are expected to be up and running 14/7.

Charlie Green’s group is involved in a big project with the UNC Pharmacy School in trying to attract resources from outside the university.

Sakai and Moodle are two open source options.

Any open source solution must provide integration with other applications.

UNC is currently using a homegrown student management system, but will be moving to PeopleSoft.

Sakai is developing an integration module that does not care what system you are using.

Blackboard has expressed no interest in pursuing a similar solution.

Unicorn is working with Oracle on integration

Sakai started in 2004. It has most of the tools that UNC uses.

Sakai provides access to resources that blackboard does not offer in it’s core, i.e. community systems. For example, the Kenan-Flagler business school uses programs worldwide with different tools.

Aurora feels that Sakai may better meet the needs of the university.

Questions UNC asks when looking at Sakai–
Are options reliable and robust?
Are other institutions using Sakai?
What are their experiences with the product?
How many Sakai vendors are available?

UNC is becoming more comfortable with Sakai. UNC created a study group in 2007. The university is still in an evaluation mode.

They are in the process of staring a pilot on September 25. The Friday Center and University libraries are involved with others.

Most state universities in NC like what they see so far.

UNC uses Sakai vendor rSmart to provide Sakai interfaces and to provide support for instructors. This kind of vendor support makes the product more attractive.

At UNC 25,000 students and 3,000 instructors touch blackboard. Many use few features beyond the basis.

Sakai does not have as many applications as Blackboard.

The answer to the million-dollar question is that it is hard to please everyone. Your best hope is to develop the products that meet the most needs of the UNC community.

An attendee noted that most people like to use one interface for tools.

UNC does plan to migrate to Sakai. Some Sakai schools have already gone through the Blackboard migration. Michigan and Stanford have already done it.

Aurora noted that as an end user you have to be willing to have developers versus buying licenses if you go with an open source solution.

Patient Portal Presentation
By Boyd Carlson – Senior director of application development at DHTS


The Duke Medicine portal is a way to change interaction with patients. The new portal is an extension of the existing system. The portal was developed in partnership with IBM.

The patient owns their medical records. If a patient “owns” their data, they tend to be more compliant with doctor instructions.

The Associated Press picked up the story about the Duke medical portal in February. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal also covered it.

IBM brought in their “A” team and the system was in production in 14 weeks.

Many things are built into Websphere. It is big and robust (used by Amazon).

IDX Health Care uses Objects to integrate with other systems.

The system handles over 80,000 daily transactions.

Release 2.0 provides proxy access for children’s information, allows user to view scheduled appointments.

The new medical portal is adding about 50 new patients a week.

The plan is to offer rapid check-in starting in the fall. Patients will be able to fill in forms before checking in. The Duke clinical group is pushing this effort.

In winter 2007, patients will be able to make their own appointments. There are 6,500 accounts set up in the system.

Annotations by physicians are coming in early 2008. A prescription list feature is also coming.

Web site – healthview.dukehealth.org

The existing Patient Channel will be retired in a month or two.

The Duke Medicine portal function will work across the entire system.

Patients are already being asked for their email addresses, which will be used as one of the identifiers in this system.

The patient portal will provide a tremendous boost in “migrating from illness care to health care”.

The Online Dissertation presentation was rescheduled for the next ITAC meeting.

Adjournment: 5:30