Portal Progress

After a successful pre-registration for Fall courses, we have continued to make progress on improving the features available through the Student/Faculty portlets.

This summer, for the first time, students are able to add and drop classes through the Portal add-drop feature. Of course, students need to discuss changes with their advisors, but they don’t need to make a special trip to the Registrar’s office to deal with paperwork.

Department Chairs now have the ability to view the grades for all the courses in their departments.  If you are a Department Chair, you should see an option to “Change Semester/Instructor” on the Faculty Course Control page.  If you don’t, please let us know.

The next big project for the Portal is a version upgrade and new versions of both the Student and Faculty CRM’s.   We are working now to incorporate the Claremont Colleges local changes into the standard versions of the CRM’s in our test environment.  Testing and implementation will happen this summer.

LabSTOR launched

For about a year now, I have been working with three other CIOs on a project we call LabSTOR.  Rick Holmgren (Allegheny), Mike Roy (Middlebury), Pam McQuesten (Occidental) and I all wanted to find a way to get access to the kind of remote computing services provided by North Carolina State’s Virtual Computing Lab (VCL).  The service allows people to use specialized software without having to install it on their local machine and without having to visit a lab.

NC State Virtual Computing Lab

At the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC) conference in June 2009, we tested the waters for interest and came away confident that we should move forward with a pilot project.  After a good deal of research, we contracted with NITLE to help manage the project and with Longsight for the infrastructure.  We recently announced the initiative and called for twenty schools to commit funding for a three year pilot.  Within a day of the announcement we had fourteen commitments! See the map below for a snapshot of schools that have joined.

Here at CIS, we are thinking of use cases that would make sense in LabSTOR.  If you know of a piece of software that is installed, say, in only one lab, but which you think ought to be available remotely to anyone on campus, drop me a line.

The LabSTOR web page is http://labstor.blogspot.com.  And You can view a screencast of the NC State VCL at http://www5.hmc.edu/vcldemo.html

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Alumni Weekend 2010 big success for Harvey Mudd College – CIS plays important role

Harvey Mudd College’s Alumni Weekend 2010 took place Friday, April 30 to Sunday, May 2, 2010.  The event was a big success for the College, and many departments worked closely together to make it a success.

CIS provided technical support, equipment, and audio / visual coverage of events.

Months before Alumni Weekend 2010, CIS worked closely with the Office of College Advancement to create a dynamic and easy-to-use registration page on FormStack.  The form allowed attendees to select which events they wanted to attend and indicate how many guests were attending.  The form would then inform the attendee of the total cost of attending and even offered the option of paying by credit card on the spot.  This year, President Maria Klawe offered a 50% discount to the class years 2009 to 2005.  The form dynamically applied the discount when the attendee selected the right class year.

CIS provided several 24” iMacs and numerous laptops to allow attendees to fill out the Impact Survey or surf the web in the Hospitality area.  We worked closely with several faculty presenters, including Bob Borrelli where we provided the equipment and technical support for his talk on Differential Equations.

In Rachel Mayeri’s outdoor presentation on Media Studies, a large inflatable screen was rented and CIS acquired a 12,000 lumen projector to go with it.
CIS helped set up the projectors for the student presentations and faculty lectures.  We also sat in on these presentations to make sure the presentation went smoothly.

Many events were video recorded by CIS, and the video is being processed now.

CIS’ Chris Marble, who is a HMC alum from ’78, gave a tour of academic computing at Harvey Mudd.  He described what computing resources can be found, how they are accessed, and how students make use of them.