2016 Year in Review

The CIS department at HMC has spearheaded many initiatives that have made meaningful changes for faculty, staff, and students across the Claremont Colleges. Through the hard work of our staff and partnerships with departments across campus, we have introduced innovative projects, much-needed updates, and new processes to be a more effective support team for HMC and others.

We’ve seen many changes throughout the year and want to highlight some of the most impactful and memorable accomplishments we’ve made. If you’d like more information on any of our projects, please contact the Help Desk and we will gladly connect you with those who can provide additional updates.

Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs): In 2016, the CIS department inherited the responsibility of managing and maintaining MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) for the HMC community. These courses are designed to offer HMC-styled courses to students and teachers across the world. High school-aged students and younger can take courses that are roughly based on our own CS 5 course. This year, we relaunched SCRATCH, created by Colleen Louise, and CS 4 All courses to serve as introductory Computer Science courses. All videos created for the CS 4 All course were created by HMC students who are passionate about teaching computer science. To date, the SCRATCH course has had over 20,000 students enroll while the CS 4 All course has had over 23,000 students.

Data Assessment Team (DAT): In response to the cabinet’s desire to learn more about how data flows through HMC, our Data Assessment Team (DAT) set out to assess and document the way in which Harvey Mudd College collects, creates, and consumes personal data. The project results were delivered to the Data Standards Management Team (DSMT) to help Harvey Mudd improve current practices. Based off the data gathered, DSMT is able to help in a number of ways including: identifying process overseers, eliminating redundancies, streamlining the flow of student data, and monitoring data security. The progress made in this project has served as preparation for more impactful changes set to take place further down the line.

ETS Impact Report: The Educational Technology Services team published their first Impact Report this fall. The report focused on the team’s activities in the 2015-2016 academic year in the areas of support and outreach, projects and pilots, instructional design, and research computing. You can pick up a print copy of the report at the CIS Help Desk or read it on our website on the IT Matters page.

Research Computing Growth: HMC is the first and only institution in the Claremont Colleges to support advanced, high-performance computing for student and faculty research projects through XSEDE. This year, several HMC math and engineering students utilized XSEDE Campus Champions supercomputer allocation for research, including senior thesis and clinic projects. HMC also hosted several well-attended  XSEDE Big Data, MATLAB, and R workshops. All workshops HMC offers are open to students, faculty, and staff in the Claremont Colleges. For more information, contact the Help Desk or Dr. Jeho Park.

Lingk: We have started investigating the use of Lingk to deliver data via a standardized application programming interface (API).  Through the use of Common Education Data Standards (CEDS), college course information is readily available in a format that matches that of other institutions that utilize this same standard. Students can easily search for courses, see who is teaching, and plan their schedules with this information. In fact, several students created a portal project that allows students to browse the HMC course catalog and plan a schedule for upcoming semesters. It even allows students to see a visual representation of what their schedule may look like based on selected courses. (You can find it here: http://portal2.yancey.io/). Standardized data can make it easier for HMC to work with new vendors and integrate new products. While the partnership with Lingk has provided us with immediate benefit, it has also set us up to more easily extract and migrate data in the future.

Single Sign-On for HMC Applicants: At the request of Admission, we started this project to allow for single sign on single sign-on to Slate and NetPartner, the two applications used by applicants. It automates the creation of Slate accounts and the creation of CX records. Additionally, it also automates the process of removing CX records for applicants who do not become students as well as the provisioning/deprovisioning of accounts in NetPartner/PowerFAIDS.

Educational Technology Project Program: This year, the Educational Technology Services team began a formal program of accepting and supporting faculty projects in instructional design and technology. The team has supported twelve faculty projects, including designing lesson plans and workshops, creating customized technology solutions, and consulting on useful classroom tools. We’re excited to continue our project program in 2017 – please feel free to email project ideas to ets-l@g.hmc.edu.

Upgrades to Portal: Several areas of the Portal were upgraded in June with the implementation of System Maintenance Order (SMO) 13000.  The SMO software provided by Jenzabar allowed our campus to work toward resolving many long-standing issues and requests for enhancements.  Since the upgrade, we have been able to make progress on issues and requests that included information presented and formatted on official and unofficial transcripts, display of GPA and sessions, GPA field for student degree audit, wait-list functionality, cross-listed courses, email notifications, and student biographical information.

These projects represent only a fraction of the work completed by CIS this year. We’re already gearing up for 2017 with numerous projects well underway and other proposals in the works. If you have any ideas for future projects or collaborations, you can reach us any time through the Help Desk by calling extension 77777 or writing an email to helpdesk@g.hmc.edu. Even if you’d just like to share feedback with us on something we’ve implemented, we’d love to hear from you!

We look forward to continuing great work with the Claremont Colleges in 2017! Enjoy your break – we’ll see you next year!

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