Technology Uncategorized

The Science of Predictive Analytics in Education


  • Patrick J. Bauer, Chief Information Officer, Harper College
  • Scott Feeny, Director of Policy and Research, Independent Colleges of Indiana
  • Vince Kellen, Senior Vice Provost for Analytics & Technologies, University of Kentucky
  • Jon Phillips, Managing Director – Worldwide Education Strategy, Dell Inc.
  • John K. Thompson, GM, Advanced Analytics, Dell Inc.

This session will focus on innovations in using data insights in decision-making.  What are the dos and don’ts that we’ve learned thus far.  We’ll start with stories from each panelist, then go into Q&A.  All material will be made available later (more to come on that).



  • William Rainey Harper College:  NW suburb of Chicage, a 2-year institution. 40,000 full time equivalent students
  • “Project Discover” leader Matt McLaughlin.  We got a title 3 grant to help do this project.  Includes Inclusion, Engagement, Achievement, Onboarding, Intervening, etc.
  • Data has been collected over 6 years.
  • We originally used a proprietary data warehouse
  • Grad rate increase in 10% in 5 years
  • New reactive programs:  early alert, supplemental instruction, completion concierge, summer bridge.
  • These were REACTIVE programs, we wanted PROACTIVE solutions.


  • University of KY
  • What have we learned?  We’ve integrated virtually everything we can, and are now moving into personalized learning and messaging.
  • Respect complexity in learning analytics!  I recommend reading “Arrival of the Fittest,” a book by Andreas Wagner.  Their research on genomics highlights and models that can help our process.  Instructional complexity is at least as complex as that of genomics.  We don’t have just one paradigm of instructional theory, but dozens.
  • Structure is important:  get the right people on the bus, remove rivalries within your organization, give groups distinct and clear missions, align with organizational strategy.
  • Engage the community:  transparency makes a big difference; democratize analysis; enforce community etiquette, bring in students & faculty researchers; engage the broader higher education community.
  • Use the right tools and techniques:  speed enables fast thinking, fast group decision-making, fast everything; maximum semantic expressiveness and rich detail improves data quality, analytic flexibility; visualization is important.
  • Conclusion:  respect complexity, attend diligently to the very human aspects of this puzzle, ignite the passion of the community, choose and use your tools wisely


  • I represent the Independent Colleges of IN
  • A statute required student record information needed to be shared back with the state
  • I needed to know how our institutions compared to others
  • We worked with vendor partners (Dell & Statistica) to run descriptive and predictive analytics against the data we had
  • We wanted to do card swipes, meal plans, and more for sub-group comparisons.


  • The Statistica product has been made free for higher ed faculty and students
  • I run the Statistica group at Dell
  • We’ve done a lot of work in universities and hospitals
  • We’re moving toward using data for real-time decision-making.  A specific example was given about reduction in surgical infections…pretty powerful stuff.

“Maslow’s Hierarchy of Data Management”

  • The spectrum:  Data Management > Business Intelligence > Analytics
  • The specific levels:  Data Foundation > Basic Reporting > Performance Mgmt > Predictive > Prescriptive

Challenges and Observations

  • Master organizational and technical planning, orchestrating organizational adoption.
  • Bringing in the “executive management hammer” can be useful
  • IR, advisor and counselor pushback, i.e. “you’re coming to take our jobs!”  Dashboards and forms are actually a value-add for these folks that let them do their jobs more effectively.
  • Usability testing and adoption feedback from students were interesting:  “Why do you give us a number?  Why don’t you just give us feedback and actions we can take?”
  • ROL (“Return On Learning”), how can we quantify what you’re seeing?  There is no control group!  Profound payoff is that you’re able to make informed changes to policies that have real impact.
  • Student subgroups with a GPA lower than X (not specified) were much more likely to stop out.  This challenged many people’s beliefs, i.e. “how is this even possible?”
  • University of Iowa cited an avoided cost of $31 million

Next Steps

  • Data sharing with school districts for a full life-cycle on our students as they go through our system
  • Classroom on realtime analytics, such as triggers set by faculty
  • Get a handle on what our students do when they leave, i.e. wage data
  • Improving the advising process
  • Sharing findings with our institutions
Technology Uncategorized

A View from the Top: Taking the Mobile Experience to New Heights

  • Hilary J. Baker, Vice President & CIO, California State University, Northridge
  • Santhana Naidu, Associate Vice President of Marketing Communications, Indiana State University
  • Andrew Yu, Founder & CTO, Modo Labs, Inc.

Full disclosure:  CSUN is my home campus, so I have some knowledge of the Modo Labs product…they back our mobile app.

Andrew kicked off the session by talking about Modo Labs.  The whole thing started out of MiT in 2010, but had it’s beginnings in 2007 in the MiT mobile framework (this was back before the Apple iPhone and app store).  At that time, only about 2% of the web traffic at MiT was from mobile devices. took about six months to create.  Modern campus mobile apps must serve multiple constituencies, and serve many purposes…as a result, the mobile app charge at MiT required leadership!

Why WAS mobile Important?

Hilary Baker

CSUN is a public & highly diverse university community of 41,500 students and 4,200 faculty and staff in northwest Los Angeles.  We came late to the mobile party.  Campus priorities:  student success and exemplary service.  We needed to develop and launch a CSUN app fast, and with Modo Labs, we were able to launch in just 10 weeks!

  • We used web services to reach into our PS instance to enable add/drop capability into the mobile app
  • Launched our app a few days before Fall semester 2013.  Our download profile was 6,000 1st week, 9,000 2nd week, 17,000 3rd week
  • Next step for us was to enable pay via mobile app and CashNet
  • We’ve since added lots of additional features, including outdoor mapping and wayfinding, dining, campus tours, indoor floor plans, campus shuttle & transportation services
  • Marketing was important, too.  We printed full-color postcards and distributed these campus-wide.  We also featured the mobile app at our new student orientation.
  • To date downloads:  34K Apple, 9K Android
  • Most used features at beginning of term:  schedule, campus map, class search, add/drop
  • Most used features near end of term:  Transit, dining

Santhana Naidu

  • IU is celebrating its 150 year anniversary
  • Located in Terre Haute
  • 13,500 students

Our mobile journey started about 6 years ago.  Leadership realized the importance of having a mobile app.  It was an internal project, driven by IT and the marketing team.  Unfortunately, students didn’t like the app, so we went back to the drawing board.  In 2012 we re-launched our app with Modo Labs.  Some highlights:

  • 22K downloads to date
  • Classes is by far our most popular module (Blackboard, Banner, Catalog)
  • About 75% of users are iOS, 25% Android

Recruitment is my office’s top priority

  • Growth in mobile usage among students: 20% of overall website traffic from mobile
  • 90% of incoming students carry smartphones
  • 40% of admissions traffic is from mobile devices.
  • Campus life content is very popular; students use this information when making a decision to come to campus
  • IT – MarCom Partnership was a major key to our effort’s success:  shared governance
  • Modo helped us with design, programming, app launch, etc.
  • Content entry through the admin console

How Do You Keep a Mobile App Fresh & Engaging?

  • Communication (messaging) – examples provided of University of Massachusetts, DelMar, and Georgetown, College of William & Mary, Massachusetts General Hospital, Notre Dame
  • Use of Publisher module for content management that can be handled by anyone…no coding skills required
  • Personalization with locations and roles
  • iBeacons can be used to highlight items you want people to know about, especially useful for tours and points of interest
  • Geofencing
  • QR codes can also be used to drive people directly to map locations

Why IS Mobile Important?

Hilary Baker

  • PeopleSoft student services (GreyHeller/Modo Labs).  Includes Financial Aid awards, emergency contact info.
  • Parking space availability
  • Indoor-outdoor maps transitioning.  We want to make this feature more seamless.
  • Matador patrol safety – coming in early Spring 2016.  Talked about the CSUN appjam event and shared a video of one of the winning entries in this event.

Santhana Naidu

  • Audience-based content.  Ability to group icons by audience is important for us.
  • Enhancing the campus visit and tour experience using iBeacons.  This really helps our yield activities.
  • Messaging.  We want to be able to target messages by categories and groups; customize how receive messages, message center in-app so users can refer to the messages, easy to use backend interface for the admin, ability for users to opt in or out of certain optional message types, promotions.


  • Does it integrate with other apps?  Naidu:  yes, we’re using it for maps and tours.  Hilary:  yes, we link out to other CSUN mobile web sites like the Rec Center, Public Safety.  Andrew:  we can work
  • Does your team do the work?  Naidu:  Modo Labs does the heavy lifting for us.
  • What about using the app for faculty and staff?  Hilary:  yes, we have versions for faculty and staff.  Alumni also have a view.  Naidu:  faculty use the Blackboard module, but we haven’t gone much further than that yet.

Visit Modo Labs at Booth #1930; other campuses will also be here at EDUCAUSE giving presentations about their mobile experiences.

  • Del Mar College
  • Dominican University
  • Notre Dame
  • George Washington University
Technology Uncategorized

Cloud 101: Tools and Strategies for Evaluating Cloud Services


  • Khalil Yazdi, CIO in Residence, Internet2
  • Andrew Keating, Director, Cloud Services Internet2,

Assets from this session (shared box folder):

I’m looking forward to this session because there are so many SaaS, PaaS and IaaS tools that I’m being asked to review by my colleagues. There is a box link that contains the notes from this session.  The Sample Security Clauses and Sample Data Handling Clauses were worth the price of admission, btw.

The EDUCAUSE app says about this session:

This seminar will introduce participants to the technical, legal, and risk management considerations important to evaluating and selecting cloud services for their campuses. Learn the key aspects of the Cloud Controls Matrix for security assessments as well as legal terms and conditions that make for successful cloud contracts.
OUTCOMES: Categorize the elements of cloud service assessment * Identify risks associated with cloud services and develop mitigation strategies * Distinguish how to engage campus stakeholders in evaluating cloud services

POLL:  What’s Attractive to You About Cloud Services?

  • Cost
  • Reduced overhead
  • Features
  • Functionality
  • DR / BC
  • Value-add functionality for staff
  • Scalability
  • Risk
  • Compliance

POLL:  What Concerns do you Have About Cloud Services?

  • SLA
  • Responsiveness
  • Integration of systems
  • Data and data analysis
  • What happens if your provider goes away
  • Security
  • Data location (regulatory)
  • Latency
  • Data ownership / retrieval
  • Manage cloud service, not our actual work
  • Funding / budgeting model CapEx > OpEx
  • Governance:  accessibility, PCI, FERPA, etc.
  • “Too easy” i.e. barrier to entry is very low
  • Billing
  • Enterprise vs. consumer purchasing

Items that are attractive and items that are concerns can (mostly) be argued either way!

Overview of Cloud and R&E Community Cloud

  • Internet2 founded 1996
  • National network
  • 300 member universities; 80 corps; 70 govt. orgs, etc.
  • Supports research and education

Goal for Today:  Informed Decision-Making About This Deployment Vehicle

  • It’s no longer an emerging technology

What Drives Us to Cloud Services?

  • Reducing costs
  • Realigning staff
  • Meet institutional goals
  • Help students learn more effectively
  • Aging infrastructure
  • Scalability & elasticity, simplicity, expandability (ebb and flow of normal campus activities)
  • Volume up; prices down (with these kinds of services, IT  is more like a portfolio manager of financial assets)

Business Drivers:  What’s Different?

  • Student Expectations
  • Faculty Roles & Requirements
  • Higher Education Business Needs
  • IT Services & Delivery
  • IT Procurement Strategies

Definition is Still Elusive & Amorphous

NIST definition: Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction

In short:  it’s a shared experience.

Underneath it all, you need a network carrier; Internet2 has this.

We wanted to created a scalable community approach for the higher ed space to communicate with cloud providers.

The NIST framework is not perfect:  identity is missing, it has overhead, security lives in the “cloud provider” segment, etc.

EDUCAUSE Top Issues:  Four Strategic Priorities

  • Efficiency:  reduce operational costs
  • Effectiveness:  achieve demonstrable improvements in student outcomes
  • Relevance:  keep pace with innovations in eLearning, and use eLearning as a competitive advantage
  • Value:  Meet students and faculty member expectations of contemporary consumer technologies and communications

You have to be able to speak to the above issues if you want to be relevant when pushing cloud services on your campus.

Interactive Section

  1. What’s Your Role and why are you here?  I’m director for Web & Technology Services in the division of Student Affairs.  I’m here because I want to get a handle on the approaches needed to manage the adoption of cloud services beyond web site and web application hosting (i.e. – product purchasing, governance, security, etc.)
  2. What are the business drivers at your campus for going to the cloud?  Speaking for my own unit:  cost, better understanding of service utilization.
  3. What are the budgetary drivers motivating consideration of the cloud?  Changing from CapEx to OpEx model.
  4. What are the technical drivers for moving to the cloud?  Reduction of technical overhead in maintaining a web infrastructure, reliability, flexibility.
  5. Who are the champions for cloud adoption on your campus?  What are their expectations?  Often, those who can’t or don’t want to support the technology themselves, but typically people who want stuff we can’t deliver.
  6. Who are the detractors and resistant to moving to the cloud?  Not many detractors, but there are people who continue to retain latent suspicions of the technology.  Central IT itself is often resistant to moving to the cloud.
  7. What do you see as major challenges to cloud adoption?  Scalability within the organization; how do we approach adoption in a holistic sense.


Cloud Assessment Skills

Technical & Architectural

  • Aspirational view of the cloud:  simplify and obfuscate complexity
  • Responsibility and management model:  need to understand the vendor’s relationships on all the different components of what represents “their problem” versus “your problem.”
  • IaaS:  is all purely infrastructure.  Provider says:  “we’re just giving you hardware in the cloud.  Everything else is your problem.”
  • PaaS:  Provider says:  “we’re giving you everything EXCEPT your application.  You’re responsible for that.”
  • SaaS:  Provider says:  we’ll manage everything for you.”  However, it’s all about who owns your data.

Cloud Service Functional Assessment

  • Review current features and functionality
  • Discuss existing Service Provider product roadmap (under NDA)
  • Determine ways in which service needs to be tuned for research and education usage
  • Prioritize feature requests discuss prioritization with SP’s product team

Process and Deliverables:  understand current features, functionality, and future roadmap; determine how to request features and inform the roadmap as well as process for reporting bugs.

Cloud Service Technical Integration

Network:  test network performance or review 3rd party testing; determine service connectivity with the Internet2 R&E network and optimize for enhanced delivery.  Test the network to create benchmarks!

Identity:  review SP’s identity strategy and determine InCommon integration.  Net+ Identity Guidance for Services

Process and Deliverables:  assign technical team members on networking and identity; develop and review testing plans; and produce reference documents for service subscribers

Security & Compliance

  • What are the documents involved?
  • Definitions, CCM or Cloud Control Matrix (self-reported like a VPAT, not audited), SOC 2 (an audit report), ISO 27001 (an audit report pass/fail)
  • How to read and understand these documents
  • Security assessment:  customized version of the CCM developed by the Cloud Security Alliance
  • Accessibility review and roadmap commitment
  • Data handling:  FERPA, HIPAA, privacy, data handling

Process and deliverables:  SP to give review copies of 3rd party audit materials, and completes Cloud Controls Matrix for review; campus security officer review and assess service; accessibility engineers review service and communicate needs to SP.

Legal & Contracts

What are the key elements in a successful cloud contract?

  • Description of service components, features
  • pricing and business terms
  • Indemnification and limitation of liability
  • security
  • compliance and representations
  • Data & data handling (data retrieval on termination, data destruction, etc.)
  • “Exit strategy,” source code escrow
  • SLA
  • Insurance provisions

When Reviewing Sample Contract Materials

The following questions were based on sample templates in the Box share described waaaay above.

  • What does this contract language aim to do?
  • Who or what does it protect?
  • What are the risk considerations for the university?  For end users?  For the service provider?
  • Which would you sign and agree to?
  • Which would a commercial service provider sign and agree to?

Cloud Assessments:  Conclusions

  • Specificity matters
  • Consider whether it is more helpful to spell out what a SP will do OR what they will not do
  • Some flexibility is required:  if you want to use a commercial service, determine what is reasonable
  • Do not accept standard commercial terms or “click through”
  • Do not assume the worst of commercial SPs
  • Consider the future and ongoing relationship
  • Remember that both sides are managing risk and the overall aim is to to come up with something that both your campus an the SP can live with




Technology Uncategorized

Building an Emerging Technology and Futures Capacity in Your Organization

Presenter:  Bryan Alexander

Introductions:  Name, Institution, One Way I “Get at the Future”

This seminar was attended by folks from all over the world, and we had some great answers:

  • Colleagues
  • My system
  • My kids
  • Star Trek
  • Web searches, i.e. Robotic Brick Layers
  • Campus Innovation Store (touch screen tables, Oculus Rift, etc.)
  • My CIO
  • Twitter

Quote:  “The Web is general, podcasts and books are deep.  Podcasts and books are rarely used (by comparison to the web) and can give you a leg up if you’re using them to reach out.”


  • Add new habits of mind
  • Allow mental space to step outside immediate crises and routine
  • Reduce reliance on history, a kind of path dependency
  • Be social about it!


  • Futures world is small but deep; started in the 1960s
  • Horizon Report
  • Delphi method:  ask a group of professionals specific questions about the future and then rank them
  • Environmental scan:  trends identified, tested, projected.  What are the signals of the future to come?  You need to look through multiple sources…they’re easy to do but can be time consuming.
  • Trend tracking and analysis:  synthesize what you learn by looking at the signals and follow them.
  • Scenarios:  stories about the future.  Event/response, creativity, roles & times, emergent practices and patterns.  Give people a scenario like “how does my job change because of voice interaction?”  They’re very bad predictors, because the future is generated by many forces.  They’re playful and creative and elicit participation.
  • Consume the literature!  Tech writing, education writing, pop culture, sci-fi, design.  Mr. Robot television show was suggested as something to watch.

The Delphi Method

Which developments in tech are most likely to have the largest impact on education over the next five years?

  • Mobile
  • Active learning methods
  • Predictive analytics
  • Scaling (i.e. industry)
  • Bring your own network
  • Adaptive online delivery
  • Internet of Everything
  • 3d printing
  • Virtual Reality
  • Cloud Services

When the attendees voted on which of these items they considered most important (every attendees had two votes to cast):  Cloud Services, Data Analytics, and the Internet of Everything came out on top.

What are the most significant challenges facing education and tech?

  • Funding
  • Agility
  • Flexibility
  • Deliver education in a useful, predictable, cost-effective manner
  • Public value of higher education
  • Net.generation
  • Faculty lack of competence in teaching with new technology; failure to embrace technology
  • Diversity, i.e. accessibility
  • Business value of IT to institution
  • Student economic struggles
  • Political infighting within the institution
  • Consumerization of expectations (especially in the US), i.e. residence halls, recreation centers, etc.

Environmental Scanning

STEEP:  Social, Technological, Economical, Educational, Political

  • Social:  this is where most of the issues come from, i.e. pop culture.
  • Technological:  Kurzweil, TWiT, Slashdot, etc.
  • Economical:  The Economist, Naked Capitalism, Marketplace
  • Educational:  Inside Higher Ed, Chronicle of Higher Education, Dan Cohen, University World News
  • Political:  memeorandum

Educational Technology:  Stephen Downes, Audrey Watters, eCampus News, Steve Hargadon, Alan Levine, edSurge

Venues:  blogs, Twitter, list serves, podcasts, videos, journals, books, meetup, conferences, repetition, hashtags, RSS, mainstream and marginal sources

Environmental Scanning Exercise

ID a story over the past couple of months that suggests the future; one story from professional life, one story from personal life.

Professional Life

  • Story or event:  Team WikiSpeed modular car
  • Source:  scrum training
  • Implication:  infusion of agile methodology into every field

Personal Life

  • Story or event:  use of Google Docs for class projects
  • Source:  kids
  • Implication:  collaboration


Great quote:  “Facebook is dead.  It has over a billion users…I want that kind of dead!”

To-Do:  set up a continual environmental scan via a Wiki page or a meetup or a periodic campus event to keep these ideas flowing!

Trend Analysis Discussion Notes:  What Trends do You See In These Observations?

  • Agile methodologies:  complete business transformation
  • Google Docs:  collaboration built into every tool (along with seamless interfaces to other systems)
  • Alternate delivery methods for instruction:  learning anytime
  • Access to high-quality information for learning
  • Driverless cars
  • User interfaces
  • Personal/private life convergence
  • Changing role of the faculty
  • Unconscious bias
  • Changing role of campus physical space and resources
  • Focus on student success, rather than BiTs
  • Growing importance of analytics and data
  • Growing concern about data privacy – governance
  • Increased importance / danger of data security
  • Physical / virtual convergence

Scenario Creation Exercise:  You Can Do This at Home as a Planning Exercise

Take two trends we talked about above and push them to their limits, and then drive them to their logical conclusions.  Which one is the most unpredictable / hardest to think about?

Physical / Virtual convergence / divergence

  • Deeper humans
  • Distanced people

Campus physical space/resources changing

  • There is no campus
  • “Mega campus” full of specialized equipment

We then placed these two trends into X/Y axes in opposition to each other and discussed what situation would occur within each quadrant.  Great conversation!  This is a great exercise, but you need to make sure that you choose trends that are UNPREDICTABLE.

Practical Actions

  • Dig down into different organizational layers to get more information:  local community, professional networks, world at large
  • Use methods in-house
  • Nudge staff into becoming method practitioners
  • User methods in campus community, looking for expertise
  • Check for institutional interest and support
  • Use resources created by Futurists, i.e. ELI publications
  • Observe humans and their use of technologies
  • Share observations internally and externally





Welcome to Indy, EDUCAUSE attendees!

Monday was my travel day to the EDUCAUSE conference, because I’m attending a couple pre-conference seminars on Tuesday.  After dropping off my two younger sons at their elementary and middle schools, I endured the typical bad traffic on the 405 and made my way South to LAX.  Many thanks to American Airlines for a very smooth and uneventful flight to Indianapolis!

Last Friday, I downloaded the Uber app so that I could try it on my My firstUber billride from the airport to my hotel (I know, I’m late to this party).   Small gripe about creating my account via the web site:  the prominent sign up button on the home page was for drivers, which I accidentally clicked first.  I know Uber needs drivers and that’s probably their #1 priority, but it took me longer than it should have to find the “rider” sign-up option.  Once I got over that hurdle, it was as easy as setting up any other online service.  Anyway, after grabbing my bag in Indy, I walked out to the ground transportation and submitted my request via Uber’s app, and I swear, not more than three minutes later, my ride was there!  My first Uber driver’s name was Joseph, and he picked me up in a black Cadillac (hey, made me feel snazzy).  His car was spotless, and he was extremely courteous.  Exactly the OPPOSITE of the typical cab experience.  As you can see from my receipt, it was less than 22 bucks!  Needless to say, I’ll use Uber again.

The Indianapolis conference center is BIG.  I’m confident it’ll easily hold the expected 7,000 attendees this year.  Today, I’m attending two pre-conference seminars:

  • Building an Emerging Technology and Futures Capacity in Your Organization
  • Cloud 101:  Tools and Strategies for Evaluating Cloud Services

So what am I here for?  If you’re a vendor, I’m glad you’re reading this 🙂  I have a few things I’m looking for:

  1. Campus OneCard solution.  In 2016, CSUN will finally embark on a OneCard project, and I’m gonna be in the thick of it.  At this point, I’m looking for what’s out there.  At a high level, CSUN has a Peoplesoft SIS, uses the Modo Labs Kurogo mobile product.  I’m very interested to know how your product integrates with these and other systems.
  2. Portal alternatives that play well with Peoplesoft and allow for robust media publishing
  3. Scholarship search systems
  4. Software for visitors to sign-in to a university office with an iPad kiosk, that notifies office staffers of visitor arrival.

As usual, I will cover the sessions I attend at this conference via live blogging.  This way, perhaps others will benefit from my experience.  At the end of the week, I’ll summarize my conference experience in the MEGA POST, with links to all my conference posts.  It’s great to be here…I look forward to meeting new folks and catching up with old friends.