Tag Archives: technology

Developing a Mobile App to Track Student Engagement in High-Impact Practices


  • Amir Dabirian, VP for IT-CIO, CSU Fullerton
  • Matthew Badal, Administrative Analyst, CSU Fullerton
  • Su Swarat, Director of Assessment and Educational Effectiveness, CSU Fullerton

What are HIPs?

  • Occur when students are actively engaged in the learning process
  • Students involved in HIPs report greater gains in learning in personal dev
  • Underrepresented students affected positively the most

Common HIPs

  • First year seminars
  • Common intellectual experiences
  • Learning communities
  • Writing intensive courses
  • Internships
  • Etc.

CSUF Strategic Plan

Presidential goal is to increase student persistence, increase grad rates, and narrow the achievement gap for underrepresented students.

  • Get 75% of all students involved in at least TWO HIPs.
  • Broaden access to HIPs
  • Curricular (course based) and co-curricular (activity) based programs

CSUF Definition

  • Transformational
  • Significant student engagement
  • Experiential learning
  • Etc. (the list is long)

Institutionalize HIPs through a Data-Driven Approach

  • We don’t want to call something HIP unless it actually IS a HIP
  • We triangulate each course/program through a set of criteria to ensure HIP quality
  • Over 4,000 students now in designated HIPs

HIPs Technology Tracking

  • Technology, Tools, Data Collection
  • LMS has HIPs Templates
  • Peoplesoft Tracking & Designation (transcript)

We started it all through a survey, and as a result of this, we decided to accomplish this via a mobile app, but .

We harness the power of our existing app…why? Because it has a killer app built in that students go back to again and again – PARKING.

Data Collection Technology Tools Attendance

  • iBeacon deployed in all classrooms
  • All our HIPs use this feature to ensure participation

How Does the App Work?

  • Shake phone to register attendance
  • For each course, we provide HIP activity items for students to record their participation in each.
  • Real-time integration to LMS; the LMS provides the ability for professors to drill-down and view student attendance and participation.
  • It’s still a work in progress. Faculty orientations are continuous, and we also help students learn how to use the app. App changes: addition of activity tracking for more customization; multiple hour tracking feature

Humans Make the App Work

Sample timeline in a semester:

  • Pre-semester: app improvement, faculty training
  • Weeks 1-2: in-class student training
  • Weeks 8-10: mid-semester check-in, ongoing tech support, initial data collection
  • Weeks 14-16: post survey administration, heavy data collection, final tech support

Data Analysis & Assessment

There were a lot of graphs in this portion of the session, so my notes are a bit thin here.

  • Most of the gains were attributable to our female students
  • Self reported learning gains were almost universal
  • The more feedback received, the more improvement seen
  • Data identified colleges where student involvement was higher or lower than expected; this has affected pedagogical practices

Product Management CG


  • Chas Grundy, Manager, Product Services, University of Notre Dame
  • Deborah DeYulia, Director, Program Management, Duke University

Join the group: bit.ly/prodmgmtcg

What do you want from this group?

  • Learn how to create a culture that thinks in terms of products
  • Seeing a more developed product management group
  • Organizing around product management, interfaces to other parts of the organization

Product Manager vs. Project Manager

  • A product manager is the CEO of products. Goal is to deliver a product that customers love (intersection of UX, Tech, Business). Concerned with WHAT.
  • A project manager is responsible for achieving project objectives and is accountable for the outcome of the project. Concerned with HOW.
  • Common responsibilities
    • Align activities with strategic objectives
    • Work with cross-functional teams
    • Strong influential and collaborative skills
    • Guide critical decisions
    • Orchestrate key activities
    • Manage key deliverables
  • Product manager is more closely associated with strategic concerns.

Product Manager is a way to address ongoing sustainability of the products we use.

Product Management Boot Camp

  • Notre Dame’s Project Management office trains dozens of people how to be good project management. My goal was do the same for Product Managers for their own service offerings.
  • We outline what Product Management is through a half-day training; it’s about products and services.
    • What is Product Management?
    • Examples & scenarios
    • Services versus products
    • Framework: strategy (benchmarking, roadmap, customer research), Roadmap, Customer Research
    • Concept
    • Deploy: support, training
    • Manage: Communications, Metrics, Vendor Mgmt, Billing
    • Retire: when and how to retire a product
    • The Product Management Game
    • First 90 days
    • Community of Practice and Additional Resources

The First 90 Days Managing a Product


  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • ID expectations and goals
  • Familiarize yourself with the product
  • Join existing projects
  • Begin the vendor relationship
  • Benchmarking
  • Users & community
  • Support
  • Develop listening posts
  • Build lists of ideas to explore

The EDUCAUSE 2017 Top 10 IT Issues


  • Rebecca Davis, Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology, St. Edward’s University
  • Susan Grajek, VP of Data, Research, and Analytics, EDUCAUSE
  • Marden Paul, Director, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Comms, University of Toronto
  • Gerard Au, AVP, IT Services, CSU San Bernardino
  • John Landers, PMO Leader, Case Western Reserve University
  • Michele Norin, SVP and CIO, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Top 10 IT issues

We have a large slate of professionals who weigh in on these issues each year. They come from pretty much every role in higher education IT. They meet four times a year, and we ask “what is the most important IT issue facing your institution?” We do this each quarter, and then again in the Summer before the annual conference…and that’s the list we’re presenting today.

  1. Information Security
  2. Student Success & completion
  3. Data-informed decision making
  4. Strategic leadership
  5. Sustainable funding
  6. Data mgmt and governance
  7. Higher ed affordability
  8. Sustainable staffing
  9. Next-gen enterprise IT
  10. Digital transformation of learning

* Bold items are new to the list this year.

Discussion of the Issues

  • Next Generation Enterprise IT: developing and implementing enterprise IT applications, architectures, and sourcing strategies to achieve agility, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and effective analytics.
  • Digital Transformation of Learning: collaborating with faculty and academic leadership to apply technology to teaching and learning in ways that reflect innovations in pedagogy and the institutional mission. Do you limit what tech people can use or do you have a limited set of tools you offer (limited set won the day). What’s the most misunderstood aspect of this issue? X solution = the panacea for digital learning. New networks are horizontal and personalized, not just content delivery online. It’s bigger than the implementation of a tech stack. Roles for people in this ecosystem will be different.
  • Strategic Uses of Data
    • Student Success and completion – effectively applying data and predictive analytics to improve student success and completion. What are the implications? The tech implementation does NOT necessarily solve the problem. Changing the culture is the hard part, especially when the technology adds another burden, i.e. just another chore. Aggregation of data from systems of record continues to be troublesome.
    • Data-informed decision making – ensuring that BI, reporting and analytics are relevant, convenient, and used by administrators, faculty and students. Engaging with all stakeholders is important to ensure we have the right data to make decisions…we all need to refer to the same dataset. IT needs to be the glue that holds all these folks together. Consider hiring a Chief Data Officer, to ask all these questions. Some faculty are getting student involvement by giving FitBits and recording what they eat as a means of educating them about owning their own data.
    • Data management and governance – improving the management of institutional data through data standards, integration, protection, and governance. How many people think that their data is always accurate? << laughter >> Are there outsized expectations of Big Data? Yes! It’s not about the tools, it’s about how people use the tools and how that affects the data downstream (which can be very bad). Use the data for what it is supposed to do…don’t adapt it for your own immediate purposes; rely on authoritative sources. Data is not a project, it’s a process.



How does this list make you feel? Do you feel hopeful? Cautious? Something else?

  • I think we’re collecting more data right now than we’re able to use effectively. Eventually, our ability to manage and process this data will become doable.
  • Cautiously optimistic.
  • As a PM, I’m nervous! What gives me hope is the fact that we’re not alone…we have this organization and our colleagues on other campuses.
  • IT is more relevant than ever…everybody is now a part of IT!

What was issue 11?

  • Building a sustainable workforce (but next-gen IT workforce was)

Did we slice the data by different university types?

  • Yes! It will be in the January issue.

Where can you get a copy of these slides?

  • Somewhere on the EDUCAUSE web site 🙂

What skills are necessary for next-gen IT?

  • How to read contracts << laughter >>
  • Click-throughs are not a good idea. Legal counsel will have a problem with 60 page documents with embedded links to other documents.
  • Business Analyst mentality will become more important.
  • You don’t know how much you know until you know how much you care.
  • Soft skills are really important – distributed leadership and the support to do that.


Your Legacy: An Organization That Delivers Strategic Value, Again and Again


  • Dean Meyer, President, NDMA
  • Julie Little, VP, EDUCAUSE

There’s lots going on in education technology right now! Tons of enabling tech that changes business, education, and business models. Make learning engaging, contextual and visual.

Types of Strategic Value

Growing human intellect is absolutely strategic!

  1. Keep business running (deliver existing services)
  2. Reduce costs of IT
  3. Reduce costs of business (productivity)
  4. Improve human effectiveness (thinking, collaboration)
  5. Improve customer relationships, loyalty (engagement)
  6. Enhance product value

As a senior leader, what can you do to drive your organization up this ladder?

The Classic Definition of the Role of a CIO portrays us superman / superwoman, but the reality is that the CIO becomes a cog in the machine…often a bottleneck. Wouldn’t it be better to be the driver of the machine. To get there, you need to first be the designer of the machine. Our systems send signals that guide people. For CIOs, these signals are often about building an empire.

How you define leadership changes as you advance in your career, describable through different lenses.

  1. Project management
  2. Supervision
  3. Business strategies
  4. Organizational designer

Leaving the legacy of an organization that can prosper, with or without you. Program the organizational system.

The Machine

“The programming language of leadership”

  1. Structure
  2. Metrics & rewards
  3. Internal Economy
  4. Culture
  5. Methods and Tools


The easiest thing to change. Mixture of values and behaviors. You critique the behavior, not the people.


  • Org chart
  • Workflows

Internal Economy

  • Planning
  • Dynamic governance

Methods & Tools

  • Individual competencies of individual groups
  • Fine tuning

Metrics & Rewards

  • Dashboards, consequences
  • Fine tuning

Value Chain

  • Expertise in linkage: business-IT. This is a kind of “bridging knowledge.” [Structure: “sales”]
  • Collaborative discovery: help others find the things they need. [Methods: discovery]
  • Broad, innovative catalog. You need a quiver full of different arrows to apply to any given problem. [Internal Economy: business planning]
  • Time to develop proposals. [Internal Economy: unbillable time]
  • Project funding. [Internal Economy: demand management]
  • Delivery: capability, teamwork. Deliver on-time and on-budget. [Structure: walk-throughs]
  • Benefits realization. Make sure things get used! [Culture: business within a business; Methods: benefits measurement]

3 Parallel Leadership Strategies

  • Business Value
  • Capabilities: tech, operations
  • Organization (often neglected by leadership because it’s so foundational to the success of the first two strategies)

Big three are Culture, Structure, and Internal Economy. After this, methods & tools, metrics & rewards.


  • What does world class IT team mean to you?
  • Measure the gaps. These are the symptoms of something deeper in your organization. Keep asking WHY until you get to one of the fundamentals.
  • Sequence the Root Causes into your strategy.
  • Publicize your strategy among your staff and the peers in your institution.

Free yourself from the tyranny of urgency.

The 2016 MMWCon Mega Post

Hey friends,

Once again, it’s time for another one of my conference “mega posts,” this time from the 2016 UCLA Mobile & Modern Web Conference. This mega post links to the notes I took from almost every session I attended, and proves that I was here and learned something. Some of this will be more useful than others…I drifted at times. There was some great work on display at this conference; I always meet awesome people and take away at least a couple gems that I didn’t know going in. As always, any mistakes, omissions or just plain crappy coverage are totally mine. Who knows, I may have even gotten something right 😉 Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 14

Thursday, October 15

Friday, October 16