Goal 1: Invest in IT to further our academic goals
In 2008, the working groups found Brown to be substantially under-invested in technology to support its core mission. Notwithstanding the progress that has been made, we still face a considerable need to improve and extend capabilities if IT is to support the PAE’s Phase II goals. Our Open Curriculum relies on a strong academic advising program; a more robust toolkit is needed by faculty, staff and students. To enable faculty to continue to explore innovative and effective pedagogy, we must expand and better integrate our support for instructional technology across CIS, the Sheridan Center, the Library and Continuing Education. Researchers require us to continue to expand our network capacity, high speed computing and support for bringing technologies to research in the social sciences and the humanities. The international scholarly community will benefit from increased utilization of Brown’s digital repository. All of our academic goals rely on the availability of secure, reliable and robust computing and data storage capacity. Our ability to meet this need requires the continued implementation of a data center strategy that is economically and environmentally sustainable and optimizes the use of our own and cloud based resources.
Phase II objectives addressing this goal:
Supporting the PAE Phase II Goal ‘Continue to Strengthen Undergraduate Education'
- Enhance and integrate our online advising tools to support our academic advising staff and students.
- Develop a plan for and begin implementation of a new learning management system.
- Expand self-service and virtual support for faculty who teach with technology.
- Implement an annual instructional technology planning process to integrate services of key providers such as the Library, CIS, Sheridan Center, Continuing Education and other stakeholders.
- Expand and sustain the number of classrooms and meeting rooms that meet the Brown standard for a technology enabled learning space.
Supporting the PAE Phase II Goal ‘Enhance Academic Excellence at Brown by Increasing the level and quality of support for key Academic Departments and Programs’
- Create a program for piloting innovative uses of technology in support of teaching and research in selected departments or programs in order to sustain and improve academic excellence.
- Develop and begin to implement a comprehensive plan (governance, technology, organization) to enhance support for data driven decision-making. Identify investments needed to capture, store and manipulate data.
- Provide (or secure the provision of) infrastructure, systems and services to support the growth of credit and non-credit on-line courses.
- Provide information on IT resource availability to grant proposal writers.
Supporting the PAE Phase II Goal ‘Ensure Brown is a Truly Global University’
- Explore and provide support for expanded curricular and collaborative use of technology including GoogleApps, blog, chat, video, website, survey, email and calendar tools. Seek to exploit online tools to connect faculty and learners in new and effective ways.
- Strengthen our identity management infrastructure to more easily allow colleagues and students from around the world to securely interact with Brown faculty and students and to share in Brown resources where appropriate.
- Strengthen our data network connectivity so that high speed, reliable and timely discourse, teleconferences, collaborations and research can be supported through the Brown, national and international networks (I2, NLR).
- Devise, communicate and implement a comprehensive strategy to provide additional data center, compute, storage and staff capacity to support teaching, learning and research activities that are increasingly data driven, compute intensive and collaborative.
- Create a central Brown mobile site accessible to a broad array of mobile devices.
- Devise and begin to implement a strategy for the storage, archival and long-term curation of research data including increasing the utilization of the Brown digital repository.
Phase I Accomplishments:
Support for Research
- IBM 166-node Linux cluster with 14 teraflop/s peak performance installed in Center for Computation and Visualization.
- Strategic Plan developed for Center for Computation and Visualization
- Launched research storage service
- Increased network bandwidth to 10gb in distribution centers on campus
- Updated network cores (Wilson Hall and CIT) to support 10gb
- Upgraded cable and electronics to support 10gb in Computer Science offices/classrooms on the top 2 floors of CIT.
- Established a statewide technical stakeholders team for the Ocean State Consortium for Advanced Resources (OSCAR)
Support for Instruction
- Created the Educational Technology Center consisting of both a Teaching Lab and Development Studio. The Teaching Lab provides space and resources for instructors to try new techniques for classroom instruction. It is equipped with projection, SmartBoards and shared flatscreen displays, with an open floorplan, conference tables and computer pods. The Development Lab provides space and resources for instructors to produce instructional materials involving video and audio, still images, text and multimedia.
- Launched the Academic Services Gateway in FY09 providing Brown teaching community with centralized access to technology services that can be used to enhance the classroom experience.
- Made additional tools to support teaching available: automated lecture capture service, web collaboration/ communication via Adobe Connect (pilot), smartboard annotation displays and public channels for multimedia .
- Improved existing tools: blog replacement tool initiated to provide ldap/banner integration; wiki software upgraded (new version unicode compliant providing support of more languages) and infrastructure improved; MyCourses Automation project completed and infrastructure improved resulting in better performance for users; number of clickers (personal response devices) in circulation doubled.
- Redesigned Academic Technology support services to focus on pedagogy rather than technology tools including curriculum redesign of Teaching with Technology Summer Institute, integration of case studies and instructional scenarios into the Teaching with Technology wiki space.
- Established tiered classroom configuration model which includes enhanced technology. 37 classrooms with outdated AV equipment have been upgraded to meet the baseline standard and 32 rooms which previously had no technology have had AV technology installed. 11 rooms have been outfitted with advanced technology.
- Established metrics gathering system to set the baseline for departments served and target underserved departments for support.
- Revived and improved the Academic Multimedia Program which provides resources, support, training and technology to faculty and students who integrating multimedia assignments into courses across multiple disciplines. Equipment inventory increased and upgraded.
- Created Media Production Group providing video production and distribution services to the campus community.
- Improved existing media distribution infrastructure to increase capacity, improve efficiency of delivery and add capability.
- Provided Brown-branded channels for the distribution of media created by Brown students, faculty and administrative offices - Brown on iTunes U and Brown on YouTube.
- Strengthened existing video conferencing services and improved alignment with campus needs.
- Installed a dedicated videoconferencing seminar room available to the campus community.
- Deployed hardware and software for dedicated videoconferencing management.
- Initiated project to further improve video conferencing service.
- Piloted Adobe Connect, a web collaboration and communication service.
- Have dedicated resources to the exploration of emerging instructional technologies