Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Grab bag of information

Hi All-

...And I'm not sure the verdict on this semester is in yet.

I have a grab-bag of information for you today.

First a great suggestion from Stan Kuchel, CIS faculty, on student retention:
I have found the "Chat while online" in my classes a good help to get students going. I can answer their question right then and if they have more questions they can reply. I have used this several times already and have found it to be a good encouraging help to confused students. They seem to appreciate the real time help, as well.
Next a few Vista notes from David Chatham:
1. WHO'S ONLINE -- In discussions with BB Support, they believe the issue of it not always working has to do with the limit on users set at 1,000. That works out to less then 100 users per college. That seems like a possible reason, but to determine whether or not the limit is the issue, I proposed a test. I asked all of the college's to review their use of this tool. If you are not using the tool, would you turn it off at the highest level and lock it down? We turned ours' off this morning after the Academic chairs confirmed that it was not being used for instruction. If you do have a few courses or a department using the tool, you could turn it off at a high level, not lock it, and then turn it on at the Group, Course or Section level to accommodate that course. If you would let me know what your college is going to do on this, I could map out our next step. From prior discussions and talks with FRCC about this, they seem to be the likely larger user. Still, if FRCC or other college users could identify and isolate the use to where it can be adequately estimated how much use is occuring, it would help to troubleshoot the issue.

As mentioned in our Friday meeting, we can change the settings for the simultaneous users upward from 1,000 but there would also be a corresponding hit on performance. How much, we don't know. We'd like to see if the limit is the issue or something else. Please let me know what your college wants to do, and if the tool will be open for some sections, what the estimated maximum use would be. Rather, if the tool is open for two sections with enrollments of 50 students, the that'd be the maximum use.

2. MAIL FORWARDING TOOL -- I have confirmed that the Mail Forwarding tool is not working in Vista. It is not going to be fixed until there is a new release or patch, thus we won't see this restored for Spring, as there is no plan to patch at this time. I turned CCCOnline's off at the Institution level. My concern is that students or faculty could think it is working because you can set it up, and then the situation becomes one of potentially a miscommunication between faculty and students over mail not received through the forwarding tool, which sometimes works but not consistently or in all courses.

3. ANNOUCEMENT -- It has been suggested that I put up a notice on the Domain about the weekly reboots of our system on Friday night / Saturday morning. Someone apparently was taking a test at that time. I will put this up for two weeks, unless there is another suggestion about it.
And from John Schmahl, Student Services:
A large percentage of students who are dropping our session 1 courses appear to be enrolling either in session 2 or in a f2f course at their home college. Session 2 enrollment at CCCOnline is significantly up right now when compared to this day last year.
(That is especially nice as we are down in session 1.)

Last, a question from me: I receive posts with job opportunities from several organizations I belong to. I don't really want to email those out to everyone, but would it be helpful if I posted them on the faculty wiki?


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