Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In honor summer that isn't

Maybe it's the weather -- summer one day, then snowing today -- but I thought today was a good day to let you know about some long term projects we are working on.

24/7 help desk

This project belongs to the Learning Technology Council, rather than just CCCOnline alone. We've looked into hiring a vendor to help us provide 24/7 help desk services to students having technical difficulties in their online, hybrid, or web-enhanced courses. As a part of this project Rebecca Woulfe of Red Rocks Coommunity College recently surveyed all 8,000 students who dropped a course this semester. Approximately 8% of them said they dropped the course due to technical difficulties.

I have to admit that number was a surprise to me. I expected it to be much larger. It is still large enough to support our desire to provide a 24/7 help desk, but I wanted to solve a bigger problem. :^)

Application Pack 2 Beta test

CCCOnline, ACC, and FRCC are participating directly in the beta test of Application Pack 2 for Vista. This application pack is planned for an early summer release although in all probability we won't be able to install it until the Christmas Break. Since we are heavily involved in the testing of the ap pack we will feel more confident that it will solve some of our problems with Vista and not create too many new ones.

Unfortunately the ap pack does not have fixes to all of the issues we have with Vista (the calendar tool for example and who's online).

System-wide Conferenceing software license

As many of you know FRCC has a license for Elluminate, a web-based conferencing tool. Several of you have asked if CCCOnline will ever have a license of our own to use. The Learning Technology Council is also interested in a system-wide license for a tool like this, so we are going forward looking at the options available. Meanwhile Elluminate's free Vroom is a great alternative for small groups.

Grade Export Program

This program would grab the final grades you enter in Vista and automatically move them to Banner. You would no longer need to do dual entry. The scripts are almost written, but the project has slowed down due to limitations on programmer time.

I'm sure we have other "three steps forward, two steps back" projects out there, but I think those are the ones I get the most questions on. :^)


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