Get to know CLA-OIT: John Fite

John Fite (2).JPGName: John Fite

Hometown and first place you lived after leaving home? My hometown is Huntington Beach, California and the first place I lived after leaving home was Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

When did you start working at the U? August 2012

Current position? Relationship Manager for CLA-OIT

What is your favorite aspect of your job? Meeting, working with, and learning from talented individuals across many disciplines. I hope that someday I can benefit them as much as they have me.

What advice do you have for CLA-OIT constituents who are intimidated by technology? If I could go back in time and tell the twelve-year-old John Fite anything, it would be, "You can find a solution to almost any problem in a book somewhere." Technology is quickly reaching a similar position and will then surpass it in ways that we cannot predict. For most people I know, the time investment required to learn and stay current with technology is more than repaid in the leverage it gives them in solving more and more of life's problems.

What is your favorite place on campus?
Washington Avenue Bridge - Being from the West Coast, it is impressive to me that every time I walk across that bridge I'm going from Eastern to Western USA or vice-versa. I do seem to notice a cultural difference when I arrive at the other side, as well!

Favorites:

Authors: Kurt Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, Neal Stephenson, Hunter S. Thompson, Alan Watts

Website:jamesaltucher.com

Sources of inspiration: Popular Science Books (esp. Dawkins, Brian Greene, Ray Kurzweil, Feynman, Michio Kaku, Steven Pinker, Robert Pirsig)

Favorite word: Yes

Phrase that annoys you: I'll try

Food and drink: Sashimi, red wine

TV show and movie: Twin Peaks, The Matrix

Musicians: Bach, Depeche Mode, Serge Gainsbourg, Morrissey

Favorite place: Joshua Tree National Park

Folwell Hall Revised Technology Plan

Following valuable feedback, the previously planned technology upgrade in Folwell Hall was revised to better fit the needs of faculty, staff, and students. Rather than a full upgrade, classrooms in Folwell will undergo a scaled back "refresh" that includes the following:

  • Replacing video projectors with higher lumen machines
  • Replacing DVD players with newer DVD models
  • Removing all DVD/VHS combo players

Since this is a refresh and not a complete upgrade, no cameras will be added during this cycle. 

The Office of Classroom Management will oversee the project that begins during winter break and continues throughout the spring semester.

Now Playing: New Streaming Materials Available For Classrooms

The University Libraries have licensed the Media Education Foundation collection and all currently available California Newsreel titles hosted on the Kanopy streaming platform! These include many of our most requested titles that circulate on DVD/VHS. Check back regularly as new titles will continue to be added. Note: This license is a pilot that will run for at least the next 3 years.

Library Media Services has launched a Streaming Video website that highlights most of the Libraries licensed streaming video collections, with tips on how to locate these materials in MNCat and how to embed these videos into Moodle. Please consult the Digital Video Collections Guide to see a comprehensive listing of all Libraries licensed and suggested high quality, freely available streaming video collections.

If you have questions regarding potential streaming acquisitions, how to embed this video content into your course site, or recommendations for finding that perfect video to use in your class, feel free to contact your subject librarian or Media Outreach Librarian, Scott Spicer. Finally, please send Scott or your subject librarian any feedback you may have on the value of this content in your teaching and students' learning. Your feedback is critical as we continue to assess our licensed streaming video collections.

Turnitin Upgrade Results In Broken Features

The issue in brief:


  • Turnitin (a Moodle assignment management tool) is not working properly, brought on by a recent update

  • The University's central Moodle Support team is working on the issue with the vendor

  • Faculty and other instructors should discontinue using the Turnitin GradeMark feature for commenting or annotating student submissions and entering grades

  • Instructors needing help with this issue should contact UMN Technology Help at 612-301-4357 (1-HELP) or help@umn.edu

  • If you would like to discuss this issue more in-depth, please contact your CLA-OIT Relationship Manager


The issue at length:


A couple of weeks ago we became aware that many of our CLA faculty were having problems with Turnitin (a Moodle assignment management tool). When we learned of this issue, we contacted those most affected by it - CLA language programs - and tried to better understand the issue. Most of the problems seem to be centered around giving feedback (i.e., commenting or annotating) on students' submissions, as well as on the grade book part of the tool. In most instances, students were not able to view graded/commented papers; in other instances, faculty-submitted grades in Turnitin were not properly channeled into the appropriate Moodle grade book.


During this time, we were also in close contact with the UMN Moodle staff, who are responsible for supporting Turnitin. They are aware of the issue and are in on-going consultation with the Turnitin vendor. They are also trying to find ways around the issue so that faculty and students can conduct their teaching and learning as close to normal as possible while the vendor designs a solution.


The UMN Moodle team is also actively working on short-term solutions. In the meantime, the UMN Moodle team recommends users experiencing problems contact them, and that all faculty discontinue using the GradeMark feature for commenting or annotating student submissions and entering grades until further notice.


Updates on the progress and issue resolution will continue to be shared through Moodle Announcements, MoodleTalk, and the Category Support group channels in Moodle.


If you have questions or concerns about how this affects your department, please contact CLA-OIT at claoit@umn.edu or 612-625-1010. Also, you may contact your CLA-OIT Relationship Manager.

SPSS Installation and Updates

Researchers in CLA currently using or interested in starting to use the SPSS suite of programs can now install the software themselves onto their CLA owned PCs. No administrator rights are needed for CLA PCs managed by SCCM's Software Center to interact with SPSS license server for both initial installation and updates. Mac users will continue to require a manual install of the software.

IBM SPSS Statistics is an easy-to-use graphical statistics package that can be used to perform simple and complex statistical analysis on a wide rang of quantitative research data.

For assistance with a Mac installation or other immediate technology needs, contact 1-HELP.

CLA-OIT Services for Faculty and Staff

With the transition to the centralized UMN Help Desk complete, CLA-OIT will soon rename itself to better illustrate the robust services it continues to offer to support faculty, staff, and students.

As its core mission, CLA-OIT provides:


  • advanced research support

  • enhanced teaching and learning

  • digital humanities

  • technology consultation

  • process improvement suggestions

  • video and media services

Don't Know Where To Start?

Relationship managers work with every department in CLA to determine what services are needed and the best way to provide them. CLA-OIT specializes in custom solutions to individual issues.

Outstanding Service Awards

Nominations due Friday, October 17, 2014.

Application materials are due to the CLA HR email account (clahr@umn.edu) by October 17, 2014We welcome and encourage peer nominations.

Further information, including nomination guidelines and the cover page, can be found at: http://cla.umn.edu/intranet/hr/OutstandingServiceAwards.html.
 
Please communicate this information to others in your unit.  Contact Angie Plambeck (plambeck@umn.edu, 5-1805) with any questions.


This week Google announced that all Google Apps for Education customers (such as UMN) will have unlimited storage available to them at no additional charge. The program supports individual files up to 5TB in size and will be available in the coming weeks.


Every file uploaded to Google Drive is encrypted, comes with the same high-level security that protects all Drive users, and remains the property of the individual or school who uploads it.  The Google Apps for Education group of services is free to nonprofit educational institutions and will remain free of ads and ads-related scanning.

Work Study Reminders

Splitting Student Work Study Awards
If you have employed a student who has given your unit permission to use their work study funds but they have also authorized another unit to use their work study award, you will need to obtain their written permission to split their award.  This permission will need to contain the amount of the work study award that the student wants placed with each job.  Please forward this information to your service team along with the appointment information.

Using Student Work Study for an Existing Appointment
If one of your current student employees receives work study and has authorized your unit to use that work study, the work study will need to be placed in Peoplesoft.  Please forward your request to place the work study with your unit to your service team.

CLA HR and Faculty Hire Documentation

With the AHA no longer in use, the following information is needed to approve all hires (other than tenure/tenure-track faculty).  If this information is not in the draft offer letter, please provide this information in the e-mail to clahr@umn.edu when you send the draft offer letter for approval.  Once you have a signed offer letter, please send to clahr@umn.edu.  A new hire email can not be sent until we receive the signed offer letter.
  • Job Code
  • Job Title
  • Salary
  • Percent Time
  • Appointment Term
  • Appointment Type
  • Funding Source(s)
  • Position Number
  • Requisition Number
  • Courses to be taught (where applicable)
  • Other Commitments (where applicable - may include moving or professional development funds, etc.)

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