Thursday, March 26, 2009

Final Day Thoughts

I am writing this at my desk back in DC. Because I was just too darned burned out to write earlier.

4 days is a bit long for a conference vendor conference when you are not part of the technical team. Can't begin to decribe the number of "upgrade" sessions that started with "Here's the issues when converting to UTF-8 code." and continued with a litany of jargon and acronyms.

Actually got surrounded by an army of Sungard folks after walking out of 1 session after 5 minutes. "Why did you leave?" Um...I'm the trainer. Not only do I have absolutely no control over the configuration, I have no clue what they are talking about. No point in wasting my time. I wound up in one of those "instructional design" sessions where us non-technical people with no say over how anything works belonged.....

One practice I've started has been validated by more than 1 presenter:
Short intro - let them work on their own stuff.

Ever since I converted the Banner Navigation Fundamentals course to this format - I've gotten much better student response.

We make getting the Banner ID a pre-requisite of the course (backwards, I know). As a result, the students have already spent some time in the system. My main fear with each course is that I am not adding anything of value.

At the end of the course, I ask whether the time has helped and what was most useful. The 3 things I hear:

- They don't feel like they are stumbling around in the system quite so much as they did before. Banner is not user-friendly. At. All. If I can get them walking out of my classroom not feeling stupid, I've done a good job.

- Customizing the My Banner folder is great stuff - "Wow! I can put the forms I use where I can access them rather than try to remember them?!? Sweet!"

- Most of the students liked the quick list of "most popular forms" I developed as a result of some custom trainings I did last summer. These were the forms that were most requested. I've started incorporating these processes in the training as examples. Because really the students are more interested in how to perform a particular task. NOT how to navigate the system. That will come as part of performing the task.

About 80% of my students do "student stuff" - looking up student information and class rosters.

The other 20% do things that are "staff stuff" - HR, payroll, etc. You can look up a staff member the same way you look up a student. The tasks you perform on that staff member are different.

That open time allows them to ask questions. Just being able to give them a resource or next step will be incredibly helpful.

So the big project, for me, will be creating those resources and formalizing / confirming those next-steps for each area. A lot of institutional knowledge has been lost since our last upgrade. Now's the time to recreate it.


If you are going to hear "the engine quit working" on any mode of transport - being on a train is a good place. Restrooms, dining car, no threat of falling out of the sky. Of course, the "engine quit working" in the middle of nowhere between Elkton and Baltimore. Thankfully, they got it working in 20 minutes. Still faster (and less aggravating) than driving.


I am happy to be home.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Instructional Design for Faculty

Presentation: Instructional Design for Faculty
Presenter: Mary Jane Heider, Genesee Community College

My Takeaways:
None really. But it’s an interesting model for getting faculty up to speed.

Genesee has outsourced its entire IT department to SunGard.

(Dear mucky muck….please don’t get any ideas…….)

She also teaches an online course herself with the same tools – which gives her credibility with the faculty.

Labs – in-person. Lectures – online

(Interesting that they make it a point to have the stuff best done face-to-face still done face-to-face.)

Your faculty have to be comfortable teaching online.
- Hired subject matter experts for faculty
- Much of their faculty K-12 background so many have some pedagogy background.

Gotta provide pedagogical and technical training to the faculty.
- But remember main role to teach students (for this institution)
- Work in environment where many don’t have access to broadband. Some don’t even have telephones (wired or wireless)

Ongoing program (8 years old now).

Original program.
- 10% of credit hours online (still this way)
- Originally – training opportunities ad hoc or haphazard.
+ Lots of last-minute desperation
- No reward system in place for teaching online, learning technology
+ Except for the eternal gratitude of the administration
- Faculty reported needing more time to develop online materials. Money a minor issue.

Why it works
- Well established Associate degree teacher transfer curriculum
- Exec VP wanted organized training program to train more faculty in teaching distance learning (sr. manager buy-in and champion)
- Release time placed in the budget if participate in class. This is a big reward.

Instructional team
- Dean of Learning Technologies
- Dean of Curriculum and Instruction (no longer at college)
- Chair of Education
- Director Academic Computing
- Team taught
- Part of “other duties as assigned” for positions

Talked to faculty about why they teach.
- No tenure. Continuing appointment. After 1st – similar to tenure.
- As part of 1st continuing appointment interview – will be asked why they teach

Developed a formal 1 semester course – EDF211 – Instructional Design
- Through regular degree program
- Really a graduate-level course in other education programs.
+ Originally designed like a grad program. Heavy reading load. Cut back significantly. This was done on top of many teaching 4 completely different courses.
- They are only undergrad
- Prereq – EDF 201, Introduction to Education or permission
- This is really just a faculty course. Not really for students. “Not invited.”
- Most work on #5 – based on Bational ed tech standards and performance indicators. Develop course.

Beginning – truly geared towards faculty teaching online
- Even if not teaching online – good pedagogy
- Serving as mandatory orientation course for ALL new faculty.
- Using it as model of good instruction. They get to see their model for what a good course looks like.
- Lots of hands-on work building course material as part of the course.
- Big sale – “you have my undivided attention during the lab” 1-on-1 time that they may not ask for.
- Course runs about 12 weeks – give Faculty time to end their own semester
- Front-load as much as possible to give Faculty time during their busiest part of the semester.

Adjuncts do not get courseload reduction. Volunteer for Adjunct.
- Many participate because it helps them get full time employment either at Genesee or elsewhere.
- Great resource for learning about the institution and participate in activities that happen on “main campus” that they may not otherwise see.

Variety of disciplines and courses across time and in any one semester.
- Help develop communities across departments
- Can cross-pollinate with each other.

Still very face-to-face because the casual dialog is incredibly valuable.

Networking almost as much of an objective as the actual stated objective.

Important to give people things that they can use right away
- Technology used from the get-go
- Very flexible examples – they do their own projects.

Encourage faculty to customize courses to fit them and their style.
- Student learning outcomes on every single course. Not in stone. Re-evaluating the outcomes for the course they are teaching part of the course

(left at this point)

Building Retention into you Online Program

Presentation: Building Retention into your Online Program
Presenters: Craig Loftus, Whitney Kilgore – SunGard Higher Education

My takeaways (since I’m doing staff training):
Course consistency is key
Need to have a solid support system
Make sure the expectations are realistic (for students and for the client group, in my case)


The core of this is more geared towards an overarching online program for a university.

Faculty Development
- Need to focus on the teaching
- If they have to focus attention on the CMS, affects the teaching
- There is a time commitment for the faculty
- Make sure you have an effective support system in place

Course Design
- Make sure your courses have a uniform course design.
+ Students won’t have to think about the CMS. Can focus on the learning rather than the interface.
+ Navigation – keep consistent
+ Location of materials - keep consistent
- Like the classroom – don’t get to pick where the whiteboard is….
- Tutorials on CMS embedded in the course helpful
- Make sure you have alternate forms of contact, follow-up.
- Set expectation for learner within that first informational piece.

Students think online courses easier. May not necessarily be the case
- Make sure you have online orientation course – aid navigation.
- Make sure clear on support services for the online course / CMS
- Keep students engaged as learning community (Facebook, etc). May be missing collaborative environment.
- Need to remind them that it requires a level of self-motivation and self-directed ness.
- Some students have to complete an online seminar to continue with the program.

Why students drop out (online)
- Lack of direction and ambiguity
- Inadequate support structure
+ gotta make sure they can get the resources necessary
- Technology Issues
+ home and office computers
+ Are courses built so that media easy to get to, download quickly
- Island syndrome
+ If student not completely engaged in materials, may give up. Not as motivated.
- Lack of interactivity and personalization
+ Watch the page-turners
+ Keep incorporating stories / personal experience

- Wrong expectations
+ Online course NOT easier
+ Make sure your materials match the reality
+ Also – faculty have wrong expectations about how easy it is to teach.
+ Admin also feel faculty can teach MORE online courses with more people in the class. Not true.
+ Really does take more time to teach an online course.

Other reasons (apply to both traditional and online)
- Financial (can’t afford it)
- “Swirling” - students picking and choosing courses (either by choice or because they can’t get into the course)
- lack of direction
- self- discipline
- feel disconnected
- Time constraints

Make sure also have faculty support services as well.
- They have similar needs to students. Esp. remote.
- If faculty not supported, not as engaged in the course.
- Much support centered around IT department. May need a separate team for Online courses not just for the technical but also for the instructional design and processes.

What differentiates a good online course from bad one
- Even the best organized and content focused courses may not be enough
- Good instructors good storytellers. And keep content fresh.
- Good instructors had real-world experience. Help you identify the context and relevance.
- Best instructors more facilitators. Cross-collaboration.
- Instructor presence makes / breaks a successful online course
+ Sharing of experience – can’t get this from a book
+ Identify problems before they occur
+ Push in the right direction
+ Foster and encourage collaboration
+ Faculty follow-up and remediation for online students

Assessment and Remediation
- Alternative forms of assessment
+ Objective and subjective assessment
-- Standards for discussion. Discussion means a lot.
+ e-portfolios (tool from University of Denver – free. Some success but they are not really set up to provide support).
-- Many students want to then use the ePortfolio for later use – as part of package to employer.
+ Project-driven, measurable outcomes
+ Frequent assessments help measure pulse of room.
- E-mentoring
- Counseling / advising
+ Synchronous tutoring and advising
+ Telephone email and social network
+ Hybrid approaches

- Make CMS do work for you. Lots of tools embedded. Use them.
- Peer to peer reviews
+ Empower your students
+ Foster leadership and collaboration
- Concentrate on your teaching / focused o learning

- Some programs are more challenging than others when offered on line
- Online math and science can be challenging
- Ensure additional technologies are available and useful for your students
- Faculty Technology Leadership and mentoring programs
+ Help faculty (2 graduate level courses – Fall and Spring)
+ Given credits + laptop
+ Taught pedagogy and best practice and incorporating multi-media
- Cross-disciplinary Learning Objects

Program and Course Consistency
- Consistent curriculum in your program – one course leads into next
- Ensure prereq and sequencing consistent
- Program paths are clear for both online and traditional
- Consistent online teaching strategies and expectations
- Listen to your students and incorporate student feedback.

Good articles on internet
- Taking Student Retention Seriously
- National Dialog on Student Retention

Second Day Odds and Ends

Whenever I am at a conference, one of the things I like to do is find a hidey hole with good internet. Oftentimes, that hidey hole is on the floor outside of an out-of-the-way meeting room. At the Pennsylvania Convention Center - I hit the jackpot. Leather cushy chairs!

Even better - I can see the comings and goings of conference-goers. The Grand Hallway is on the top level of the old train terminal. The renovation really is spectacular.
The picture doesn't do the space justice.

What impressed me most is that they managed to do most of the work while leaving the Reading Terminal Market intact.

If my hotel room had a kitchen - I would have probably spent my entire conference cooking rather than attending any sessions.

I managed to get many of my meals from the market - including one of the best milkshakes I've had in years (Barrett's - worth every penny of the $5 I spent for it).

The Amish come into the city today - opening up a whole corner of the market that has been closed since I arrived on Sunday. Hopefully, I'll be able to drag some dried beef and cold cuts back to DC with me.

Last time I was in Philly (about 5 years ago) - the area was......a tad rough. There's still some issues with pickpocketing (I heard about 3 instances during this conference at nice restaurants. Be very aware of who sits behind you and watch your wallet). Didn't feel entirely safe at night (thankfully, I went to this conference with a group). But during the day it was obvious that the city had made great strides towards cleaning the Center City area up and turning it into a destination.


Much of this conference was very technical. Since I am not involved in the configuration or administration of this particular application, these sessions were lost on me. What it did give me was a respect for just how complicated Banner is. Our analysts have their work cut out for them this upgrade.

The other thing this conference has done is give me confidence to start presenting again. I sat through a number of sessions where I found myself talking too much, or shaking my head, or having my co-worker lean over and say "You would have been a better presenter."

I realized that the eLearning blogosphere is still bleeding edge. So many trainers are still stuck on "how many people showed up to my class" as a metric. The longer trainers remain stuck on that metric - the more irrelevant we become.

It's particularly inexcusable when you are training the application that allows you to get more valuable business metrics. Shoot - even a measure as simple as "Did this training improve the data quality in x module / report" has a direct business impact that also translates to $$$$$.

And we know $$$$$ talks.

I also sat through more than one session that talked about the wonders of technology or a new training program with little emphasis on some of the cultural challenges. Presentations that are too "rah-rah" and implementations that seemed to go too smoothly make me suspicious.

Maybe I'm just too negative and jaded.

I think my next project when I get home is to start developing a presentation on how to build a truly interactive software simulation in Captivate and how to use it for assessment.

Because if I see another "a/b/c/d - what form provides Student Demographics" type assessment I will scream.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Building a Support Network

Presentation: Building a Support Network
Presenter: Debra Shein, Idaho State University

I’m usually pretty good about packing for conferences. Dress appropriately for the weather and the extra-cold conference rooms. No overpacking. Have everything I need.

Epic fail on my part. It’s colder in Philly (with a mean wind) than anticipated. Spring has somehow missed this part of the Mid-Atlantic. And the meeting rooms are still cold (the genius who came up with the notion that we pay better attention in cold rooms…may they freeze to death). Broke down and bought slacks. Found a really nice pair for $10 at the Macy’s across the street. Good thing I had already planned clothes in this month’s budget….

My takeaways:
- Find a central safe place to share information.
- Reward (not punish) participation
- Going from facilitated to self-directed is harder than it looks
- Other folks have much happy voluntary participants. I don't feel as optimistic about my audience.


Manages End-user training project. Branded “TigerGuides”

Web of people throughout the university.
- Assist end-user
- Relay impt information
- Performs feedback for HelpDesk and service staff

Support Networks
- Help university negotiate change
- Meet ongoing training needs
- Minimizes burden on dedicated training and support staff

(Emphasis on tools in Luminis portal)

(starts with icebreaker – find stuff in Philly to do. Builds information more quickly than 1 person alone)

If you do this electronically – can develop group archive.
- Much faster to develop materials and knowledge in a group

Communities of Practice and potential.
- Faculty tend to work in isolation
- Maybe a community of practice may be able to bridge gap and develop shared bank of resources and assignments (why reinvent the wheel)

Community of Practice should have diversity

Developing a Support Network (ISU TigerGuides as case study)
- Branded. “Safari to the future”
- Conducted needs analysis, training plan.
- Worked with Support team.
- Interconnected partnerships.
- Goal – support network reaching into every department of the University.
+ Who are these people?
- Did this by wandering around the university. (“who are the go to people in the area.”)
+ Tend to be the admin folks with legacy experience
- There is a “shadow service desk,”

Began with series of workshops
- Gave overview of project
- Focus on generating enthusiasm

Next – hands-on workshops
- Extra training
- Prior to HR implementation
- Post-go live celebration

Still in the middle of implementation

Benefits discovered
- Admin assistants felt like they were empowered with responsibility
- Folks felt like they were in the loop. Input appreciated and used.
- Admins felt more isolated than faculty. Broke the isolation.

Will continue to give additional workshops.
- Constant interaction to push info and get feedback.

Top/down organization
- Initiative coming from the trainers to them and back from them.

TigerGuides should evolve into self-motivated / perpetuating organization (at least, this is the goal). Right now, much more directed by the trainer/support group. Require significant facilitation and encouragement.

(talked about benefits of communities of practice)

(she is reading from a script)

Blended community advantages
- Can meet when members separated
- Benefits from group memory
- Can meet asynchronously (intervals allow through reflection)
- Ideas evolve through writing (writing leads to discovery)

High percentage of communities of practice happen of their own accord.
- Can be cultivated.

To encourage the communities
- Give members time to participate
- Value community
- Increase personal empowerment
- Promote connections between members
- Groom members to become leaders
- Provide resources for group activity
- Train members to use resources
- See resources are used in ways to promote involvement
+ Advice
+ Generate knowledge
+ Social networking

Before this can really work – have to have readiness of audience
- Members must have desire to seek knowledge
- Need sense that expertise and well being will be increased by participation

Engage in discussion.
- Ask them what they may gain by participating?
- What would work for them?

They used Luminis group tools. (doesn’t really apply to us. There are some particular features)
- Announcements
- Group/Community News
- Message Board / Threaded discussion forum
- Feature Links
- Ability to add photos, links, files, calendar etc
- Ability to contact other members
- Would like to see a wiki (not in the tool she is demonstrating)
- Is part of the portal for the institution already (didn’t require a lot of retraining)

Internal discussion
- I asked about “resistance to the idea”
- Krishna (SunGard) mentioned – asked for ideas on the board. Non-anonymous. Reward the ideas.
- Importance of “ground rules” for rewarding participation rather than punishing.
- Will need to emphasize “professional development” aspect

Power Users have own website at another organization
- Put notes up
- Once place to centralize tools / central repository.
- (we may need to re-identify the PowerUsers)
- Have group input as whole. Not one administrator. Open up the participation.

Senior manager support essential
- Senior management sees value of community
- Potential rewards.

Thanks Harold! Online Community Tips

OK - not sure whether Harold Jarche was reading my mind in the Great White North or what.

He just posted some excellent recommendations for implementing an online community that address the pesky "people issue."

Good adjunct to some of the technical notes I took earlier during the conference.


BTW - have I ever mentioned how much I love this community!

Crossing Functional / Technical Divide

From LinuxKungFu

Yup - this is what communication across projects looks like.

Nice blog for linux folks on the site.

My takeaway: Scroll down and take a look at the baseline assumptions. They do a nice job of making those assumptions apparent.

I personally do a lot of translation between the two groups. Have for most of my career.

Everyone should play nice with each other. Really. Makes my life easier.

Presentation: Crossing the Functional Technical Divide
Presenter: Dainia Plitkins- Denning & Greg Huseth Georgia Institute of Technology

Dainia – International Student Advisor. Handles fsaAtlas and Banner function
Greg – Technical person. Supports fsaAtlas and other stuff

Total student population on student visas – 3,426. 121 countries

Big gap in language / expectations
- Set the expectation that “things are going to be OK.”

What is the Divide?
- Very different terminology.
- Same word – different meanings.
- Be aware to be careful with terminology when working with others.
- Modes of communication – what is preferred on the other side? What are they used to?
+ Particular formats?
+ Particular expectations?
+ Make the effort to make those formats and expectations clear.
- Frame of Reference
+ In office – can make base assumptions. Communicate same
+ When working outside the office – gotta back up and make sure each party understands. Cannot make the base assumptions you do when talking internally
+ May take a couple of conversations
-- (May not know that until you see a prototype / model)

Conquering the Divide – One solution may not fit all challenges
- Open the communication lines
+ Who is who?
+ How do you like to communicate?
+ Do you have different business practices?
- It’s OK not to “know” your counterpart’s job
- You speak different languages
+ Build time to create understanding into tasks
- There is stuff you won’t know between you

- Another set of eyes - multiple perspectives valuable
- Sorting out the Chaff
- Better not to fly solo
- Accountability and Responsibility - across all parties
- Full disclosure
+ When miscommunication happens
+ 6 hardest words to hear: "I didn't think it was important"
+ Gotta dig it out sometimes.
+ 5 most expensive words: "While we are at it...."

10 Things you need to know
- 5 functional / 5 technical

From functional perspective
- I am not technical and will not understand a lot of stuff, but I can learn what I need to
+ Speak in metaphors and analogies

- A lot of my tasks are tied to Federal reporting regulations

- I am concerned that the reports I make can have a serious impact on our student's futures. (Concerns for the client and the organizaiton)
+ I imagine that my counterpart is concerned with security and data integrity

- I'd like to be as self-sufficient as possible
+ Let me do stuff

- Ease of use is important to me.

From technical perspective
- I am technically oriented and want to apply technology to solve problems or requirements that you have
+ I like solving problems. I'm usually solving the same problems every day. Love if you give me something different.

- Technical solutions / options require various levels of expertise and effort
+ "We can do that" often comes with the caveat of "within available resources"

- Pre-existing technology choices sometimes limit options
+ I usually focus on "logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems."

- Technical complexity is challenging to convey
+ Patience is needed to search for the best way to convey these ideas.

- Production availability is like cash. It is king.
+ My goal is to keep production up and available, even though it may not have every feature that was ever desired.
+ Tech guys hate hearing that "The system is down."
+ We are trying to develop the things that you want.

Building a Community for Online Learning

Presentation: Building a Community for Online Learning
Don Sutton, Director Academic Services
Jim McSorley, Director Web Services

OK – after a last minute room change (where I could, fortunately, recharge the laptop) able to do the presentation.

My takeaways: I need to take another look at Ning as a possibility for helping create an online Banner community for our University. If nothing else, may provide another synchronous tool.

An informal conversation with our friendly IT security folks may be in order to see what our compliance boundaries are. What can and can't be put on an externally hosted source.

May not be very much here that would be different for the blog audience. Did, however, get me thinking about potential solutions for my particular problems.


What is Web 2.0?
- 1.0 – central source of info (Read)
- 2.0 – create your own info. More 2 way conversation, multiple-source. Anyone is the content author. (Read/Write)
- 3.0 – (Read/Write/Execute) Semantic Web – search w/ context. Upload data – get something else back.

Big deal – content authoring done by the masses.

Cites The Long Tail, Chris Anderson
(lengthy discussion of Web 2.0)

Who are the Online Learners?
- Generational phenomenon (see my thoughts in previous presentation)

Characteristics of Millennial Generation
- Note taking on keyboard vs. pen/pencils
- Reading from screen v. printed
- Social networks v. physical meeting
- Multitasking in digital env
- Millenials are
+ intuitive visual communicators
- Comfortable with technology

Most relevant to classroom – text messaging and social networking

What are Social Networks?
- Facebook really for college students, higher ed, alumni (?)
- LinkedIn – professional

- Social network you control.
- Social network by invitation only.
- Costs nothing
- Can create network for any class you teach.
- Can use as project management tool.
- Can set up so that private. Personal email address not exposed to anyone. Can communicate.
- (maybe create one for Banner upgrade? Would have to look at potential Compliance issues)

Ning group – started using as class situation
- Students initially excited about it. But became more reticent once they were aware that “teacher looking at it.”
- Did use it to upload favorite music – get to know each other.
- Use as a communication tool within the context of the classroom.

Ning group – gave example of the Work-Literacy Ning group
- Both synchronous and asynchronous
- Can record live chat. Then can look at the artifact.

Ning – also used successfully with those using ITV systems
- Supplemental repository
- Allow interaction that was not available in original systems

Can use Ning to incorporate people outside of the institutional context
- (In my case – I can link to a Ning site from within my LMS. Adds synchronous tools that are not available)

Text-messaging as Social Network
- No real asynchronous component.
- 10-17 yr use text messages as primary form of communication – 44%
+ Analogous to when we were 17 and talked on the phone
- Teenagers need to be doing something at the same time or they “spaz out”. (I’ve seen many adults do this too)

Twitter – text message captured in asynchronous mode.
- Class chatter
- Classroom community
- Get a sense of the world
- Track a Word
- Track a Conference
- Instant Feedback
- Follow a Professional
- Follow a famous person
- Grammar
- Rule Based writing
- Maximizing the Teachable Moment
- Public Notepad
- Writing assignments
(all from Academhack)
Use of texting alone (even without Twitter and search functionality) can be powerful adjunct to other activities (ITV, classroom, etc)

Quality Control
- That’s the big question.
- Young people are building those filters.
- Can you use it to address misinformation as it bubbles up?

Do need to be sensitive about policies and types of information that is out there.

Connecting the Dots - Banner Implementation

Presentation: Connecting the Dots, Training a Campus
Presenter: Brenda Driver, Missouri State University

I did not attend this session - occurred during another session I was attending.
Instead - I am pulling from the materials that Sungard made available.

My thoughts - anyplace that they used large informational sessions may be better served with an interactive online resource. They probably had time and expertise issues (especially since during implementations, the system changes until the last minute), but it struck me from looking at their presentation that those large information sessions had issues with both attendance and retention.

Warning that the materials may not look like production was a good move.....

A few highlights:

2 levels of planning
- Overarching plan for the entire product
- Module-specific plan. Drill down to determine who needs what type of training.

They had 3 different types of training
- Informational - stick a bunch of people in a large auditorium. (Information not retained)
- Hands on - lab for small groups (Better retention)
- Open session - one on one walk in workshops (Best retention)

Who attended which training depended on the needs of the particular group.

Multi-pronged approach to advertising the training
- E-Mails (often ignored)
- Working with Administrators
- Clarify what training a particular group needs - specific distribution lists

"Do a little training in advance and have Open Sessions after the fact"

Used a Master Training Schedule hosted on the Intranet.
- Targeted eMails
- Portal announcements

Missouri State's Training Breakdown

- Finance
+ Who: Originators and Approvers of Requisitions, Users of Budget Functions
+ Training: 3 hour hands-on. 45 minute project overview. 2 hour hands on intro to the tool
+ Gave printed guides and reference sheets. Candy too.
+ 20 person enrollment. Tracked through LMS - ILT tool

- HR
+ Who: Faculty, Staff, Student Employees
+ Training: Time Entry, Leave Reporting, Departmental Time Entry
+ Had large informational and small hands-on sessions.
+ Gave printed reference sheets and stress balls.

- Student
+ Who: Faculty and Staff
+ Training: Registraion, Admissions, Advising
+ Type: Informational, Hands ON
+ Gave reference sheets (no candy or stress balls?)

- Financial Aid and Advancement - training not needed.

- Decided User Support and the implementation team will keep material up to date
- New Employee Training
+ HR provides orientation
+ Rest of training on Supervisor level
+ User Support provides 1-on-1 as needed.

Missouri State has an easily accessible documentation repository for Banner.

First Day Odds and Ends

I got a chance to do some sightseeing yesterday.

The Macy's on Market Street in Philly was built as a Wanamaker's back in the heyday of department store shopping. When going to the department store was a special occasion. You would dress up to shop, eat at the elegant restaurant at the store, make a day of it. The classic mother/daughter (or grandmother / granddaughter) day out.

As part of the ambiance - this particular Wanamaker's has a grand organ installed in the main atrium of the store.

In this day and age, the appearance of an ornate organ, racks of clothes, and sale signs seems a bit incongruous.

More amazing, this organ is still functional. I walked in on a concert. Knowing that there are fewer of these grand pieces still around, I was amazed at how everything still worked and the obvious care taken with this instrument.

Definitely beats the insidious "buy stuff" musak you hear in most stores.

I sometimes wonder what we have lost - in this day of practically ubiquitous internet, cell phones and iPods.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Banner 8 - An Early Adopter Story

Presentation: Banner 8 – An Early Adopter’s Story
Presenter: Kathryn Matuch, Drexel University

It is here where I thank my lucky stars that I moved to an organization that is NOT into early adoption.

Hopefully, I’ll get a preview of the hiccups and priorities with this upgrade. See if I missed anything during my initial evaluation of our baseline instance.

BTW – “Baseline instance” means an installation of the application with no modifications. Designed as the vendor sells it.

My takeaway - as a trainer, watch and ask about technical issues during the upgrade.
Not a lot to train unless there is a process change as a result of reviewing new features.


Drexel – 4 campuses, including 1 in Sacramento, CA.
(funny how universities are now all about branding rather than location)

They went live with 8.1.

(This is going to be a technical presentation – you may not see that many notes)

Small windows available for upgrade
- Monday over Xmas holiday.
- Use quarter term system. Not a lot of downtime.

The System Administrators in the Student and HR systems wanted the new functionality
- Multi-year encumbering
- Algorithmic packaging
- Course wait listing

To limit the amount of work involved – limit all modifications. One set of code for all campuses.

They use practically everything except ODS/EDW or new Enrollment Management Solution

Have home grown and 3rd party products with hooks into Banner (really important when implementing to know what these are)
- Banner 8 upgrade not too difficult
- Big piece was to make sure your integrated pieces don’t break. (3rd party and homegrown)

How many people?
- IRT (5 DBAs – 1 dedicated to Banner, 1 70%, 3 came on board fast)
+ 14 Software engineers
+ 4 systems people
+ 1 Lumis Application Admin

- System Administrators (liaisons between IRT and the end-user)
+ 13 Drexel Student, Financial Aid, Admissions
+ 6 finance, HR, Accounts Receivable
+ 4 hosted schools.
+ Responsible for data QA, initial troubleshooting, etc.

- March 2008 – Early Adopter program (past Beta)
- June 2008 – agreed to participate (already had trial character set. Server roadmap being developed already since knew were going to be replacing servers)
- July 2008 – database conversions and baseline Banner 8
+ Apply baseline mods (trying to stay close to baseline)
+ Test 3rd party databases – look for required changes
+ PIN documentation and impact reviewed and questioned.
+ Finalize hardware needs
- September 2008 – release code for testing
+ System Administrators begin comprehensive Banner 8 testing
+ Any C programming changes tackled. Reviewed baseline code. Gotta change the code to support UTF-8
+ Had direct contact with the SunGard developers
+ Encrypting the PIN is NOT OPTIONAL (for tech folks using this – this will make more sense. Potential headache. Definitely impacts your reports and how things go out to the students. Also impacts Duplicate PIDM process – for those who know what I am talking about.).
- September 2008 – of course there was also a 3rd party upgrade scheduled. Had to move to whole new architecture on one of their major systems.
- October 2008 – (more tech prep and testing. All of this is back-end. Speaking in code for those who know it.)
- November 2008 – Banner 8.1 installation and hardware installation.
+ Lesson here – watch migrating files, machine name changes, host key verification and tns name issues. Most result of migration issues to new hardware.
+ Took time to streamline and do base configuration management so everything talks to each other. Great opportunity to document.
+ Saw COBOL and C issues surface. If in 64 bit environment, can’t compile COBOL right now.
+ Configure production manager.
- Go live December 08.
+ Production down for a week due to load issues (oooh……this is bad.)
-- (I’ve saw this in the EMR upgrade with a new product. Works great in test. Works well with smaller institutions. Go live. Bad juju.)
+ Received emergency build and index rebuild and configuration changes.

(at this point, absolutely no training involved whatsoever in this discussion. I am getting the impression that training for the upgrade really isn’t that important. All end-user issues mentioned in the sessions I’ve run into so far have been technical, not training.)

Evaluating the Usefulness of Training

Evaluating the usefulness of training
Presenter: Gwen Burbank – SunGard Higher Education

……………came in late. Walked into my 2nd choice session. Um…no. The step by step of an upgrade. Focused on “and we notify our people when the production instance is live.” Don’t need that. Lived through way too many upgrades.
Don’t just hand the person the workbook. Gotta look at your personal processes.
- May take 3 different workbooks.
- Need to do planning on paper before create first item.
- Figure out the media.

(Talking about the ADDIE Model and Kilpatrick levels)
- Will evaluate throughout the full process.
- SME (subject matter expert). (She is talking instructional design 101).

People can handle 5-9 items at a time.
- 12 seconds before that information leaves.
- Challenge to training – from short term to long term
- Biggest way – repetition.
- Also – visuals
- Assess when ready to move on to next concept.

Banner hierarchical. Missing step 1 – won’t understand the next step.
- Get people to do it.

Many have person in back actually watching (in my instance – me.)

Often have 1 on 1 in many organizations.

More difficult Banner tasks – many folks doing 1 on 1.

Assessment serves as part of learning process. People learn from mistakes.
(how realistic is the assessment).

One idea – performance checklist.
- Log into system
- Access the form to enter employees (can create this using Captivate!!!!)
- Generate an ID
- Select an option to generate an ID.

Navigating CBT – let me try!
- Using Captivate to build CBTs.
- Use the Assessment mode (or variation thereof)

Can also use matching game (name of the form with how used)
Jeopardy also an option.

Work with SME to develop the game. They become more bought into it. The SME will be the one who sells the idea, not the trainer.

Had each of them write 10 questions about General Person form. They are writing the questions and quizzing each other.
- The game then customizes. To the class.

Behavior change – what happens out on the job.
- Did they actually learn it?
- Can sell the management (gotta show increased performance)
- Measuring this could potentially take a lot of time. May require hanging out in the environment. (Management by Walking Around) “How’s it going?”
- Results could be impacted by other factors. (Big key – what are you actually measuring?)
- Sift – performance related to Training or to the Job. Big difference.
- Can send self-check
- (couldn’t you also run a report off of Banner? W/ objective (say – drop in errors), can see.

(Ok – I’m talking way too much)

Level 4 – Results.
- Find the things you are measuring.
- Look at reports.
- What is the concrete business result. (i.e. how many hours. How much $$$$)
- Run the report BEFORE and after.
- Remember – Return on Investment.
- Will require statistical analysis. (Analysts are your friends. And DEFINE what you want to accomplish).

Evaluation strategy
- Start small then build. (Level 1)
- Look at the culture of the organization to see how it will work.
+ (in my organization – how invisible can you make it)

Develop evaluation strategy
- Determine the need for evaluation
- Select the level
- Design the evaluation tool
- Pilot the tool
- Implement the evaluation
- Analyze the results
- Report the results

Performance Management Overview

This turned out to be a more technical overview and product introduction than an introduction to Performance Management as a concept.

Plus they read from the slides (I HATE that)

Here are my notes from the 15 minutes I sat in the room.


Presentation: Performance Management Overview
Mike Salisbury and Kamakshi Mallikarjun, SunGard Higher Education

Gartner Definition:
Performance management is the combination of management methodologies, metrics and IT that enable users to define, monitor and optimize results and outcomes to achieve personal or departmental objectives across multiple organizational levels (personal, process, group, departmental, corporate, or business ecosystem).

Improving performance requires Organizational Alignment
- Align org to strategic goals
- Link managerial action to accomplish goals
- Align budget requests and funding to desired outcomes
- Align internal activities with strategic plan
- Foster employee abilities and commitment to objectives
- Define measures and targets.

Goals – statement of what we want to achieve

Objectives – must be measurable.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI) – quantitative measures used to evaluate business performance against expected results

Initiatives – specific programs / activities / projects to meet KPI targets

Helps to have repository of performance information across entire Performance Management Process cycle.

Example - enrollment
- Review and plan – look at current levels, campagns
- Monitor and Measure – track enrollment funnel
- Report and Analyze – how are we doing?

Only 33% actually have a clear enrollment plan. Even fewer have quantitative targets (28%)

Performance Management brings value to all levels of institution.
- Performance data – am I achieving my goals? (Executives - scorecards)
- Trend / Summary Data – How am I doing? What should we be doing? (Dashboards, reports, analytics, some ad-hoc for lover level knowledge workers)
- Detailed data – What is going on? What do I need to do? (ad hoc)

(Basically reading from slides. Will get PowerPoint later and go elsewhere.)

Help! I Need to Train a University!

Presentation: Help!!! I Need to Train a University
Presenter: Linda J Dorn, University of St. Thomas St. Paul MN

I’ve been looking forward to this one. I may not have a huge role to play in this upgrade, but the next upgrade looks to be a major interface change. Better to find models now, before I need them. Beats panic mode.

- Workshops - 15 minute scenario + uninterrupted computer lab time + people to answer questions = invaluable. (this is the 2nd time I've heard this today)

- This presenter put together a really nice site of resources.


Works in a technical team in the Registrar’s Office.
60% of time on Banner.
Create online trainng videos, documentation, f2f, Help Desk.
Maintains Registrar’s website
Commencement coordinator.

Went to Banner 6 years ago. Banner Student 2004.
Banner 8.1 implementation scheduled in August.

Will be redoing everything.

No central training area. She trains on Student module.
Others do Admissions, Billing, etc.

University of St. Thomas training model.
- Training sub-groups
- Training documentation (hard copy and online)
- Focus groups
- Training sessions (both online videos and classrooms)
- Training workshops
- Where to go for help
- Updating documentation
- Ongoing training plan

Uses Captivate and Camtasia

Training sub-groups
- Members from various areas of University
- Really need input from both grad and undergrad. Assisted in training program.
- They WANTED to be involved. Help take care of roadblocks.

Sub-group members
- Asked to attend train the trainer sessions
- Read through documentation
- Committed to 2-3 hour meetings 3-4 months out. Started weekly. (Planning)
- Created training objectives, outlines, exercises and documentation.

Main trainer + assistants.
+ Committee member either served as main or assistant.

- Used
- Use other ideas. Steal and share.
- Go to – search for Banner doc.
- Includes:
+ QR guides
+ Step-by-steps
+ Training manual
+ Documentation both hard copy and online. She moved to BlackBoard.

Focus Groups
- Get feedback on the training design and documentation
- Use focus group before “real training”
- Use suggestions to update course and documentation
- Asked people to sit through training session
+ Asked whether objectives met
+ Like and improvement
- Focus groups “show and tell” rather than dress rehearsal. Discussed concepts that may happen in training rather than actually doing the training.
- All focus group members required to attend official training sessions.
(Training predicated on full face-to-face)
- People really wanted to see the system. Lots of volunteers

Training for Maintenance (Data Entry)
- Banner Orientation pre-requisite for module training
+ Also online FERPA prereq
- Training sessions, both campuses (F2F)
- One trainer + one assistant per session
- Most sessions for maintenance access conducted in computer lab
- Class outline – Banner Schedule
+ Documentation
+ Hands-on practice
- Lesson plan for consistency between trainers
- Questions allowed throughout session
- Question and Answer
- Checks for learning (not really a big deal.)
- Number of training sessions.

3 people as main trainers. Attempt at consistency.
- Did follow-up email with questions and answers to everyone.

Training requirements for Query access
- Banner Orientation for pre-requisite
- Created Camtasia. Realized too many people. Now solely online.
- Documentation available online
- Online Security Access form (training before security)
- Work with IRT to set up access.
- Users may train when convenient for them.

Online training videos – there is some training involved.
- Camtasia and Captivate easy to use.
- Still have to train yourself to use the tools
- Once done – people are self-sufficient.

Training workshops during conversion
- Repetition is KEY
- For Catalog / Schedule – offered 10 workshops
- Workshops offered in computer labs
- Afer refresher workshop – attendees worked on their courses and sections.
- Sub-group members there to assist
- Question and answer email
- Very well received. People could work without interruptions.
- Still offered well after implementation. Well liked since they can work with live resources.

Registrar’s Office does not maintain all course sections.
- Maintain catalog - course
- Coordinators maintain individual sections.
- Graduate school responsible for both course and sections.

Updating Documentation
- Prior to upgrades
- When policies change
- Correct errors
- Update screenshots
- Semi-annual review of all docs.

Refresher Training
- Still have refresher workshops
+ Faculty Load
+ Catalog and Schedule
+ Registration
+ Academic History and Grading

New Release Training
- Banner 5 to 6
+ Training videos
+ Updated docs
- Banner 6 – 7
+ Videos
+ Update training docs
+ Workshops on Concurrent Curricula

- Banner 8
+ Videos
+ Update training docs
+ Will offer f2f (TBD)
+ Will work with IT. Ask them to attend

Help Resources
- Very impt. Let people feel self-sufficient
- Use Banner Help Resources (vendor)
- Documentation
- BlackBoard
- HelpDesk to log and forward to appropriate person. Plus track type of question.

Templates available
(Some great stuff on this site)

Made sure had a glossary, QR navigation.
- Translate from old language to new language where needed.
- Step by Step guide. Again – focused on form name. Liked the step by step guides.
- (Everything in Word)

Checks for learning
- Exercises to find particular items. Use the system.
- Went through it together so all had answer (can turn this into evaluation)

Consistent lesson plan including setup instructions for instructors.
- Tried to dummy-proof. Everyone says same thing at same time.

Use SnagIt for screen capture.
- Can use SnagIt to emphasize information or take sections of reports.
- Emphasize particular areas.
- Also spotlight and magnify.

Jing – free video recording software. Esp. something quick.
Camtasia – not interactive

Also uses Captivate (still doing a lot of video rather than interactivity).

Lets people know how long video is.

There is a separate Banner Orientation site.
- Has data standards document
- Videos to view.
- Policies
- (their graphics are better than ours…..)

(this is a smaller institution than the one I work at).

- Share objectives
- Use for ideas
- Enlist helps from cross-functional areas
- Use focus groups
- Offer in person and online training
- Workshops as initial training and ongoing.

- Up to 100 people. Labs seat 20-25.
- Getting people to attend – no access unless people go to training. No Ferpa, No Banner Orientation. No access.
- As converted, if found they didn’t understand something – would do 1 on 1. Took extra time, but got support of university to do that.

- If can restrict access dependent upon whether person completed access – best practice.
+ Got buy in from top.
+ (Our organization – access first, then training. Don’t see that changing.)
+ Quizzing as part of training. Can get it. Nothing so formal as a quiz.

- With Captivate – now EVERYONE quizzes. Really interested in quizzing.

- Auburn – the trainer is the person also responsible for access. Does 1 on 1. Don’t master, tell supervisor. No access. May have had to train a few times. Some never get the access.

- Tracking – there are other tools available. Scavenge around.

- Little transition between online and f2f. Knew with Query access, no need to make someone sit in a classroom.
+ Also with new employees – training as soon as possible. Easier with online.
+ Can train right away. Worked really well.

- For workshops, will do overall refresher / scenario. They have own work with them. Computer Lab time. Can help as needed. Also uninterrupted.

- Banner Orientation. Different videos (IT area). Once completed the videos and form – sent to HR department. HR department checks off that they said they viewed orientation (no formal reporting?).
+ FERPA - online course. Student enrolls. Takes quiz. Tracks score. Minimum needed
+ Banner Orientation – not so formal
+ Query Access – relying on Supervisor saying that the person took the course.

Next Generation Learners

Presentation: Next-Generation Learners
Eric Bassett, SunGard Higher Education, Gen X
Alex Anderson – Sophmore, Wharton School, Millenial
Patricia Bannen – National Stock Exchange, Recent graduate Instructional Technology – Adult Learner, Baby Boom
Emily Feigelson – Sophmore, Theatre. Millenial
Tony Hinch – Classes for 10 years based on career roles. Real Estate and Finance. Baby Boom
I will admit I have my doubts about the differences between the “new generation” and other learners. I think any change in expectation towards more interactivity / student participation can only help us all.

I don't think this session really disuaded me from that opinion.

This is a Panel discussion – my apologies if my notes seem disjointed.

Theme: Student IT Preferences

What technologies have impacted your life the most?
- Patty – BlackBoard. Classroom management from instructor AND student perspective.
+ Liked chat / discussion boards. Thought important because not interacting on consistent bases since remote. Working full time still. Tools to get access to stuff quickly.
+ Also used Google Docs a lot. Collaborate and share and edit. Who made which edit. Then share with professor. Professor can see who was actually doing the work.

- Emily – BlackBoard. Impossible to lose stuff.
+ Can look for continuing classroom discussion.
+ Classes pretty small. People run on. Very helpful to hear what people are saying outside of class.
+ Also Facebook. Keep up on top of deadlines with this tool. Can get in touch with people in class – collaborate, when things are due, what read. If miss a class or stop paying attention, easy to get in touch with someone.

- Tony – GoogleDocs.
+ Paired up with 3 other people to write up a very large report. Lived nowhere near each other. Much easier for all people to work on same report, corrections. Very useful for collaboration.
+ Online registration system. Not just convenience. Very intimidating for adult learner to go to large room with tables and lots of people much younger. Left. The online registration system got him into the first class. Much less intimidating.
+ Can see what available. Can make appointments with counselors. Motivated to take classes. Not 500 people 30 years younger running around competing for class.

- Alex – WebCafe (like BlackBoard)
+ Can see all classes available at school. Can see what is being offered and syllabus even if not enrolled in them (marketing)
+ GoogleBooks. Textbooks very expensive. Can preview all kinds of books. Look up last word of last page, brings up next 10 pages – can get to rest of book.

What is your personal learning style? What technologies do you use?
- Alex – “night before”
+ Let things pile up. Makes technology very important
+ Search for keywords. Easier on line.
+ Copy and paste into word doc is very helpful. Especially when writing essays and studying

- Tony – have to hear and see
+ Use digital voice recorder. One he uses now - $40. Voice activated. Button and port that allows him to upload and index lectures onto his computer. Can label and timecode.
+ Holds MP3s and documents.
+ Helps him memorize lines (because theatre). Read scripts into digital voice recorder and listen constantly.
+ Reading – won’t retain.
+ At end will have entire lecture and listen to it in teacher’s words. Also questions.
+ Notes, didn’t help him. Didn’t write down what needed at time.
+ Also use “digital podium” – can put computer up on screen. Would show exactly where need to go. The visuals very critical.

- Emily – Self-directed. Need to write things down and put in own words.
+ Math and science – need diagrams. Need to draw herself.
+ Love PowerPoint in classroom. Can see what picture needs to look like.
+ Bullet points help elaborate. Can add own thoughts.

- Patty – Interactive. Also needs things to be organized.
+ Loves doing stuff ahead of time
+ BlackBoard helpful
+ When instructors would put interactive technologies into coursework.
+ Used Web 2.0 applications. Photo and video sharing esp. Can add multiple media to content. This is big deal.
+ Wants to get more involved in podcasting. Have professors podcast lectures so that can go back and think about salient points. When in lecture for 45 minutes, tend to drift. May have missed the most impt. points.

Have you made use of technology for accessing academic support services (writing centers etc)? Electronic or 1 on 1?
- Tony – often wants to talk to someone. Like the synchronous online discussions. Made him get to point much faster. Plus, allows the person to more immediately direct him to resources via links.

- Emily – Really need to see people face to face. Esp when talking to advisor. If not entirely sure what you are doing, face to face is critical. Not sure virtual would have helped her. Also – their system e-mail, not real time.
+ Question: Amenable to web-cam?
+ Answer: Yes. Never used. Don’t think would mind.

Any technologies that weren’t helpful?
- Alex – Many of the classes he takes uses Saber, fake market. Very archaic program (blue screen with dots). Doesn’t relate well to the technology he is familiar with.
+ Simulators important. But outdated simulators hard to connect with. Doesn’t seem reliable. Gotta look more realistic.

- Tony – Voice recognition technology. Soooo not perfected. Hate the phone tree. Don’t think it understands us.
+ Programmed 911 to activate for word “Help”. Also programmed “Pizza” Pizza contacted 911.
+ Phone trees are evil.
+ Want the option to not have to say things.

- Patty – Have to be careful when an instructor using BlackBoard getting stuck on 1 item.
+ Every week, had to use a discussion board. OK first couple of weeks. Not so good after 2-3 weeks (this is a very old-school ID approach for using discussion boards). Use the whole program.

- Emily – When use discussion outside class, student would have 1 person responsible for all of the responses then lead discussion. Kept it not boring.

If Amazon = 10, rate administrative technologies at the institutions you attended.
- Patty – St. Joe’s, 7 or 8. Can register for courses, lots of info, fairly user friendly. Course registration a bit more cumbersome. Could view potential courses, but if didn’t have the course number written down, couldn’t find it.

- Emily – 6. Can see what courses take, but can’t find them to register. 1 site, descriptions, no syllabus. BlackBoard, hope to see syllabus. Sometimes go to departmental site that may or may not be updated. Really want it streamlined.
+ How would you like to find classes?
+ 1 page, list of departments.
+ Click department, list of classes
+ Click class, see description
+ Link to syllabus.

- Patty – also would love to see search box so if not sure where class is. Keyword by topic.

- Emily – there is a unified course guide, but doesn’t link to longer descriptions.
+ Have to figure out how to navigate multiple web sites.

- Tony – admissions (7). Much improved. Phones (2) – no linkage. Want to see college website link up with local transportation system. Click class and time starts – then can click on link for trip planner to get to class.
+ If couldn’t do stuff online, wouldn’t go back to school.

- Alex – really not user friendly. (U Penn) 2 (maybe)
+ Multi-task browsing right now critical because nothing is linked together well.
+ Lots of white screen, black text. No description, title. Just times.
+ May have to look at 3 or 4 web sites just to choose and register for a course.
+ Mock registration helpful.

- All – schools VERY efficient at billing and money. Obviously a LOT of time spent getting the systems for billing and getting money is.

- Emily (Haverford) – very analog. They actually lost her check. No online component.

- Alex – email notification for student bill. Available on PayPal.

- Patty & Alex – pay online now.

What about help desk / tech support?
- Tony – Made professor deal with help desk. May not be that good – have classes, still not fixed.
- Alex – changed just in past 2 years. Had nice wireless access. Not connected – all different systems. Had to install multiple software to get a particular network. Now universal wireless. Much fewer IT departments / networks.
- Emily – Excellent web portal. No wireless. Very detailed instructions on anti-virus, how to get onto network. Great to have all instructions need in one place.
- Tony – classes off-campus, IT service not a priority vs. on-campus. Still used paper work orders.
- Alex – handed packet of software at beginning. Everyone on same protection.

Do you consider yourself an early adopter?
- Patty – not really have the time. In between. Need to be more methodical. Plus working all day.
- Emily – not really an adopter at all. Don’t do gadgets. No iPod. Old phone. Like technologies that allow her to access whatever want (web based).
+ Love Torrent programs
+ Anything to help her find information
+ Like SeekPod – search for MP3 files anywhere on internet and play direct. Reduces download.

- Tony – never. Technology has lots of bugs. Esp. early. No vista. Current technology does what it needs to do. DO I really need stuff now? Companies should work out all the bugs FIRST before worrying about new features.

(left at this point....)

Business Intelligence: A Case Study

Presentation: Business Intelligence: A Case Study
Presenters: Lynne Hamre and Bill Reichet, The College of St. Scholastica


Very excited! Found the wireless! Not in the meeting rooms, but I found the wireless!
Also found the free coffee.
And met some people I work with who I have never actually seen before.
Because the only way I was going to meet them was at a conference out of town.

Big education takeaway:

They have a monthly get together of all of the functional data administrators in a computer lab.

15 minute introduction of a particular feature of function of Banner.
Rest of time spent working on own stuff in Open Lab. Trainer and analyst available for questions.
People talking to each other and sharing during the Open Lab session.

Their take – this approach has been successful beyond their wildest dreams! Much less “duplicate development” of particular reports.

College of St. Scholastica – Duluth MN.
Liberal arts, private. Low endowment, tuition dependent.
Trying to create entrepreneurial culture in college.

1995 Banner Implementation
- Baseline Banner shop (no mods)
1998 – Started developing homegrown MS Access DataMarts
2003 – Banner HR Implementation
2004 – ODS/EDW Cognos

Katz-Tower and the Cloud
‘Institutions Performance Management System may become one of the defining elements of the enterprise”

Why Business Intelligence?
- Enrollment growth (3500 students)
- Increased Operational Complexity

How to link planning, budgeting, assessment (steps)
- Mission
- Vision
- Strategic Priorities
- Institutional Goals
- Departmental Action Plans -- >Budget
- Key performance indicators

BI system provides transactional data and aggregate data + strategic indicators.

Principles for success
1) Select the right tools
+ Had dozens of homegrown datamarts
+ Could not report historical trends
+Could not move beyond departmental reporting
+ Had to manipulate Banner data by managers
+ IT Maintenance overload
+ Inconsistent information
+ Time lag between request and receipt getting longer and no time for new development

- Buy vs.Build
+ IT dept 5 people (incl DBA /Banner admin)
+ Better to purchase system fully implemented with Banner and will keep up to date as the system upgraded.
+ ODS / EDW / Cognos

+ was outside of budget cycle.
+ Needed to do major sell job on admin

- Align to Strategic Plan

2) Create right governance structure
- Historically – had Banner Implementation Group (representatives from each dept. Front line folks). Determined data needs based on individual departments.
- As org grew – folks not understand enterprise-wide implications.
- 5 campuses. 42 campus codes (because now a particular program rather than campus now). Multiple term structure. Department decisions not match reporting and strategic needs for org.
- Created new committee
+ VPAA / CFO / VPEM / CIO / IR. Enterprise wide decision makers. Strategic thinkers
+ Strategic focus
+ Establish data definitions to meet broadest set of organizational needs
+ Establish college wide reporting standards

3) Come to common understanding of critical data elements
+ Campus – Where is the physical location for this activity?
+ School
+ Program / Major
+ Student / Attribute / Level / Classification / traditional – non-traditional
+ Codes VERY important
+ All use common data elements

4) Transition from existing reporting structure
+ Involve current data stewards (the functional areas)
+ Each area has own data steward responsible for quality of information and security of system.
+ Functional areas responsible for own routine queries
+ Create training opportunities (BI Open Labs)
-- Once a month – 15 minute overview
-- Let them loose on the computers.
-- Folks could them talk to each other
-- This worked GREAT. They would create one that all would use. Rather than each creating own stuff
+ Divide labor
+ Set realistic deadlines and stick to them. This didn’t work so well. KILL the old data warehouse (tried fluffier language, but that didn’t work). Hard to separate functional user from old data warehouses. Current goal – end of ’09.
-- Generally more have confidence in the new system
-- Barrier now really logistical (not political)

BI Challenges
- Substantial upfront investment
- Staff training and time
- Departmental user / buy-in
+ End-users could see value in tools pretty immediately
- Transition creep
+ Of course longer than an 18 month project
+ Didn’t realize the scope or that it was bleeding edge at the time

BI Benefits
- Enhanced efficiency and productivity - by 2005
- Reliable and consistent data
- Integrated planning, budgeting and assessment – yay!

Setting Realistic Timelines
- We did not do a good job of identifying what we really needed to shut down and the implications of the shut-down.
- Learning as we go. (Good to see them admit this)

ODS – the transactional data moved over to a new data instance.
- One source of data. Everyone hits the same source.
- Department-level reporting and decision making.

Server Sizing – the tech stuff
- Production
+ 35 GB of data – On Banner since 1994, using all modules except Advancement, ~2000 FTE
+ 1.3 TB of disk space, 330 GB in use
+ 16 GB RAM
+ Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES v4 64-bbit
+ Oracle
+ Dell Poweredge 2950 w/ dual quad core Xeon processor
- Test box is VM Ware, 8GB RAM, 600 GB of disk space, otherwise same as Production

Server Performance (using ODS ver.8)
- Full load – 7 hrs (ODS ver 2. took 24 hours+) (after install and as needed if data problem develops)
- Refresh all – 7 minutes (ODS ver.3 took 45 minutes) (1am every day. Using night-job info.)
- Rebuild custom tables between 4am and 6am.
+ Leveraged heavily in custom tables
+ Built specifically for college’s needs.
+ Still a lot of custom tables. Thinking of starting a project to reduce the number
+ Built, honestly, for early buy in. Now turning into crutches.

Create custom tables
+ When data element not available in ODS,
+ Consolidate elements from multiple tables for performance institutional goals.
+ 5 important ones (out of 100+ custom tables)
-- Student Master - 1 stop for anything you want about students. Tons of fields, runs quick. 90% of what need. (Other masters pretty much the same concept)
-- Recruit Master
-- Applicant Master
-- Budget Master
-- Operating Statement

- Novell LDAP for authentication. Cognos for groups and roles
- Pros
+ Easy setup and maintenance
+ Uses existing credentials
+ Poised for Identity Management
- Con – Does not accommodate other uses of ODS

Metadata table helps both tech and functional communicate.
- What each field does.

(I tuned out here since I have absolutely no control over the back-end or configuration).

The Changing Face of Support

Presentation: The Changing Face of Support
Presenter: Margaret Mason, Tennessee Board of Regents
When asking directions around a huge conference taking up 3 large buildings – always ask the AV guys. Great directions, no extraneous BS. To the 3 IATSE Local 8 guys sitting outside the Liberty Ballroom, thanks!

Did I say this conference is HUGE.

I managed to attend one session yesterday. My notes are below.

The crux of the presentation:

They gave their in-house staff multiple opportunities to prepare their skill set for the upgrade. There was a lot of resistance. And LOTS of money spent on training.

There were a lot of people who didn't see this as "real"

Finally, they gave these long-standing employees 3 options:
1) Train (again - many had done the training 3 times), test successfully (using the Oracle SQL tests), get a $10,000 raise.

2) Re-apply for the new job position and hope they get it.

3) Leave.

I wonder how many organizations are willing to take this "firm but fair" approach. It sounds like they agonized over it.

Statewide system (Tennessee)
Multi-year Banner implementation

Board of Regents has central IT support system – 1 of 2 state funded systems
- Tennessee Board of Regents (6 universities, 13 community colleges, 26 tech centers (don’t run Banner. HR and Finance through one of the community colleges), central office) 6th largest in US (190,000 students)
- University of Tennessee system (these are completely different)
- With resignation of UT president, both systems did not have permanent head. Starting to reconsider higher ed governance. Of course this complicates projects.
- 15,000 employees

Fall 2008 – completed 4 year Banner implementation on-time and under budget
- IT staff of 12 – including 5 full-time SGHE employees provide first line support to enterprise. (emphasis mine)
- 1 staff member oversees infrastructure. 1 CIO, 2 admin support personnel.
- 2 applications developers (TBR) and 5 SGHE under her.

TBR – facing 2nd major budget cutback during fiscal year.
- Bad budget prospects (duh)
- From “do more with less” to “do everything with nothing”
- 1-2 years from now, need to anticipate lower budget

Even if we get money – most of higher ed putting the money (rightly) in student-facing programs.

Old support paradigm
- PLUS (legacy system – COBOL-based)
- System less complex
- “Call Nashville”
- Send e-mail
- Phone a friend

New support paradigm
- Banner
- Central DBAs doing a lot of the work in these systems. Trying to get independent, knowledge transfer, train each other.

Throughout implementation – legacy databases sprouting like mushrooms.
- Trying to create a “database diet” for schools to go on.
- Finding when try to support the databases, finding all sorts of surprises.

Re-examined staffing needs
- Built staff with necessary knowledge, skills, experience and personal traits
- Still existing staff (even towards end of implementation), not seeing Banner as “real”
- Even after training, marketing, etc.
- Eliminated out-dated positions, created new positions
- Those folks who didn’t see the “reality” of it – their positions eliminated.
- Individual employees not terminated. Given a new position description with new skill set. Will train (though most have been through it already 2-3 times). Made them test into new position. Good – salary goes up $10,000. Not good or not test – can try with resume. Or – quit. All went for it. No one tested into the position (used 2 Oracle tests (SQL and PL SQL test) )
+Got rid of a lot of negativity
- Wanted people truly customer service oriented. Some folks hang up on clients.
- No entitlement jobs anymore.

Desired Personal Traits
- 10 determinants
+ TQM-based
- 13 Ground Rules

Determinants of Service Quality
- Reliability
- Responsiveness
- Competence
- Access
- Courtesy
- Communication
- Credibility
- Understanding
- Security / Safety
- Tangibles (can see clean facility, professional-looking folks)
(missing 2)

Did exercises with central office IT staff
- Took list of 10 determinants.
- List 3 do best, 3 need work
- 3 best – courtesy, competence, credibility
- Not how you think you do it – perception of your users!!!!
- 3 need improvement – access, communication, and understanding
+ When it’s your turn, responsiveness is wonderful.
+ But if it’s not – ummm…….

13 Ground Rules
- Become quick-change artist (tasks, projects, priorities)
- Commit fully to your job
- Speed up (because they have to do it faster, same quality)
- Accept ambiguity and uncertainty
- Behave like you’re in business for yourself
- Stay in school (my version – keep learning. Gotta be self-motivated.)
- Add value
- Hold yourself accountable for outcomes
- See yourself as a service center
- Manage your own morale
- Practice Kaizen (striving towards perfection)
- Be a fixer, not a finger-pointer
- Alter your expectations

What do we as an organization do best?
- Said – we add value, committed, quick-change. Need improvement on – altering expectations.
- Before – had people who could answer questions on the old system in their sleep. Now, don’t
- Users afraid of giving wrong answers now because don’t feel like they have enough experience with the product.

What would improve the quality of support immediately
- See yourself as a service center
- Be a fixer, not a finger pointer
- Speed up.

Cost / Quality / Time
- What system faces – Quality can’t drop. Cost must drop. As a result – time gives. People waiting longer.
Successful initiatives
- DBA Collaborative
+ Managing DBA (Centrally funded)
+ 2 DBAs – share among 19 institutions. Lions share of services
+ Used to have Sungard DBAs during Sungard Implementation
- Knowledge Transfer – became critical
+ Teaching people at the schools to help out.
- Repurposed hardware from old Course Management System (when went to hosted) to become Disaster Recovery Site.
- Institution / TBR / SGHE Partnership.
+ Begin better tracking of support requests
+ Give more direct support for the institutions
+ Customer Support Center / Action Line
+ 5 year contract – must have 1 annual meeting to discuss support issues.
- Columbia State / MTSU Help Desk (both merged in one location)

Greetings from Sunny Philadelphia

OK - so I'm at the Sungard Summit. We are implementing Banner 8 this year.

From glancing at our baseline installation, it appears to me that there will be very little for me to do on the Basic Navigation side. Functional training (the actual steps to take to perform different tasks) will change as the Analysts attempt to convince the process owners to get rid of various customizations that have been addressed in this new version.

The analysts want the departments to do this training. Rightly so.

My goal (which is not a formal part of the project) is to collect as many of these new processes as possible so we can start developing some centralized repository of material.

That and re-adapt our Banner Navigation Fundamentals class so that the bloody thing makes more sense.

So I am attending sessions that focus on training and support models.

The implementations are fresh or in process. Should be interesting.

I haven't quite figured out the wireless here yet. From what I can tell - good luck in the meeting rooms. I have a wired modem in my room - so posting will at least occur during lunch and in the evening.

This morning's project - figure out the wireless.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Conference Prep

Right now, I am preparing my sacrifice to the wireless network gods.

The vendor conference I am attending is being held in 3 different buildings (can you say HUGE). From working in hotels in a previous life, I'm guessing that the likelihood of seamless wireless access will be next to zero.

So, depending on my mood, how good this conference is, usefulness to the eLearning community at large, internet access, and other variables yet to be determined, you may or may not see anything about this conference over the next week.

There may or may not be activity on the Twitter stream as well. Again, depends on the wireless access. Hopefully, if I do Twitter, there won't be many "WTF! Massive FAIL!" type posts. If I'm smart, I'll restrain myself.....

If the conference is looking like it is any good, I may finally identify it. If it sucks....I think I'd rather keep it anonymous. I should know more once I get there on Sunday.

If you don't hear from me over the next week - have a great Equinox.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wendy W - Knowledge Gardener

I read Dr. Karrer's recent prediction that we will morph into "management consultants".

I dunno - that term seems so charged.

I think of the overpriced "consultants" that have invaded more than one of my corporate environments because decision-makers won't listen to people from within the organization. (It means more if they are spending thousands of dollars for the same advice.)

I think of the management gurus who tell us how to play nice with others, climb the corporate ladder, and win friends and influence people.

Dr. Karrer talks about how the definition of "management" will change. Maybe. But since we are not there yet, and we have to deal with the current perception of the term (as misguided as it may be), I think there has to be a better way to describe where we are going.

Listen, I don't even know what I'M going to be doing in 10 years, much less the industry as a whole. 10 years ago - I was an over-educated full-time stagehand in Baltimore. Maybe the change over the next 10 years will be just as dramatic. Judging from the history of our industry, I'm kinda doubting it.

Nevertheless, there's got to be a better way to describe how our jobs will change. A better term for the niche I increasingly find myself in.

Jay Cross talks about "wiki gardeners" in many of his posts (including his most recent one).

Thinking about the tools I'm building and the programs I'm developing - that seems more akin to the way I want my job to evolve. As a "knowledge gardener."

I don't know about the rest of you, but in all of the places I've worked the training department(s) have been in the unusual position of being able to touch and connect across all departments in an organization. As a result, training departments are in a great position to connect people, synthesize disparate processes and share information.

We talk about creating learning environments.

We talk about breaking down organizational barriers.

Maybe that's where we need to focus our energies. Creating and cultivating learning environments. Not just tools - LMS, tutorials, courseware, etc. The material remains of information. The "activities" of learning. We also need to help create a cultural environment. All of our materials are (supposedly) built with attitude and behavior shift in mind - why not direct those skills towards broader cultural purposes?

So I've decided that my next 5 years will be spent as a "knowledge gardener." Helping people get the information they need. Encouraging people within my organization to talk to each other and share what they know. Facilitating learning when they need and want it (preferrably in much smaller chunks than they are getting now).

Maybe I'll get "Knowledge Gardener" put on my next round of business cards........

Friday, March 13, 2009

X minutes

During the AG09 morning session, Craig Wiggins tweeted:
misconception 2: "I need you to create 1 hr of training" what huh? e-learning is supposed to render that irrelevant

I have been thinking about this same issue for almost a week.

Karl Kapp has posted a survey to see how much time it takes for us to develop e-learning.

A link to Karl's survey.

This is where I demonstrate my complete lack of professionalism.
I have my "Instructional Designer" badge ready to turn in, if necessary....

As I attempted to complete Dr. Kapp's survey, it dawned on me that I don't develop materials based on "1 hour of instruction" anymore. There are only 3 time measures I look at.

1) What is the maximum amount of time I have with the student? This is how I interpret the "I need X hours of materials" request. Haven't had anyone complain yet about something taking LESS time. And I've been at this 6+ years.

2) What is the "deadline" for mastery? (Right after they finish engaging with the instruction? A couple of weeks? A "drop-dead" date?)

2a)Is this "deadline" realistic? (This is where client expectation management comes in....Thank heavens for the education bloggosphere!)

3) How much time do I have to come up with something?

In Wendy World - the actual amount of time a student has to engage with what I will call "first-exposure instructional material" (whether it is classroom or online) would be minimal. Minutes. Anything created in support of that would be easily accessible for job aids afterwards. Split up so that they can get to only what they need at that time.

My goal these days, for almost any instruction, is to give folks what they need WHEN THEY NEED IT!!!! And create a reasonably easy place for them to get it (while also addressing the client's need for metrics).

These days, I spend more time focused on support materials and tools than I do on "creating instruction." In my mind, this is a good thing.

The way I think about paper documentation and online tutorials is more in number of pages. "How many pages / slides will it take to explain x"

Evaluation is based on the complexity of the task / objective. Too complex - I split it up. More than 100 slides for an online tutorial, I split it up.

What is the shortest/easiest way to explain something / facilitate learning a particular objective for the student?

How much can I reduce the "seat time"?

How small can I make those chunks?

Does it need to be an interactive tutorial or is 1 sheet of paper more useful?

How many people have to sign off on the materials before they are put in an accessable area?

Planning for all of this happens at a gut level. Much of my work is software simulation. I've been doing this for my entire 6+ year career as an Instructional Designer / Technologist / Trainer person. As a result, I've got a really good idea of how long it will take to explain a particular process within that realm and can estimate from there.

I'm also comfortable with the tools I use (Captivate, Word, HTML, Camtasia, Photoshop) and know I can develop x amount of material in x amount of time with a standard level of interactivity, barring any weird technical glitches.

(BTW - I am defining "standard" as click boxes walking through a linear process. No branching. No variables.)

My current measure - a 75-100 slide interactive Captivate project with narration and one menu = 1 week to completed, fully functional, glitch-free first draft.

I could probably do more - but I have teaching, meetings, LMS administration and other stuff I have to do too. It's a very rare week when I only have to concentrate on one thing.

The above estimate assumes that I am already familiar with the processes or content involved. Lack of familiarity with the application or topic means that I have to set aside personal education time. The more complicated the topic, the more time that takes.

I'm one of these people who have to go through the learning process FIRST before I can guide others through it. Researching. Looking for sticky-points, areas that make no sense, potential end-user hiccups. Asking moronic questions. Breaking things (and figuring out how to fix them).

This process is the same whether I am working on software training or soft-skills.

I quadruple the "instructional designer education" time if I am working with SMEs and don't have ready access to the information I need.

If there is a "multi-party approval process" involved, a short 30 slide tutorial can take upwards of a year from start to finish. Because there is usually a high level someone who would rather see the material in blue Arial 12 pt text with a pale yellow background rather than the template you have used for all of your other projects.

Do I know whether something is going to take 20 slides / pages or 2000 slides / pages going in?

No - but I have a gut feeling. I find out pretty quickly during the design phase whether my gut is off the mark.

So my next task is to figure out how to turn that gut feeling into something more predictable.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

(Waves Hi to Everyone)

A few odds and ends in more than 140 characters.

I get to go to the exotic locale of Philadelphia PA this month instead of Orlando FL. As a result, I am looking at:

Mark O's Cover It Live for AG 09.

Tracy Hamilton's Live Blog of AG 09 (Way to go Tracy!!!!)

The Gordon Ramsay of eLearning - Shawn Rosler starts the blog just to twitter AG09. That just ROCKS!!!!!

The AG 09 Twitter Feed (Hey Brent - why so worried? See pic lower left)

The AG09 Live! site (new bloggers added regularly - let Brent Schlenker know you are live blogging the conference so the rest of us can keep up)

Wish I was there.

The conference I am attending in Philly 2 weeks from now is a vendor conference. Why did I forgo AG09 (one of my favorite conferences EVER) to go to yet another vendor conference?

Major. enterprise. upgrade.

Anyone who has lived through one of these understands.

When going to a vendor conference (vs. an educational conference), I look for different things.

1) Sessions on anything new that may impact what the organization is currently doing. Much of my time will be spent identifying either things people have complained about in prior versions that they promise they will fix OR looking for potential training hiccups.

2) Training models for that particular application. Maybe another organization is doing something really cool. Or they successfully trained some ungodly number of people in an unrealistically short period of time and it worked. This time - I am also looking for decent, ongoing training and support models.

3) Alternatively, it's good to figure out what NOT to do. I've been to a number of these vendor conferences where the session is advertised as "successful strategies" or what not and the implementation completely and utterly bombed. The bad presenters gloss over the failure(s). Audiences pick up on this and get chippy. The good presenters embrace the disaster.

4) Workflows on particular trouble-areas. This will be the first time I'm attending a vendor conference solely as a trainer. In prior jobs, I've also had some system administration responsibilities. I probably won't be attending as many workflow sessions as I used to because I have absolutely no control over how the system is configured. As part of my prep in this area, I'm going to be asking my IT colleagues which workflow sessions they recommend I attend.

I've got the majority of my sessions for this conference planned out. Haven't decided if I'm going to live-blog this yet. Or if I do, how I want to approach it.

I'll take recommendations.

Captivate 4 - still love it.

Only glitchy hiccup I've discovered so far - I can't seem to save a default filming mode other than Demonstration. Instead, I re-set the filming mode in the new Recording window before each capture session.

Adobe - as soon as I finish trouble-shooting, you'll be hearing from me. I want to make sure it's not "stupid-user syndrome"


I'm now going back into my little cave.

To all in Orlando - have a blast!