The response to the technology survey from Randy Sellers was detailed:
"My first exposure to technology was using inertial guidance systems and global positioning to navigate military aircraft. Then came digital flight and weapons control systems and threat software developed for particular missions-it was a fast changing world that saw impressive improvements in aircraft maneuverability, navigational accuracy, and kill ratios for weapons. Foundational lessons were learned employing early technologies:
- Technology is a tool to accomplish the mission; and
- Always have a backup plan.
I'm not sure what happens now in the military, but back in those transitional days, if there was a mission to accomplish, it was accomplished with or without the aid of supplemental technology. Today's technological advancements seem to have more of a foundational influence on the elements of the mission, but viewing technology as a tool and always having a backup plan are still important principles, even in higher education.
The planning and assessment office uses several software systems to accomplish its mission:
- Nuventive's TracDat to enable user-level documentation of planning, assessment, and improvement.
- NGWeb Solutions Dynamic Forms to provide non-TracDat users the ability to submit assessment data online that can be entered by office personnel.
- SunGard PowerCampus to store and extract institutional research data
- Microsoft Sharepoint to provide online communication of fact books, assessment reports, institutional effectiveness reports, university catalog, policies and procedures, and federal compliance with student right-to-know legislation. We even used Sharepoint to present our ten year accreditation reaffirmation-it enabled us to present thousands of pages of documentation and narrative to two different groups of reviewers at various physical locations using varied versions of operating systems.
- Nuventive's iWebfolio, an off-site hosted tool used to build, store and present the five-year accreditation review and future ten year reaffirmations. This system enables us to produce self-contained reports that can be housed on DVDs or thumb drives that include documentation, narrative, and static internet-based information.
- Qualtrics is an hosted tool that we use to administer course evaluations, student surveys, employee surveys, and any other ad hoc online surveys that we or any other campus user wants to administer.
- DropBox is used with the iPad to provide tutorials and examples of good assessment practices to assistant deans as they work to improve academic assessment.
- Adobe Acrobat Professional to facilitate documentation of information from various sources for accreditation, user viewing, and backup.
- SnagIt to enable static captures of online information for assessment documentation.
- Adobe InDesign used for desktop publishing of printed university catalog. We also use it to produce PDF catalogs for online archiving.
- Adobe LiveCycle Designer to produce PDF forms that can be completed and submitted online.
- Microsoft Visio is used to compile and produce organizational diagrams.
- The internet is used to complete 40-50 online data surveys each year that bring the institution in compliance with federal and state reporting requirements, and provides the most up to date online college search information for prospective students seeking a university home.
Backups today involve the use of hosted resources with multiple layers of disaster recovery and producing snapshot reports that are used as documentation and saved in multiple locations available for reuse and, if needed, old-fashioned print. And yes, I still place a few often referred to data points on my very non-technological bulletin board-call them my last line of defense."