Educause Professional Development Opportunities of Interest 2010-11

ELI Annual Meeting 2011 – Call for Proposal
due date: Sept 17, 2010

Midwest Regional Conference 2011 – Call for Proposal
due date: Sept 27, 2010

ELI Online Focus Session
Sept 15 & 16

Educause Professional Development Archives

ELI Webinars Archive

Providing and Managing the Demand for Gigabytes of Storage at UW-Eau Claire


At UW-Eau Claire, we have developed a system to manage the increasing demand for storage space needed to produce multimedia projects. These projects include video production, digital storytelling, and photo projects. American Indian Studies, Marketing, Communication/Journalism, English, Art, and Kinesiology are just a few of the departments asking students to complete multimedia projects.  We refer people who have massive storage needs to our Management Assisted Storage System (MASS). This system provides an automated process of file management that ensures there is always sufficient space available for projects. This year, the system supported 380 project folders during peak production time, and we may have to increase our drive space beyond 7 TB in the next year or two.


About six years ago video editing assignments became a significant part of the support provided by Building Information Technology Skills (BITS), the Learning and Technology Services unit that supports technology training for campus instructors, staff, and students. We started by using external drives and soon moved to a network space.  But we needed to analyze usage and contact users when space was becoming scarce. As video editing became more popular, the task of monitoring the drive, sending emails, and deleting files became far too time consuming. Something had to be done.

 Characteristics of MASS:

Today, MASS provides the IT unit with a worry free, hands-off system, and supports instructors and students with many features that address some of the unique issues with multimedia projects. MASS has an easy to use web interface for personal folder or group folder setup, automated quota management, generated email warnings, and a user defined expiration date which triggers automated deletion of project files.

A web interface provides the campus community a means to request and set up a folder for a personal or class project. If an instructor wishes to set up a class project, he or she is presented with her class list. After selecting the class, the instructor then indicates whether individual student folders or group folders are desired. If group folders are needed, the instructor is given an interface for selecting students from a list of class members and assigning them to a group folder. When a class project folder is created the individual or group folders, along with an assignment resource folder, are established beneath the class folder. Every individual folder created is assigned a 60GB quota. Group folders have 120 GB quota. The server is over subscribed but the actual usage works very well.

The expiration date of the project is the other “automated management” feature that drives the system. When a person sets up a personal folder, she must indicate when the project is complete. This triggers emails notifying the folder owner of the impending deletion date. Class folders have an automatic deletion date set 60 days after the end of the semester. This gives instructors time to archive any assignments they would like to keep. We provide 50 GB of archive space at no charge to instructors. Additional storage space is available per department for an annual fee.

The third key feature is automated emails. After a personal or group folder is created, the owner or group member is sent an email indicating the path and folder name. Instructors are sent a confirmation email listing all group folders and group members. All members of a group receive an email informing them of the location of their group folder. As quotas approach, warning emails are sent and when a folder reaches 100%, the user currently using the folder is notified. Warning emails are also sent each week for the four weeks preceding the scheduled deletion of the folder. These emails contain information on how to extend the date or increase a quota. Extending the date currently requires assistance, while one 60 GB quota increase is supported through a web interface.

A Plus for Teaching and Learning

Multimedia assignments involve the learner beyond the traditional x-page term paper. The multimodal characteristics of these projects incorporate many sensory aspects not tapped with just the written word on paper or digital file. It is this building of 21st century skills that both grabs and also challenges the learner. Not having to worry about storage of these massive files helps to alleviate one of the issues that can make a project like these a stumbling block and a learner-nightmare; freeing the learner to concentrate on the content and process and not the storage. A benefit from the educator point of view is they have total access to these folders and can see the learner working files and folder contents. Also, the ease with which the educator can setup class folders and the extraordinary amount of storage space they have for these projects is easy to obtain and therefore helps to encourage the use of these multimedia assignments and MASS.  

Judy Hull, Software Trainer & Gene Leisz, Graphic Artist (LTDC Rep/Chair)
Learning and Technology Services
UW-Eau Claire

“Our passion is the teaching and learning process and our focus is technology”

A very nice description of the LTDC was written in a brochure for the UW System President’s Summit. It’s a good summary of who we are and what we do, and it is written in language that applies to those who are familiar with us as well as those who are not. Here is the text of that document:

We do instructional technology. We actively seek out new and emerging technologies and look for ways they can enhance the teaching and learning experience. We try things. We experiment. We look for innovative uses of existing technologies. Our passion is the teaching and learning process and our focus is technology.

We are experts at pedagogy, especially as it relates to technology. As much as we enjoy working with technology, it does not work for us unless it fills both a pedagogical need and the expectations of the faculty we work with. Our goal is to positively affect student learning outcomes with the effective use of technology.

We exist on every UW campus. The organizational structure and staffing of local Learning Technology Centers might vary but the essentials are there. On our individual campuses, we conduct training sessions on existing instructional technologies and promotional presentations on new and emerging ones. We work one on one with instructors and answer a myriad of questions. We guide instructors through technology projects. We actually like talking pedagogy and enjoy the challenges of an academic environment. All faculty have someone local who they can contact and work with.

We provide or are closely associated with the first line support and administration on your campus for Learn@UW, aka, Desire2Learn. We indirectly touch the academic lives of the vast majority of our students and about half of all our instructors.

We work together. Through the Curricular Redesign and Emerging Technology Grants, faculty PI and instructional technology experts collaborate on some very large multi-campus pilot projects, as well as smaller single campus pilot projects. Many of the instructional technologies so widely used today got their big boost in one of these projects.

We regularly present our findings at national and international conferences and organizations. We actively participate well beyond the boundaries of the state of Wisconsin.

Our current repertoire of instructional technologies include:

  • Student Response Systems (Clickers)
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Podcasting
  • Virtual World (Second Life)
  • GIS (Geographic Information System)
  • Lecture Capture
  • Web Conferencing Tools
  • Online and Hybrid Course Design
  • Web 2.0 Technologies
  • E-portfolio
  • Rich Media

We welcome ideas from faculty. We want to hear your concerns and suggestions about how we together can transform higher education learning through the pedagogically sound integration of technology and instruction.

Connect with your campus Learning Technology Development Council Representative today!

Educause ELI 2010 Annual Meeting – Recorded Sessions

The Annual ELI conference was held last week, Jan 19-21. Wisconsin was represented by attendees from Madison, Milwaukee, Colleges, River Falls and UWS. Among the many highlights, all featured sessions were recorded and available for public viewing at:

Many excellent speakers were represented. Check out these sessions. It will be worth your time.

The 2010 Horizon Report was also released at this conference. The complete document is available online at:


e-Portfolio Events & Opportunities of Interest

Following are a number of e-Portfolio events and opportunities of interest that came across my desk recently. Please note and let me know if you have questions or need more details:

UWS System E-Portfolio Showcase – Feb 16, 2010, Pyle Center – Madsion. 10am – 3:30pm – registered by Feb 5. – Student Portfolio Showcase registration

UWS Growth Agenda for Wisconsin Grant Opportunities – Action Step #2 of the Growth Agenda commits to developing a “Student engagement portfolio” –

This can be a good opportunity for e-Portfolio project using D2L-eP or other means.

AAEEBL Webcasts –

The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL)  —  a relatively new international ePortfolio professional association  created to gather “folio thinkers” to expand critical conversations, hold conferences (international, national and regional), gather resources for shared uses, and build our collective capacity to support reflective learning via ePortfolios.

Webcast: Work-Based Folios in the UK and USA
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 13th at 8-9:30 a.m. PT/11-12:30 p.m.
ET/4-5:30 p.m. GMT

This unique transatlantic webinar will feature presenters from both the UK and USA who will deliver 4 short presentations on the growing use of web based eportfolios for use in “work based learning.” JISC Regional Support Center East and West Midlands have teamed up with EPAC to exchange experiences of how eportfolios are being used in this growing area of higher education. Attendees will be given the opportunity to interact with presenters and networking with colleagues via the use of voting and chat features in this live session.

Webcast: Virginia Tech University
Date and Time: Thursday, January 14th at 10-11 a.m. PT/1-2 p.m. ET

Jointly sponsored with the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning (AAEEBL), this interactive webcast will feature the university-wide ePortfolio initiatives at Virgina Tech aimed at improving education, learning assessment, and student engagement by using collaborative online tools.  Our presenters will include members of the Learning Technologies team who are leading this work.

EPAC webcasts are free to attend and are open to anyone interested in ePortfolios. Space may be limited for some of the events and pre- registration may be required.  More information on where and how to join the webcasts will be posted shortly on the EPAC blog and wiki at and