ITSTLTdrs18→TLT Annual Report

Teaching and Learning with Technology:
Annual Report (2003-2004)

The past year was a moving experience for two-thirds of our staff. ETS moved to Rider II in two waves, Training Services moved to Willard, our World Campus staff moved to Cato Park, and the LionShare team moved to 300 Building. Nobody who has moved recently can underestimate the sheer amount of hard work it took to create the new office space or to make the moves occur with so little disruption of our services. I am grateful for everyone who contributed to these efforts, and I am grateful to Penn State for the significant improvements for our unit.

A laptop with math notation on the screen in chalk.

Our annual report summarizes the astonishing range of good work that we do as we serve the faculty, staff, and students at Penn State. Sure, everyone likes big numbers (54,000 students used ANGEL, 33,000 students printed about 8 million pages, etc.) and students spend an incredible amount of time in our labs, but our real impact is much more subtle. How does ANGEL affect student learning? We initiated a small contest this spring to ask students what they felt was most effective about a teacher's use, and we learned a great deal about what matters to students from our faculty and student surveys just how pervasive technology has become in teaching and learning, and we now know what applications faculty use most frequently in the classrooms (PowerPoint and the Web, in case you're curious). We also have information about what faculty would like to learn to do and what they expect their students to do with technology. Believe me, there is no shortage of work ahead.

Sure, our World Campus has pioneered ways to deliver very high-quality instruction to motivated adult learners in small classes. What happens when our audience is not “motivated adult learners” but typical undergraduates who are fulfilling general education requirements, who may not be motivated to learn the content, who would probably skip a large number of classes in a face-to-face class, and now have the chance to complete the course in a fully online mode or a hybrid mode (where the number of lectures has been reduced)? Again, we are pioneering ways to make these large classes seem small and very personalized.

LionShare will also push us to understand both the technology and the culture of sharing. There is simply not enough time (and grant money) for every faculty member to develop his or her own collection of rich media video, audio, animations, graphics, and so on. How can technology help us build a culture of responsible file sharing? The LionShare team will learn much during the next year, and I look forward to building upon their insights as we plan future services.

Jim Kerlin.

It’s been a good year. We have accomplished a great deal despite the loss of key staff members like Jim Kerlin, who is badly missed by all who knew him. Jim would be proud of what the ANGEL team has accomplished, and I am confident that TLT will continue to do exemplary work on behalf of our faculty, staff, and students.

In the following pages you will see the highlights from each of our units (CLC, ETS, and Training Services) as well as our special initiatives (LionShare and SAP). I know that you will be struck by the range, depth, and quality of our accomplishments. We have helped become a better place for faculty, staff, and students.

John T. Harwood,
Senior Director

Classroom and Lab Computing

Classroom and Lab Computing serves the Penn State community through more than fifty computing labs and 191 technology classrooms and provides support for over 2,300 desktop systems. Our unit seeks to provide the students and faculty with the tools that they need to support teaching and learning.

New Labs and Renovations

While only two new labs were opened this year, we made significant improvements to the current facilities with modest renovations. New furniture, paint and new ceilings were installed in Boucke 103 and Willard 2. The lab in Redifer Commons was moved from the second floor to Room 24, an expanded space on the ground floor of the building, which allowed for ten additional machines to be installed for student use.

A UP construction site with a laptop.

In collaboration with the Office of Disability Services, a test facility located in 115 Boucke opened in mid-March for students with special needs. It contains seven Windows machines, and includes a proctor station. In addition to the normal suite of lab software, these computers also have ZoomText (screen enlarger and reader) and Kurzweil 3000 Reader installed. A CCTV is also installed in this facility.

In collaboration with Training Services, a new training lab was installed in 23K Willard and features sixteen Windows machines with scanners and digital cameras available for each station, as well as a technology podium and overhead projection.

In partnership with the University Learning Centers, a collaborative computing environment facility, called the Teamwork Center, was opened in 220 Boucke with five teamwork areas.

To ensure the best teaching and learning environment, CLC consulted with faculty who used the laptop teaching labs for their opinions on whether there was a need to “put away” technology when the instructor desires the students’ undivided attention. Thus, CLC opted for Dell small form factor GX270s with Samsung’s fold down flat panels for all of these labs. The foreign language instructors requested that the traditional rectangular tables be replaced with round tables in order to enhance unmediated conversations in their classroom environment; 1 Sparks is a prototype for such an environment.

Technology Classrooms

Working with the University Committee on Instructional Facilities, we converted 26 general-purpose classrooms to 22 ITEC rooms and 4 STEC rooms. An ITEC classroom has a technology-equipped podium for the instruction and can range in size from 20 students to 750 students. An STEC room has an instructor podium and computers for students. These rooms range in size from 20 students to ~80 students. At the start of the fall semester, we will have nearly 200 tech classrooms.

Computing Labs

Over 900 new Dell workstations were installed during the last year. Dell GX270’s with 17-inch flat panel displays were the machine of choice for the Wintel equipment. Also on the Windows side, all laptops (rooms 111, 112, 214 Boucke, and 1 Sparks) had their memory increased to a total of 256M.

Busy computer lab.

A total of 276 Macs, all of which had DVD-R optical drives, were upgraded and 75 were relocated to other labs. Fifty Mac hard drives were upgraded to 80G, and 19 Macs had their memory increased to 512M to ready the systems for the deployment of the OS X. As mentioned above, OS X was installed on the Macs and a new Windows XP image was installed on the PCs in all CLC Student Computing Labs and Technology Classrooms.

Color printers in Pollock, 2 Willard, 304 Patterson, and 102 Engineering Unit D were upgraded to HP4600’s. Five student laboratories had their B/W printers upgraded to HP 4300’s.

A new Linux lab in 316 Hammond with 47 machines has proven popular with the students, and an additional Linux facility will be available fall 2004 in 216 Osmond. Work has begun on a Linux cluster, to be located in the Computer Building, which will allow remote logins to the machines in these two facilities.

Support for Classrooms and Labs

Server Upgrades

We upgraded our servers to provide more efficient use of our resources. Disk space was added to our IBM FAStT700 SAN for UDrive space and SQL transaction logs. We plan to install a new two-node cluster for the UDrive, which has grown to about 20 million files and 48,000 users. The two-node cluster supporting roaming profiles will be expanded to four nodes to accommodate peak loads. These servers will all run Windows Server 2003, which has better support for large volumes. Mount Points, a new feature in Server 2003 similar to symbolic links common in Unix file systems, will be used for UDrive space, allowing multiple logical volumes to look like a single file space.

Plans and tests for consolidating lab servers were made this year, with the goal of reducing the total distributed file/print servers from thirty to five. This is made possible by changing/upgrading all printers to accept jobs via TCP instead of the non-routable DLC protocol that required servers be on the same subnets as the printers. The change will be phased in over the 2004-2005 fiscal year.

Additional storage for the online backup of the UDrive running on AIS’s ESS SAN in Shields Building was obtained to accommodate the steady growth. A new LTO2 tape library was obtained to complete our disaster recovery plans, and we began rotating tapes to storage in Altoona, also in cooperation with AIS.

Macintosh Software Development

Preparation for fall upgrades included the building of a 10.3 (Panther) master image. The upgrade of client computers to Mac OS X also required an upgrade to our KeyServer license management server to Version K2, which is used to manage software licenses for 2400 Macintosh and Windows computers. PSU Blast Image Config was updated to version 2.0 to support Mac OS X. New features include the ability to run pre- and postrestore scripts and restore disk images over http.

Radmind, a freeware tool from the University of Michigan, was implemented to provide automated remote management of all Mac OS X clients. We developed to control daily updates and implemented Mac Refresh Reporting System, an automated SQL database system that collects data from each Macintosh computer during its nightly update. This system sends a report of problem computers and those computers which have not refreshed in two days to LCS to be reviewed.

A common build was developed for Kiosk, Lab Macs, and Signature Stations. psuBackgroundChooser, a command line tool, which chooses the appropriate sized screen background at the logon window, was converted to Cocoa. Postgres, a database server which keeps track of users’ NewsFlash information, was upgraded to improve processing time and user interface. We developed psuFontPackInstaller, an installer for A&A that allows users to install large list of font classes.

Macintosh Servers and Hardware Security

Eight Xserves were installed, five of which were used for Radmind, our new automated file distribution system. The other three Xserves were used for Keyserver, a development server, and a Web server.

In collaboration with Norcen Industry, we investigated security for the new G4/G5s, which will be deployed for fall.

Software for Windows and Macs

The following new applications were added to our suite of Windows supported software: ADAMS for simulating the design of functional and virtual prototypes of mechanical systems (this was a cooperative project with Mechanical Engineering, PTI, and COE); Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Go Live, and Acrobat Professional); Google toolbar, which integrates with Internet Explorer toolbar and includes Web search and pop-up blockers; IPA93 fonts, which are phonetic fonts; JPad Pro, which is Java IDE; Lift to help produce accessible content while creating a document; Microsoft Visual; Microsoft Windows Journal Viewer 5.1 to import and view documents created in MS Windows Journal on a tablet PC; Russian Transliterated Keyboard to translate English characters to Russian characters when using English keyboard mappings; SketchUp for 3D design (this was in cooperation with LandscapeArchitecture); Stata InterCooled statistical software for economic and social science research (this was in cooperation with the Economics Department); and XFree83 for X Windows. The following ToolBoxes were added to Matlab: Spline (algorithms for data fitting, interpolation, extrapolation, and visualization; includes a GUI for creating, visualizing, and manipulating splines) and Curve Fit (a GUI with integrated tools for previewing and preprocessing data, developing and comparing standard and custom models, fitting with standard and robust methods, and analyzing fits.

In addition to the new software, more than 115 software packages were installed as TLT supported and instructor provided applications. The following prototype digital video software was installed on the multimedia computers in 203 Pollock: Adobe Video Collection (Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Encore DVD), Ulead VideoStudio, Microsoft Movie Maker2, and Roxio Easy CD Creator. We also began preparing the Napster client for possible use in our labs for fall 2004.

Python was added to the supported suite of software on the 3D Workstations in 158 Willard. It is “an interpreted object-oriented programming language suitable for distributed application development, scripting, numeric computing and system testing.” It is being used to modify images for use in stereo viewing.

The following Mac chat clients were added to our suite of supported software: Adium, Fire, ICQ, and Yahoo Messenger. We also added some new applications: Cyrillic Keyboards Configuration files for transliteration from Russian keyboards; Lift to help produce accessible content while creating a document; Matlab for OS X with Spline and Curve Fit Toolboxes; Maya, a tool for 3D animation and visual effects (this was in a cooperative agreement with School of Visual Art); Omni Dictionary, which is a dictionary program with access to over ten online dictionaries; OmniGraffle Pro to create graphical intense charts and diagrams; Phonetic Fonts; Poser for 3D character art and animation tool; QuarkXPress for page layout (this was provided by a cooperative cost share with Arts and Architecture); ReadIris, which replaced OmniPage as our OCR software to convert printed documents into computer editable files; Russian Transliterated Keyboard to translate English characters to Russian characters when using English keyboard mappings; Stitcher to join photos into a large panoramic or 360-degree scenes; TeXShop for typesetting mathematical documents; and VNC Server with pinpoint System Pref Pane to allow computers at Hershey campus to view Mac presentations given on-screen at University Park.

In addition to the new Macintosh software, all TLT supported and instructor provided applications had to be reinstalled under the new OS X. The user interface was also modified to allow users to easily find and launch applications. We implemented many users’ suggestions, which included incorporating the Finder's icon bar and status indicator in the Programs window, reducing the Dock magnification, adjusting items listed in each of the “Programs By Category” folders, and reducing the speaker volume of Macs at login.

Lab Usage

Lab use remained consistent, with 1,249,000 logins and 967,000 logon hours this spring semester, compared with 1,203,000 logins and 965,000 logon hours for spring 2003. However, Macintosh use (hours) increased 22 percent this spring semester compared to last spring, while Windows use declined 4 percent in hours and 1.6 percent in logons. Utilization, in hours per computer, was still much higher for Windows at 463 hours per computer, compared to 248 for Macintosh machines. The new Linux lab in Hammond had 9,000 logins in spring 2004, and a utilization of 260 hours per computer.

When logins are compared by room types, we see only a small increase for open labs, no increase for teaching labs (but they had 19 percent increase in the number of computers), a 65 percent increase for technology classrooms (which had a 49 percent increase in computers), a 300 percent increase for 83 percent more hallway machines, and a 123 percent increase for 25 percent more assistive technology machines. Even though almost all students own a personal computer, they continue to use our labs heavily to complete their academic assignments, to collaborate with peers, or to do projects that require applications or peripherals that few students own.


In the spring semester, about 33,000 users printed nearly four million pages, about 500,000 more pages than in spring 2003, but not in proportionally as many jobs. To put it another way, print jobs have gotten bigger. We will bill for 1.3 million pages compared to 1.1 million last year (these numbers do not account for credits). Note that alumni, guests, and related accounts normally may not print. Those that did print may have had their status changed before the semester was considered over, which probably explains the difference in “alumni” printing between this semester and last spring. Because we have reduced the cost of supplies, we will be able to reduce the printing cost per page from $.07 to $.05 for the 2004-2005 year. We provide both black/white and color printing.

PALS Printing
User Type Spring 2004 Users Spring 2004 Jobs Spring 2004 Pages Spring 2003 Users Spring 2003 Jobs Spring 2003 Pages
All Users 33,312 1,283,312 3,807,772 32,612 1,259,160 3,333,720
Users who agreed to be billed 23,879 1,068,190 3,191,644 22,371 1,002,001 2,679,140
Users who didn't agree to be billed 9,433 215,122 616,128 10,241 257,159 654,580
Billable users who printed more than 110 pages 9,972 803,371 1,373,708 8,198 714,211 1,079,867
Classified as Students 31,870 1,242,893 3,672,110 31,611 1,212,807 3,198,789
Classified as Staff/Faculty 900 30,873 107,160 793 39,630 117,086
Classified as Alumni 152 1,948 5,551 1 1 2
Classified as Guests 317 3,435 10,946 97 1,170 5,456
Classified as Related 54 3,652 9,802 36 4,130 8,660

Improving Our CLC Web Site

Information on CLC's Web site was expanded and refined this year. More content is being generated dynamically with in-house software accessing our ever-expanding “Inventory of Everything” database. Also, evaluations of various products such as tablet PCs and handheld devices are available to the public on the CLC Web site. New code for access control and authentication of mobile port users was developed in cooperation with TNS to support Extreme Networks Summit switches that will replace KarlBridges.

The Collaborative Bulk Purchase and Recycling Efforts

In preparation for the 2004-2005 academic year, Classroom and Lab Computing began the process of ordering machines to upgrade approximately one-third of CLC’s Windows machines on campus. The result of this upgrade is that all of our Windows labs on campus now offer Dell equipment and are within the three-year life cycle plan. By working with combining our order with needs from other units from within ITS as well as the entire University, we were able to purchase our upgrades at a significant price break.

Nine units took part in the order this summer, including Classroom and Lab Computing, the SAP Project, Education Technology Services, User Services, Digital Library Technologies, Security Operations and Services, the Schreyer Honors College, the College of Arts and Architecture and the Commonwealth College. These units combined to order just over 2,000 items at a cost of over $2,400,000. By purchasing together, the University was able to save an average of 17.8 percent over the everyday Dell Premier pricing.

CLC purchased 929 machines and replaced machines in our heavily used student labs in Boucke, Pattee, Willard and our largest facility, Pollock, which also received new 17" LCD monitors. Also included in our purchase were new machines and 20" LCD monitors for our ADA stations across campus. Our multimedia workstations in all of our labs will also have the newest technology available by fall and 20" LCD monitors, which will help our students with their course projects. With this order we are also replacing all of the machines in our four laptop labs to provide better equipment and an enhanced work environment for our students and faculty.

This year approximately 800 student lab computers were recycled to other Penn State colleges or departments. The remainder were cannibalized for parts or sent to salvage.

Support for Students with Disabilities

To support students with disabilities, we upgraded all ten PCs with Dell GX270 minitowers and Dell 20" flat panels in 23 W. Pattee. We implemented a high-speed scanning workstation in 23 W. Pattee using a color Canon 5080C duplex scanner with document feeder for Library staff to scan course-related material for about thirty students plus several other Library patrons who are visually impaired.

In collaboration with ODS, we informed campuses of additional funding for adaptive/assistive technology, such as furniture, equipment, hardware or software without the cost sharing component, depending on the amount of equipment requested and availability of funds.

Innovative Projects

CLC has partnered with two colleges on innovations to support teaching and learning. We are working with Arts and Architecture on a tablet PC project. We want to help architecture faculty discover the most effective way to use tablet PCs within a collaborative, wireless environment before the faculty move into the new SALA building. CLC will manage these laptops to reduce the support requirements from the college. We will do a formal assessment of the outcomes for students and faculty, and for CLC.

Working with the Schreyer Institute and the College of Business, we have developed a “no peek browser” that can be used to support high-stakes testing not just in BAB but, in theory, in any STEC facility. We have successfully developed a prototype for this approach this summer.

We are working with UCIF to prototype a “student response system” in large undergraduate classes. The goal would be to provide instant feedback to students on their comprehension of course materials and feedback to faculty on how well students have mastered key concepts. The response systems will be deployed in the Forum and in one classroom in Osmond.


Rebecca Carolus, senior research programmer, joined the CLC staff in April 2004, with the primary responsibility of management of technology classrooms.

Kent Becker attended SIGUCCS in San Antonio, and attended a sales conference on computer lab furnishings in Tampa, Florida.

Andrew Lawler, Chris Sacksteder, Brian Katyl and John Cripe attended an MSDN seminar for secure code programming.

Chris Sacksteder and Preston Baker attended the “Windows Technology in Higher Education” conference in Redmond, Washington.

Dana Landskroner presented a talk to TLT and ASET on the assistive technology in the Library Services for Persons with Disability Lab in 23 W. Pattee. Dana also presented a talk to the Faculty Advisory Committee on available ADA support and equipment.

Justin Elliot continues as a member of the UEF Steering Committee. Justin also attended MacWorld, which was entirely focused on topics related to large deployment and support of Mac OS X in higher education and the Enterprise in San Francisco, the Apple/UEF MacOSXlabs Tech Lead meeting in Cupertino, where he discussed Mac OS X issues with key Apple engineers, a RealWorld conference in Austin, and a Steering Committee meeting in Swarthmore.

Ryan Booz presented a UEF webcast on a “Case Study on Using AppleScript to Assist with the Management of Mac OS X Computers.” Ryan also attended a Cocoa programming course in Georgia.

Ken Rosenberry presented a Mac OS X talk to the Penn State Lab Consultants.

George Falkenstern, Dana Landskroner, and Mary Ramsey attended the Assistive Technology Expo 2003 at the Penn Stater.

Jonathan Holman attended a Symantec seminar on Symantec AntiVirus Version 9.0.

George Falkenstern and Jonathan Holman attended Advanced Repackaging with Wise Package Studio in Orlando, Florida.

Dawn Cox completed English 202C, Technical Writing/Effective Writing this semester.

ITS Training Srvices Annual Report

ITS Training Services has continued to expand and enhance services in order to meet the diverse needs of the Penn State community.

Services provided by ITS Training Services include:

Training Highlights

Overall, Training Services continued to expand the number of services offered and number of people reached. A shift from seminars (both free and for-fee) towards Webbased Training (WBT) accelerated as WBT became easier to use through several enhancements. The number of overall unique participants served remained fairly constant at more than 6,000. Overall total training instances increased from around 30,000 last year to over 35,000 this year (WBT accounts for 80 percent of these instances). Interest rose in for-fee training with the promotion of the new Extended Seminars. Participation in VoIP training rose dramatically with the deployment of the VoIP system at University Park. WBT was integrated with ANGEL to allow easier access for students and more control for faculty incorporating WBT into their courses, and was tried by over 100 faculty members. Non-Administrative Computing for-fee seminars were again offered through HRDC (after a year-long hiatus). Administrative Computing training remained strong, with full classes and, sometimes, lengthy waiting lists. Blended Training Solutions was made available to faculty in the spring. Sun tutorials and resources were made available from the ITS Training Services Web site and include topics such as Linux, StarOffice, Java. An enhanced registration system allows users to more easily browse seminars, and provides more efficient administration tools.


Training instances totaled 3,500. Staff participation rose slightly to 60 percent of ALL public seminars, followed by grad students (20 percent), faculty (15 percent), and undergrads (5 percent). Attendance averaged eight people per seminar. Over fifty faculty and staff from ITS and across the University offered expertise on topics from administrative computing to visualization. Most seminars were offered two to four times throughout the year. Highest attendance was garnered by ANGEL Overview, Endnote, Dreamweaver, FrontPage and Photoshop. The no-show rate remained constant at about 15 percent. Over 1,800 unique registrants attended an average of two seminars each. ANGEL Day II attracted 150 people.

It is important to note that more than twenty-seven seminars were delivered to 300 people in the new Extended Seminar format. This format is geared toward audiences needing more in-depth training and time for Q&A, and consists of seven hours of training extended over two half days. While Extended Seminars consisted of only 6 percent of all public seminar offerings, it accounted for one-third of “participant training hours.” (“Participant training hours” is defined by number of sections multiplied by number of people per section multiplied by number of hours of each seminar.)

ITS offered fifty-five seminars through HRDC, resulting in over 500 training instances. Most of these seminars were Administrative Computing topics, which, like last year, were close to seating capacity. Currently, Administrative Computing is responsible for ten topics in three areas: IBIS, EIS, and Data Warehouse. Fees for these courses are a reasonable $50/person. The remainder were general computing topics offered through Extended Seminars and a very few IT Pro vendor classes.

IT Pro

The IT Professional Program (IT Pro) encompassed training on a variety of topics (but predominantly Windows Admin) in collaboration with South Hills School of Business and Technology, and Security Training open to Backbone contacts in collaboration with Learning Tree. Six IT Pro courses were held at South Hills with a total of twenty-three attendees. Security Training for IT Professionals was offered through three Learning Tree classes at the Penn Stater which were subsidized by ITS. Each class ran for four days, had approximately twenty participants, and all received very high evaluations.


Training on Demand (TOD) encompassed three main areas: General Computing topics, Administrative Computing (which includes IBIS, EIS, and Data Warehouse), and Telecom (which includes VoIP, Unity Voicemail, Polycom videoconferencing). Over 100 general computing, administrative computing, and VoIP seminars were delivered through Training on Demand. Like last year, OPP was the biggest customer. This service is valuable to OPP because their staff have unique needs (many novice technology users), which can easily be addressed in a group setting.

Blended Training Solutions

ITS Training Services very recently piloted Blended Training Solutions- a new approach to support and enhance learning. Through the Blended Training Solutions service, ITS Training Services will consult with faculty (and, in the future, staff) about the technology training options which they can use to help facilitate learning for their staff or students. Current Blended Training options include a combination of Training On Demand, free and for-fee technology seminars, Web-Based Training, Penn State developed quick tutorials, handouts, and other resources. Faculty can use the knowledge they gain to make informed choices about the training opportunities that best fit their needs, and ITS Training Services will provide the appropriate training. Hands-on training sessions can take place in a technology classroom, in one of Training Services' labs, or in an ITS lab. Virtual training is also an option through ANGEL or the WBT Training Plan. Up to two hours of hands-on training is provided at no charge. Fourteen Blended Training instances were offered to faculty during November and spring 2004.

Web-Based Training

WBT grew about 15 percent overall in number of unique users, number of courses available and accessed, number of hours logged, and number of instances it was accessed. A total of 3,900 unique active users accessed more than 1,200 different courses, logging 27,000 hours of training, and resulting in more than 30,000 training instances (a training instance is where a user logs into a course).

What Our Data Tell Us about WBT

The new services and features of the WBT Web site were rolled out for fall 2003. New services and features include improved accessibility, integrated interface, user-specific sections, enhanced search features, custom tracks, and quick skills. Students and faculty were able to log into WBT via ANGEL, which made it much easier for faculty to assign WBT via the new Program Management Tool and for students to access it.

Training Services collaborated with ETS and SOS to repurpose MIST (security) training, obtained from the CIC, into a usable format within ANGEL. WBT will be used to supplement the training. The first three modules will be ready by the start of the fall 2004 semester.

Quick Skill courses (custom courses targeting specific skills) were created for the assistant dean of The Graduate School to help students learning PowerPoint and Web page development. This project was implemented at the end of August to be ready for September 3, 2003.

WBT on CDs were created for the Workforce Education Ph.D. program. The program wrapped up in January 2004 and will be revised and re-implemented in fall 2004.

Quick Skill courses were created for Cooperative Extension (CE) Regional Representatives to integrate WBT into their competency program. CE is also testing blended learning with a CD of Word and Excel 2002 Quick Skills. The list of topics was finalized and the program approved by senior management.

Meetings are under way with Glenn Johnson to transition Web development training for e-Portfolio from him into the new Blended Training Solutions service.

ITS Training Services Web Site

The Training Web site saw numerous improvements last year, a few of which are listed here. The Training on Demand pages were revamped to encompass all of the various type of training provided by ITS. Seminar handouts and resources located on the Web were password-protected as a first step in obtaining information about how people are using the handouts. Class files for hands-on seminars have been implemented on the Web to provide an alternative to PASS access . ITS Forums info was added to the site. Users may now access archived video from ITS Forums through the Faculty Multimedia Center Web site linked from our pages. Additional tutorials and demonstrations are now available in the Resources section of the Web site, including the new Sun Microsystems online training and resources, as well as the new Quick Tutorials.

A search feature was also added to the Handouts page. Web statistics have been implemented using AWStats. Statistics for the secure handouts folder and the Training Services Web site are being tracked. The stats tell us that over 200 unique visitors visit the Web site each month and that the most popular handouts are Dreamweaver, FrontPage, Unity (VoIP) Voicemail, SPSS, and Photoshop.

Quick Tutorials (Viewlets)

Thirty-five movies were created that provide brief, task-specific, demonstrations of how to utilize applications and Web-based services. Many of the movies relate to the Penn State services/applications.

Topics include:

These movies play a useful role for ITS Training Services by providing:

The movies are available through the Training Services Web site .

In January 2004, ITS Training Services and Education Technology Services began planning a series of Quick Tutorials that provide foundation-level instruction on how to use the ANGEL course management system. Some of the topics include:

The tutorials will be publicly available beginning in the fall 2004 semester. The first collection of tutorials will be about the Penn State Grade Book and they will be available through the ANGEL Help link .


An analysis of two surveys that were conducted by the Assessment Committee validated many of the strategies the group is currently implementing, or planning to implement. One survey was sent to heavy users of Training Services, and the other to non-users. The results show that marketing avenues should be expanded to increase awareness (particularly amongst undergrads), that higher levels of topics are needed, and that additional sections of popular classes should be added as needed.

Major Professional Development Accomplishments

Most of the Training Services staff served Penn State via internal and external committees, panels, and volunteering efforts. Two of this year's biggest accomplishments include staff assistant Annette Nevling's completion of the Office Professional Excellence program, and the internal training site winning the first place award for Webbased Services, Student Employee Web Sites at the ACM SIGUCCS 2003 Competition. April Shenginer presented at the Web Conference 2004 (Penn State) and the NETg Academic Users Conference; April Sheninger and Adam Cavotta presented at Hendrick Best Practices in Adult Learning Conference (Penn State).

Education Technology Services

Rider 2 Building.

ETS has shifted its pedagogical focus from small, individual projects for a few faculty to impacting complete course designs for several departments and colleges. Consultations with faculty continue, but solutions are generally offered within the ANGEL and FMC framework. While the double moves to Rider II temporarily separated staff, they learned the importance of superior communication and notification. The move permitted enhanced space, a video shoot room and ready access to staff in the Schreyer Institute.


Staff were involved with two different upgrades of Penn State’s Course Management System, ANGEL: one in August 2003 and another in May 2004. Both upgrades required extensive beta testing, new and revised documentation (over 500 pages of material each time), new and revised seminars, new staff training, and marketing. In addition to ANGEL training at University Park, such training occurs at most other campus locations. Local instructional support staff or ETS personnel travel to provide faculty development. Student enrollment and section use increased significantly over the previous year. Student enrollment for spring 2004 topped that of the previous fall, despite fewer class sections (51,700 students in the fall and 54,000 students in the spring). A successful ANGEL faculty symposium during Summer-Fest 2004 began with the awarding of prizes to the first winners of the ANGEL Course Contest. Students nominated over ninety courses for review. CyberLearning Labs contributed some funding for prizes. Staff spent time focused upon two new additions to ANGEL: a Penn State Grade Book and a rubric tool. Animated Viewlets were designed and are in development to assist faculty who elect to learn on their own. The first concentration of Viewlets will be on the Penn State Grade Book.

The e-learning support specialists (eLSS) contributed to successful implementations of ANGEL at the Abington, Behrend, and Capital colleges and the colleges of Engineering and Earth and Mineral Sciences at University Park. Their meetings are held using PC videoconferencing, which also permits them to meet one-on-one with their supervisor and join twice monthly general instructional designer meetings. These jointly funded individuals are able to “be a real part” of each unique location, while continually participating in constructing the “big picture” and brainstorming with peers. Additional support for faculty includes the Technology Learning Assistants program and a new focus for 2004, the ANGEL Tutors program. Collaborating with the CSS Help Desk, the ANGEL tutors will go to a faculty office to assist on a specific ANGEL problem determined to be too complicated for phone assistance.

Student using ANGEL.

The e-learning support specialists (eLSS) contributed to successful implementations of ANGEL at the Abington, Behrend, and Capital colleges and the colleges of Engineering and Earth and Mineral Sciences at University Park. Their meetings are held using PC videoconferencing, which also permits them to meet one-on-one with their supervisor and join twice monthly general instructional designer meetings. These jointly funded individuals are able to “be a real part” of each unique location, while continually participating in constructing the “ big picture” and brainstorming with peers. Additional support for faculty includes the Technology Learning Assistants program and a new focus for 2004, the ANGEL Tutors program. Collaborating with the CSS Help Desk, the ANGEL tutors will go to a faculty office to assist on a specific ANGEL problem determined to be too complicated for phone assistance.

An major evaluation of ANGEL occurred during the fall, with extensive analysis performed during the spring. This report included results of an ANGEL survey which sought to investigate the potential impact of ANGEL upon students. This survey confirms previous findings that students experienced few technology or use issues. Even more important, however, the report confirmed that students find ANGEL beneficial to their academic success. The students reported that ANGEL assisted with their learning, organization and study habits, resulting in better grades. Undergraduate students in a large enrollment course reported that ANGEL communication tools permitted a sense of connection to both the instructor and classmates. These items were also associated with a perceived improvement in their learning. The addition of an ANGEL assessment person, who begins September 1, should permit Penn State to gather much-needed data.

Courseware Initiative

The spring 2004 semester brought the pilot implementation of four Courseware Initiative courses (high enrollment, general education courses) funded from the provost’s office: Nutrition 100, Landscape Architecture 060, Biological Science 004, and Accounting 211. The first three courses are totally online; the last added some online components which reduced lecture time and improved recitation sections. ETS supported the faculty in creating the online components and in moving face-to-face activities to the online environment. Faculty created content, quizzes, and exams, and working with the ETS team, developed visuals, animations, sounds, and additional student activities. An assessment of the four courses performed by the Schreyer Institute indicated that the students enrolled in the online courses performed at the same level as those in face-toface sections. Students reported that they would recommend online classes to their friends and that they appreciated the flexibility of scheduling online classes.


Development continued on MechANEX, a software simulation tool for students in architectural engineering. The software permits experimenting and viewing the consequences of decisions. There are six major modules planned for fall 2004 use: Mechanical Systems, Equivalent Force Systems (EFS), 2D Equilibrium, 3D Equilibrium, Moment about an Axis (MOM), and Area Moment of Inertia (AIM.) A seventh module, Friction, is also in development. Dr. Behr and Dr. Masters plan a formal assessment.

Faculty Multimedia Center

Video recording session.

The move to Rider II brought a Faculty Multimedia Center (FMC) open house in early September. Over eighty people attended. The FMC has seen a significant increase in the hours of use. Not only has the number of appointments doubled each month over the previous year, but the number of contact hours of each appointment has tripled over 2002-2003. Much of the time increase is a result of video and audio production, digitizing, and editing. In addition, staff have videotaped and streamed numerous seminars, training sessions, and organized faculty lunches. Their consultations include phone, e-mail, and face-to-face appointments. The colleges of Liberal Arts, Health and Human Development, and Engineering are the dominant consumers. FMC also sponsored six special topic lunch forums. .

MELD (Multicultural Enhanced Learning for Diversity)

Following the gathering of input from focus groups and beta testing, the Multicultural Enhanced Learning for Diversity (MELD) project database, funded by the AT&T Foundation, went public in May. Simultaneously, a series of workshops and seminars for faculty were held. The seminars should help faculty broaden the scope of their classes in content, activities, language, research areas, and climate. The MELD team is developing next year’s seminars, adding faculty resources to the database, and coordinating an April 27-28, 2005 CIC conference entitled “Setting the Stage for Culturally Inclusive Classes.” ETS staff supported a panel celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education with photographic banners, a CD of images behind the panel participants, and a timeline and bibliography of relevant URLs. ETS is also supporting a special project involving the book Warriors Don’t Cry . The author was a member of the first integrated class in Little Rock. Collected material, references, videos and photographs, and thought questions are available for students, resident assistants, and interested parties who have elected to read this text. Numerous marketing pieces were created for this project.

iStudy for Success!

An opportunity to assist all entering Penn State students with basic learning skill information also permitted a unique solution to “creating and delivering general content modules” via ANGEL. Working with both the Royer Center and the Learning Assistance Center, ETS adapted existing material prepared for first year students into discrete modules, outlined at, which students can import themselves or faculty can adapt. A beta test will continue through fall 2004 with a full public release scheduled for spring 2005.

Support for Security and Copyright

Staff from ETS, Training Services, and SOS are developing training modules for effective security development using material from a CIC working group. ETS staff worked with ASET staff to investigate a Streaming Media solution for Penn State which permits the university to adhere to the TEACH Act standards. ETS staff researched and created a Penn State educational page for faculty about copyright issues .

World Campus

The ETS World Campus staff successfully developed a new internal database that should improve efficiency for subsequent offerings of courses (CASE), completed the courses for the iMBA (the first cohort graduates August 2004), graduated the first group in Adult Education, and began courses in Nursing, Children’s Literacy, English Literacy, and Educational Leadership, among others. The World Campus staff also completed the transition from WebCT to ANGEL using the communication tools and quizzing. The ID&D group received an Outreach award for the Best Process Innovation.

Support for Graduate Students and Faculty

Working directly with departments, ETS continued the program for graduate students obtaining their Teaching with Technology certificates. ETS expanded the Technology Learning Assistants (TLA) program to a specialized focused ANGEL Tutors program . The TLA program is sponsored by the Schreyer Honors College, the School of Information Sciences and Technology, the Instructional Systems program of the College of Education, and Teaching and Learning with Technology.

Support for Other Penn State Initiatives

ETS staff participated in the arrangements for the ITS Event by printing banners, hosting three different “stations,” and presenting several seminars. Staff assisted Gary Augustson with the development of his SIGUCCS Leadership presentation for Santa Fe. ETS staff teach training seminars throughout the year with heavy concentrations during Winter-Fest and Summer-Fest. These seminars include topics such as Java, Flash, Photoshop, writing better quiz questions , and cyberplagiarism ( The eLSS staff present numerous group and one-on-one sessions for their specific campuses/colleges. Several prepare their own newsletters. ETS staff programmed the new Training Services registration system and prepared the brochures for fall, spring, Summer-Fest, and Winter- Fest seminars, and the ANGEL Day II symposium. ETS staff presented seminars at the June 2004 Web Conference and prepared for the first annual SAP faculty conference. Participants found the SAP conference helpful and want another.

Innovative Projects

ETS continues to investigate new products and tools that might be beneficial to faculty and students. Among these are Breeze servers, tablet PCs, solutions for formula writing such as Ink Link, blogging, wikis, databases, videoconferencing over PCs, and so on. For instance, Pat Besong developed an OS X desktop application called “SlidesNow!” that works in tandem with Apple's QT Broadcaster to deliver slides along with live video.

Professional Development and Achievements

In addition to taking WBT courses and general ITS seminars, numerous staff attended intensive FileMaker Pro training, an online NASAGA Gaming conference, InfoSEC, server security, UMUC TEACH Act Seminar and Fair Use and Digital Copyright Seminar, Mac OS X, Acrobat, Flash Educators Developers and Scripting conference, the Sloan Conference, the University of Wisconsin Distance Learning Conference, the SALT Conference, CALICO, an AAHE Assessment Conference, GCSAA, and others. The instructional designers focused their practical professional development on educational gaming. They investigated research, discussed, tried, demoed, and created storyboards for an educational game in higher education. Participation in an online gaming conference permitted many staff to try two different online conferencing whiteboards.

Personal knowledge and technical expertise service Penn State in diverse ways. Several staff taught classes for the Linguistics Department, the College of Communications, IST, Smeal, and the World Campus. Staff participate on University-wide diversity committees and present at national conferences, including the National ANGEL Users’ Conference; the World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education; SALT; and EDUCAUSE.

Allan Gyorke received his master’s degree in adult education by working completely online. Elizabeth Pyatt and Loanne Snavely from the Libraries wrote a column in Syllabus magazine on the library tools in ANGEL. Jay Newman’s article entitled “Embedded Java Controllers” was published in the May issue of Circuit Cellar. Pat Besong was selected as a judge for the ACM SIGUCCS awards.


Lionshare lion logo.

The LionShare project was launched September 2003. This project has been made possible by a $1.1 million grant awarded to Penn State by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and enables the Penn State to partner with the Internet2 consortium in the development of a technology called LionShare, an innovative tool that will facilitate legitimate file-sharing among institutions around the world through the use of authenticated peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

The LionShare Web site went live on December 1, 2003, featuring discussion forums for visitors who have questions about the technology, listservs for keeping track of the latest developments, and a discussion area known as a “wiki” for LionShare's current development partners (Penn State, MIT, Canada's Simon Fraser University, and Internet2) to converse about ongoing project needs. Additionally, there is a section for users that explains what LionShare is all about.

Through surveying, the LionShare development team looks at the scenarios under which people are and are not likely to share files. In the past, users have consistently raised a host of questions about motivations and conditions for sharing, ownership, ethical and legal responsibilities, intellectual property and licensing. Those issues are referred to under the umbrella term “the economics of sharing” and are explored in this and future surveys.

Since LionShare is full of innovative software, it has taken a large amount of programming research to determine the best approaches and methods that will most effectively achieve project goals. The latest thinking from the various teams working on the Peer and PeerServer, security, accessing digital repositories, and assessment have been compiled into one master document.

The various ongoing programming activities have culminated in the first LionShare developer’s release occurring in June 2004. This was an “alpha” developer release for internal testing purposes. Designated as LionShare 0.2, it has the basic building blocks of the LionShare application. Specifically, the LionShare Peer has created its own private network; can perform the core search and retrieval functions; is integrated with an alpha version of the LionShare PeerServer; can handle basic metadata entry; contains an internal image viewer; and has its own customized version of the Limewire users’ interface. Additionally, the PeerServer can now handle basic file storage and file transfers and works in conjunction with the Peer.

Enterprise Integration Consortium (SAP)

Over 1,200 students and faculty used the SAP R/3 system during this reporting year. This is good, considering the relative inactivity of the SAP Student Interest Group. During this coming year all faculty are expected to be using the new 4.7 version of R/3. In addition, faculty have requested the installation of special features. Some faculty have attended curriculum development sessions during the summer, where they have been exposed to Business Process Integration. This material takes both faculty and students through the configuration of a company from the ground up, rather than using the existing corporate configuration of the “Bicycle Manufacturing Company” supplied in IDES.

Initial requests for this fall show much greater interest in using the system by more faculty and more campuses. In addition, previous faculty users have requested more authorization rights within the system to accomplish more in-depth functions with the software. This is possible now that there are ten servers running the software instead of one.

During the spring semester, ITS funded a two-day free SAP faculty workshop that was very well received by twenty-five current and prospective faculty from all across Penn State. The seminar lasted two days with the first day dedicated to new features available to faculty including Business Warehouse, Advanced Planning Optimizer, Customer Relationship Manager, and the complex module Information Exchange. Below is a brief description of each module.

SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP XI) is a building block of SAP NetWeaver and runs on SAP Web Application Server to help companies manage their existing IT investments more efficiently. The key design aspects of SAP XI include Web services and Webcentric architecture, shared integration knowledge, the integration server, and more.

SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) is a new-generation data warehouse designed to help companies make strategic and operational decisions in companies. It combines state-of-the-art warehousing technology with preconfigured business content, and gives users a clear overview of company-internal data and any relevant external data. SAP BW contains a wide selection of predefined reports that have been tailored to meet the needs of specific industry sectors and user groups, e.g., production planners, financial controllers, and human resource managers.

mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM) module empowers companies to deliver customer value, and achieve profitable growth. This solution connects front- and back-office functions into a single, customer-centric operation and enables collaboration by providing access to relevant, personalized information from multiple data sources and business processes.

SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer (SAP APO), a core element of mySAP SCM, provides optimization tools like Supply Chain Design, which helps companies project ideal supply chain networks based on costs and profits, and make outsourcing decisions. The Demand and Supply Planning tool uses sales opportunities to dynamically forecast, plan, and synchronize demand with sourcing and production activities, including the planning of material flows through the extended supply chain.

The second day was dedicated to the pedagogy of the SAP initiative. Five faculty shared their experiences with the attendees. Presentations were made in the areas of Industrial Engineering, Information Science and Technology, and the School of Business.

Penn State has become an ad hoc member of the SAP University Competency Center organization, which is composed of six universities that host ten to twelve other universities each on their hardware and SAP 4.7 software. Penn State’s sheer size, with up to twenty-four possible locations offering SAP to teach the characteristics of enterprise resource planning as well as the four modules mentioned in section one, makes it necessary for Penn State to be a self-hosted site.

The staff resources have been increased by utilizing part of the time of Brian Katyl. Brian attended his first SAP class in early July. He will be working with the new SAP software as well as doing technical support for the Microsoft operating system (Windows 2000) and database software (SQL Server).