I am Shiu-Kai Chin, I am a professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, my area is Computer Security, and how I discovered Orange SUccess was this: I was actually, it was in the summertime, I was preparing some asynchronous online videos, and uploading some things to black board and experimenting and all of the sudden I noticed this link to Orange SUccess. I have to say normally I don’t click on strange links, but, because it is within Blackboard and that’s a protected system, and Dr. Kalpana Srinivas had mentioned this the semester before, but the name Orange SUccess and Starfish stuck in my mind, because that’s unusual; I clicked on it. About 15 minutes later I’m seeing that I have gone through a process of integrating my office hours, and my outlook calendar, and I’m thinking ‘wow this great’ because for years and years I have been using Blackboard and using Outlook but they haven’t been integrated. I had been sending out requests to students ‘When you email me email me and put the course title in’ so I know to pay attention to that first, so I can separate it from the rest of the stuff I normally get. It’s the ol’ problem of managing multiple calendars, multiple databases, and so just on that alone I was pretty happy, and then I noticed too that instead of going through MySlice and seeing what students were in my classes I could actually get that all through orange Success. It was very convenient, one place, one time, and even segment my office hours into half hour slots and have that all be integrated. So, it was actually the end of a long evening of work, and it was, you know, the fact that I was able to get it to work on the first try was pretty encouraging. One of the things that came up very recently was when you had to report on progress of students. That’s a little different than the mid-semester progress reports, it was really just giving a flag for folks that you might be concerned about and why. One thing that happened this semester, I flagged two students, just saying I had concerns, not that I thought they were going to fail, and what happened was, my other colleagues who advised the students came to me and said ‘Oh I saw this, and here’s what you need to know about these students of yours.’ And that was really very helpful, because, it’s not that we trade gossip on our students, I don’t want to give anybody that impression, that misimpression, but when you have- many of our faculty are really good advisors, we really care about understanding what’s happening. A long time ago- let me just digress a second, you see a student fall asleep in class, about the most inaccurate thing you can do is assume that student is dissing you to diss you, I learn that many of my students are working third shift at some job and they are doing everything they can do to make ends meet to basically get a better education. So, this is the kind of information I find very valuable- and I got information like that about some of my students, it’s a lot easier to reach out and understand the context of what I was seeing or not seeing. Likewise, when I got information about some of my advisees and people that are also taking my class from other faculty and particularly for my advisees I could basically just stop them and say ‘hey I just wanted to see how you were doing, I got this notification’ very, very casual, just a quick check-in. But, from what I understand, the whole purpose of Orange Success and Starfish is that it aggregates information such that it, for lack of a better word, useful and actionable, so that when I approach a student it can be short but hopefully it is very appropriate and all of us can quickly assess what we need to do. So I’m one of these rogue faculty members that say that we have no attendance policy, but I do track attendance. Are you using the system? Actually what I am using, since a lot of my content is through the Asynchronous Learning Modules, I tend to use that more to see if they’re doing the assessments at the end of the module. On the other hand, what I am using it for is basically to reach out to students in the one system that seems to aggregate everything. I’m not a power user, so there are clearly features that I haven’t used, and I think that tracking is one of them. I haven’t yet sent the praises and things you can- Kudos Kudos, thank you. The kudos to students, it’s not that I don’t think that they deserve them I just haven’t integrated that into my workflow yet. I just clicked and followed the sequence, so, you know Kudos to whoever put that together because if you’re like and me and kind of wishing you started your class preparations the week before, and late at night and I see something that looks pretty interesting and I get through it with a successful install and then figuring out ‘oh what I can do is reach out to all my students.’ I also noted at that time, I said ‘oh there are ways to flag a concern or give kudos’, it was all right there. So roles where I am a students’ instructor or I’m their advisor, I can say that’s extremely useful to me because then I can immediately, very quickly reach out to the people I need to reach out to. Again, around advising time, I know we still have this paper system where you put this calendar up on your door and people- well I haven’t done that for at least five years I just email- my practice prior to Starfish, was to email everybody and say ‘ok here are when I’m available, how about this time?’ and we just do everything through Outlook. And, because, that’s frankly, that’s an act of reaching out from an advisor to an advisee. Starfish apparently- or I should say Orange Success makes that a lot simpler, because now I anticipate just being able to send that email out, I wouldn’t have to do as much work to get it out, but then in terms of scheduling I’m really looking forward to that integrated calendar where students can just sign up and then they see what spots are still open and what’s taken. Then in terms of reaching out, I think, again, my advisees fortunately are able to reach out to me in several ways, but, I think getting that relationship started because every year we get new advisees, it’s going to make it a lot easier to get that crucial first contact particularly because I don’t see them until they’re sophomores many times. So, in terms of the user experience, I actually don’t have much feedback, because I think it’s pretty good. I mean, look, I’m a Blackboard user, the fact that I have to do ctrl C, ctrl V, that’s, I have that in my muscle memory, I’m sure things like that can be improved. But, you mentioned the security policies, I have a role, I’m one of the people that’s involved in the Middle States effort, and in particular I’m Co-Chairing with Dr. Duah-Agyeman, the goals, task force I, self-study group I on goals and mission. I can say that information security is a huge concern, not because we’re going to suffer a breach in eminent fashion, but I think the institution, whatever we do we need to be very clear about what the access policies are, and certainly privacy is a concern. But I will say this, in terms of normal operations, or routine operations for any modern institution it’s going to be depend of the quality and integrity of information, quality integrity of data, and I will even go out and say integrity of information is more important than privacy. Because if you look at the 2008 Financial crisis everything ground to a halt because the quality of information was corrupt, nobody believed anything they saw on the balance sheet, they didn’t know how to value/evaluate anything, and when you don’t believe what you’re seeing in front of you, you stop, you’re paralyzed. So, who gets to see what is important, but who maintains- you know information is as important as water is to human beings, if you cannot separate your waste water from your drinking water you have no civilization, you cannot work. And so, information has to be protected vigorously in terms of its integrity, I’d like to think that as a University, or as Universities in general where information- and really civilization, important parts of civilization has been entrusted to the Universities for thousands of years, that should be central to what we do. Something like caring for our students, knowing where they are, doing the best job we can with the best information we have to move forward with our mission to educate the next generation of scholars, citizens, and leaders, I mean that requires the very best information security practices, so that’s my response.
Orange SUccess Feedback - Shiu-Kai Chin
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