Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 2013 Update

I wanted to share with you the IRES February Update which includes Information Resources’ accomplishments and news for the past few months. As we continue to refine our campus communications we welcome your input. If you have any questions regarding this update you are welcome to contact me directly at or Brooke Banks at (x6212).
Thank you, Mike Schilling

Chico State Mobile App

On January 28th the Chico State Mobile App was released for iPhone users from the Apple App Store. The application was released for Android users on Feb. 8th and on Feb. 22th the mobile web version was made available for mobile devices not supporting iOS or Android. By Feb. 20th the iOS version of the application had been downloaded over 3,600 times and the Android version had been downloaded over 450 times. The CSU, Chico Mobile App connects users to campus classes, the campus directory, maps, emergency contact numbers, campus news and events and much more. On one day during the past week, there were more than 3,000 active connections to the Blackboard Learn mobile application.

Information Resources partnered with organizations across campus to design the features offered in the 12 links within the CSU, Chico Mobile App. We are excited that this collaborative effort resulted in our first mobile application available for use in less than six months from the start of the project. We anticipate a second version of the application, with additional features, will be available before the end of the spring semester.

Business Continuity for Blackboard Learn

In December 2012, an investment by Information Resources enabled the implementation of a redundant virtual server environment within our secondary data center in Meriam Library. By replicating the production Blackboard Learn virtual servers and databases to a secondary data center, the application is protected in the event of a major outage in the primary data center in Butte Hall.  Utilizing VMWare Site Recovery Manager Software, Blackboard system administrators can bring-up the Blackboard system in hours instead of days or weeks in order to rebuild all the servers and databases from tape backup media. This new data center capability ensures rapid recovery of the learning management system and extends the service level to our students and faculty. This added environment also protects many of our other systems which run in the virtual server environment.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Compliance Process

For almost 10 years CSU Chico has responded to DMCA notices sent from organizations such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Universal Studios, and Paramount Pictures. When these copyright holders identify that someone on the CSU, Chico network is offering their copyrighted material for download, they want us to take action.  Information Resources has partnered with University Housing and Food Service and Student Judicial Affairs (SJA) to develop processes that both meet our requirements under the law and help educate our students. 

When we receive these notices we forward them to students along with information regarding copyright law and alternative legal sources for downloading music, movies and software. The chart below illustrates the volume of these notices processed in the past two academic years. While we have made some progress in educating our students, we continue to receive a significant number of reports for both first time and repeat occurrences.  Each report consumes valuable staff time in responding to the DMCA and following-up with our students.  For more information regarding our responsibilities under the DMCA as an internet service provider, feel free to contact Brooke Banks at or x6212.


10-Gigabit Network Upgrade

The campus upgraded its connections to the Internet in November 2012. We moved from two 1-gigabit connections to one 1-gigabit connection and one 10-gigabit connection. Not only has this increased the campus’ bandwidth capacity to the Internet by a magnitude of 10, but it has also provided a completely redundant connection to the Internet. The increase in availability and reliability of the campus’ Internet connection is a major benefit of the upgrade.

In addition to the upgrade in Internet connectivity, the campus has provisioned a new connection to the High Performance Research Network (HPRN). The HPRN backbone provides resources to academic departments with enhanced Internet access requirements for their grants. HPRN connects to the Internet2 Abilene network and will provide leading-edge services for large-application users on campus.

Support in the Transition to Blackboard Learn

In fall 2012, the Technology and Learning Program (TLP) responded to 1,842 requests for assistance from faculty and staff. Calls remained the most popular method for contact, followed closely by lab visits (see graph below). Assisting with the transition to the new enterprise learning management system in Fall 2012, as well as an increased faculty focus on the impact of technology in teaching and learning through Academy e-Learning and other campus discussions of online education, has contributed to an 18% increase in service requests over Spring 2012 and an 80% increase in service requests over Fall 2011.