YEAR IN REVIEW 2019

Welcome

Steve Fleagle

Each year the university relies more on information technology, which touches nearly every activity on campus and is key to advancing strategic initiatives. As an IT community, OneIT works hard to foster relationships with campus partners and find ways technology can help them achieve their goals. We collaborate with our partners every step of the way in support of the university mission.

In support of student success, OneIT is expanding use of analytics to understand how students learn and identifying ways to help them with new teaching techniques, resources, and tools to monitor progress. Our Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology is helping faculty optimize the educational experience by partnering with them to redesign courses and incorporate instructional technologies that promote active learning.  

OneIT is supporting innovation and discovery by enhancing research computing services and technologies. A new Interactive Data Analytics Service is making high-performance computing (HPC) more accessible, with an interface that looks and feels like a regular workstation but provides access to thousands of times the computing power. Upgrades to the HPC resource, Argon, made it 40 percent more powerful with double the number of graphics processing units (GPUs) and improved software.  

As the university increasingly relies on data for decision-making, OneIT is continually developing new business intelligence solutions. We are teaming with other units to investigate how data cues could boost graduation and retention rates, and to track progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. 

The impact of IT is reaching well beyond campus borders. Iowa-made information systems are supporting a program that screens every newborn in the state for inherited diseases. Innovations in athletics IT have streamlined and improved the game-going experience for thousands of Hawkeye fans.  

We know demand for IT will continue to increase, and that new and different skills will be required in the future. This year we launched a new experiential learning program, SPARK, to help prepare our IT workforce. We’ll continue to grow that program in the coming year. Campus partners are in the process of drafting strategic plans, and we will be updating the OneIT Strategic Plan to incorporate their goals. We will also continue to integrate with Health Care Information Systems on collaborative endeavors that create efficiencies, leverage collective expertise, and make IT experiences more seamless for users. 

Thank you for your interest in OneIT and its accomplishments, and thanks to the IT professionals and our campus partners who made these achievements possible. Please enjoy the OneIT Year in Review. 

 

Steve Fleagle (he, him, his)
Associate Vice President and CIO

STUDENT SUCCESS

13,600
students used Elements of Success
for real-time data on their academic performance in 2019
EoS uses data from graded assignments, quizzes, and exams to project grades. Research indicates that students who use the tool tend to perform better in their courses.
22
courses in 11 departments used Elements of Success in fall 2019
That's up from 16 courses in nine departments in spring 2019. The UI plans to expand Elements of Success to even more courses in the year ahead.

123
tenure-track assistant professors
participated in the Early Career Faculty Academy
Launched in fall 2015, the academy welcomed its fifth cohort this academic year, including faculty from 53 departments across campus. Topics covered include how to successfully balance teaching with research and other obligations and how to employ effective and rewarding teaching pedagogies.
35,200
students used Schedule Builder
for registration in 2019
The tool builds conflict-free schedules based on student preferences and provides one-click registration. Students can create up to 10 potential schedules at a time.
89,000
academic advising appointments scheduled in MyUI
More than 23,000 students conveniently scheduled appointments with collegiate and departmental advisors in MyUI and soon they’ll be able to use the scheduler for other campus offices. A new feature enables students who opt-in for Appointment Text Reminders to receive text and email reminders for their appointments.
$1.8 million
saved by students on course materials
One  Affordable Content Initiative is ICON Direct, which allows students in participating courses to buy discounted electronic textbooks and course materials directly through ICON, the system they use for their courses.
8,000
students used the new clicker system, Top Hat
in 100 courses
The UI upgraded its clicker service in summer 2019, transitioning to a new application that helps create an engaging and interactive classroom environment.
Student studying

Examining eTexts

In theory, electronic textbooks offer advantages for students. They tend to cost less than printed books. They can incorporate videos and animations. They offer keyword searches, digital bookmarking, and other handy tools. But do students actually read them? The Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology is studying how students engage with eTexts and how instructors can boost eText reading.
Early Career Faculty Academy Cohort

Aiding assistant professors

The Early Career Faculty Academy is helping new, tenure-track assistant professors hit the ground running. Through workshops, networking, and individual support, they are learning to successfully balance teaching with research and other obligations, employ effective and rewarding teaching pedagogies, build relationships with other faculty members, and develop their teaching portfolios.
Technology in classrooms

Fostering student success

Technology tools are helping thousands of UI students plan their academic paths to graduate on time. Dashboards are helping them monitor grades and connecting them to resources. New instructional technologies and classroom enhancements are creating active-learning environments that enrich their academic experience, and online course materials are saving them money on books.

RESEARCH

250
students, faculty, and staff attended training
to use the new Interactive Data Analytics Service
The new resource is making advanced computational capabilities more accessible to UI researchers. A Data Science Institute co-sponsored by the Iowa Social Science Research Center (ISRC) and ITS-Research Services introduced participants to the basic building blocks of coding as they’re applied in a variety of research domains, including social sciences and the humanities.
Data Analytics

Expanding supercomputing

As more fields engage with data-intensive research and artificial intelligence, high-performance computing is evolving to accommodate a broader community of practice. A new Interactive Data Analytics Service is making advanced computational capabilities more accessible to UI researchers—especially those who haven’t used HPC before, but whose work benefits from the power of a supercomputer.

OUTREACH & ENGAGEMENT

11
OneIT units participated in a new experiential learning program known as SPARK
(Sharing Perspectives and Realizing Knowledge)
SPARK stems directly from the OneIT strategic plan, which calls for building an “IT workforce of the future.” To date, at least 17 participants have completed observations (usually up to one day) and 13 have done immersions (so far ranging from three months to two years). Units have also sponsored SPARK open houses to showcase their work and give staff a chance to learn about potential career paths.

49
inherited diseases tested in newborns
Iowa’s Newborn Screening program tests every Iowa infant—plus infants born in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Alaska—for dozens of inherited diseases. It alerts physicians and families in time to seek lifesaving interventions. Behind the scenes, homegrown systems handle newborn testing workflow, case management, and communication.
77,000
blood samples collected from infants
Every day, couriers sweep the state collecting tiny blood samples drawn from every newborn Iowan. The samples make their way to the State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa, where about 60 cases of disease confirmed each year. Iowa-made information systems support the newborn screening program.
3,267
mobile passes sold for football and men’s basketball
When a game is about to begin, options like mobile passes and self-scan entrances help keep fans moving. Fight for Iowa (FFI) mobile passes debuted for the 2017 Hawkeye football season. They’ve since expanded to include other sports, offering discounted admission to all home events. Instead of paper tickets, FFI buyers present digital passes on their phones.
3,208
single-game parking passes sold online
For the first time last fall, Hawkeye football fans had the option of buying single game parking online when they purchased their tickets. While it’s proven a boon for fans, it’s also provided new insight into traffic flow. Officials can anticipate congestion around different lots and ramps, rerouting traffic as needed.
Security Open House

Sparking collaboration

A new experiential learning initiative known as SPARK is building a stronger IT community at the UI and helping IT professionals develop their skills through on-the-job learning. Short for “sharing perspectives and realizing knowledge,” SPARK provides participants with short-term opportunities to observe work by other teams or longer-term immersion experiences that can last months or even years.
Pediatrician with baby and mother

Targeting inherited diseases

Iowa’s Newborn Screening program tests every Iowa infant—plus infants in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Alaska—for 49 inherited diseases. Behind the scenes, homegrown IT systems handle testing workflow, case management, and communication, alerting physicians and families in time to seek lifesaving interventions.
Game-day experience

Enhancing the game-day experience

From pre-paid parking to online transportation and traffic monitoring to mobile tickets, IT-enabled innovations are helping Hawkeye fans avoid game-day headaches. They’re also providing Athletics staff with data to develop additional enhancements.

DATA-DRIVEN DECISIONS

215
business intelligence solutions
aid academic excellence, research discovery, and efficiency
In just five years, the Data Analytics and Insights team has expanded from delivering analytics solutions in one data domain (enrollment management) to providing more than 215 solutions in 23 domains.
30
terabytes of data
housed in the institutional data warehouse
The warehouse consists of over 30 data domains used by 800 direct-access data consumers and more than 300 application service accounts. A platform known as Campus Data allows users to easily track down, request, and share data.
Nursing Students

Delivering data

Nearly every college and unit on campus has a significant and growing hunger for data. OneIT is working on a host of data initiatives to make it easy for people to access, understand, and utilize the data they need. The expanded data offerings are aiding decision-making and supporting strategic initiatives like student success, research, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

EFFICIENCY & EFFECTIVENESS

13,000
HealthCareID and HawkID passwords synced
The passwords are now automatically synced upon change, eliminating confusion over which one to use.
5 million
IT security system alerts detected and addressed
Over 5 million system security alerts and 185,736 intrusions were detected and addressed by the IT security team in 2019 with the help of newly developed tools and dashboards.
730
fewer email account compromises per month
A behind-the-scenes security improvement significantly reduced email account compromises. IT professionals previously saw more than 800 compromises per month; now, it’s more like 70.
1.73 million
spam emails filtered daily
That’s 69% of the 2.5 million email messages sent to students, faculty, and staff every day.
2,100 Iowa students
ranked their satisfaction with residence hall internet service an average of 5.99 on a seven-point scale
It's a marked improvement over Iowa’s 4.34 average in 2014. The increased satisfaction is due to technology enhancements including commercial-grade wireless access points in every room and a dedicated streaming network. Iowa’s rankings also rose significantly in comparison to other universities. 
OneIT & Healthcare Tech Forum

Creating a seamless IT experience

Health Care Information Systems (HCIS) and OneIT are making steady progress on integration projects that will help them better serve the entire campus. Integration has already strengthened IT security across the institution, and automatically syncing HealthCareID and HawkID passwords is making life easier for people who use both hospital and university IT systems.
email inbox

Securing email

The number of compromised university email accounts has dropped sharply thanks to a behind-the-scenes security improvement. The change protects users from hackers who use older login methods as a backdoor to access UI accounts, then send sophisticated phishing messages from the compromised accounts. A welcome side effect has been a drop in the number of phishing messages hitting campus inboxes.
campus dorm room technology

Improving internet service

A national survey of residence hall accommodations shows UI students are happier than ever with their internet service, a trend campus officials attribute to technology enhancements. Campus technology professionals attribute the high customer service ratings to installing commercial-grade wireless access points in each room and introducing a dedicated network for streaming and gaming.
Service Center

Putting customers first

The Extended Technical Support (ETS) Service Center has made time-consuming tasks like preparing new computers for deployment, conducting inventory, and redistributing or disposing of equipment far more efficient. It also frees up IT support consultants to spend more time helping customers in their units.

CREDITS

 

    Thanks to the many individuals who contributed ideas and information to the 2019 OneIT Year in Review, and to the project team:

    • Writing and editing: Nicole Dahya, Amanda Franzen, Jalessa Hohensee, Lin Larson, Elizabeth Leake, Yoko Nakamura
    • Photography: Mike Jenn, Rachel Napoli, University of Iowa Office of Strategic Communication
    • Web and design: Jalessa Hohensee, Alan Ridgway