Evolution of OAI’s professional learning strategies

Recognizing transitions in our unit today we had a discussion about the future of Design Circle meetings and Morning Reading Group [MRG was hosted on Ning and previously on WSU Wiki, both of which have gone away].

A major thread of the discussion took the thread of ‘what are you doing?’ by way of what are you reading and how are you capturing/ sharing it.

We produced this whiteboard

For me the discussion was a return to our previous conversation about the OAI’s web presence/strategy and my thinking about how to develop a professional learning community as part of that web strategy.  As I’m writing this, I’m also connecting to the nascent thinking I’m doing to get ready for the HASTAC P3 event in Sept.

As a result of the discussion I had a couple insights and Josh followed up with me to share his insights.  We concluded an idea to incorporate the idea of a “one minute write” into our discussions. We thought it was worth trying with this discussion.

I will shortly mail a link and invitation to the participants today to write brief comments to this post, “what was your big take away, your muddiest point, your action item, the thing that you want to ponder from today’s conversation?”

[ Comments attached to original post are replies to the prompt. Ed.]

Nils’ take aways

1. I note what I’m not reading, for example the SoTL of the programs I’m working with
2. I’ve thought before about being more intentional about output of my reading, need to return to that
3. This connects to the OAI “blue zone” in our analysis of our web strategy
at 8/11/2010 12:00 PM

Joshua’s Take Aways

1. I too note what I’m NOT reading, particularly in the assessment/evaluation arena.
2. Gary’s thought about rebalancing “pulse-taking” reading vs. reading for deeper learning is very apposite for me.
3. Reliable “output” to an OAI audience would depend on an agreement on a sharing venue. The only one currently working is “OAI.personnel” email, which lacks many useful capabilities. Others (e.g., Diigo group) are hit-and-miss.
Yeidel, JoshuaNo presence information at 8/11/2010 1:11 PM

Judy’s Take Aways

I realized I am reading mainly for pulse taking and awareness of changing attitudes and approaches to ongoing issues in teaching and learning.

I have not been following change management, change agency, or related subjects and I realize that could be very helpful for my understanding of our new, re-focused role.

I got several interesting sounding names and groups to check out.

Rumph, Judy RNo presence information at 8/11/2010 2:39 PM

Lorena’s takeaways:

1. Main takeaway – more things to read; the gap between what we read and how and to whom we output it (with our thoughts about it)
2. Muddiest point – what’s the POD? ; >
3. Action item – create a personal landing page for all my social sharing sites to see how it works;
4. Ponder point – Gary’s point about pulse-taking vs reading for deeper exploration and integration. I need to do less pulse-taking…also think about mechanics & philosophies of sharing meaningfully
at 8/11/2010 2:44 PM

Peg’s Takeaways

1.big take away – how do I do a better job of sharing what I am reading
2.muddiest point – are we trying to focus or direct more what people read?
3. action item – earn to use tags more effectively
4. the thing that you want to ponder – it is interesting that the more technical staff reads about assessment, teaching and learning but the non technical staff do not generally read technical materials.
at 8/12/2010 12:54 PM

Kimberly Gets Candid

Individuals in the unit are reading and thinking about an impressive array of current literature, spread across many discplines, areas, sources, media & mode.  Very stimulating.  An an individual, seeing array made me want to read a lot more.

At the same time, that array of reading lacks systematic sharing and analysis.  Where are our collective knowledge, skills, and attitudes strong, and where are there gaps?  Are people reading to address areas of weakness?  What does our unit need to learn more about?  How are we connecting theory and practice, as a unit?  Also, the internet makes it easier than ever to fall into confirmation bias; to what extent is that impacting all of us?

at 8/12/2010 2:28 PM

Jayme’s takeaways

1. Big takeaway: the group has extremely heterogeneous reading styles and interests.
2. Muddiest point: are we aiming for more homogeneity?
3. Action item: make a systematic effort to share what I’m reading (though this depends on the muddiest point).
4. Ponder point: I realized that when Gary talked about taking the pulse that I do this by keeping track of what others are doing (via Diigo, alerts, etc.) and then dive it when I’m interested.  I would like to be able to leverage others’ readings so that we cover more ground.  Would also like to see the workshop with Melynda Huskey happen since we would probably get multiple books worth of insight about change management.
at 8/12/2010 4:37 PM

Diigo Group as a summary

Awhile ago I added the RSS of our CTLT&Friends group to the sidebar of CommunityLearning blog. It looks pretty good alongside my P3 conferencing planning, which makes me think we are Diigoing some good stuff
Peterson, NilsNo presence information at 8/16/2010 1:57 PM

As promised, reflection on the retreat, finally

Re: draft note to staff
I was thinking last night that the persistent concern expressed in our still recent retreat was less about job security and more about qualifications in our protean institution.  If I no longer should be doing what I’ve done in the past, what skills do I need to develop to do what I am expected to do?  And how long, one anonymous note asked, before we change yet again?

In my own thinking, I am coming to understand that it is more about the affect than the skill set, though they are not fully separable.  As the CTLT our work was like teaching an elective course in the major.  Most of interactions were with faculty who wanted to work with us.  And now we fear our new charge is not only requiring us to work with those who share fewer of our concerns and values, but we are drifting into work increasingly with those who clearly do not.  We are now like those who teach required courses.  And the required course we teach is not one that many find rewarding.

Our challenge as a CTLT was encouraging participation in our efforts commensurate with the institutions’ investment in us.  As the OAI, our challenge is, with some irony, helping the institution achieve measurable outcomes.  In CTLT we worked with colleagues who were mostly or who became friends.  As an OAI, we must strive to work collegially.

The challenge is ultimately less about our skills.  We are amply qualified.  It is a challenge to our dispositions.  To a person this is not the work we signed on for.  It has a “feel” about it like a garment not cut quite right.  It is frequently somehow oddly irritating.

“Do we still work with the individual faculty we have worked with?”   No, is the answer.  If the work cannot be parlayed to the program level, then the job requires us to extricate ourselves from that work …and, at least in the work context, away from that friendly working relationship.

“Will we change our organization again?” Probably.  The garment may not fit quite right, but the unit will grow into it.

As the CTLT, however, we were unique and recognized internationally for our transformative focus.  Some aspects of that focus were occasionally a source of some contention, but it was a shared understanding we had of our mission.  We were guided by the belief that not only can we but we must do a better job in our institutions of learning at improving the student learning experience and student learning…outcomes.

So here we are.  Be careful what you wish for, the saying goes. Our new vision, rubric, and the harvesting of community input are being followed nationally. We have a tremendous opportunity to promote real, deep, and meaningful change at WSU.

If we can change.

Dr. Gary R. Brown, Director
The Office of Assessment and Innovation
Washington State University
509 335-1352
509 335-1362 (fax)

Terms of Service (SharePoint)

TermsOfService Sharepoint Final

After OAI review, we have arrived on the attached Terms of Service document for SharePoint to help OAI contacts support transparency in their efforts to leverage assessment and accreditation for teaching and learning improvement.

We further came to consensus that the OAI contact will have responsibilities with regard to the site no different from responsibilities shared by all “members” of that site.

We also understand the responsibility of OAI contacts to make copies available of all materials that may have utility as a WSU resource.  Such materials will be made available on the OAI resource page (under development), and OAI will be included as a partner copyright holder in all of those materials we help develop.  We do this consistent with WSU’s established IP policies.


OAI Working Meeting agenda and whiteboards

OAI Working Meeting agenda and whiteboards

On Jan 28, 2010 OAI staff had a working meeting to revisit the evolution of the organization from its CTLT roots of a year prior.

Questions of: what is our mission? to whom are we responsible? and what is my role? have been in tremendous flux and the university and unit transitioned.

The meeting today was aimed at reflecting on what we know now, from the vantage of nearly completing the Dec 18 review cycle. Another goal was to identify some useful and scalable resources that could be assembled to provide to programs. A final goal was to spend some time with current literature related to the work.

The attached agenda is a near final draft, updated just prior to the session with the current OAI mission & goals. Photos are of the whiteboard created during the session.

OAI staff working meeting agenda 1.28

ITS private cloud – new POSITIVE updates

Re: [ctltoperations] ITS private cloud – new updates

On 12/18/09 11:39 AM, “Corinna Lo” wrote:
Hi, Arlo

I just talked to Arlo Clizer on their virtualization project.  ITS is moving forward in expanding their virtualization cluster to host their production applications (some funding from Business Affairs).  They are working on the purchase order to go out to Purchasing one of these days.

He expects the earliest they can get something up will be next February.  Their virtualization cluster is on HP Blade server.  They will be using 12 blades, and it can be expanded to a total of 32 blades.  He said they should have the capacity to host our production Skylight.  He does not expect there will be a cost associated with the hosting.  Down the road, if we want to host more virtual machines to their cluster, and they need to expand their cluster to accommodate that, we can simply buy more blades and put into their cluster.

They will work on a terms of service agreement on this hosting.  Most likely, they would simply host, manage the VMWare virtual machine environment, manage the networking and server room condition.  They would not have staff capacity to manage our application, such as patching.  We will have access to the operating system of our virtual machines there, and manage our application.  As for backups, they are working on upgrading/ configuring their Tivoli backup to include the entire virtual machine backups.  Currently, they are simply backing up the data.  I expect there will be some cost associated with the backups as they used to have.  The backup is not stored in ITB1010 currently, but it is on Pullman campus.  Within a year, he expects the backup will be stored somewhere off campus.

As for business continuity, the facility in Spokane campus did not work out.  They are now thinking about to go to WSU Vancouver.  But this is too early to say if it will become a reality.  But they will need to find some solution soon (in the next year as part of their core system planning/ upgrade).

We can talk about what that means in our overall plan in migrating our legacy work in our next Thursday meeting.
I like what I’m hearing so far…

– corinna

Creating collaboration spaces for programs

Creating collaboration spaces for programs Discussions are ongoing, but converging on the specifics of the web tools we need to support this work.

The Showcase is already in development at https://universityportfolio.wsu.edu/2009-2010/Pages/default.aspx
It is intended to be a public space with harvesting feedback on program studies. Its also turning into a kind of portfolio of our efforts https://universityportfolio.wsu.edu/2009-2010/_layouts/viewlsts.aspx

The Workspace, Assessment.wsu.edu is still being discussed, especially what template to offer, and what other aspect of the terms of service need to be decided.  One of those issues is who is authorized to manage permissions, and if we don’t want programs with that authority, how they can manage some authority self-service. Permissioning an AD group that the program manages is the path we are adopting, with wrinkles, such as this below

—— Forwarded Message
From: Joshua Yeidel
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 13:41:53 -0800
To: OAI messages
Subject: FW: [sharepointdiscussions] RE: AD Groups vs SP Groups

In the Rain King Design meeting today we discussed program workspaces in
assessment.wsu.edu.  The notion was put forward that we would control
SharePoint permissions in the spaces, but add a program-managed Active
Directory group as “contributor”.  Then the program would add or remove
people to/from that group via AD to manage their access to the workspace.

This note from a SharePoint consultant mentions one consideration for that
scheme.  To see who is or is not a contributor, we will have to look in
SharePoint _and_ view the AD group in an Active Directory browser such as
“Active Directory Users and Groups” on Windows.  I don’t think that’s a
fatal flaw in the scheme, but we should be aware of it.

—— End of Forwarded Message

AD Groups vs SP Groups

—–Original Message—–
From: Yeidel, Joshua
Sent: Thursday, December 17, 2009 1:42 PM
To: OAI.Personnel
Subject: FW: [sharepointdiscussions] RE: AD Groups vs SP Groups

In the Rain King Design meeting today we discussed program workspaces in
assessment.wsu.edu.  The notion was put forward that we would control
SharePoint permissions in the spaces, but add a program-managed Active
Directory group as “contributor”.  Then the program would add or remove
people to/from that group via AD to manage their access to the

This note from a SharePoint consultant mentions one consideration for
scheme.  To see who is or is not a contributor, we will have to look in
SharePoint _and_ view the AD group in an Active Directory browser such
“Active Directory Users and Groups” on Windows.  I don’t think that’s a
fatal flaw in the scheme, but we should be aware of it.

— Joshua

—— Forwarded Message
From: “Daniel A. Galant”
Reply-To: “sharepointdiscussions@yahoogroups.com”

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2009 09:40:59 -0800
To: “sharepointdiscussions@yahoogroups.com”

Subject: [sharepointdiscussions] RE: AD Groups vs SP Groups

When using AD groups to control access to SharePoint there are a few
to consider. SharePoint does not expand or display the AD group
so in SharePoint you will not know who you have given access to.

—— End of Forwarded Message

Comment added to original post

Email to SP groups which contain AD groups

From Leonil Brandel <leonil.brandel@cityofhenderson.com> via sharepointdiscussions@yahoo.com

In addition, another thing to consider when nesting AD groups in
Sharepoint groups is workflows.

Workflows will not be able to distribute email to the members of the AD
group unless the AD Group is email enabled (email address needs to be
assigned to it).  On top of that, if a distribution list is nested in
the AD group, the workflow emails will fail.  The members HAD to be
individual users, not a Distribution List.  I did notice alerts play
nice with AD groups nested in Sharepoint groups.

Has anyone else encountered this problem?

For our current Rain King purposes, the important part is that alerts “play nice”.  However, we should be aware of the other findings in case we extend beyond alerts into workflows.
— Joshua

Request for status update on ITS plans for hosting SharePoint sites for programs

Request for status update on ITS plans for hosting SharePoint sites for programs

From: Clizer, Arlo
Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 3:24 PM
To: Peterson, Nils
Cc: Brown, Gary; Lo, Corinna; Maynard, Ryan
Subject: RE: Request for status update on ITS plans for hosting SharePoint sites for programs

At this point I cannot commit ITS to expanded hosting of SharePoint sites. I can, however, tell you that virtual machine hosting by ITS will likely be a reality in the new year.

From: Peterson, Nils
Sent: Friday, December 11, 2009 11:40 AM
To: Clizer, Arlo
Cc: Brown, Gary
Subject: Request for status update on ITS plans for hosting SharePoint sites for programs


As OAI (formerly CTLT) continues to move out of the serving/hosting business, we need to shut down our aging SharePoint plant. Departments with whom we collaborate need to migrate from the spaces we host, where they are now collaborating.

We are reluctant to recommend Departments use mySite.wsu because those spaces are associated with an individual, rather than with a program.

We would like to be able to recommend that a Department approach ITS to obtain a SharePoint site, establishing a Service Agreement with you. OAI would play no role managing these sites, but would play roles as invited guests collaborating.

Can you help me understand if this is possible?


OAI website launched

Here is the new website in support of the new OAI organization. There is still transitional work to do to retire the CTLT website and more work to migrate legacy SharePoint sites from Teamsite.oue. The parts of this web strategy are emerging

  • A simple branded website (OAI.wsu)
  • A public portfolio of the university’s outcomes assessment work (UniversityPortfolio)
  • Private site(s) for assessment collaborations and OAI internal work (location presently unknown)

A Of A Template and Rubric post-NWCC&U Meeting in Seattle (11.6)

From: Brown, Gary
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2009 1:14 PM
To: Peterson, Nils; Ater-Kranov, Ashley
Cc: Green, Kimberly; Desrosier, Theron; Jacobson, Jayme K; ‘Jane Sherman’
Subject: a of a beta 2


Attached is a working version of A of A Beta 2.  I’m trying to build into our Assessment of Assessment rubric and template some of Friday’s language from NWCC&U, focused so far mostly in the template (Nils, for Rocket Science mock model report update).  I’m working mostly on the digest form right now so more alignment with expanded criteria will be necessary in the ongoing iterations.  I’ll be working on squeezing in more language from NWCC&U, though it is deliberate in the level of abstraction they use’a very clear position taken that we operationalize it ourselves as one size will not fit all universities.  Our authority, such as it is, will come from the stance the WSU Executive Council takes and our ability to convey the principles of assessment as useful.

The meeting was literally a reading and Ron Baker’s interpretation of the new standards, which are somewhat different from what was recently posted.  What is key will be clarifying for ourselves the language of:

Core Themes

Used everywhere and in different ways, we will want our language to align as much as possible with the way NWCC&U is using the terminology. Ron Baker appears to have worked on point to revise and explain the standards, so if we have questions we can go to him.  Jane will be here in December and we hope to confirm our approach to the language at that time, but the working clarification I have so far come to understand (awaiting confirmation) is that  Core Themes equates to WSU’s four strategic “goals”: http://www.strategicplan.wsu.edu/a of a set beta 2 (Yes, we have lots to operationalize in the four goal language in ways that programs and faculty can really make use of in practice).  Our institutional goals for meeting the core themes in the learning realm are still the six Gs of the B.  Programs will have objectives which are generally measurable (though function more like discrete program goals in this scheme) and outcomes which are what is actually measured.  We may have many objectives, for instance, but focus at any given time on actually doing that measurement to determine if we have achieved our outcomes.

(Jane, please weigh in if this corresponds to your understanding.  Needless to say, terminology can be a real bottleneck, is debated among experts, and we have little time to count dancing pin-headed angels, or something like that…..)

Anybody want to join me in CLA point meeting Tuesday 10:30-12:00?   CLA has a mix of chairs and good folks identified to make assessment happen in their programs.

I also want to get the revised A of A and template out to all Liaisons this week, sooner rather than later, and start setting up meetings to walk them through the Rocket Science mock report.


Dr. Gary R. Brown, Director
The Office of Assessment and Innovation
Washington State University
509 335-1352
509 335-1362 (fax)
attached draft reporting template and rubric  a of a set beta 2