Office of Information and Instructional Technology

Video Conference computer station

The mission of the IT Group is to facilitate internal and external communication among faculty, staff, students, and other members of the HSOP community through information and instructional technology.

Overview

In addition to four permanent employees, part-time work-study and student worker employees and interns may be available for duties as needed. The Information Technology Group (ITG) is a service unit of HSOP Administration. The ITG provides school-wide service and support in the area of Instructional and Information Technology. These services include:

Hardware/Software Specification – The ITG investigates availability of computing hardware and/or software from Auburn contracted organizations, and provides or suggests specifications to meet needs of faculty and staff. Permanent IT personnel provide this service, focusing on their area of expertise.

IT Support – The ITG supports end users as noted under Service and Support. This effort is headed by Duty. All ITG members, including work-study employees, will assist in support efforts.

Training – The ITG provides in-house training not provided by AUOIT or other campus technology units. See Utilization and Training component below for more details.

Website Development – IT personnel provide the technical support for the HSOP website.

Media Support – The ITG provides academic and administrative Media support. This effort includes design and implementation of classroom and group room teaching stations and associated hardware and software, faculty and administration A/V setup, support and checkout. Other instructional support includes video production and interactive media. Davino leads this effort, with assistance primarily from student workers and media interns.

Research and Development – The ITG keeps abreast of new trends in technology in order to provide a current knowledge base on instructional and information technology. This function allows the ITG to provide state of the art hardware, applications and services as they become viable. AUHSOP has a reputation of staying ahead of the curve in information/instructional technology, and the ITG intends to continue that perception, and improve upon it.

Objectives

Planning - The first and essential step required for effective IT efforts is planning. The IT Lead must initiate both short-term and long-term outcomes for the IT Group, as well as individuals within the group. This document is an attempt to delineate those plans in some detail.

Consistency - The second step is to provide consistency within and across Auburn University and HSOP information technologies. To facilitate this step, ITG has subscribed all departments within HSOP to the AU Office Premium Program. This will permit all faculty, staff and graduate students to install certain Microsoft products, including Windows Operating Systems and Office. In addition, the Program includes server access provided by Auburn Office of Information Technology (AUOIT).

Connectivity - The third step is to enhance IT services for all faculty, staff and students. Enrollment in the AU Office Premium Program provides all HSOP faculty and staff access to a Local Area Network (LAN). This LAN will benefit HSOP in several ways. First, AUOIT provides all support for the LAN, freeing ITG from server support issues, such as archival backup and retrieval, and lessening downtime due to power interruptions and outages. Second, outsourcing the LAN to AUOIT allows for an overhaul of previous LAN use, which has been sporadic to non-existent by most faculty and staff. Third, each employee receives 10 megabytes of personal drive space for storing files for retrieval from any ethernet-connected computer in the school (e.g. classrooms). Finally, shared group space facilitates communication among departments and organizations. Materials (such as databases, web development files, documents, etc.) can be manipulated by one or many users at the same time without having to email files back and forth. Training will be a large component of these new services, and will be addressed separately.

Utilization and Training - The fourth step involves improved utilization of IT resources among faculty, staff, administration, and students. This element will be the most crucial and difficult of the tasks outlined here. Computer literacy within HSOP ranges from almost non-existent to quite adept. Many employees possess only general functionality within the primary applications they use. While AU offers training in certain specialized areas (e.g. MS Office and GroupWise applications), few employees take advantage of these services, due to time required away from the office or cost. ITG will recommend increased involvement in certain of these centralized offerings. In addition, the IT Group will provide training to faculty and staff in areas specific to HSOP needs, including LAN utility, website development, classroom technologies, and others as needed. Greater knowledge of the potential that information technology provides typically leads to improved productivity and communication. A policy and procedures manual will be developed and should address several issues, including utilization, training, service and support requests, etc.

The HSOP intranet website (secure site - login required) will act as another conduit to improve utilization and facilitate training. On-line content, such as frequently asked questions (FAQs), request forms, active server pages, troubleshooting algorithms, etc. can be utilized to free ITG personnel to concentrate on more complex problems.

Service and Support - Finally, ongoing with any and all IT efforts will be end user support. This essential element consists of hardware and software specification and installation, repair, upgrades, and troubleshooting for faculty, staff, administration, and students. The IT Group will act as the first line of defense for computing support within the School. In addition, ITG provides classroom audio/visual support.

Last Updated: January 13, 2016