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October 2016: ITS Connect

News Story

Here's what you need to know about utilizing Starfish, creating an Edublog, open education resources for students, and so much more!

UTILIZING STARFISH

After a successful pilot of Starfish and the Academic Progress Reports for athletes, first-year students, and veterans, the University is now embarking to fully launch this fall 2016.

What are the benefits of Starfish?

  • >> You can praise or recognize excellent academic performance with "kudos".
  • >> Enables advisers, faculty, and others, including students themselves, to raise "flags" and share information. Assists in identifying students at risk (academically, financially, or personally) in order to provide appropriate support.
  • >> Enter and view information and notes from multiple sources in a central location.
  • >> It provides access to see your student's "success network", allowing you to view their adviser, other faculty, and/or coaches for the semester. 
  • >> Track your attendance and run your own attendance reports for your class.
  • >> It is a notification system that allows for designated individuals and offices to be notified via e-mail or text message once a kudo or concern is raised.
  • >> It allows your student to easily "raise your hand" to request support in your class. 

What will be available in the fall?
Designated advisers, faculty, staff, and student-facing offices have access to Starfish. Please note that access to the system is based on role and interaction with students. All students also have access to Starfish. There will be various communications outreach and training provided to faculty and students. To access Starfish, log on at http://starfish.pace.edu.

BLACKBOARD COURSE DELETIONS

As part of Pace's Standard Operating Procedures for Blackboard, courses that are older than six years (spring 2010 and earlier) will be deleted permanently on Saturday, October 15. This deletion is permanent and it will not be possible to restore them. If you wish to save course content, please create an archive file before Saturday, October 15. Need assistance? The Office of Academic Technology can be contacted at (914) 773-3664 or acadtech@pace.edu.

OPEN EDUCATION RESOURCES (OER)

OER stands for Open Education Resources. The key word being open, referring to that fact that OER are academic materials in the public domain. The OER movement is based on the principle that information should be shared and intellectual collaboration should be encouraged.

On average, students spend $1,100 on course materials annually. This bloated price tag restricts access to education for traditional low-income students and non-traditional, continuing education students with dependents.  

One form of OER are eTextbooks which educators can redistribute and remix to fit their unique classroom needs. OERs can be used to supplement or replace increasingly expensive traditional course materials. Our University librarians have comprised a collection of open access resources. This includes open textbooks, audiovisual learning modules, e-journal, and miscellaneous other resources.

You can view the Pace Library Open Access LibGuide at http://libguides.pace.edu/openaccess.

EDUBLOGS FOR COURSES

Edublogs services offer Pace faculty, students, and staff a powerful and secure set of web-based tools for communicating and teaching using the WordPress platform. Blog services are available for students associated with a class utilizing the platform as part of their course curriculum.

Below are several samples of current blogs using Edublogs:

Faculty are able to choose between a class blog that they can manage or individual blogs for each student in the class. Web Services will work with faculty to devise the best strategy and practices to achieve their teaching and communicating goals. Additionally, official Pace organizations can leverage this service to communicate their organization's activities to the Pace Community.

To get started, visit http://blogs.pace.edu. To request this service, enter a Help Desk ticket at http://help.pace.edu.

MOVING THE DATA CENTER AND ITS IMPACT 

The University's data center is currently housed on the Briarcliff Campus and will soon be moving to the Pleasantville Campus. This undertaking involves many moving parts, coordination, and necessary maintenance periods for all services. ITS has been carefully planning the process for the move and is doing our best to minimize disruption to services.

What does this mean for you?
Certain services and systems will require downtime in order for the move to take place. The length of time those services and systems are unavailable will vary depending on the work that is required.

What should I do?
ITS will be providing more information and communications in the coming weeks to the services and groups that will be affected.   

  • >> Please stay aware of the communications so you have the necessary information on which services and systems are affected.
  • >> Sign up for the ITS Notice Listserv.
  • >> You may need to make adjustments to your schedules of when you use those services and systems.