Training

Health Sciences manikins going mobile

If you see human-like beings laying around campus, breathing heavily, sweating, and generally looking unwell, don’t worry, it’s not an episode of the Walking Dead. The Simulation Health Centre in the Faculty of Health Sciences has purchased new manikins and, unlike the old ones, students and instructors will soon be able to move this newest generation of ‘patients’ around campus.

“Sharon Dersch, an instructor in the Nursing Programs, approached us about a year ago to assist the Faculty with the RFP and vendor selection to replace two of their training manikins,” says Daryle Niedermayer, Application Design and Planning Manager in IT Services. “They were aware of the technology challenges and needed to select a product that would work within the University’s environment. Any sort of complex equipment like this is far from plug-and-play, and the costs warrant intense collaboration with all stakeholders. Between our Telecom and Applications teams, we were able to help them choose the best option for their needs.”Manikin1

Dersch says the older manikins had limitations with some of their technologies. “We had experienced problems with wireless connections between the manikins and A/V systems within the University environment that could not be resolved. The problems required the manikins to be hardwired which limited the amount of information that could be transmitted through the A/V system. We did not want to encounter similar problems with the new equipment.”

The mobility characteristic of the two manikins represents only one of many complex requirements for the new medical training tools for students. The undertaking required assurance the manikins and audio-visual equipment would work seamlessly within the University’s network and could be supported by IT Services in the future.

“The amount of information about the patient’s, or manikin’s, condition was extremely limited in that it could not be transmitted between the manikin and visual displays without wireless connections,” says Dersch. “With the new equipment, students and instructors observing the simulation remotely will be able to see the ‘patient’s’ heart monitor, blood pressure and other vital signs, as well as the names and dosages of medications that are given.”

Niedermayer adds that the new manikins’ ability to use the University’s wireless network means that it will be much easier for instructors to wander the room with an iPad, for example, and test their students’ skills with simulated symptoms, and to monitor their progress.

Working together, the Health Sciences and IT Services teams were able to select a vendor that met the requirements. “By reaching out to us early in their investigation, we were able to ask the right questions and help Health Sciences choose the right vendor. Three different companies responded to the RFP but only one, Laerdal Medical Canada, Ltd., addressed the networking issues involved with a product like this,” Niedermayer says.

Dersch concurs. “Daryle and the IT team met with us on numerous occasions over the last year to help with all stages of the purchase, from wording the technical requirements on the RFP, to helping with the final selection of products. During the selection process IT Services managed all the technical correspondence, and also met with vendor technicians to test equipment. Daryle and his team were invaluable in helping to ensure the manikins have the necessary functions and functionality–not something that the SHC team could have done alone. Another huge advantage to including IT Services in the selection process is their knowledge of the selected product, enabling them to more easily provide support in the future.”

The new manikins are expected early this summer.

WebEx now offered campus-wide

 

Online tools are quickly supplanting traditional videoconferencing as the preferred method of attending meetings at a distance.

For the past two years, IT Services has offered a WebEx collaboration tool through the cloud with a handful of licenses, the cost of which has mostly been absorbed by ITS or by the department using it, says Terry Kirkvold, Manager of Infrastructure Maintenance and Support.WebEx ball

“We now have a U of L on-site Webex server and are able to provide U of L-branded, on-premises service without requiring individual licenses.”

The benefits are many. Instead of using obscure login credentials, users can log in to the service with their U of L username and password. Instant messaging can also be integrated with WebEx.

“WebEx is an extremely easy tool to use, with the ability to incorporate audio, video, screen sharing and recording for meetings”, Kirkvold adds. “It’s something that can be launched from a desktop, laptop or a mobile device. Smartphones like iPhones and Androids can also support video in a pinch.”

It’s not only travel that prevents people from attending meetings in person, it can be time or simply convenience. Meeting attendees in the Water Building can join a meeting conducted in University Hall via WebEx, for example, particularly if they are sandwiched by other meetings in their own location.

“We’d really like to have the University community use these kinds of tools. Once they’re comfortable with them and the advantages they offer, we expect to see a dramatic increase in their use.”

Watch the Notice Board or contact the Solutions Centre to find out about future sessions. You can also read and/or  print the step-by-step guide here.

IT Services Solutions Centre: (403) 329-2490 or help@uleth.ca

IT Services update for week of April 1, 2013

CRITICAL SERVICES: (Banner, Moodle, Wireless, Internet, Telephony)

  • Some students in the Testing Centre experienced intermittent error messages in Moodle this afternoon.  We have changed out a network device that may have been causing the problem, and will be monitoring Moodle closely when the Testing Centre opens tomorrow morning.

KPI SPOTLIGHT:

Anticipating the need to re-develop the University homepage, we have been collecting some data to better understand the needs of those using our site.  The “heatmap” below was generated over 3 days of activity in March (17,352 clicks). Much of this data aligns with areas we are already planning to address.  A few highlights:

  • The search box is well used, which could be a symptom of poor information architecture, or habitual user behaviour
  • The direct links by demographic in the “Apply Now” section is well visited, however the award offer beside it is almost never interacted with
  • Current Students and Faculty & Staff tabs in the lower quadrant are well-used and could be used as justification for a current student / employee portal (intranet) – to better focus our public website content.
  • “Services for Students” is well visited, even with lower positioning and size relationships to other elements on the page.
  • Our social media links in the footer are poorly visited.
  • The flexible messaging area graphic is heavily interacted with; people engage often with the slideshow format.

Heatmap spotlight

SERVICE IMPROVMENTS:

We have engaged an instructor from Lethbridge College to provide training for interested faculty and staff on Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.)  We have completed three courses so far and the feedback has been extremely positive.  We have included a few of the comments from participants below, as well as the scorecard showing top marks for the course evaluation.

“Good instructor; made course more fun. Thanks!”

“Excellent course – I learned lots of little tricks even though I’d taken other basic courses.”

Training comments

 

IT Services Weekly Update

Critical Services (Banner, Moodle, Wireless, Internet)

  • All services functioning normally.

KPI Spotlight

Within the past 3 weeks, we’ve seen about 257,000 logins to the student webmail system from 8,842 unique users.   If we break down these quarter million logins, we see:

  • 60,000 from on-campus
  • 197,000 from off-campus

On average, this breaks down to:

  • 11,600 logins/day
  • 490 logins/hour
  • 8 logins/minute

Distribution of these logins through the hours in the day:

webmail_logins_hourly

Service Improvements

  • Excel Training – We have brought in an external trainer to provide an introductory course on Microsoft Excel for faculty and staff, which started on Feb 21 and has 24 participants.  The course consists of four 2-hour sessions, and participants have indicated that it is excellent material and is being delivered very effectively.  We have booked several other courses in the future, including Outlook Tips & Tricks, Word level 1, and Excel level 2.
  • SWATCA – The annual Teachers’ Convention is the largest conference hosted on the University campus, and includes heavy use of audio/video technologies in our classrooms and computer labs.  All accounts suggest that this year’s event went very well.

Portal & BI Initiative Update

The Luminis Portal work is proceeding as scheduled, with a minor delay in setting up a test environment due to Hurricane Sandy preventing Ellucian consultants from conducting their sessions.  The Advizor analytics installation and training is also proceeding as scheduled in Advancement, and early feedback is quite positive in terms of allowing staff to visualize their data in ways not previously possible.  The Operational Data Store and Enterprise Data Warehouse (ODS/EDW) planning details are still being worked through, but the project team is targeting January 2013 to begin this phase of the project once Ellucian resources are confirmed.

On-site training

IT Services recently initiated on-site Microsoft Excel training to 25 staff members in Arts and Science. ITS was able to find a partner to deliver onsite, instructor-lead training.  Feedback has been very positive. ITS is working toward online training for all Microsoft applications as well for students who want to work at their own pace.  This training can lead to Microsoft certifications.