The purpose behind collecting student computer lab usage data at the University is not to drive or impose specific infrastructure changes in colleges, libraries, and centers. No competitive comparisons are being made in collecting and reporting data from one computer lab compared to another. The University is primarily interested in our computer lab capacities (physical & virtual), their overall utilization, and the emergence of any trends in teaching and learning.
With the tools available to us, enormous amounts of usage data is possible to collect. But would all of it offer insights? The effort expended to collect any and all possible data and to report that data in a meaningful way would not likely lead to useful strategic information. Consequently, over the last few years, the type and quantity of data being collected has been amended and honed to a manageable scope.
A summary report is generated from each year's usage data for all the labs combined. As well, individual reports for a lab or computing environment are created and then converted into a one-page PDF that is made available to the respective college or library in late January each year. These same PDF reports are forwarded to the annual Learning Spaces-Student Computing Fee Awards Process (LS-SCF) in order to help the Teaching & Learning Portfolio governance committee gain perspective on the status of our campus computer labs that receive extensive funding from LS-SCF for hardware and software. In fact, as of the Spring 2019 round of LS-SCF proposals, gathering and submitting student lab and computing environment usage data is mandatory (see memo sent to college deans).
Data Collection & Data Points
• Reporting Period & Management of Computing Environments
- Academic Semester for data collection (pre-populated)
- Start and End Dates for data collection (pre-populated)
- Name of individual submitting report form
- Email address to whom a copy of each completed form can be sent
- College, campus organization, center or library managing a lab or computing environment
- Specific department or division directly overseeing a lab or computing environment
• About your Computing Environment
- Type of computing lab or environment (physical, virtual, roving, checkout service)
- Primary purpose of a computing lab, service or computing environment
- Open-access for any University student
- Restricted-access for specific University student users in a college or department
- Scheduled for instruction/classes
- Used for research
- Provides specialized equipment or software
- Student assessment and testing
- Short term checkout of computing devices or laptops to users
- Short term access to centrally provided software through virtual distribution
- Secondary purposes of the same computing lab, service or computing environment
• For Physical Labs:
- Location of the lab
- Total count of computers or computing devices that are available
- Types and individual counts of computing devices that are available
- thin clients
- other mobile devices
- How many hours a week is the computer lab available for open use or access by ALL students across campus
• For All Labs & Computing Environments:
- Total logins recorded (plus any considerations or exceptions encountered)
- How software is installed or deployed
- Directly on individual desktop computers
- Directly on individual laptops
- Directly on tablets
- Directly on other mobile devices
- Deployed virtually to any stationary computer or mobile computing device
- Additional configuration information
• About your Data Collection:
- Systems or methods used to collect data
- LabStats reports
- Login scripts
- Sassafras (K2-KeyServer) logs
- Any issues or exceptions encountered while collecting data
- Additional comments, clarifications or recommendations
Other SCLU Instructions
- LINK TO REPORT FORM: A link to the online report form is supplied to IT Managers/Lab Managers in an email invitation sent in early August to get ready for the Fall Semester data collection period.
- ONE LAB PER FORM: Use one report form per physical computing lab or virtual computing environment.
- PREPARE YOUR DATA AHEAD OF TIME: Unfortunately, the online report form does not allow you to start a form, save your work, then return to that same form to complete it at a later time.
- COPY OF SUBMITTED FORM: Once an online report form is submitted, a copy of the responses is automatically and immediately emailed to the individual completing the form.
- PDF ONE-PAGE REPORTS: After all data collection is concluded, a one-page summary of a computer lab or computing environment is made available as a PDF document (usually in late January).
- ADDITIONAL REPORT FORMS: To access a new form to report on a different lab or computing environment, a link is displayed after you submit a form. Or you can re-use the original link emailed in your invitation to participate.
2019 Fall Semester Reporting Deadlines
- Data Collection Period: Fall Semester 2019 from Aug 19 - Dec 13, 2019
- Reporting Deadline: January 13, 2020