February 20, 2018
Members Present: Cathy Sanders, David Lightfoot, Donna Hobbs, Ernie Wade, Kevin Riley, Lorna Nelson, Mike Danos, Rebecca Honeycutt, Ed McGee
Members Absent: Muriel Mickles, Cindy Wallin, Jim Bell, Wendy Ayers
1. Call to order
Kevin called the meeting to order at 1:00pm.
2. Approval of minutes from the last meeting
The committee was furnished a draft copy of the previous meeting’s (1/16/2018) minutes. There were no changes brought forth. A motion was made to approve the minutes, seconded, and the minutes were unanimously approved.
3. Wireless printing initiative: key discussion points
· The presenter of last month’s webinar from wepa did not send the webinar; Kevin will check in and send to committee members once he acquires it
· Although consensus exists in favor of a small pilot for fee-for-printing, the logical problem exists that students probably won’t use a print station they must pay for if free printing remains available, so we won’t be able to tell if the pilot is a success or not
· Discussion arrived at the conclusion that an all-or-nothing year-long trial would be needed; in other words, we move to a pay-for-printing wireless printing system campus-wide for students for a year as a test
· David sees the shift to wireless printing as more of a cost transference than a cost savings issue for college; we don’t have a solid way to assess cost without installing a print management system
· As usual, faculty resistance became a point of discussion although faculty and staff printing would be unaffected. It was suggested cost savings to students could accrue if faculty would consider accepting more assignments online.
· Donna and Lorna will request time on the agenda of the next Faculty Association meeting to make faculty aware that we are considering this system
· David suggests January of 2019 as a possible launch date
· The need for thoughtful and thorough publicity for students well in advance of launch was reiterated
· In general, it is thought the committee will recommend that the college adopt a plan to go with this system for a year and submit the proposal to relevant VIPs for consideration
4. ADA document and website compliance: key discussion points
· January 1, 2018, is the official date for ADA compliance for documents, although this is a gray area as the VCCS regulations are seen as extremely stringent and are thought to be under reconsideration
· Ed explained that the belief that people are lined up waiting to sue us over ADA compliance is a misconception; Ed and David agree that good faith efforts in the direction of compliance should be made
· The main problem we face with ADA compliance is PDF documents, which need to be made accessible for screen readers. This applies especially to the college’s website and to websites linked to CVCC’s website, but a little less to Blackboard, where individual accommodations are the usual response, as needed.
· Donna suggests a general upgrade in skills across campus whereby faculty and staff learn the basics of Adobe to save time and paper and to increase overall efficiency. One example is PDF forms for rosters sent and returned electronically. A suggestion was made that workshops be offered in the fall, initiated by this committee.
· Intense and passionate discussion about the labor and know-how required to reformat the substantial repository of faculty materials for ADA compliance engaged the committee fully for a substantial length of time. (It was awesome.)
· We actually learned that the process of reformatting our instructional materials to post online affects not only the multitude of students with disabilities who attend CVCC, but that this process is implicated in OER and in the use of mobile technology by students to access Blackboard.
· The word for making our online presence usable across different devices is “responsive”
· Another complicating factor is the probable or at least possible switch to a new LMS by the VCCS: some systems have “built-in” accessibility features while others do not. So, for example, in Blackboard, using the fonts provided means that a screen reader can do its job.
· David suggests that, in theory, it is more effective and forward-looking for us to put newly created content into HTML than it is to continue creating PDF files. What this means is that instead of putting a bunch of PDF files into a folder on Bb, we plant the words, images, and other content into Blackboard’s surface using HTML. (These are the words of a humanities instructor—the metaphors may improve.)
· Rebecca pointed out that math has special concerns regarding reformatting of documents and slideshows because of the symbols used. Ernie echoed these doubts, based on decades’ worth of instructional material containing charts and other images that he depends on for teaching.
· In short, we have many users of many programs, technology is changing fast, and we need to (1) make old stuff useful to the widest range of students while (2) creating new stuff that doesn’t have to be continually upgraded—while continuing to do our already demanding jobs
· David and Ed will develop recommendations to address the twofold problem Rebecca clearly articulated: (1) How do we find the time to reformat the tons of old instructional materials we have—a seemingly impossible task, especially for math? (2) How do we make materials we are newly creating as technologically sound as possible?
The meeting was adjourned at 2:00 pm. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 3, in 2313 at 1:00 PM.