2023 Accreditation Submission
Technology Support and Services Accomplishments
Student Success Initiatives
- Academic administrators now have a prerequisite analysis dashboard, offering a view of the correlation between prerequisites and the following target course and the resulting data regarding whether curriculum is performing as intended.
- ITS also partnered with the provost on an Early Academic Referral System that informs advisors, faculty, and instructors of students who are struggling academically. This resource offers campus-specific customizations to accommodate unique location-based needs.
- ITS is working on a transfer tool to allow students to measure completed external coursework against WSU’s program requirements, improving the timeliness of providing the needed data for students to make a transfer decision.
- ITS implemented First Day, an e-book program partnering educators with textbook publishers to save students time and money. In its pilot year, the limited program saved students over half a million dollars in course material fees.
- ITS integrated myWSU data into Suitable, a career amplifier application working to strengthen a graduate’s career readiness upon completion of a degree. The software allows faculty to track required, non-academic activities and work with students in a timely, effective manner.
- The new Academic Planner integrates their preferred area of study into a single app that shows a student all needed program courses in one place, ensuring confidence the student has all the information they need to move from setting goals to accomplishing them.
- MyWSU introduced the Fluid User Interface (FUI) based on student feedback requesting improved functionality and ease of access to key resources. ITS provisioned new servers to offer improved mobile user interface.
- WSU introduced a mobile ecosystem application through the collaboration of multiple units. This app provides centralized, timely access to numerous mobile-friendly WSU resources such as MyWSU, GET (dining), transit options and more.
Guest Experience (Friend ID)
A simplified guest account process now takes minutes, providing access to view tuition charges, make payments, view tax documents, as well as allowing access to university resources such as the Student Recreation Center when visiting campuses. Affiliates and vendors are more easily able to receive access. All of this is now possible while keeping university resources more secure.
Integrated into WSU’s student information system, myWSU, TouchNet is used by students and family with friend accounts needing to review tuition charges and complete electronic payments. With embedded cashiering capabilities, TouchNet is also an important tool for WSU departments and organizations to manage payment intake.
ITS Customer Support
This order processing enhancement to PCR software for system resources, such as phone and connectivity, improved both user experience and ITS’ ability to respond to business needs in a timelier efficient manner.
ITS brought online a new project management tool that also offers customer support capabilities via customized service desks for intake and management of support and consulting requests. The tool was offered at no cost to technology and customer support groups across the university with central management and training by ITS.
ITS Customer Service Restructure
Central ITS support is now organized into four customer service tiers. Self-service through WSU’s 22,261 knowledge base (kb.wsu.edu) articles, Ask Butch chatbot, and ITS’ website (its.wsu.edu) is Tier 0. Tier 1 is support by email or phone through a central point of service, Crimson Service Desk. Tier 2 service escalates requests to the technical management team. Tier 3 is project planning and applies a strategic perspective that can serve the needs of a larger group.
ITS Service Catalog
For the first time in ITS history, ITS consolidated service listings into a central online service catalog with intake forms easily accessible to users.
Regulated Data Environments
WSU users place data in unique, individually built RDE’s that satisfy government and grant funding data security compliance requirements by providing a higher level of security than traditional services such as local shared drives and online platforms including Microsoft Teams.
Student Data Warehouse
ITS finalized a new centralized resource housing data on student records, financial aid, student financials, and student demographic information. Groups across the system that utilize this data for student support and university engagement now have a timely, easy to use resource.
ITS introduced the online course evaluation application, Explorance Blue, as a more dynamic, long-term data resource with an improved user experience for students, faculty, and administrators. This tool enhances a student’s ability to share feedback on their learning experiences in WSU courses which can drive timely teaching and curriculum improvements.
ITS unified legacy data and reports into a new platform that includes current student data and dashboards, securely streamlining the system-wide user experience and infrastructure administration when working with WSU’s large volumes of data.
ITS moved donor matching integration from the expiring business software to myWSU, supporting WSU Foundation’s continued work to match alumni with donor opportunities for continued scholarship and research support.
ITS staff supported countless technology needs to ensure continuity and security of WSU academic and business processes system wide:
- WSU’s new telecommunication resource, Zoom, had been in place for barely more than a semester when it broke record after record, going from approximately 2,500 registered users in February to more than 31,000 users in March with millions of minutes in Zoom meetings and classes. The top individual Zoom user, a WSU faculty member, hosted 132 Zoom meetings in a single week.
- Microsoft Teams rolled out earlier this spring, just in time to offer state of the art file sharing and collaboration for students, faculty, and staff. Since its rollout, Teams users completed 13,000 group calls or meetings via Teams, over 2 million chat messages, and over 50,000 channel messages, by the more than 10, 500 new users.
- Crimson Service Desk (CSD), the ITS technical help desk for users across the university, created a first of its kind Zoom virtual service desk model where customers could join anytime during business hours and receive live assistance. Along with introducing Zoom service desk, CSD fielded more than 12,000 email and phone requests for assistance during March and April and saw dramatic increases to self-help knowledge base resources online while also supporting the new ‘Ask Butch’ online chatbot resource.
- ITS partnered with academic leadership to introduce a loaner hotspot and Chromebook program for students with limited connectivity at their homes. Grant funds paid for equipment while ITS managed the administrative processes of inventory and distribution.
- The ITS website, designed to offer centralized information and resources including the Cougs Online Toolkit, experienced more than 32,000 visitors reviewing 61,000 pages of information such as instructions and links for obtaining secure remote access via the brand new GlobalProtect.
- Barely having replaced the end-of-life Cisco AnyConnect, which allowed a maximum of 500 users, GlobalProtect’s virtual private network (VPN) security gained more than 5,600 users almost overnight who could suddenly work from the safety of their home while still accessing secure business resources behind WSU firewall protections. The service continued to grow business and academic users throughout Covid and beyond.
- Individual identity security saw some of the most targeted threat levels, thanks to the changing technology landscape. COVID-19 inspired malicious actors hoping that remote workers and students were not safely behind robust organizational network security. WSU’s security walls continued to stand strong thanks to technology and trained staff already in place.
- Partnering with numerous academic and business groups, ITS developed mobile attestation software to allow safe return to campuses across the WSU system.