November 2016 Newsletter: SJSU Faculty Eligible for Grant to Redesign Courses

Course RedesignThe California State University Chancellor’s Office will be offering grants to faculty members who are interested in redesigning bottleneck courses with proposals due Feb. 15. Formerly known as the Proven Course Redesign and Promising Practices Grant, the grant has been renamed to Course Redesign 2025.

CSU Chancellor’s Office team members Kathy Fernandes, director for Learning Design and Technologies in Academic Technology Services, and Jean-Pierre Bayard, director of Systemwide Learning Technologies and Services, hosted an informational session at SJSU on Nov. 3 for faculty members interested in applying for a grant.

“We are focused on student success and graduation, and we are teaching 21st-century learners,” Fernandes said. “Student surveys say the option to have a learning community is important, but the pedagogy needs to drive the curriculum redesign.”

The grant is open to lecturers, tenure-track or tenured faculty who can apply for up to $15,000. Those who receive awards will participate in a summer institute that brings together faculty from throughout the CSU system and will participate in regular online meetings with their discipline cohort throughout the year. At the end of the grant year, professors have the option to create an e-portfolio to showcase their practices so that other faculty can adopt proven techniques.

“We are hiring a lot of new faculty so it’s a perfect time to transform teaching and learning,” Bayard noted.

Katherine Chilton, a lecturer in the College of Social Sciences Department of History, worked with colleagues Laura Guardino and Rob Cirivillieri in her department to redesign a general education course, “Essentials of U.S. History.” During the informational session, she shared their experience and e-portfolio with colleagues.

“We realized we were not just part of a department, but part of a campus,” she said. “We came together to learn – to see what works and what doesn’t.”

The professors focused on incorporating active learning while emphasizing skills such as reading, writing and analysis in teaching content to students. The courses incorporated active learning, online textbooks, iPads and in-class polling.

“It’s not just a matter of memorizing facts, but the curriculum is more relevant to student’s personal identity,” Chilton said. “We used the same techniques as we would in an upper division seminar, but found ways to do it in lower division (courses.)”

In spring 2016, the team saw an increase in the number of students with passing grades between the redesigned and non-redesigned courses, with 77 percent of students receiving an A or B grade in the redesigned course, compared to 64 percent in the non-redesigned course.

November 2016 Newsletter: SJSU Honored for Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Teaching

Photo: Yingjie Liu Jennifer Redd, the director of eCampus, center, receives the OLC Award for Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Teaching.

Photo: Yingjie Liu
Jennifer Redd, the director of eCampus, center, receives the OLC Award for Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Teaching.

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC), a professional organization devoted to advancing the quality of online learning worldwide, selected San Jose State University to receive the 2016 OLC Award for Excellence in Faculty Development for Online Teaching. Director of SJSU’s eCampus Jennifer Redd accepted the award for SJSU at the OLC Accelerate 2016 Conference in Orlando, Florida, on Nov. 19. Faculty development for online teaching is supported across the university by the eCampus Department. eCampus serves the entire SJSU community to advance the effective use of current and emerging technologies, to cultivate excellence in teaching, and to foster significant student learning.

“We want faculty and staff to know we are looking ahead and keeping up on research so we can include that in our workshops,” Redd said. “We are here to help faculty. If they are thinking about redesigning a course, it’s not just about technical tools but changing the pedagogy and trying something new.”

The implementation of a successful faculty development program involves collaboration among departments on campus to address the needs and goals of their online courses and programs. During 2015-16, Director of eCampus Jennifer Redd said she and her staff members offered more than 100 workshops with 500 faculty and staff registered to participate in person or online.

“We can reach out to departments, and we can do specialized workshops for them or custom instructional design,” Redd said. “eCampus offers support across campus. The courses don’t need to be fully online.”

In addition to helping with the development of online courses, eCampus provides training on a variety of software tools available to the campus.  A full list of upcoming workshops is available online.

The university was selected for the OLC Award based on the following criteria: effectiveness in helping faculty develop and teach a large number of high-quality online courses; scope of impact within the institution; maintaining a high level of faculty satisfaction as judged by surveys and participation rates; and letters of support from faculty who participated in the workshops.

In 2014, OLC recognized SJSU’s School of Information, in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, for its fully online graduate programs. The faculty in the School of Information provide the T3 Series (Teaching Tips and Techniques) to provide support to faculty in other disciplines who are interested in engaging with online tools.

Also at the conference, SJSU eCampus Instructional Designer Yingjie Liu presented at the conference. Her presentation was about the use of templates to scaffold the course design process for instructors.

SJSU Promotes Online Safety During Cyber Security Month

Dr. Srinivas Mukkamala, co-founder and CEO of RiskSense, gave a keynote speech on Oct. 5 about cybersecurity

Dr. Srinivas Mukkamala, co-founder and CEO of RiskSense, gave a keynote speech on Oct. 5 about cyber security.

San Jose State University has joined with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its partners across the country to highlight the importance of cyber security and online safety as part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

“The majority of Information Security incidents on campus are easily prevented,” said Mike Cook, SJSU’s information security officer (ISO). “Minor changes to your day to day habits can help keep your information safe.”

See tips in this month’s ITS Security Newsletter. DHS has created a site with tips as part of its public awareness campaign Stop. Think. Connect.

SJSU’s continues to be a primary educator of future cyber security professionals and is strongly involved in research around the industry. The university has been designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cybersecurity Education through 2019 and is home to the Silicon Valley Big Data and Cybersecurity Center.

Dr. Lee Chang joined the center as its executive director in July and has been cultivating an environment of multi-disciplinary collaboration with faculty across the university in three critical areas:  program development, teaching, and research.  Lee will take the lead in defining a vision and direction for the Center to become a national and international leader in cybersecurity and big data.

“Many of us at CIES have worked with Lee and appreciate his “can do” attitude and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Ruth Huard, dean of CIES, when she announced his appointment.

Innovation and Collaboration Keynote

At SJSU’s Innovation and Collaboration Expo, Dr. Srinivas Mukkamala, co-founder and CEO of RiskSense, gave a keynote speech on Oct. 5 about cyber security. His keynote shared insight into the ways response to cyber security of changed as technology evolved as well as thoughts on where the future of the industry is heading.

San Jose State University hosts the 2016 Innovation and Collaboration Technology Expo at the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom in San Jose, CA. on Wednesday, Oct. 5. (Photo: Christina Olivas)

San Jose State University hosts the 2016 Innovation and Collaboration Technology Expo at the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom in San Jose, CA. on Wednesday, Oct. 5. (Photo: Christina Olivas)

Mukkamala has been published in more than 120 peer-reviewed publications in the area of information assurance, malware analytics, digital forensics, data mining and bioinformatics. He holds a bachelor in computer science and engineering from the University of Madras, India, as well as a master’s and doctorate in computer science from New Mexico Tech. He was one of the lead researchers involved in Computational Analysis of Cyber Terrorism against the US (CACTUS) at New Mexico Tech, New Mexico State University and the Naval Postgraduate School. The team was awarded a $5 million grant to develop a multi-agent system that would be able to conduct real-time analysis and monitoring of selected foreign language websites.

“I learned a lot as a student,” he said. “I wouldn’t have gotten the same exposure at any other university. We looked at a lot of data – 90 percent of it was parsing the data.”

In 2002, researchers showed how hackers could use a printer to break into a network, something that had not been considered a possibility in the past. As the “internet of things” expands with more everyday items such as cell phones, medical devices, cars and more connected to the world, he said network vulnerabilities continue to increase.

“It only takes one entry point,” he said.

Mukkamala holds the patent on “Intelligent Agents for Distributed Intrusion Detection System and Method of Practicing.” RiskSense provides a test of web applications for its customers that assigns a score of their vulnerability to cyber attacks using data analysis.

“Our team is comprised of industry-leading cyber security experts, experienced application security engineers, and dedicated penetration testers who use their deep understanding of malware tactics, techniques, and the advanced threats to stop exploitation by hackers,” according to the RiskSense website.

SJSU Community Inivited to 2016 Innovation and Collaboration Expo

More than 30 San Jose State University students, faculty and staff members will share the ways they are using technology to enhance teaching and learning at the Innovation and Collaboration Expo on Oct. 5 and 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Student Union Ballroom. Register online by Sept. 30.

In its third year, the event is open to students, staff and faculty at SJSU. The public and members of other California State University campuses are also invited to attend. The majority of speakers and panelists will be faculty and staff who will share examples of how they have incorporated technology into their teaching to support student success.

President Mary Papazian will welcome guests on the first day of the Expo at 10 a.m., followed by keynote speaker Srinivas Mukkamala at 11 a.m. Mukkamala is the co-founder and CEO of RiskSense, a pioneer and market leader in proactive cyber risk management. As October is Cybersecurity Awareness month, he will discuss research and development of security technology including malware analytics, breach exposure management, web application security and enterprise risk reduction.

The remainder of the Expo will include panels that allow students, faculty and staff to share the ways they are using technology at SJSU. Some of the scheduled panels include discussions of course design and resource selection; the use of WebEx to enhance student engagement; options for gathering and analyzing data; CSU Chancellor’s Office initiatives on affordable learning solutions and accessible technology; and more.

For the full schedule of events and to register, visit the Innovation and Collaboration Expo 2016 website. Registered attendees will have a chance to win a prize at the event.

Bob Wrenn Appointed as Inteirm AVP of ITS/CIO at SJSU

I am very pleased to announce the selection of Bob Wrenn as the interim AVP for Information Technology Services and CIO, effective Sept. 19, 2016.  Bob will succeed Terry Vahey, who has decided to retire and whose last day on campus will be Sept. 16.

Bob joined San Jose State University in September 2015 in a temporary position before being appointed as senior director and associate CIO of Enterprise Solutions in March 2016. In his role, he has been integral in streamlining processes in ITS while also building relationships between developers and the greater campus community.

As associate CIO, he contributed extensively to the creation of an ITS strategic plan and has established a focus on application solutions that support student success. Some of the projects completed or under way include a supplemental application process for transfer students, online advising tools, and the implementation of a student data warehouse, among other projects in line with SJSU’s Four Pillars of Student Success.

Before joining SJSU, Bob served most recently as vice president of Enterprise Business Applications at Hewlett Packard, where he was responsible for managing and leading teams in enterprise system application development and business operations management. At HP, he was responsible for managing projects, policies, budgets, user expectations and requirements, development, quality assurance and production cycles. In his time there he also held multiple senior management positions in Information Technology and Enterprise Customer Support.

Bob holds a master’s in industrial engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Purdue University. In addition, he has completed three continuing education courses at Stanford University on “Intelligence with Data,” and has used those skills to work closely with others on campus to start the implementation of a student data warehouse solution and predictive analytics models.

I am confident students, faculty and staff will find Bob to be a capable leader who is adept at balancing the many technology needs on our campus. Please join me in congratulating him on his appointment.


Andy Feinstein