3.2 Campus Technology Services (CTS)

The Campus Technology Services (CTS) department provides broad-based services to all campus users, as well as assistance to instructors and researchers who use technology. The group offers a wide range of services and support, as detailed below.

  1. a. ITS Help Desk support is available to students, faculty, and staff at The University of Iowa. The ITS Help Desk provides support for ITS services, operating systems, software applications, web-based computer systems, security, and much more (https://its.uiowa.edu/helpdesk/).
  2. b. The Computer Sales Program is available to purchase new equipment from selected vendors. Models are available at the ITS Help Desk to try out before buying.
  3. c. Select software titles can be downloaded through the ITS Software download site (https://its.uiowa.edu/software/).
  4. d. Assistance in acquiring software through volume discounts and reviewing software licenses to ensure proper compliance is available through the Software Licensing Service (https://its.uiowa.edu/campus-software-program).
  5. e. Groupshare is a web-based file collaboration service that allows teams to share information, collaborate on documents, and more (https://its.uiowa.edu/groupshare).
  6. f. Application Development and Integration services are available.
  7. g. Web design and consulting services are available at https://its.uiowa.edu/web-development#!service-catalog.
  8. h. More than 25 general-access computer labs are available across campus as part of the Instructional Technology Centers (ITC) service (https://its.uiowa.edu/itc).
  9. i. For a complete list of services provided by ITS, visit the ITS Service Catalog at https://its.uiowa.edu/all-services-and-software.

3.2(1) Support for Instructors

The Instructional Services group of Academic Technologies supports instructors in their use of computing technologies in teaching endeavors. For more information on any of these services, please contact Instructional Services by phone or email (https://its.uiowa.edu/contact). Services include the following:

  1. Collaborate with instructors to produce instructionally relevant electronic materials and tools. Instructional Services staff have a rich set of skills and many years of experience supporting the use of technology in instruction. Staff can offer assistance in any of the following areas:
    1. Instructional design;
    2. Development of instructional software applications;
    3. Use of authoring tools;
    4. Web development (including web page design and online course development with ICON and other tools);
    5. Database development (including active web page creation);
    6. Use of presentation tools; and
    7. Digital media production.
    The assistance provided ranges from walk-in assistance in the consulting and media studios (see paragraph c below) to developing software projects that require months of effort.
  2. Assist instructors in building course-related websites. Instructional Services is responsible for the University's course management system, ICON (Iowa Courses Online). Working with individual colleges, Instructional Services staff are available to assist instructors in building course websites, to provide consulting and training on ICON, and to integrate ICON with other information systems on campus (Registrar, Exam Services, Library), as well as with specialized collegiate applications.
  3. Maintain consulting and media studios with on-site expertise in software applications and hardware. This includes a media lab exclusively for instructor and researcher use. The media lab offers specialized hardware and software for both Macintosh and Windows platforms. Instructional Services also provides help in designing and creating digital media for instruction. Faculty can use the facility on a walk-in basis or receive one-on-one consultation by appointment. Some of the typical things that can be done in the studio include the following:
    1. Digitize and edit photos, slides, audio, and video;
    2. Design and create media-based presentations, lectures, and course web pages;
    3. Use digital still and video cameras to create digital movies and animations; and
    4. Experiment with new instructional and adaptive technologies.
    Faculty can stop by the consulting and media studios in University Capitol Centre to use the equipment or consult with a staff member Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., or by appointment.
  4. Provide opportunities for faculty to learn about technology and its integration with teaching and research. In addition to the one-on-one assistance provided through the consulting and media studios, Instructional Services also offers a variety of opportunities for faculty to learn about technology and teaching.
    1. NExTT Workshops. Twice a year (before the start of each semester), Instructional Services sponsors a week-long series of workshops, NExTT.
    2. Ad Hoc Workshops. Instructional Services staff are available to provide small-group training geared specifically to a department or group, in any location (office, classroom, or in the consulting and media studios).
    3. Throughout the year, Instructional Services sponsors half-day workshops, demonstrations, and seminars on specialized topics covering the latest tools and methods for teaching with technology.
  5. Investigate new and emerging products, methods, and systems that have instructional applications, especially those technologies that are based on open standards and promote interoperability. Investigations are typically collaborations with faculty and other ITS departments, sometimes initiated by Instructional Services and sometimes initiated by others. The following list identifies some of the major areas for investigations and gives examples from recent projects.
    1. Collaboration tools
    2. Development standards: XML, IMS
    3. Digital video: DVD, streaming video, MPEG
    4. Communications: video conferencing, SMIL
    5. Asset management, digital libraries
    6. Web technologies: Java server pages, web-based surveys, web-enabled databases
    7. Networking: wireless, Internet2 applications, distributed network storage devices

3.2(2) Support for Researchers

The Research Services group of Academic Technologies supports researchers in their use of computing technologies in research endeavors. For more information on any of these services, please contact Research Services by phone or email (its-academic@uiowa.edu). Services include the following:

  1. a. Collaborate in new research. Research Services provides expertise in a number of areas. Some current and historical examples include computer imaging and visualization, computer-based 3-D modeling, system administration, software development, virtual reality, molecular modeling, high-performance computing, and high-performance networking. Our staff is available for consultation regarding researchers' projects and actively collaborates by co-authoring papers and co-writing grant proposals.
  2. b. Build the local cyber infrastructure. Research Services is developing local research computing infrastructures, including planning for or development of computational grids and high-performance computing resources, data management, visualization, remote instrumentation access, and collaborative tools.
  3. c. Enable investigators to better accomplish their endeavors through the use of information technology. Research Services works to provide whatever is necessary for investigators to be successful in their use of information technology. This can include: training, both in one-on-one situations and in workshops organized through the year; providing access to unique hardware; serving as liaisons to key vendors; and organizing user groups.
  4. d. Stimulate consideration of new technologies. Research Services is always looking at new technologies (such as collaborative tools and immersive environments) and new research applications of existing technologies, such as 3-D printing and high-performance networking.
  5. e. Work with and complement the efforts of other researcher support groups across campus. Research Services works closely with other research facilities on campus to provide multidisciplinary support for researchers.