Articles

Supporting your Remote Workforce: Sharing Unicon’s Approach

May, 2020 As we pass from the initial COVID-19 scramble to get our teams up and running safely and securely from their homes, we all find ourselves moving into a new phase. Here are some of the ways we are taking care of each other and encouraging our people to take care of themselves.

Unicon Update - Working During The COVID-19 Pandemic

March 2020 As we talk to our clients about their technical challenges in maintaining academic continuity on campus, we also hear about the stress being put on their people - those working tirelessly to move courses online and to support infrastructure that wasn't implemented to scale to the numbers they are currently experiencing. At this critical time, our people are here to help, whether help is sophisticated instructional design or simply additional hands to move course materials online or upgrade core services to handle load.

Your Newly Remote Workforce

March, 2020 Unicon has had remote employees and employee telecommuting policies in place for years, the onset of the COVID-19 virus and the associated social distancing recommendations have forced many of our clients into the sudden adoption of a remote workforce. We wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the lessons.

Building a Data Lake: Step by Step

October, 2019 During the last few years, I’ve spent most of my time helping customers assemble a variety of data sources into a data lake. Whether or not you like the idea of a data lake or a data warehouse, or a lake house, as one university administrator fondly joked, the following checklist can be useful.

Reinforcement Learning in the Classroom

May, 2019 With the chatbot in the classroom, we have the opportunity to enhance the way the classroom works. There are many examples in academic settings and commercial offerings of providing technology-driven guidance or "personalized learning." If we can offload some of the personalization workload from teachers, they can devote even more time to understanding overall class progress and providing highly specialized interventions and individualized instruction.

LTI Advantage: 5 Things You Need to Know

April, 2019 LTI Advantage provides a way to add extended capabilities to the core LTI tools and platforms. As you consider adopting LTI Advantage, here are 5 things you need to know.

AWS Lex Chatbot in the Classroom

March, 2019 Having a digital assistant in the classroom has the potential to provide significant value for both the teacher and the student. For example, rather than the teacher having to repeat answers continually, or identify resources for students individually, a digital assistant can fill this role quite effectively. The potential to provide significant value assumes that the system's developer understands the types of problems that automation can solve, and that the school has the resources to invest in its implementation. If some small timesavers can be identified, schools with technical resources can leverage a chatbot in their classrooms.

Trends Unpacked: Technical Challenges and Learning Analytics (Part 5)

November, 2017 What are the technical challenges your institution faces when implementing learning analytics? Do you have concerns regarding competing technical priorities? Do you have the resources needed for a successful implementation and project/product launch? These are questions that face all institutions when embarking on a learning analytics journey.

uPortal 5.0: Up & Running!

October, 2017 A new era in the story of Apereo uPortal is dawning: the era of uPortal 5. This new chapter brings many profound changes to uPortal. From my perspective, this new major version (version 5) is significantly more different from its precursor (version 4) than version 4 was from version 3. In fact, I would say this change (from 4 to 5) is more significant than any new major version since version 2.

Academic versus Administrative Computing: Bridging the Gap - "Recommendations" (Article #4)

October, 2017 As we explored earlier in this article series, "Separate Evolution of Two Systems" and "The Impact of Data on Student Success," disconnects between the two sides of campus computing, academic and administrative, can impact efforts to monitor and improve student success. And institutions today face mounting pressure to choose from a variety of solutions that help to mitigate or minimize this disconnect (see, "Possible Solutions"). Short of undertaking massive efforts to consolidate and centralize data systems for institutions, what is the best way to bridge the gap between existing systems in order to minimize negative impact?