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IITS Rapidly Adapting to Change

IITS // Spotlights // Spring 2020 Technology Spotlights // IITS Rapidly Adapting to Change

The COVID-19 environment created numerous new challenges for CSUSM, and the CSU more broadly, that have impacted instruction, student support, campus life, and budget resources. The continued efforts to tackle these challenges have even more clearly highlighted the foundational role of information technology in supporting the operations of an effective, efficient, and innovative physical and virtual campus.  (See related story Repurposing Campus Technology for the Virtual Campus)

During spring 2020, the CSUSM campus community looked to IITS for a coordinated and swift response that provided solutions which enabled students, faculty, and staff to make the unplanned shift to virtual. Through equipment loans, technical support, training, and deployment of several new IT solutions, the campus successfully met the new challenges of a distributed and virtual work and learning space. While the long-term implications are impossible to accurately predict, the disruptions initiated this semester will only accelerate the unavoidable and long-term trends towards the digital transformation of instruction and student services.


Examples include:

  • Cougar Courses Usage (Learning Management System) - Prior to March 9th, 788 instructors were using Cougar Courses for at least one course. By April 6th, 829 instructors were using Cougar Courses, resulting in an increase of 140 courses. 
  • Video Conferencing - Between August 2019 and February 2020, CSUSM had 725 active users, 6,059 meetings, and 1,628,252 total meeting minutes.  Between March 2020 and mid-June CSUSM had3,218 active users, 49,531 meetings, and 22,312,822 meeting minutes.  
  • Electronic Signature - Moving beyond paper document processing was a campus priority even prior to the COVID-19 event, but the distributed work environment made this transition even more important. Since the start of the COVID-19 virtual campus in mid-March through to mid-June (2020), there have been 11,981 transactions from 426 unique senders. By comparison, the entire AY18/19 saw 13,158 transactions.
  • Microsoft Teams Adoption - At the start of the COVID-19 event in March 2020, 470 teams had been created, which represented 55% of all teams created at CSUSM up until that point. To put the usage in perspective, in early March, Teams’ daily activity was less than 100 group messages, 5ooo individual messages, and less than 20 calls/meetings. Usage peaked in April at an amazing 40,000 group messages, over 368,000 private messages sent, 9,700 calls, and 3,554 meetings! 
  • library spaces
  • Empty Library spaces
  • primary computer lab
  • primary computer lab, alternate angle
  • staff preparing systems for distribution
  • staff preparing systems for distribution, alternate angle
  • staff preparing systems for distribution, alternate angle 2
  • staff preparing systems for distribution with 6 feet spacing lines on carpet

Photos cover a three month period beginning in early March. Individuals in photos have varying levels of personal protective gear and contact appropriate to the time the photo was taken and may not be consistent with current guidelines and procedures.