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IT department hashes out over 50 new changes

This summer, the IT Department implemented approximately 50 new changes to ORU’s technology. The goal was for students to experience easier navigation through the services. Upgrading D2L and a single sign-on option are among the improvements.

“The way we’ve chosen to run our IT Department is service driven and service oriented. It’s about what can we do for our students, faculty and staff as opposed to us doing our own thing,” Stephen Guzman, Applications Developer and ORU alum said.

Students will no longer have to dig through their archives to keep track of every school password. Now, all three passwords used for Vision, D2L and Novell have been consolidated into one simple sign-on through their Novell email and password.

Special Projects Coordinator, senior Alejandro Cevallos, was given the role as a student representative to better draw attention to what needed to be changed.

“I was trying to think for every type of student: commuter, international. The number one thing I thought of was if a professor could put up the syllabus, curriculum on D2L, it was easier to obtain,” Cevallos said.

While Cevallos didn’t necessarily contribute to the literal execution of the D2L single sign-on, his role as a residential student allowed him to contribute to the fine-tuning of technology used on campus.

“I thought that it was important for just about all professors to put up information on D2L. In the past, it was pretty much a judgement call to put their information on there, and now I think they are required to under the new D2L system because its more advanced,” Cevallos said.

Another change developed by the IT Department is the link between Chalk and Wire and Eportfolio. Chalk and Wire is now embedded in D2L. Students can log into their D2L and directly upload their Whole Person Assessment rather than use a separate link as the middle man. It also saves faculty hours of time going back and forth between the two systems.

In addition to the D2L upgrades, IT now has a concierge desk on the third floor of the GC. It is located directly in front of the library. This addition allows students, faculty and parents to find direction around campus as well as consult for technological inquiries.

“We are trying to break every paradigm possible to make life better for students,” CIO of technology Michael Mathews said. “From the front desk, to the single sign on, to communication, it’s all challenging students to say, ‘let’s not get frustrated with technology, but let’s leverage technology.’”

The IT Department believes that students should not be stumbling over technology. “We want technology to be fluid with the students,” Mathews said.

“The number one thing we want everyone to understand is that we’re in a new level of how we get things done in our generation. We want people to know that they can leverage technology to spread the Gospel. We want you to know that you can come up to the IT Department and discuss different ways to utilize technology to reach the world,” Cevallos said.

IT continues to develop and introduce new technology based on their service to the students and faculty through the Christian worldview.

“The big goal is to show that Oral Roberts used technology to touch the world, to touch students’ lives and to present the Gospel in a new way. It’s not even about social media anymore. It’s how can we use a screen to present the Gospel. What new technologies can we come up with? We use the past to bring the future,” Guzman said.

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