Lenovo selected as Laptop Program Vendor using Decision Lens Analysis

After an extensive selection process to evaluate vendors for the HSB Student Laptop Program, Lenovo has again been chosen as our preferred partner.  The process was spearheaded by Jeannine Shantz, Manager of the Laptop Program, with the assistance of members of the HSB Technology Committee and key SJU I.T. personnel. Request for Proposals (RFP)s, prepared by Jeannine, were sent to Sony, HP, Gateway, Dell and Lenovo in early October.  HP, Dell and Lenovo submitted proposals; CDW-G responded with a bid for Toshibia (to the proposal sent to Sony); Gateway declined to participate.  


Committee members used a Wiki to post documents, meeting minutes, updates, vendor references, independent laptop reviews and comments.  A consensus was reached that the decision would be between Dell and Lenovo.  Dr. Ginny Miori, one of the committee members, used Decision Lens, to guide the process through to a balanced conclusion. Decision Lens uses the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)  to assist in the evaluation of subjective decisions.  The AHP provides a structured framework for setting priorities on each level of the hierarchy using pairwise comparisons, a process of evaluating each pair of decision factors at a given level on the model for their relative importance with respect to their parent.


Dr. Miori constructed and sent an AHP instrument to each committee member, asking them to rate the priorities for the laptop program, on a given scale.  This information was then input into Decision Lens and Lenovo emerged as the clear winner.   To see the instrument used by the committee, click here. To access the report generated by Decision Lens, click here.


Faculty who are interested in using this software can download it by following the instructions below:


To download version 1.10 of the Decision Lens Suite software, go to
www.decisionlens.com and at the bottom click “Client Login”.

Username: release
Password: DLX7963Y

Once there, you will see a link to “Download Decision Lens Suite v1.10”.
Please click that link and save that file to your desktop; it is roughly45 MB in size, so it may take about 20-25 minutes to download over broadband. Once the download is finished, run the new installer and
reboot your computer.

The first time you attempt to run the software, it will prompt you for a license file and provide a unique 13 digit code.  Email that code to license@decisionlens.com and they will send you back the license file.

And the Survey Says…

All courses deliver course evaluation forms at the end of the term, to gather feedback from students on instructor and course effectiveness. Dr. Lucy Ford (Management) takes this concept a step further in her graduate MSHRM class. Using the Survey Manager in Blackboard, Dr. Ford posts a survey in her course for her students to answer about midway through the semester, asking them for feedback: what they like about the course, what they don’t like, what they would change, even what questions they think should be covered on the exam.  This gives her valuable insight into what is/isn’t working, and allows her to make adjustments if needed.  The surveys are anonymous and voluntary, and are available until the course’s end, so students can access it at any time to make suggestions.  Typically, she has had about a 30% response rate from her students.  Dr. Ford says this process has empowered her students to feel they are more a part of the learning process, and has helped her to achieve continuous course improvement in real time.  She plans to expand this strategy to use in her undergraduate courses.


For step by step instructions on using the Survey Manager tool, please visit: http://www.utexas.edu/academic/blackboard/tutorials/assess_d/create.html (courtesy of University of Texas at Austin) .  You may also contact the university’s instructional designer, Al Labonis at labonis@sju.edu or at X 1772.

Screencasting Tools: Ready, Aim, Record

A screencast is a movie that captures the display from a computer screen, along with narration about what is being shown. Typically, this takes the form of a formal narrated Powerpoint presentation or demonstration of a particular software program or concept. (An Introduction to Screencasting, http://www.techsoup.org/ )


Professor Ray Sarnacki (Management) uses these tools to create short tutorials for use in his MBA classes. He posts the tutorials online, for students to access at their convenience.  Professor Sarnacki has experimented with three different screen-casting tools in this process: Wimba (included in Live Classroom in Blackboard) , TipCam and Jing.   Each has benefits and drawbacks.  Click here to access his presentation which discusses each product, compares/contrasts them, and includes links to tutorials he has created using each.