Sautter IT Awards for Pair of UC Davis Projects

Clinical Trials Search Tool, Digital Course Content Program

Photo: Student Patrick Khamnrongsad works on laptop, with Inclusive Access digital course content
Patrick Khamrongsad, third-year major in biochemistry and molecular biology, is among summer students using Inclusive Access digital course content. (Jason Spyres/UCDavis)

UC Davis shared a golden award and won a silver in this year’s Larry L. Sautter Awards program honoring innovation in information technology in the UC system.

• Golden award — UC TrialQuest, a clinical trials search tool for the five campuses of UC Health: Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

• Silver award — Inclusive Access, UC Davis’ pioneering platform for adaptive digital course content. Partners in this project are UC Davis Stores (leader), the Office of the Registrar, the Student Affairs Office of Technology, Academic Technology Services and the Student Disability Center.

The UC Information Technology Leadership Council sponsors the Sautter Awards, established in 2000 in memory of Larry L. Sautter, who, at the time of his death in 1999, served as UC Riverside’s associate vice chancellor for Computing and Communications. He led his campus in the development and implementation of a modern data network, client server computing and improved technical support services.

The awards program recognizes faculty and staff for innovations that advance the university’s mission — in teaching, research, public service and patient care — or improve the effectiveness of university processes, and encourages collaboration and solution-sharing across the UC system.

Tom Andriola, the UC system’s chief information officer, announced the 2016 winners on July 12 during the UC Computing Services Conference at UC Santa Cruz.

Gold awards

TrialQuest: Sharing Clinical Data Across UC — Developed by UC Biomedical Research, Acceleration, Integration and Development, or UC BRAID, a consortium of the five UC Health campuses. TrialQuest allows researchers and physicians to search for open clinical trials and data, in real time, and pending trials, too. The system also reduces redundant effort for common administrative processes, including Institutional Review Board, thus saving significant resources.

“Reducing redundant IRB reviews is only part of the picture,” the TrialQuest team stated in its application for a Sautter Award. “Ultimately, we hope that researchers will add TrialQuest to their arsenal of tools to help patients find clinical trials from which they may benefit, which will be the most important measure of success.”

The council gave two other golden awards:

  • UC Libraries Digital Collection Project (UC Office of the President) — Enables all UC libraries to efficiently and cost-effectively create, manage and make accessible to the public hundreds of thousands of digital assets ranging from historical records and maps to photographs and films, on a public website called Calisphere. Services include a shared digital asset management system that any campus library may use, a tool to aggregate and index digital content across collections, and an engaging interface that allows the public to discover UC’s archival treasures.
  • Open Proposals: Crowdsourcing Innovation at an Academic Institution (UCSF) — A platform that encourages innovation by allowing researchers, administrators, students and other academic community members to share and discuss proposals and projects through an open, online forum before submitting them for final review.

Silver awards

Inclusive AccessThe Sautter Awards program recognized the technical side of this initiative, put forth by UC Davis Stores as an alternative to high-priced textbooks. While publishers provide the digital content for participating courses, the UC Davis Stores IT department developed the web-based application that interfaces with Banner for course and enrollment data, provides program communication to students, allows students to opt out, initiates billing and provides analytics.

“Making this program a reality required the cooperation and collaboration of many departments,” UC Davis Stores stated in its application for a Sautter Award. The application lists these partners: Office of the Registrar, the Student Affairs Office of Technology, Academic Technology Services and the Student Disability Center.

Earlier this year, Inclusive Access received the Innovation Achievement Award from the National Association of College Stores Foundation.

Inclusive Access allows faculty members to customize the materials going to students and track their progress. Materials can be adapted for different learning styles, and students have access to the content starting on the first day of class.

Since its pilot phase in fall 2014, Inclusive Access has had more than 45,000 participants in more than 170 courses and nearly 1,200 individual sections. UC Davis Stores is seeing higher sales volume (compared with textbook purchases), and uses that volume to leverage lower prices from the publishers. Thus, Inclusive Access has saved UC Davis students $3.4 million.

The UC Information Technology Leadership Council gave one other silver award:

  • Secure Compute Research Environment (UC Santa Barbara) — A private, secure virtual environment in which researchers can remotely analyze sensitive data, create research results, and produce their results and analysis. Researchers can access this tool from any internet-connected device, including most mobile devices.

Honorable mentions

  • The Wisdom Café (UC Berkeley) — A website that promotes a social model for staff development, enabling employees to take greater charge of their own learning. The platform offers content curated by learning professionals, as well as tips, tools, best practices, recommendations and ideas contributed by the staff community.
  • Career Tracks (UC Riverside) — A web application for UC’s systemwide classification structure for nonrepresented staff positions. UC Riverside’s system supports the new Career Tracks job descriptions and provides a Job Builder tool, allowing campus departments to create and manage job descriptions.
  • Courtyard Study Lounge Scheduling Automation (UC Irvine) — A program that allows students to book study space in the Student Center anytime and anywhere they have access to the internet.
  • Low-Cost Server Hosting (UC Santa Cruz) — A service designed to bridge the gaps in cloud hosting and virtualization and offer only the best of both worlds. The service is free, offers regular security scans, enables customers to manage their virtual servers, and even provides students a safe and inexpensive place to try out innovative ideas.
  • Graduate Lecturer Academic Appointment System, or GLAAS (UC Merced) — This system brings automation and standardization to assigning and appointing lecturers, teaching assistants, teaching fellows, readers and graduate student researchers. GLAAS offers standardized templates, promotes paperless communication and can be used by all UC Merced schools.

Complete project descriptions are posted here.

Julia Ann Easley and the UC Office of the President contributed to this report.

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