Written By: Kasey Harris
The Leepfrog Users’ Conference (LUC) is an annual vendor conference hosted by Leepfrog Technologies, the company that designed and maintains the Course Inventory Management (CIM) system used in the course approval process at NC State.
The conference provided universities an opportunity to share challenges and best practices regarding the software, and for a chance to listen, network, and discuss issues directly with Leepfrog developers and staff in person.
The Office of Undergraduate Courses Curricula and Academic Standards (OUCCAS), housed within University College as a part of the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA), partners with other offices on campus such as Registration and Records and the Graduate School to manage and facilitate the course and curricular approval process at NC State. Representatives for each of these offices were in attendance at this year’s LUC, which Li Marcus, the Director of OUCCAS, explained provided an opportunity for NC State to showcase its unique approach to course and curriculum catalog management. Marcus noted “having representation this strong from the different facets of NC State was helpful,” as it provided an opportunity to show the campus’ commitment to innovation and to make connections with other institutions using the software as well as presenting a united front regarding the needs and questions from the NC State campus.
“I was also able to attend a [Lily Pad] session,” explained Marcus, “which is a place the developers start getting user feedback on ideas.” Attending these sessions allowed members of the NC State CIM implementation team to “voice our campus’ concerns in a room full of other users and developers,” noted Marcus. While ideas presented in these sessions do not necessarily result in changes to the CIM software, it is a way for institutions to participate in the product development process from its inception and provide feedback on early versions of updates and expansions to the CIM software, as well as introducing the possibility of NC State becoming a development partner for efforts that would mean significant improvements for campus.
In addition, Lexi Hergeth, with OUCCAS, learned of some changes that could be implemented immediately that would positively impact the user experience across campus. “One session I was able to attend discussed support tickets and communication with the Leepfrog team,” explained Hergeth. “We discussed ways our team could submit support tickets, and what priority information was necessary to ensure the most efficient response.” Hergeth qualified that, while this change would not affect faculty using CIM to enter course information, it would ensure “quicker and more efficient communication amongst OUCCAS and the software support team,” which will mean faster and more effective communication of issues and errors with Leepfrog once OUCCAS is notified of an issue. The scheduled sessions with developers and support personnel from Leepfrog at the conference also aided in this effort.
For students, these innovations will bring more transparency in how course and curricular updates are processed and reflected in the course catalog and may increase efficiency as colleges and departments increase their understanding and expertise of the system. “This means we can ensure the most accurate and up-to-date version of course information is being shared across campus,” explained Hergeth. “Students will appreciate this when it comes time to enroll in classes,” she continued, “and advisors will be able to confidently share catalog information knowing [that] it’s the most up to date information in our system.”
Interested in knowing more about the CIM system? Check out the help guides on the OUCCAS webpage or schedule an individual or group training session for faculty/staff by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
For more information or assistance using CIM, please contact OUCCAS directly at email@example.com. If your department would like to request a data report on course actions stalled in the system, please contact Li Marcus directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.