Welcome to uWaterloo Connect IT! This blog and video series will provide IT service and event information and updates to the campus, while offering a collaborative environment for University community members to share their comments/feedback and help shape the future of IT at Waterloo.

Open data at Waterloo fosters student innovation

University’s open data initiative is important resource for Waterloo Student Portal

This story originally appeared on the Waterloo Stories website on February 19, 2015.

Kartik Talwar wanted something more out of the University of Waterloo when he arrived as a student in 2010: information, and lots of it

It wasn’t that it didn’t exist; it was just in scattered digital nooks and crannies. Talwar, who graduates this year in math and physics, sought a single source from which to shape his student life, a giant repository of data about programs, courses, timetables and services.

How Waterloo continues to evolve its technology-enabled learning

Where are we now?

Waterloo’s position within the world of online learning is very solid. The use of online learning continues to grow for on-campus courses, and almost every student has an online component for multiple courses. The number of fully online enrolments and available courses increases term-after-term as well, and Faculties consider it a strategic growth area. It’s clear that students no longer perceive taking a fully online course as a “one-off”. Approximately 5000 Waterloo students take at least one fully online course in a term.

Portal rolls out to more students

Students in three faculties now have access to the student portal. Last month, Engineering students joined those in the Faculties of Environment and Arts, and student feedback has been very positive.

Math students will be invited to access the portal starting this month, followed by Applied Health Sciences (AHS) in March, and Science in May. Assuming the portal’s technical infrastructure continues to perform well, all students will have access to the portal by the end of May 2015.

Reflecting on the past, looking to the future

With the end of the year fast approaching, I thought I would take a few minutes and reflect on the wide range of topics we have had in the Connect IT Blog since July 2013. What an interesting assortment of views, news and directions! 

All of the blogs are from right across IST and beyond, telling the story of a vibrant and caring team that works very hard to provide great services to our clients, a team that itself went through a lot of change – including the move to EC2. 

IST’s new home in East Campus 2

Information Systems & Technology (IST) is moving from our current locations in the Math & Computer building (MC) and Engineering 2 (E2) to the East Campus 2 building.

The front entrance of East Campus 2.

Student Portal update

Wider release

After a year of development, with assistance from campus partners and feedback from our beta testers, the student portal is being released to a wider audience. Next month, students in the Faculty of Environment will get access to the portal. As early adopters, their feedback will be important as we prepare for our next rollout with another faculty (to be announced). 

Widget updates

News and events

Enterprise Architecture: Part two

On June 5, 2013 we introduced Enterprise Architecture on this blog. That first introduction article came on the heels of the Enterprise Architecture Working Group that ran parallel to the IT Strategic Plan. As the IST Director, Enterprise Architecture I will continue exploring the topic of Enterprise Architecture (EA) as we steadily bootstrap an EA Program here at Waterloo.

5 Star data

Recently, we delivered an IST Seminar on Open Data here at the University of Waterloo. Today we explore the public\goosewatch endpoint in our Open Data API through the lens of 5 Star data.

What is 5 Star data?

Widget Wednesdays episode 4: Grand River Transit (GRT)

Previous posts have talked about the Student Portal and several widgets, including Portal Now, Routes, Parking, and Food. Today we continue the series with a look at the Grand River Transit (GRT) widget. Please note that the portal is under development and these designs are subject to change over future iterations.

Information Systems & Technology (IST) reorganization

There is a book by Marshall Goldsmith titled “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”. While the book is about leadership, the title is very relevant as to why organizations need to reorganize from time to time. IST’s reorganization was called “Organize for Success”. That was quickly shortened to “OFS”. The reorganization was done to position IST to best implement the initiatives in the UW IT Strategic Plan, which lays out the vision, mission, principles and values, priorities and architecture foundations for the next 5 years to advance the state of IT at the University of Waterloo.


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