March 2022

Come Play with Blackboard and Canvas

Spring is an exciting time for the LMS Evaluation process.

March: Candidate demonstrations

During March, Blackboard and Canvas both offered two online demonstrations – one each for students, and for faculty/staff. Initial feedback was that many people were impressed with the modern user-interfaces, the mobile applications, the accessibility features, and the grading options. We also heard some important critical feedback about both candidates, all of which will help us make the right decision for Clark. If you missed the demonstrations, all four are now available on our LMS Evaluation webpage.

April: Experience the candidates first-hand

Now that you’ve seen what the candidates can do – it’s time to see what you can do with the candidates. As the next phase, we’d like to invite members of the Clark community to experience Blackboard and Canvas first-hand. We know that seeing a polished presentation from a vendor is very different from learning and using a system. By having our volunteer faculty, staff and students log into a test environment and interact with the tools in a real way, we can learn much more about a candidate’s suitability for Clark.

If you would like to experience Blackboard and/or Canvas first-hand, click here to register your interest. Once we receive your request we will email you within 5 business days with more information about how to log into the test environment.

Let us know what you think

Regardless of your level of participation in the LMS Evaluation process, ITS is interested in hearing your thoughts, concerns and questions. We know that the possibility of a change in LMS is both exciting and scary. We’re eager to listen to any of your opinions, answer any of your questions and take your perspective into consideration as Clark makes this important decision. Feel free to reach out to Joanne Dolan ( directly, or to the Help Desk (

ITS Survey: Thank you!

As announced by Joseph Kalinowski (Vice President for IT and CIO), ITS performed a campus-wide satisfaction survey in February. Over 1,200 community members participated answering a variety of questions about classroom technology, networking, support and training, and much more.

Response Rates

We have received the preliminary results from our survey provider, and ITS is currently analyzing the data. In April, we will also gain access to comparative data from other institutions’ surveys. This will allow us to benchmark our performance, not only against previous results, but also against our peers.

What’s next?

We greatly value the time that our community members invested taking this survey and once we have spent time analyzing, ITS will identify specific action items linked to results.

In the past, survey results have helped ITS prioritize projects like:

  • Increased WiFi access points across campus including in residence halls
  • The ongoing implementation of Argos, HelioCampus and Tableau to improve data analysis and reporting across departments
  • Regular ITS newsletter to improve communication from the department
  • A redesign and regular maintenance of the ITS website

Look for a communication from ITS with more details about our survey feedback and future projects in the Fall of 2022.

If you were not selected to take the survey this year, but have thoughts that you’d like to share with us, please don’t hesitate to email Joanne Dolan at

Say No to Password123: Password Managers

For everything from online banking, to social media accounts and in between, most websites require you to create a username and a password. While most of us understand the importance of selecting a strong password; not everyone practices other elements of proper password hygiene.

It is critical to make sure that no matter the website or app, you have created strong unique passwords which make it difficult for unauthorized users to guess at. But we know that managing, changing and remembering all of these passwords can be a full-time job – so how can you stay safe and sane? It all starts with a good password manager.

What are password managers?

Password managers are applications that remember your chosen passwords, and give you the option to generate randomized passwords for all the sites you visit. If a password for one site is compromised, it’s common for attackers to take those credentials and try them on many other sites.  The only thing worse that changing your password on one compromised site is to have to do it on LOTS of sites because that password was reused.

A password manager stores your credentials for you in a secure virtual vault accessed by using a master password, or even biometrics. Then, when you visit a site or open an app where you need to log in, the password manager automatically fills in your login information and password for you.

The best password managers let you know if your existing passwords are weak, reused, or have shown up in a data breach through dark-web monitoring. These products help you improve your password hygiene by suggesting new, strong, and unique credentials for every login. When creating a new password, you can use a scrambler that will auto generate a strong password that is at least 20 characters long and include all the major character types: uppercase, lower case, numbers, and symbols.

Some managers charge annual subscription fees, while some are no-cost. A trustworthy password manager can cost anywhere from $25-$60 annually. Additionally, some managers offer 50% discounts to students and those working in Higher Education. These and other recommended Password Managers are listed below.

Get to Know Us: Lisa DeMings

This month, we meet Lisa DeMings, Director of Enterprise Applications who has slipped under the radar of this newsletter since she arrived in February 2017! Lisa and her team work closely with many departments across campus including Marketing and Communication, the Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid and many more.

While she plays down her work by saying that she “points and clicks and sometimes types”, Lisa’s real passion is data. She works to make data more accessible to the people and departments who need it.

My favorite term for it is “democratizing data”. It should be easy to get basic data – you shouldn’t have to understand super-complicated coding or be able to write code – you should be able to easily know anything you want about the data you’re responsible for managing.  Data should be an asset – it’s one of the reasons we implemented Clark Analytics so more people would be able to answer basic questions about Clark without needing a custom report built every time.

Before she arrived at Clark, Lisa went to art school for a BFA and continues to pursue her art in her free time. She worked originally in Admissions at her Alma Mater, the Maryland Institute, before the Director of ITS noticed her talent for report writing and data entry and offered her a job. From there, it’s been a data-driven life as she began to work with data regularly and manage software implementations, before we were lucky enough for her to join Clark.

When she’s not wrangling data, or working on her art, she enjoys Armsby Abbey, Candy Crush and reading the Outlander series. Interested in asking Lisa to solve your data problems? Click here for contact information.