OTDI Year in Review 2023

We empower all Buckeyes to unlock their boundless potential and become catalysts for positive transformation. We see a future where technology seamlessly augments academic experiences, enhances research capabilities, and streamlines administrative processes, fostering an environment of creativity, innovation, and collaboration.

Technology is critical to everything we do at Ohio State, and everything we do with technology is in collaboration with partners across the university.

The Office of Technology and Digital Innovation has the privilege of working to find technology solutions that solve problems in every corner of our working and learning environment. Our work is guided by the IT Roadmap, which includes five pillars: learning, research, outreach, innovation and belonging. 

We’ve gathered the data presented here to show you how our 2023 accomplishments play a critical role in making The Ohio State University the model 21st-century public, land grant, research, urban, community-engaged institution. 

Student smiling while using a tablet in a library


PebblePad Integrated into Student Toolset

Students are now able to showcase accomplishments achieved in GE courses using a new ePortfolio tool offered by our Digital Learning and Student Success team. We brought in a new technology solution called  PebblePad as part of the university’s launch of the new GE program.

16K new users, 24K pages and portfolios created, 31K publicly shared content assets, 10K workbooks submitted

Technology Supports Redesign of STEM Courses

In partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences, our team equipped 6 rooms for a pilot of a distributed classroom model, supporting the redesign of foundational STEM courses. When we provide instructors with well-designed classrooms, equipped with technology that is integrated thoughtfully and effectively, Ohio State’s vision for active learning becomes a reality. In addition to the innovations we provided for the Arts and Sciences project, faculty will soon be able to find and request spaces that match their teaching strategy. A collaborative effort with our partners on the Classroom Readiness Committee will soon produce an index that categorizes classrooms based on the available technology and setup in each room.

Instructor kneeling beside and talking to students seated at desks with computers

Connecting Teaching and Learning to Spaces

Collaboration begins with our customers, which means student feedback is the foundation for classroom technology decisions. This year we began using the Learning Space Rating System to assess classrooms and inform space planning moving forward.

Instructor using touch screen in front of classroom of students

Groundbreaking Cybersecurity for You (C4U) Platform Launches for Students

This year students will have access to the C4U training platform that faculty and staff have been using for the last few years. Student-focused modules were added to the platform and made available to all students in fall 2023. 

Screenshot of Cybersecurity For You web interface

BuckeyeLearn-LinkedIn Learning Integration

This year, Ohio State faculty, staff and students were provided with free access to LinkedIn Learning, provided by the Office of Human Resources, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and the University Staff Advisory Committee. To support this project, OTDI worked on an interface that would enable staff to access LinkedIn from BuckeyeLearn (Cornerstone) and to include completed classes from the platform on their transcripts. This integration added approximately 20K professional development courses to the BuckeyeLearn catalog. As part of this project, a new manager’s report was created and shared with all managers, allowing them to view their reports on professional development training.

277 administrative users as of September 2023, 1.4M course completions in 2022, 1.9M course completions in 2023, 5K course components available in FY23

Broadened Student Technology Loan Program

Last year the Student Technology Loan Program was limited to students with economic need, but this year we were able to open it to all students who need a device! Based on input from across the university, most academic programs prefer that students have a 2-in-1 device for classes. OTDI’s program enables students to pick up loans of iPads and Surface Go tablets from BuckeyeBar, a service of the IT Service Desk (ITSD).

The loan program is administered by the IT Service Desk, which is available 24/7 to assist students with technology issues. The BuckeyeBar is an in-person help desk resource available on weekdays for 1:1 in person service.

IT Service Desk Statistics

177K total users served annually, 15K users served monthly, 2K users served at Columbus campus Buckeye Bar annuallyStudent Technology Loan Program Statistics​​6.9K students served, 4.7K students currently benefitting from using loaned device


Tableau User Group Formed

To create and expand the data and integration services community of analysts and developers, we launched the Tableau Users Group (TUG) on Microsoft Teams this year. TUG shares Tableau news and knowledge across Ohio State’s user community. This enables Tableau Project Leaders – data ambassadors in each unit – to share relevant information about Tableau and other data integration work.

100 Tableau project leaders, 296 Tableau user group members, 685 Tableau users, 700 trainings completed, 17K unique users accessing data, 3.7K dashboards

Removing Barriers to Share Research Data

Carmenton – the growing innovation district on the university’s west campus – has challenged us to remove technological barriers to enable researchers from the university and the medical center to work together more easily. The Energy Advancement and Innovation Center (EAIC) that opened in December will expand upon the recently opened Pelotonia Research Center’s technology model to enhance research collaboration. Earlier in 2023, the PRC required the collaboration of 130 IT professionals from 16 colleges and business units, the Wexner Medical Center, and the Ohio Supercomputer Center. 

Research Center lobby with giant screen

Researchers working in Pelotonia Research Center lab

Continually Improving Grant Reporting Using Workday

We are continue to improve access to financial data and grant reporting in Workday. This year we debuted a new process that accurately reflects the balances on financial and grants reporting and streamlined Period Activity Pay to avoid barriers for researchers funded by grants that are renewed beyond the original expiration date.

Did you know? Ohio State processes 764M grant expenditures annually.

Woman in a lab coat working in a lab
Group of people and one is shaking hands with an arm extended from the viewer's perspective


Helping Buckeyes Navigate Artificial Intelligence Tools

OTDI is actively providing insights and guidance around Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and their impact on teaching and learning. We have already released a comprehensive resource to guide AI use in our academic environments. Leaders from across the university continue to evaluate AI tools and will develop appropriate policies as new information emerges and new tools are released.  

Students using technology in a library

Digital Security and Trust Helps Units Identify Risks

The Business Information Security Review is a new service that enables units to enlist Digital Security and Trust (DST) staff to work with unit IT staff to evaluate risks, inefficiencies and information security concerns. Together we assess technical strengths and areas that could be improved, and then DST provides recommendations for any areas of concern. 

120+ risk management assessements, 26K industrial control system assets, 51K devices logged across multiple university services to detect security events, 200K IPs tested weekly, 7TB risk management log data collected data, 600TB data indexed

Protecting University Devices with CrowdStrike Falcon 

CrowdStrike Falcon is the antivirus component of our endpoint protection tool. Endpoint protection is the approach we use to protect our network and the devices that connect to it. CrowdStrike Falcon works in the background to ensure that viruses don’t infect your device.

37K protected information systems, 761M events analyzed monthly, 520 threats detected and blocked monthly

Managing IT Services for our Partners

Managed Information Technology Services (MITS) provides partners with consistent and secure IT services. It features predictable and transparent pricing to academic units at Ohio State following the core, consumable and unique service model. 71% of the university relies upon a MITS model for technology support.

Bubble chart showing the number of staff served pert unit


Integrating Communication with Teams Calling

We are currently implementing Teams Calling across the university,  enabling users to make calls directly from the chat window in Teams. With only about half of the migrations completed so far, users are already making an average of 84K calls per month (based on a 3-month average). We are targeting project completion by 2025.

37K meetings, 2M screen share minutes, 3M video minutes, 4.5 audio minutes

Modernizing Wi-Fi with eduroam

We are currently sunsetting osuwireless and switching to eduroam, a secure, world-wide roaming Wi-Fi service used by academic institutions internationally. It enables those visiting a participating institution to pre-configure their devices and automatically have secure access when they arrive.  

Wi-Fi Networks Statistics

20.5+ access points, 95K+ concurrently connected devices, 180K+ unique devices per day, 284TB+ terabytes of data transferred in a day, 10M peak network authentications in one day, 59K fan devices during Penn State game on Oct 21, 2023​​​​

Simplifying the Requisition and Buying Process

Since there are more than 56 thousand users across our organization, simplifying Workday processes is an obvious place to focus service improvement efforts. Requisition and buying activities comprise one of the more complex processes, and we have focused on simplifying that work not only for people who buy things occasionally, but also for those who place orders routinely. After numerous changes to the process over the last year, we launched an improved Buckeye Buy tool this summer, enabling users to order goods and services more easily in Workday.

58K manual journals posted, 187K expense reports processed, 570K purchase orders initiated, 990K invoices received

Innovative Training Platform Offers Guidance for AI 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly changing the world around us, and its presence in higher education will likely transform the way we teach and learn. To help faculty, staff and students navigate this new landscape, the Cybersecurity for You (C4U) training platform published two brand-new activities on generative AI technologies. 

Security Outreach Statistics

234 security community members, 150+ Cybersecurity Days attendees, 8K employees using Cybersecurity For You

Growing Salesforce Marketing Cloud

The Office of Marketing and Communications (OMC) adopted Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC) as an enterprise marketing automation platform in 2020. SFMC offers robust ways to personalize, automate, test, and optimize email campaigns for Ohio State to both internal and external audiences. Our team works with OMC to configure and adapt the platform to meet stakeholder needs. Use has grown significantly over the last year, increasing from 622K emails in FY22 to 61.4M emails sent in FY23. The platform includes Blackthorn Events, a stakeholder engagement app specifically built for Salesforce users in mind that enables users to access real-time event data. 

4M contact records stored, 164M outbound emails sent, 62M outbound emails sent in FY23, 165K events held since 2020, 91K events held in FY23

Two men inspecting server cables
People in a meeting


Buckeye Link Personalization Enhanced for Students

Buckeye Link is continually improving, as OTDI collaborates with the Office of Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) to personalize the experience with news, resources and updates tailored to students’ needs and interests.

Buckeye Link is a critical gateway into Student Information Systems, which provides a vast amount of information to our students, illustrated here:

1927 is earliest term on record, 1M total unique students with grades, 1.6M peak transactions on the first day of autumn semester 2023

Technology Makes Art Accessible to All

This year the Wexner Center for the Arts multichannel video installation Meditation Ocean included “tactile images,” or “tactiles,” which are 3D models that provide a touchable format to shape sensory perception beyond sight, allowing visitors with vision-based disabilities to experience the exhibit and inviting everyone else to engage with the work in a unique way. The Digital Union’s 3D printing program was critical in bringing this aspect of the exhibit to life. 

3D printed tactile art

Data Integrity Through Shared Meaning

Our data governance group has been bringing together faculty and staff from across the university and medical center to create common, shared institutional definitions. This continuing collaborative effort ensures the integrity and usability of data, with all those across the university using the same language to describe that data. 

Group of people looking at a project board together

Students and Staff Manage their Preferences

Data synchronization across four major university systems provides staff and students with a single step to control how their identity is represented across my.osu.edu, Buckeye Link, Workday, and the Ohio State Mobile App – including legal sex, pronouns, and preferred name. Data entered in one of these four systems will also display in CarmenCanvas and CarmenZoom.

Ohio State students wearing Ohio State clothing in the student section during a football game

App Enhances the Student Experience

An impressive 92% of undergraduate students across all Ohio State campuses rely on the Ohio State App. The app is a one-stop shop for all the most important things about the student experience. The "For You" screen, a personalized  the experience for each user, providing a of features students use most often.

Academic Year 2023 Ohio State Mobile App Facts

72K screen views, 37K general and wellness article views, 21K unique users

Digital Resources that are Accessible to Everyone

Ohio State is working to achieve full digital accessibility. Last year more than 33 thousand staff and faculty completed policy training to help make this happen. More than 160 Accessibility Coordinators or Designees work on this initiative across the university.

Hand using a braille keyboard

New Accessibility Features in Zoom

Since we started using Zoom, it has been continually improving the accessibility features it offers. The most used accessibility feature among students is the ability to turn on automated captions, which can now be downloaded. Zoom allows speech-to-text to be automatically generated from a variety of different languages, which is helpful both to English-speaking students taking a course in a different language and to students who speak English as a second language. In addition, hosts are able to designate an interpreter to translate from one language to another. 

996K meetings and webinars, 87K+ users