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A Proactive Approach to Addressing Technology at Telnet College

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1 A Proactive Approach to Addressing Technology at Telnet College
Using Portals as a Tool for Student Learning and Development

2 Assumptions Access to Technology: Committee Make-up:
All students, faculty, and staff have adequate access to computers and other technology through resources provided by the college. Committee Make-up: The Telnet College Technology Committee is comprised of representatives from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, IT Staff, Students, and Student Leaders.

3 Assumptions Continued
Funding and Resources: The College has agreed to fund a pilot program based on the committee’s findings. Presentation Format: This presentation is the culmination of many committee meetings and research dedicated to assessing campus needs and identifying issues and solutions related to technology and student involvement. Population: The student body is primarily traditional aged students living on campus. Students possess at least basic knowledge of computer technology.

4 Overview Demographics Cutting-Edge Technology Marketing Student Needs
Summary of Pressing Issues

5 Demographics With a campus of 3500 students, of various backgrounds and high academic standards, it is increasingly important to keep up with changing technology. Because of the college’s location, it is important to provide students with opportunities to connect with and build outside communities.

6 Technology Ways Computer Mediated Communication Can be Integrated on Campus: File sharing Multi-user Domains Smart Classrooms Online courses/ WebCT Streaming Video/ Real time interaction for instruction Institution-wide Individualized Portals

7 Marketing Integrating technology on our campus increases our ability to be competitive with other institutions both in recruitment and academic performance. Our target student population expects to have access to cutting edge technology. Increased technology attracts high caliber faculty and staff and serves to connect alumni to their institution. College recruiters view internet access as a selling point.

8 Student Needs Increased use of technology on campus meets students needs through: Providing students with practical experience with technology relevant to the workforce Offering immediate access to web-based student services Creating community and interest groups among students Easing the dissemination of information directly to specific student populations Connecting students with endless resources for academic use

9 Pressing Issues Student Interaction and Involvement
Web-Based Student Services Student Learning Online Assessment Alumni Connections

10 The Portal A Personalized Web-Based Service

11 Background Information
Campuses have been using the web since the early1990’s Web Technology was revamped in the late 1990’s to accommodate students as consumer users. The web portals of today offer the user a tailored experience, catering to their interests and involvement. These sites were popularized by providers such as MSN, Yahoo, and Excite. Today software companies are offering their services in creating institutional based web portals. More notably, many institutions have begun grouping together to develop and install their own programs. (Jacobson, 2000)

12 Benchmarking Finding institutions similar to Telnet College that have successfully implemented a web portal is difficult because of the recent development of this technology. Larger institutions and technical colleges are often setting the standard in web portal development because of their ability to acquire resources and funding. The following schools similar in size an population to Telnet college have implemented portals: Providence College Gettysburg College

13 Portal Proposal Our institutional portal will link off of the Telnet College main page. The page is called the Doghouse, keeping with our mascot the Bulldogs. Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni can access the site via passwords, but Visitors can also browse the site. Upon first entering the site, the user can select options to customize the portal for their interests and needs. Some information such as campus news and announcements will be universal to all sites. Campus professionals, such as RA’s, Greek Life advisors, and faculty, will be able to customize their own communities through the portal.

14 Portal Possibilities Personal Calendar Email Account
Residence Hall Information Academic Contacts Grade Reports Dining Hall Menus Campus, World, and National News Weather Class Schedule Sports Registration Special Information Campus Activities Chat Rooms Campus Map Club Information

15 Click the Bulldog to access the page!
The Doghouse A Campus-Based Student Portal Click the Bulldog to access the page!

16 Issues in Detail

17 Student Interaction and Involvement
Points to Consider: With increased technology, many Student Affairs professionals fear that students are losing opportunities for face-to-face interaction (Williams, Kolek, & Kluge, 2002). It is unknown what effects technology has on student development, although student development theory has shown that involvement on campus and interaction with others is imperative to student growth. Computer-mediated communication is a norm for this population of students (Strange & Banning, 1998). Computers will continue to play an integral role in their lifestyles, influencing the dynamic of student involvement.

18 Student Interaction and Involvement
The Portal’s Role The Doghouse will provide opportunities for students to interact with others, both on and off campus, through chat rooms, file sharing, and . The portal will provide listings of campus events and activities, designed to promote student involvement. Frequent communication with RA’s and staff will serve to reinforce these advertised opportunities.

19 Web-Based Student Services
Points to Consider: Lack of centralization of services on campus causes confusion and is inefficient. Students want instant access to campus services and immediate responses to issues and concerns. Face-to-face interaction may be limited by computer communication. Current protocol for documentation and student records requires excessive use of paper and can cause storage problems.

20 Web-Based Student Services
The Portal’s Role: A variety of services, including financial aid, registration, health services, and admissions, could all be accessed through one centralized location. Access to forms, information, and staff will be constant and instantaneous. Web-based student services allow for secure and confidential storage of information. The Doghouse provides anonymous information and resources to students who otherwise may not seek it out.

21 Student Learning Online
Points To Consider: Academic resources can be difficult to locate and expensive to purchase, which could discourage student usage. Not all students respond to traditional teaching methods.

22 Student Learning Online
The Portal’s Role: The portal will provide access to research materials and will also allow for communication with faculty and classmates via chat rooms. Students are often more likely to use and revisit sources that are posted on-line than paper documents (Kelly, 2001).. Technology paired with traditional teaching methods can serve to supplement learning for different learning styles. This type of technology can enhance collaboration among students and encourage higher levels of student participation (Kuh & Hu, 2001).

23 Assessment Points to Consider:
Assessment of student interests and use of services is often difficult. Quality assessment is needed in order to develop and maintain effective programs and services.

24 Assessment The Portal’s Role:
Student interests can be evaluated by observing how they customize their Doghouse. Students can easily access and submit on-line evaluations of student programs and services. Assessment information collected within the portal can be electronically downloaded into database programs such as Access and easily manipulated to yield results.

25 Alumni Connections Points to Consider:
Alumni who are more connected to the campus and can identify their interests are more likely to financially support campus programs. Some alumni may feel uncomfortable using this form of technology.

26 Alumni Connections The Portal’s Role
Alumni are able to personalize their own portal sites. These portals will allow the alumni association to more easily disseminate information. Although alumni will not receive formal training, the Telnet website will provide instruction on portal navigation.

27 Implementing the Portal

28 Facilities The Portal itself will require a server that can maintain the information in a secure format. Campus computer labs and students’ personal computers will be able to manage the usual number of students accessing the portal via the World Wide Web. We will install kiosk style access computers around major social areas on campus to provide greater access to the Doghouse.

29 Staffing To maintain the portal, we will need to hire an additional full-time computer programmer, with knowledge of XML, Java and server side administration (Brooks, 2002). This staff member will work with existing IT staff and departmental web masters to consolidate and update the Doghouse site. Staff members working with the site will be aware of the characteristics related to the creation of an effective portal: quality of content, interface, infrastructure, and degree of coupling (Johnson, 2001).

30 Marketing We will market the site to new students and parents during orientation while students are signing up for their accounts. Alumni will receive information in the mail explaining the portal and providing instructions for access and sign up. Current students will see information in residence halls, the newspaper, and in classrooms. They can attend workshops or information sessions to learn how to use this new site.

31 Funding Funding will be required to purchase or integrate the new programs needed to successfully run or manage the portal site. The new IT staff member will require a salary and benefits. Staff members and existing students will need to be trained to access, update, and integrate the portal. Student technology fees may increase, but will be receiving a valued increase in technology based services. Free software is available through UPortal sites at If funding is needed, advertising space can be added to the Doghouse site.

32 Assessment Prior to implementation we will conduct a campus-wide survey assessing student interaction, utilization of current web sites, student participation in extracurricular and co-curricular activities, as well as overall study satisfaction. One semester to one year after its implementation students, faculty and staff will be assessed based on the previous information as well as the portals usability and integration. Mini- assessments will be conducted throughout the semester in order to gauge the need for updated and/ or repairs to the portal site.

33 Limitations Implementation of the portal site may be hindered by the interests of various departments on campus. Those implementing the portal will need to decide among various characteristics to include on the site. The portal may be limited by student and user interest The portal’s capabilities may be limited by certain issues of privacy, policy, and security. The portal’s functioning may be limited by the capacity of our campus’s current server (Brooks, 2002).

34 Other Factors to Consider
Access Digital Divide: Computers will be readily available throughout campus and all residence hall rooms are internet ready. Although students and staff will come to campus with different levels of knowledge and comfort in using technology, through the availability of technology and campus-wide user training, we will be able to bridge this gap. We are working to identify the needs of certain socioeconomic and ethnic groups, students with disabilities, commuter students, and part time students, as it relates to this type of technology (Lewis, Coursol, & Khan, 2001).

35 Other Factors to Consider
Bandwidth Bandwidth can be limited by file-sharing programs, which may slow the university network. The IT staff will monitor the usage of these programs and explore the possibilities of acquiring additional bandwidth or using programs which restrict its use, if necessary (Olsen, 2001).

36 Other Factors to Consider
Institutional Policy Campus Community We understand that building hours and staffing needs will increase to allow for extended access once these changes are implemented. Code of Conduct Issues of on-line harassment and improper use and content will be addressed in campus policies and the code of conduct. Establishing a personalized portal site and account will require students to agree to these policies.

37 Discussion Is it our role to draw students from their rooms and computers and encourage face-to-face interaction? Does this actually hinder development? Does increased technology on campus really decrease face-to-face interaction and involvement on campus? Does the university as a whole need to change to accommodate today’s technologically savvy students? How do we strike a balance between providing the latest in technology to students and encouraging traditional forms of learning and interaction?

38 References Arone, M. (2001, November 2). Colleges try to figure out how to keep bandwidth costs under control [Electronic version]. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Astin, A. W. (1984). Student involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 34, Brooks, B. Frequently asked questions about uPortal. Retrieved April 15, 2002, from Carlson, S. (2001, March 16). A small college’s mixed results with technology [Electronic version]. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 1-6.

39 Carlson, S. (2002, April 4). New software blocks trades of music and
Carlson, S. (2002, April 4). New software blocks trades of music and video files outside the campus network [Electronic version]. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fickes, M. (2001). The power of portals: University IT departments are exploring the benfits and tribulations of building portals for students, faculty, staff and alumni. College Planning and Management, 45, Jackson, J. (2001, February 23). Uniting the campus through an online community: One example. Student Affairs Online, 2. Retrieved April 13, 2002, from Jacobson, C. (2000). Institutional information portals. Educause Review,

40 Johnson, K. (2001, February 23). A river runs through it: Considerations and issues when evaluating student portals. Student Affairs Online, 2. Retrieved April 13, 2002, from Kelly, T. M. (2001, July 13). Before plugging in, consider your options [Electronic version]. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Kuh, G. D. & Hu, S. (2001). The relationships between computer and information technology use, selected learning and personal development outcomes, and other college experiences. Journal of College Student Development, 42, Lewis, J., Coursol, D., & Khan, L. (2001). College A study of comfort and the use of technology. Journal of College Student Development, 42,

41 Strange, C. C. & Banning, J. H. (1998). Educating by design: Creating
Strange, C. C. & Banning, J. H. (1998). Educating by design: Creating campus learning environments that work. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco. Williams, L, Kolek, E., & Kluge, M. (2001, February 15). Is being “plugged in” changing campus life? A conversation. Student Affairs Online, 3. Retrieved April 13, 2002, from

42 Questions and Comments

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