Technology Plan


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Technology Plan

  1. 1. Technology Plan<br />An evaluation of<br />Texas State Technical College West Texas<br />Technology Resources<br />
  2. 2. Transforming American Education<br />Excerpt from the National Education Technology Plan, 2010.<br />“Just as technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work, we must leverage it to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences, content, and resources and assessments that measure student achievement in more complete, authentic, and meaningful ways.Technology-based learning and assessment systems will be pivotal in improving student learning and generating data that can be used to continuously improve the education system at all levels.Technology will help us execute collaborative teaching strategies combined with professional learning that better prepare and enhance educators’ competencies and expertise over the course of their careers.” (U.S. Department of Education, 2010)<br />
  3. 3. Texas State Technical College<br />TSTC’s purpose is explained in Vernon’s Texas Education Code Section 135.01:<br />“The Texas State Technical College System shall contribute to the educational and economic development of the State of Texas by offering occupationally-oriented programs with supporting academic coursework, emphasizing highly specialized advanced and emerging technical and vocational areas for certificates or associate degrees.” (TSTC)<br />
  4. 4. Regulatory Compliance<br />TSTC West Texas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The SACS Commission on Colleges is the recognized regional accrediting body for institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and/or doctoral degrees. Accreditation signifies that the institution has a purpose appropriate to higher education and has resources, programs, and services sufficient to accomplish its purpose on a continuing basis.<br />The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states.  The Commission’s mission is the enhancement of educational quality throughout the region and it strives to improve the effectiveness of institutions by ensuring that institutions meet standards established by the higher education community that address the needs of society and students.  (SACS)<br />
  5. 5. A survey of program chairs from the four locations of Texas State Technical College West Texas yielded a ninety-six percent positive response when asked if the library provides appropriate resources to support the programs. The comparison of two questions in the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory, a college-wide survey, reflected in library resources.(TSTC ORPA, 2005)<br />Library & Information Resources<br />
  6. 6. Texas State Technical College West Texas provides and supports students and faculty with learning/information resources necessary to meet the needs of the students and are consistent with the degrees and certificates offered by the institution.<br />The learning/information resources include physical collections, computer stations, computer software, on-line databases with research capabilities, student and user training, and routine library services such as copying, microfilm readers, study and work areas, computer printing in both color or black and white, and interlibrary loans. (TSTC ORPA, 2005)<br />
  7. 7. The institution, through ownership or formal arrangements or agreements, provides and supports student and faculty access and user privileges to adequate library collections as well as to other learning/information resources consistent with the degrees offered. These collections and resources are sufficient to support all its educational, research, and public service programs.<br />TSTC West Texas provides a library and learning/information technology infrastructure that adequately supports student learning and faculty research and service. Formal agreements provide on-line services with state and national on-line databases. The on-line services extend our learning/information resources, allowing users to access information and do research from home twenty-four hours a day. (TSTC ORPA, 2005) <br />
  8. 8. Technology Support<br />Support services enable students and faculty to access the telecommunications infrastructure employed by TSTC West Texas. The Network and Telecommunication Services Department (NTS) is responsible for networking, telephones, distance learning/video equipment, and web-based operations for TSTC West Texas. The main areas described below include computer access, distance learning labs, and e-mail services.<br />
  9. 9. Computer Access for Students, Faculty & Staff<br />The NTS Department staffs, supports and maintains the TSTC network used by students, faculty and staff. The Sweetwater campus network is based upon a 100 mg fiber backbone connecting the instructional, student services and administrative buildings on the campus.<br />Network services are used by students in campus housing through T1 or dial-up connections. In addition, dial-up connection to the network is available to off-campus students and employees. All network activities for the four TSTC West Texas locations are supported from the main campus.<br />The NTS Department provides technical support for faculty, staff, and students for all computer issues, both software and hardware. Computer access for all students and employees is established through the NTS Department. In addition, college telephone and distance learning equipment are maintained by the NTS Department.<br />
  10. 10. Colleague<br />The database management system used by TSTC West Texas is Colleague, a system developed by Datatel.<br />Colleague is used by faculty for numerous functions.<br />For example, faculty advising is supported by information maintained in Colleague.<br />Using Colleague, an instructor can locate students to schedule meetings, access class rosters, view student transcripts to check progress in courses, and determine the level of financial aid--all functions that are important to academic advising.<br />Colleague is also used extensively by the Director of Institutional Research and administrative staff and support personnel to obtain data for decision-making purposes and to support day-to-day operations.<br />Training for faculty and staff in Colleague has been provided at TSTC West Texas Development Days. In addition, the college has sent staff to specialized training sessions offered by Datatel.<br />Evaluations of Development Day training are conducted by the Coordinator of Faculty/Staff Development.<br />Datatelconducts evaluations by end-users of all of its training regarding the operation of the system. <br />
  11. 11. WebAdvisor<br />Faculty can post grades through WebAdvisor, which is a web-based interface to Colleague.<br />Using WebAdvisor allows faculty to be responsible for students' grades while bypassing the extra intermediate step of submitting grades, in a paper format, to the Registrar.<br />WebAdvisoralso provides a variety of services for students including registration capability and access to student grade reports.<br />Faculty who are budget custodians also use Colleague to monitor their departmental budgets.<br />WebAdvisor is maintained by the college NTS department. Web Advisor, a web-based interface to Colleague, the college's database, is used by students to register online and to check grades.<br />Faculty use Web Advisor to input grades and to check class rosters.<br />The NTS department resets passwords for students, but the main Web Advisor system is supported through the TSTC System office. <br />
  12. 12. Student Satisfaction<br />One gauge of the effect of the NTS department on students is the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI). The most recent SSI, administered in December 2003, indicated a very low (.03) performance gap between the importance of the e-mail server in providing student communication and students' satisfaction with the service.<br />In addition, a committee of NTS users reviews the needs of the college for information technology equipment and assesses the service provided in the operation and maintenance of the equipment.<br />The committee makes recommendations for improvements in service and recommendations for equipment purchases to the Vice President for immediate action or for incorporation into the NTS Department's Unit Action Plan and for presentation to the Budget Committee. <br />
  13. 13. Library<br />The library is an important support service for instruction and collections are located at the four TSTC West Texas library locations, and the electronic collections accessible to all students, faculty, and staff, support the programs offered at the college.<br />Additional resources in the libraries at each location provide open computer labs for students. The main campus in Sweetwater provides 40 computers for student use, and the Abilene, Breckenridge, and Brownwood extensions provide 16, 11 and 9 respectively.<br />A computer with a large monitor and Zoom Text software is available at each of the four TSTC West Texas locations for students who are visually impaired.<br />Software specified by faculty has been installed to aid students who need additional time with a computer to complete assignments.<br />The library network also maintains graphing calculators (TI 86 and TI 85) to loan to students for College Algebra and other applicable classes. Projectors are also available at each location for faculty to borrow for classroom presentation projects.<br />Library personnel provide an orientation to the library resources during the new student orientation class and assist patrons with library resources on an on-demand basis. The staff help students with computer skills and introduce them to the libraries' in-house and electronic collections.<br />PLATO, the web-based developmental software used by the college for computer-assisted instruction, is accessible through the computers located in the libraries.<br />Library staff also provide research assistance for faculty, staff, and administrators.<br />
  14. 14. Media Resources<br />The Media Center provides a variety of services to support instructional activities. The Video Production Assistant operates a Xerox Document Center 480ST that allows documents to be duplicated whether the document is sent electronically by the initiator or delivered to the site.<br />Tests, classroom information, college brochures, pamphlets, and faculty development resources are all copied at the Media Center.<br />The Media Center also supports instructional operations with an HP 400 Scan Jet 4, a VCR for tape duplicating, a laminator, and video production equipment. <br />With the Media 100 system (Sony screen, Apple Tower, Sony and Panasonic Editing Bay, and Mackie Audio Mixer), the Media Specialist edits video and adds sounds to provide a complete video presentation for classroom and marketing use.<br />The Video Production Assistant also takes digital and 35 mm photos for instructional projects and assists in the development of electronic presentations.<br />The Media Center staff member troubleshoots problems with audio-visual equipment and performs required maintenance, as well as delivering equipment loaned from the library for classroom activities and aiding instructors with presentations. <br />
  15. 15. Use of Technology in Student Learning<br />Based on recent survey responses of each program at each TSTC West Texas location regarding its use of technology, researchers have concluded that each educational program within TSTC West Texas uses some form, and in many cases numerous forms, of technology to enhance student learning in the classroom and/or laboratory.<br />In each case, the technology used is appropriate for meeting the objectives of the programs as recommended by the various program Advisory Committees. In a January 2004 survey, 28 of 36 program chairs responded. Of these 28, 100 percent indicated that Texas State Technical College West Texas is in compliance with this comprehensive standard. <br />
  16. 16. Student Access to Technology<br />By the very nature of TSTC's legislatively mandated mission, i.e. to train a workforce able to work in "highly specialized advanced and emerging technical and vocational areas," TSTC must integrate effective use of technology in the classroom to produce employable graduates. <br />All students have regular access to a variety of different technologies that enhance their learning both in and outside the classroom. Each program at each TSTC West Texas location uses at least some form of technology in the classroom and/or laboratory in order to enhance student learning.<br />Additionally, each TSTC West Texas location provides students with access to various technologies outside the classroom in the form of student resource centers, libraries, the Internet, and computer labs.<br />
  17. 17. Computer Literacy<br />Most programs require their students to complete a least one course that ensures a basic level of computer literacy.<br />Of the programs offered at TSTC West Texas, 95 percent of all programs of study that lead to associate degrees, and 71 percent of all programs that lead to certificates, require their students to complete at least one of the following courses:<br /><ul><li>ITSC1301, Introduction to computers;
  18. 18. ITSC1309, Integrated Software Applications I; or
  19. 19. ITSC1321, PC Operating Systems – Windows. </li></li></ul><li>Technological Tools in Classrooms and Labs<br />The following are some of the various different technological tools used in the classrooms and laboratories across TSTC West Texas:<br /><ul><li>Computers and program-specific software
  20. 20. Projection systems to include overheads and PowerPoint
  21. 21. Interactive television for distance learning
  22. 22. The Internet
  23. 23. On-line student assessment tools
  24. 24. Networks to provide students better and distributed access to resources
  25. 25. Instructional software developed by industry</li></li></ul><li>Distance Learning Labs<br />Each TSTC location operates at least two distance learning (DL) labs: Sweetwater (5), Abilene (4), Breckenridge (3), and Brownwood (2).<br />Videoconferencing units at each location provide the capability for multi-location meetings and immediate access to a librarian for students and employees throughout the TSTC library network.<br />An Accord bridge/multi-conferencing unit (MCU) and two Madge MCUs enable the college to operate H.320 and H.323 video systems. Two T-1 lines connect the main campus to every extension to deliver Internet and distance learning services. All support for the distance learning system, including scheduling of classrooms, is provided by the NTS Department.<br />
  26. 26. On-Site Services<br />Sweetwater<br />24 computer labs394 computers in all labs339 computers with internet<br />Abilene<br />17 computer labs274 computers in all labs225 computers with internet<br />Breckenridge <br />5 computer labs71 computers in all labs66 computers with internet<br />Brownwood<br />11 computer labs167 computers in all labs141 computer with internet<br />
  27. 27. Networking & Telecommunications<br />The Networking and Telecommunications Department supports the college's effort to deliver networking services to all of the college locations. Texas State Technical College West Texas offers high bandwidth internet and WAN connectivity to all faculty, students, and staff.<br />All TSTC West Texas locations have local connectivity speeds of 100 mbps. Because of this connectivity, TSTC West Texas is able to offer distance learning labs (both H320 and H323 units), student and faculty web page hosting, internet access, e-mail services, an on-line registrar program called Web Advisor, and various student learning labs.<br />Technical support is available to all faculty, staff, and students. Technical support can include on-site assistance, telephone, or web-based email support.<br /> <br />
  28. 28. Suggestions for Improvement<br /><ul><li>Encourage faculty participation in professional development activities through industry associations.
  29. 29. Advertise “Help Desk” resources so that students are aware of the assistance available.
  30. 30. Utilize lab technicians in each computer lab to ensure that help is available to students and faculty can focus on teaching courses and advising students.
  31. 31. Upgrade software in labs to the latest versions so that students have access to industry standard versions.</li></li></ul><li>Resources<br />TSTC Web Site:<br />TSTC West Texas Web Site:<br />Moodle LMS<br />WebAdvisor:<br />Employee Intranet:<br />
  32. 32. Works Cited<br />SACS. (n.d.). Commission on Colleges. Retrieved May 11, 2011, from The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools : <br />TSTC. (n.d.). History – "Born from a Vision: A Strong Texas". Retrieved May 12, 2011, from Texas State Technical College:<br />TSTC ORPA. (2005). Texas State Technical College West Texas Compliance Audit Report. Retrieved May 13, 2011, from TSTC Institutional Effectiveness and Information Research:<br />U.S. Department of Education. (2010, March 05). National Education Technology Plan 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2011, from<br /> <br />
  33. 33. Copyright Information<br />All photographic images are royalty-free and purchased with a standard license from<br />Text within presentation is attributed to the authors listed on the “Works Cited” page.<br />Screen captures © 2011, Kirsten R. Fowler-Cooper<br />Presentation © 2011, Kirsten R. Fowler-Cooper<br />