If you teach in a computer classroom, the announcement that classroom computers are up for replacement may elicit both excitement and trepidation. The new machines promise to be faster, more reliable, and equipped with the latest technological enhancements, but will they still do what you need them to do to support the learning outcomes for your course? The Office of Information Technology (OIT) is implementing a new process that we hope will allay such fears and allow us to refresh computer classrooms with confidence.
The student computers in JBWS 161, 163, and 165, are up for replacement this summer. Replacement in JBWS 262 is also tentative, pending approval. To ensure that the student computers in these rooms are equipped with the hardware and software necessary for students to be successful in their classes, OIT is inviting faculty who teach in these rooms to provide input on the replacement computers before they are ordered. This process will involve three steps:
- Communicate Computer Hardware/Software Specifications: On March 23, faculty who have taught in the specified rooms during the current academic year and those who are scheduled in these rooms for Fall 2017 were provided the preliminary hardware and software specifications for the student computers. This lets faculty know what kind of computers will be in the room and what software will be installed.
- Collect Feedback and Requests: The notification to faculty included an link to a survey designed to collect their comments. After reviewing the preliminary specifications, faculty can provide feedback and/or make additional requests to OIT using this survey until April 7.
- Provide a Test Computer: OIT will provide a test computer that matches the preliminary specifications and addresses as many of the survey comments and requests as possible. Faculty will be able to try out any necessary programs or functionalities on the test computer and provide additional feedback to OIT staff before replacement computers are ordered. The test computer is expected to be available to faculty April 10-21 in Moody 309 (IT Help Desk).
OIT will review all feedback and work to address requests and potential issues prior to purchasing the new student computers. We hope this process will provide ample opportunity to verify that the computers in these classrooms will meet the needs of all faculty and students who will rely on them for the next few years.
For more information on the replacement of student computers in JBWS classrooms, or on the computer classroom replacement process in general, please contact Laura Lucas, Learning Spaces Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.