Recommendation 8: IU must provide the information technology tools, infrastructure, and support services so that students may effectively engage in learning and research, appropriate to their various academic disciplines and areas of study. IT support for students should include technology support centers and a computing environment that is seamless across boundaries of campus, home, residence hall, and community.
Action 54. UITS, with the departments, schools and campuses, should develop a model for student technology support that provides:
This Action calls for expanding support availability for students from the IUB and IUPUI Support Centers by leveraging technology and staffing on both campuses. Implementation is expected to begin in early 2000. It is planned that Support Center hours will be extended on both campuses in Spring 2000. These expansions on the IUB campus coupled with a transition of IT Support Services to residents of the Halls, and at IUPUI will make telephone and personal support contact services available during the hours of greatest student demand evenings and weekends.
Action 55. UITS should work with the Halls of Residence and Residence Life, at IUB and IUPUI, to provide students with a seamlessly integrated computing environment, available on campus, in the residence halls, including academic support centers or from remote locations.
Throughout 1999, discussions between UITS and Residential Programs and Services (RPS) at IUB focused on how to best serve the IT needs of the residents of these facilities. By the third quarter, essential agreement for the transitioning of IT services from RPS to UITS had been achieved and the process of involving the residents in the transition commenced. UITS, RPS and the Residence Hall (RH) Association formed an RH Information Technology Committee to explore the needs of the residents for IT infrastructure and services, and to determine the budget and funding required to support that infrastructure and service suite.
The Committee determined the set of services to be offered and the budget required to deliver those services. The RH Association charged UITS and RPS with resolving minimal funding shortfalls for Academic Year 2000-2001, and with beginning the transition of service to UITS during Spring 2000. In this final step of the process, UITS and RPS will complete the process early in the first quarter of 2000, and the transition of responsibility and the modernization of IT infrastructure and integration of student computing services will commence immediately. The goals of this initiative are:
In anticipation of the agreement and this advancement of this initiative, UITS hired an experienced IT Support manager, who actively participated in the aforementioned process, and who will assume leadership of Residence Hall IT Services during the transition. Responsibility for IT support will be housed in the TLIT Division of UITS, though leadership of the transition project has been assigned to the Associate Vice President of the UITS Telecommunications Division because of that Division's extensive involvement in the modernization of network infrastructure.
Action 56. Housing on the IUPUI campus should be planned carefully with involvement of UITS and others, to ensure that it is developed as a premier living and learning community, making effective use of technology for student learning.
No new housing has been approved at IUPUI, but some is anticipated. Should this proceed, UITS will be involved in planning for the IT aspects of such housing.
Action 57. UITS, in partnership with Halls of Residence and Residence Life, should develop a program to provide teaching and learning technology and support services in one or more selected residence halls, as one part of an on-campus pilot in distributed learning.
Much of the effect of what is called for in this Action will happen as a result of the responsibility of IT services in the Halls of Residence transitioning from RPS to UITS.
Action 58. IU should consider a program of incentives to increase student ownership of computers, including some combination of direct financial assistance, negotiation of institutional discounts for student purchases, on-campus sales and support, and encouragement from the highest levels of the University. IU should further evaluate programs that would require computer ownership for all students.
This non-funded Action is implemented through the allocation of existing resources. Indiana University has not required students to own computers because of concerns that this would drive up student expenses. Nevertheless, the UITS User Survey reflects student computer ownership has increased over the past two years by 9.4% at IUB and by 6% at IUPUI.
IU's current strategy is to market the strength of IU's IT resources and provide guidance in the purchase and use of personally owned machines. UITS supplies the tools described below to help students select an appropriate computer.
An online Computer Guide for IUB and IUPUI students provides recommendations for buying computers or making currently owned ones compatible with the IU network, FAQs, instructions for connecting to the network, special offers, and Ethernet card information. The UITS Knowledge Base contains more than 50 searchable documents related to buying new and used equipment, using hardware and software, and using IU resources. Each summer all new students receive a letter outlining the benefits of computer ownership, and referencing the above resources. At New Student Orientation UITS staff are on hand to advise parents on student IT resources.
UITS also leverages the Institution's purchases of desktop computers by working with vendors to make the same high-quality, system-integrated workstations available for purchase by IU students (as well as faculty and staff). Success in this endeavor is evident in the extensive purchases made this past year as part of the life-cycle funding and modernization initiatives (Actions 1-3). Beyond these leveraged deals, UITS works with a complete set of vendors (including Apple, Dell, Compaq, Gateway, and others) on special deals for computer purchase. Data from June-September show that 567 faculty, staff, and students made personal purchases solely from the Dell offering. Software licensing agreements with Microsoft, Corel, Hummingbird, Norton, and SPSS provide software at either no cost or low cost, which reduces the overall cost of computer ownership for IU constituents, and improves the value of their investments.
Students living in the Halls of Residence have Ethernet connections to the IU network, and this will be enhanced as part of the transition of IT services to UITS in the coming year. Remote access to University resources is provided on the core campuses, which further improves the value of ownership by providing Internet access to home-based computers. IUB has increased the number of PPP connections to the digital modem pool to 1,472. IUPUI has 874 modems of all types in the central modem pool, and UITS maintains 96 modems at the School of Medicine and an additional 48 at the School of Dentistry. While modem usage continues to climb, both campuses are meeting demand.
Plans are under way to pilot personal workstation connectivity at IUB and IUPUI through the use of wireless networks (see Action 51). By expanding the network beyond physical connectivity and enabling more mobile personal computing, IU will enrich and broaden the value of computer ownership for students.
VII. Telecommunications  |  Table of Contents  |  IX. Digital Libraries and the Scholarly Record
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