5.10 Computer Labs
This portion of the Technology Master Plan considers the variety of computer labs
across campus. SCSU needs to address evaluation of support, equipment and software,
staffing, and coordination and training in these labs. Additionally, operational
and support responsibility vary from one type of computer lab to the next. This section
defines and addresses these issues.
A number of different types of computer labs exist across campus. These range
from areas open to all students, mixed labs (used for closed and open purposes),
curriculum labs, specific departmental labs, multipurpose/multi-user labs,
- Computers in open labs are loaded with a bundle of core software to
meet general student user needs. LR&TS technologists support these
workstations. Staffing of these labs is by part-time student workers. LR&TS
technologists train student workers, and additional real-time support comes
from GAs and faculty.
- Mixed labs (open and closed) may also be supported by college, multi-departmental,
or departmental funds and personnel. In some cases, special software has
been loaded for specific users.
- Closed labs, curriculum labs, and departmental labs are supported by
college, multi-departmental, or departmental funds. In some cases, these
labs require technical support and/or liaisons with technologists within
- The Miller Center, as a multipurpose/multi-user mixed lab, has mixed
support and funding, including assistance from GAs and faculty.
The general continuity of operation for computer labs needs to be addressed
in the following areas:
- hiring of student workers
- initial and on-going training of student workers
- supervision of student workers
- updates of software provided through university site licenses
- software management, i.e., the imaging process and other new technologies
- software and hardware availability for specialized instruction
- compliance with university hardware and software standards by all users
and support staff
- technology competency of students as related to faculty expectations
Some of these items are more fully addressed in other parts of this plan
(5.4, 5.9.2, 5.16, 5.17).
Over the next five years, the university will
- continue to consult with the Student Technology Fee Committee on monetary
support for labs
- identify concerns common to all labs and those limited by type of lab
- provide to personnel (faculty, technologists, and student workers) supporting
all types of labs appropriate initial training and additional training as
required by their duties (see 5.17)
- evaluate support provided to labs and develop for these facilities a clearly
defined support structure that includes determination of LR&TS technologists
and colleges and/or departments’ levels of responsibility
- continue to provide quality access for all users in open computer
- appropriate technical support will be available (see 5.16.1 and 5.17)
- hardware and software will remain current based on an appropriate
replace/upgrade cycle (see 5.9)
- users should have a mechanism for addressing inappropriate materials
or behaviors in campus labs
- regularly inform the campus community of the technology available at each
location and what level of support users for these facilities at these locations
- collect information during the five years of this plan to determine what
roles these computer labs play in teaching and learning on campus (see 5.4.2 and 5.4.4)
Specific Actions and Timeline
A committee will be established to evaluate computer labs on campus. This
committee should include members of the Student Technology Fee committee
and should regularly consult with that committee.
- The committee will follow the standard timeline (see 5.0) for carrying
out and reporting on specific actions.
- The committee will evaluate open, mixed, and discipline-specific computer
labs in the context of the goals.
- The committee should consider the concerns listed in the background
as part of its evaluation process.
- The number and complexity of the issues related to student labs may
lead the committee to develop a time-sensitive prioritization. Some issues
may need to be addressed in a short timeframe, while others may be addressed
at some later date in this planning cycle.
Resources to support closed computer labs should be well defined in order
to provide consistent and reliable service in these areas. Specific support
should be tied to particular cost-centers or all computer labs, and all
stakeholders should be aware of their obligation to support all types
of computer labs.
- Has the committee continued to consult with the Student Technology
- Has the committee identified and resolved common concerns for all
labs and particular issues for mixed and discipline-specific computer
- Has initial training for personnel (faculty, technologists, and student
workers) been provided? Has additional training required by personnel
duties been offered? And has training been effective and timely?
- Has the committee evaluated support provided to labs and developed
for these facilities a clearly defined support structure? Have support
issues associated with mixed and discipline-specific computer labs been
- Have open computer labs continued to provide adequate and robust support
to users, including technical support as well as current hardware and
software that is in legal compliance?
- Is the campus community regularly informed about the technology available
at each location as well as the level of support users at these facilities
- Has the committee determined what roles these computer labs play in
teaching and learning on campus?
- Have the committee's recommendations been reasonably implemented?
Revised: May 2003