Academic Experience—Active learning with technology that brings students, faculty, and information together

EDUCAUSE Question
University of Delaware Resources

Coursework—in and out of class

How does the campus use technology to enhance teaching, learning, and access to information in your areas of interest? Examples include online syllabi, Web-based discussion groups and project teams, and electronic portfolios.

 

Instructors use online syllabi, online discussion groups, Web-based instruction, and other electronic technologies to enhance teaching and learning.

At UD, instructors use the MyCourses (powered by WebCT) learning management system.

Are classrooms technology-enhanced?

Yes. Classrooms are technology-enhanced in many ways. State-of-the-art video and data projectors, DVD players, and touch-screen panels are installed in most classrooms. All classrooms have Ethernet connections so faculty can easily connect a laptop computer to the projection system as well as wireless access to enable problem-based learning.

In both introductory and specialized courses, what opportunities are there for you to collaborate with other students using technology on project teams? UD has two special initiatives with the goal to engage the interests of students who will work both individually and in groups to solve problems using library, computer, and/or laboratory resources as research tools. Students will engage in critical thinking, use basic mathematics to solve problems, and report results in one or more of several media. The first initiative is called Pathways to Discovery.

The second initiative, LIFE (Learning: Integrated Freshman Experience), is designed to combine academic and residential components. In the LIFE program, groups of 20 freshmen will share a residence hall and take a cluster of courses together. Working with a peer mentor, they will engage in a service learning project that ties together key themes from their academic courses.

Since 1997, the University of Delaware Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education (ITUE) has worked with more than 250 members of UD to reform undergraduate education through faculty development and course design. ITUE is the recognized leader in faculty development in problem-based learning.

In addition, Information Technologies (IT) provides free classes, Web resources, computer site assistance (departmental sites specifically for majors), and consulting opportunities.

Does the school give credit for courses taken electronically (online/at a distance) from other institutions and sources of instruction? Students receive credit for college-level, non-remedial courses taken electronically at a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

Support services

How does the campus provide access for students to work with multimedia (audio and video)?

 

Courses that require students to work with audio and video provide these facilities. The student run television network, radio station, and student newspaper also provide opportunities to gain experience with multimedia.

Are library collections and resources—such as catalogs, research databases, special collections, course reserves, full-text electronic journals, books, and streaming media—available online and accessible off-campus?

The UD Library has an online catalog, databases, special collections, and other resources linked from its Web site. Students can link to the Library's reserve site to access course reserve materials. Off-campus access for UD students, faculty, and staff is available through a proxy server.

 

Can the library deliver documents to you electronically, either via e-mail or through Web posting? Does the library charge a fee when information resources that you need are not available in its collections? Any student can submit any number of InterLibrary Loan (ILL) requests at no cost to the student. Most ILL documents (e.g., periodical articles) are delivered as PDF documents. Assuming that the publication that has been requested is available electronically, students are sent an e-mail message that includes a link to retrieve their document, which is posted to a password-restricted Web site. If the requested publication is not available in electronic format, it is sent via regular mail.
Does the library provide research assistance in a variety of ways, such as in person, by phone, by e-mail, and through Web services? When are these forms of assistance available? Assistance is available in person, by phone, via e-mail and through the Web service AskRef Live! AskRef Live! is a service that allows UD students, faculty, and staff to interact with librarians in a real-time electronic environment. For all types of research assistance, students can go to the Ask A Librarian section of the Library's Web site.

Looking toward graduation and a career

Does the campus offer general or profession-specific training programs that will ensure you are fluent in current information technologies when you graduate?

 

Each department has different types of courses and methods for imparting IT information related to the major and careers that require it. Most courses use technology for communication, discussion—and increasingly—for delivering elements of the course through the campus' course management system, WebCT.

In May 2004, the University's Faculty Senate passed a resolution asking all departments to make every effort to incorporate the goals concerning written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, and information technology within courses across the entire range of undergraduate offerings

The Information Technologies (IT) unit offers free, non-credit, 2-3 hour classes on computer topics each semester and an extensive library of instructional materials that can be checked out. A sample of some of the course offerings can be seen on the Professional Development Calendar, which is updated every semester.