This activity lead the development of an aggressive plan to infuse technology into the educational programs of Prairie View A&M University as a central element of the University’s commitment to increase student learning and to provide opportunities for faculty and student involvement in the latest technology innovations. Over the past five year Title III funding cycle, this activity has addressed elements of this educational strategy through enhanced use of the Internet both for web and video based training activities and for interaction with the larger global community. The specific elements addressed in this activity were upgrade of the University Learning Management System to WebCT 6.0, increased use of Web instructional utilities such as Respondus, StudyMate, and Respondus LockDown Browser, Digital Communications, The Access Grid, and Telemedicine.
Technology-based facilities available for faculty and student use were upgraded. The video conferencing facility in Room 123 New Science Building was completed. The Distance Learning Laboratory in the 1A108 Hobart Taylor Building has had its Video Conferencing System upgraded. The Faculty Training site in 217 Delco is complete and the Northwest Graduate Center is fully operational with (2) Video Conferencing facilities. Distance learning staff were actively involved in providing support to the College of Nursing in bringing the technology infrastructure of their new building into operation. The building houses five classrooms, three conference rooms and an Auditorium with video conferencing capability. There is a state of the art Human Simulator training facility housed within the building. Each classroom has appropriate technology for video-based instructional delivery. The wireless network provides support for the DyKnow Learning Management System. An Access Grid node has been established in 217 Delco to permit students and faculty to participate in teaching and research activities conducted over the high speed of Internet 2. A Telemedicine Site has been established in the Owens-Franklin Health Center to permit staff to participate in Continuing Medical Education activities. This unit is also capable of supporting distance medical consultation.
The Activity has also sought partnerships and collaboration with external agencies and entities to support development of technology utilization and infrastructure. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Houston Area Urban League for involvement in a Community Network that includes Distance Learning activities. Site visits were conducted to the Paul Quinn College site in Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Urban League Office, the Forest Brook High School in the North Forest School District, and the Kashmere Gardens High School in the Houston ISD.
The most direct impact on students has been the increase in the opportunity to participate in Distance courses offered through the Web or through instructional television via the North Star Network. The number of courses offered by various departments has increased significantly and the number of full online degree programs is increasing. The largest unexpected impact on the University has been the acceptance of the Distance Learning web-based Evaluation package, TrueOutcomes, as a tool for the evaluation of Learning Effectiveness across the curriculum. The Colleges of Education, Nursing, and Engineering are using this package for preparation for their next Unit accreditation visits.
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