EDUCAUSE - Academic Experience

Active learning with technology: bringing students, faculty, and information together

You will be joining a community of people devoted to creating and sharing information — activities that can be enhanced by information technology. Finding answers to the following questions can help you understand how technology is used to support learning and collaboration in your areas of interest or possible major(s).

Coursework—In and Out of Class

Q: 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.

Alvernia faculty and students embrace the use of instructional technology to enhance learning outcomes. Our Web-based course management system Blackboard allows for the online delivery of course materials (e.g., syllabus, handouts, and assignments) and provides online communication tools (e.g., discussion board, live chat, and e-mail) as well as tools for administering online tests, managing course grades and other course activities.

Additionally, course management tools are available in IQ.Web, the Web-based system that ties directly to the campus administrative system. Via IQ.Web, faculty members can post course announcements, correspond with students via e-mail, and initiate course-based forums.

Q: Are classrooms technology-enhanced?

All classrooms are enhanced with technology to varying degrees. Most classrooms are equipped with an LCD projector, computer, and VCR/DVD player. About 40% of our classrooms also have a document camera for displaying documents and objects. In addition, there are twenty classrooms with an interactive smartboard.

In both introductory and specialized courses, what opportunities are there for you to collaborate with other students using technology on project teams?

In many courses, Blackboard is utilized to provide online opportunities to students to work in groups for course projects. Students can download shared documents for reviewing and editing. The threaded discussion tool comes in handy for students to exchange ideas and share their learning experience.

Q: Does the school give credit for courses taken electronically (online/at a distance) from other institutions and sources of instruction?

Yes, if appropriate.

Support Services

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

The multimedia lab provides facilities for students to create multimedia work such as video clips and DVDs.

Q: 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?

From the library’s Electronic Resources Web page, the library catalog, research databases with full-text electronic journals, an electronic book collection, Subject Guides, an Internet Reference Library, the public library’s catalog, and other resources are available online and are accessible off-campus. Patrons can also search the FirstSearch WorldCat database containing more than 61 million library records held by over 9,000 member institutions. Streaming media are available in the EBSCO History database with over 87 hours of historical film and video, and in the field of health sciences via the Consumer Health and Patient Education Video Database. Electronic course reserves can be accessed via Blackboard.

Q: 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?

The library can deliver documents via e-mail, through Web posting, and in print. Interlibrary loan is offered as a free service and there are no fees charged for information resources that are not available in the library’s collections.

Q: 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?

Librarians are available by phone and in person for research assistance during all open hours. Questions can be e-mailed at any time, and responses are usually received within 24 hours. Additionally, the library offers Reference Research Assistance, a one-on-one session with a librarian, upon request. Forms are available on the Web site, or a request may be made by phone or in person.

Looking Toward Graduation and A Career

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

The teaching of information technologies is integrated into all university courses wherever appropriate.


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