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ITAC Activity Report for 2021-2021 - and Laptop Survey Results

ITAC Activity Report for 2021-2021 - and Laptop Survey Results

With the college operating at reduced occupancy and mostly remotely for the entire 2020-21 academic year, the Instructional Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC), a Shared Governance Committee reporting to the Purchase College Senate, has…

 

  1. Maintained our regular 6+ meeting schedule and academic technology planning activities online through Zoom. See the ITAC Collaboration site for Meeting Notes and other materials.

 

  1. Identified a need to improve the collaborative development of ITAC funding proposals to ensure that our efforts address strategic and curricular needs and maximize the impact of available funding.

 

  1. Researched ITAC allocation history over the last 5 yearsand its impact on computer labs, classrooms, and virtual learning spaces.

 

  1. In October ITAC examined and discussed the utilization of computer labs on campus over 2 years.

 

  1. Discussed the need to improve communication from ITAC to the campus, and began to develop a formal communication plan to increase student and faculty engagement on technology issues.

 

  1. In December ITAC developed a planning roadmap to address short and long-term priorities. The Roadmap includes initiatives to ensure the laptops are effectively employed to support student engagement and success

 

  1. Laptop Policy: ITAC researched and discussed the prevalence of laptop ownership, our laptop loan program in response to the pandemic, the number of resourced-challenged students we have, the relationship and utility of laptops to computer labs, the challenges and opportunities that each provides, the impact and opportunities that remote learning presents, and the potential long-term outlook beyond our “remote year” (and counting).

 

  1. To gather community feedback, in March an ITAC Task Force was formed to conduct a Laptop Policy Survey - and to look at how ITAC communicates with the campus. A Laptop Policy would formalize the Ad-Hoc laptop-loan program established last year to continue to ensure that every resource-challenged student who needs a laptop gets one – during the pandemic, and after.

 

The survey asked about existing laptop ownership rates, about the benefits of laptop ownership, about laptop use in the classroom, and a variety of other topics.

 

Survey Results: There were 235 faculty responses (~90%) and 306 Student Responses (~8.5%).

 

Faculty Survey responses: when asked: Are you in favor of instituting a campus-wide laptop policy? 49% of faculty were in favor of the adoption of a policy requiring laptop, 30% opposed, and 20% were Neutral. When asked: Do you see the benefits and opportunities as important? 61% of faculty agreed the benefits were important, 16% disagreed, ad 24% were Neutral.

 

The faculty responses include 36 pages of text comments. The biggest theme in faculty text comments was laptop affordability for resource challenged students, with smaller themes surrounding opportunities and on the necessity of technology skills today.

 

Student Survey responses: 90% reported owning a laptop already, and 75% meet the stated specifications. When asked Are you in favor of instituting a campus-wide laptop policy? 30% of students were in favor of the policy, 49% opposed, and 20% were Neutral.

When asked: Do you see the benefits and opportunities as important? 53% of students agreed the benefits were important, 21% disagreed, ad 26% were Neutral. There were also 28 pages of text comments from students. The overwhelming theme in the text comments was about laptop affordability for resource challenged students, and many students commented that the college should be providing them with laptops.

 

Summary: A majority of students and faculty agreed the benefits of laptops are evident. However, members of ITAC are similarly split on the laptop requirement. As a result, ITAC will not be recommending adoption of a Laptop Requirement Policy.

 

Instead, ITAC makes the following recommendation:

ITAC and The College declare our intent to continue providing resource challenged students with long-term computer loans for the duration of the pandemic and beyond. The College is committed to addressing the unequal access to technology that already exists, and to providing the technology to level the playing field for all students.

 

Declaring this intent means expanding the long-term-computer-loan program, and supporting it with ITAC funding. With about 750 resource-challenged students, the need may be as high as 175 students entering each year. SUNY provided us a one-time head start last year by providing 150 new laptops to CTS and to EOP. Going forward, ITAC and the College will work to identify and allocate resources each year to support long-term computer loans for high-need students.

 

  1. ITAC members assisted and participated in the CPS Academics Task Force Dual-Delivery initiative throughout the spring to pilot courses in Humanities and FMS. Dual-Delivery combines a section of in-person students (half the class) with a section of remote students (half the class) meeting at the same time and interacting through Zoom and large displays. While the experience for each of the groups is different, participants prefer it over fully remote classes, and some are enthusiastic about long term benefits and opportunities that Dual Delivery provides.

As a result of the Dula Delivery pilot, a large number of courses for Dual-Delivery format have been proposed by faculty for fall 2021. ITAC will continue working with academic leaders, the Registrar and others to identify technology investments need to be made -and at what scale.

 

ITAC supports the Dual Delivery initiative and the investment of ITAC and other resources to upgrade some of our learning spaces to add dual delivery capabilities.

 

  1. ITAC Proposal and Allocation Process: Due to the continuing pandemic emergency, the traditional ITAC Proposal and Allocation process for 2021-22 was suspended for a second year. ITAC notified all faculty and academic unit heads asking that faculty once again communicate their essential technology needs to the Academic Directors on 4/6/21 - the same process used last year. Remaining ITAC funding for 2021-22 will be applied to those Academic Directors Lists. ITAC plans to re-configure the proposal and allocation process next year to make it more collaborative, to formally assess the effectiveness of all ITAC investments, and to ensure adequate maintenance for existing facilities and services.

 

For next Academic Year (2021-22) ITAC plans to:

  1. Conduct an ITAC Retreat - A Half-day Working Meeting to engage other faculty, students, and Academic Leaders from across the campus, and to jump-start ITAC efforts to:
  2. Develop and flesh out a formal Communication Plan to inform the campus of ITAC Activities
  3. Re-affirm ITAC Mission Statement; Look at ITAC structure, subcommittees, and schedule
  4. Begin developing allocation procedure for 2021-22 that engages faculty and academic leaders to ensure strategic and clustered proposals that advance access to programs and curricula;
  5. Begin developing process and rubrics to conduct and document an assessment of prior year’s ITAC allocations. Determine what worked per expectations, what didn’t, and any lessons learned. Publish the results, and feed assessments into new proposals.
  6. Examine the stated purpose and utilization data for all 106 Smart Classrooms and all 70 Computer labs that appear on the September 2020 Master List. Develop a process for ongoing evaluation and right-sizing academic technology facilities and Learning Spaces over their entire lifecycle from inception to decommissioning. Move toward SUNY’s 20% learning space utilization target.
  7. Consider developing proposals for collaborative shared spaces to meet evolving curricular technology needs like Virtual Reality labs, Maker Spaces, and Exhibition spaces. Identify the interest in, requirements, scale, maintenance and staffing requirements, utilization goals.
  8. What technology does the college need to see in a renovated NS building?
  9. Review our Faculty Development Opportunities – what’s available, what’s working, what’s needed and what’s missing?
  10. Where are we with OERs – who’s using, who’s not, opportunities and problems.
  11. Where are we with LMS adoption - who’s using, who’s not, opportunities and problems.
  12. Consider SUNY Online opportunities (See White Paper and Charter)

 

IMPORTANT - Students and PSGA: The Instructional Technology Advisory Committee needs student members. There are 2 PSGA student seats on ITAC that have gone unfilled for several years. It is your technology, and we really need student voices at the table. If you are interested in technology, or would like to know more - please let us know.

 

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