Louisiana State University (LSU) has improved retention rates with software that warns students who are falling behind in class and encourages those who are excelling. The 28,000-student institution also makes technology—including laptops and digital cameras—available to students who might not otherwise have access to the equipment. But what really distinguishes the school is its commitment to staff IT training and support.
Campus leaders have combined an online knowledge base with face-to-face assistance to help faculty integrate technology into their teaching and research.
For understanding that technology is only as effective as the people who use it, we’ve chosen LSU as our “eCampus of the Month” in June—a designation for colleges and universities that are national leaders in using technology effectively in the classroom, library, dormitory, and beyond.
Here, Brian Voss, LSU’s vice chancellor for information technology, describes the school’s approach in more detail. (To nominate your own campus for this award, go to: http://ecampusnews.eschoolmedia.com/ecampus-of-the-month.)
How does your campus use technology to advance student learning?
LSU uses Moodle as its learning management system. The Early Academic Referral System (EARS) is a program that has been developed by LSU and is incorporated into LSU’s Moodle to promote retention. EARS alerts students when they are not performing at level in the class, sends their information to the Center for Academic Success (CAS), and recommends that they receive assistance from CAS in the form of subject and study skills tutoring. EARS also sends encouraging messages to those students performing well in the class.
LSU recently built into its legacy student information system the Comprehensive Academic Tracking System (CATS), which tracks individual student progress toward degree completion. CATS tracks progress each semester by tracking critical requirements and provides the student feedback when s/he is not meeting those requirements.