eCampus of the Month: Redesigning learning spaces for digital-age students

How does your campus use technology to streamline administration and aid in decision-making?

A foundational component in our instructional technology architecture is the Carolina Computing Initiative (CCI). At the center of the initiative is the requirement that undergraduates own laptop computers that meet university specifications. More than 30,000 students have taken part in the program over the past 10 years.

In addition to serving undergraduate students, the program has equipped faculty and staff with the same computers and software that the students own, thus ensuring that faculty, staff, and students are all working with equivalent, high-quality technology. The program has offered a number of administrative benefits as well, including the quickest possible warranty repairs for CCI computers, extended warranties on the various computer models offered within the program, and a loaner program for those who need to have their computer repaired. Student support for laptops greatly facilitates our ability to move away from traditional computing lab models.

A critical component in our efforts to make classroom support decisions more data-driven is AMX’s Resource Manage Suite (RMS). RMS allows us to proactively maintain equipment in more than 200 general-purpose classrooms on campus, identifying potential problems before they cause classroom disturbances.

As a result, we have effectively eliminated downtime owing to equipment failure. If any disturbance in functionality does occur, the appropriate support staff are instantly notified by RMS and, if necessary, deployed to resolve the issue. In addition, RMS allows us to create instant web-based reports that help us to identify emerging trends in equipment use. These data also have proven invaluable in terms of informing our classroom equipment purchasing decisions.

Given the tight budget situation facing most universities, anything that we can do to make us more efficient and effective—in all areas—pays dividends in the form of being able to absorb budget reductions without greatly affecting services offered and while maintaining quality for the students, faculty, and staff.

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