At Mary Washington College, we’ve begun to examine several aspects of the academic network computing environment. In fact we have four separate but related studies underway and plans to specifically discuss one of them at our meeting.
One study focuses on first-year faculty and student experiences and expectations regarding the campus academic network environment. This is the one we will be sharing with others at our meeting. For it we have begun to collect background computing experience data from new faculty and students as they join our College. Beginning this baseline data will enable us to look for trends as well as better understanding their training needs. Interesting comparisons are being made between experience levels of faculty and students for several types of computing experiences. Additionally, focus group interviews and email responses to brief surveys pertaining to expectations and experiences with the network environment are included. Data are still being collected, analyzed, and interpreted at this time. While a final written document will not be ready for our meeting, we will have results to speak from and some handouts that explain the study. This manuscript is being submitted for ED-MEDIA ’98.
A second study involves our library staff and examines the methods they use for providing training to students. The title of it is “Comparative Effects of Email and Traditional Library Assignments.” Data have been collected and are being analyzed at this time
A third study investigates the “Effects of Introductory Email Training and First-Semester Experiences on First-Year Faculty and Students’ Stages of Concern Toward the Campus Academic Network Environment.”
A fourth study which examines the nature of computing difficulties and the effectiveness of our campus computing Help Desk is pending. Several personnel changes and new Help Desk software have delayed this investigation.