Part 3 - Comprehensive Standards
  

3.4.12  The institution’s use of technology enhances student learning and is
appropriate for meeting the objectives of its programs. Students have
access to and training in the use of technology. (Technology use)

Compliance
Partial Compliance
Non-Compliance

Narrative

For decades, The University of New Orleans has provided comprehensive Information Technology services to students, faculty, and staff through a redundant and reliable IT infrastructure for all the University mission critical computing systems and services.  This includes: reliable on- and off-campus networks, university-class computational resources for campus researchers, wireless networks, IT training, desktop support, academic-administrative software support, computing lab facilities, library and tutoring services, and overall reliable state-of-the art computing technologies which enhance student learning.  As the demand for technology and ubiquitous access has grown, the University has adapted its IT infrastructure accordingly. The University's major academic technology resources and programs are outlined below.

University of New Orleans IT Structure and Resources

University Computing and Communications (UCC) is the University of New Orleans department responsible for information technology resources.  UCC is a comprehensive Information Technology service organization that maintains and operates core Information Technology systems and services for the University providing support for Academic Computing, Administrative Computing, Servers and Networks, User Training and Support, and Telephony 

Computing Systems Accounts:  Every student, faculty and staff member receives accounts for the following computing systems: Email, Local Area Network (LAN), Moodle (UNO’s Learning Management System), SharePoint, and WebSTAR (for course registration, grades, etc.).  All accounts share the same user id and password.

Learning Management System:  UNO was an early adopter of the Blackboard LMS in 1999, and it remained UNO’s LMS until June of 2011 when it adopted Moodle as its current LMS.  The University of New Orleans uses Moodlerooms' Joule platform, a hosted, online learning solution based on an open-source Moodle core.   Joule is an online learning platform that makes it easy to manage courses and deliver engaging content and activities to students, anytime, anyplace.   Presently, all courses offered by the University are Moodle-ready and available to any student and can be configured as desired by the instructor to provide a syllabus, course policies and contact information, a calendar, course lectures (in various formats), electronic resources, assignments, assessments, grades, discussions (via forums), and virtual classrooms (chat rooms).  Moodle course shells are automatically created when courses are officially made available for registration each semester, and the instructor of record and students are automatically enrolled.  Faculty are required to post at a minimum a syllabus and policies for each conventional classroom course they are teaching as part of the business continuity plan. One Director, certified by Moodlerooms in Moodle and Joule system administration and a supervised staff of student workers provide training and technology support.   An administrator at the University Computing and Communications Help Desk, and network and enrollment specialists from UCC provide backup administrative capabilities and back-end management of Moodle’s network and enrollment functions.   Faculty are trained by the Office of Instructional Technology in the development of courses and the use of the LMS, or they can also request one-on-one or small group training, or may attend scheduled workshops on specialized topics on the use of digital instructional tools and best practices.  Additional user training and documentation is offered as needed through the Help Desk.

Email System:  UNO maintains a central email system, which is available to all registered university users.  Exchange is an email client/server system that offers advanced calendaring and email features, and collaboration tools.  Email can be accessed locally through a client-mail program or anywhere through the Web. Recently, the University transitioned student email to use Microsoft Office 365 technology. UNO now offers every student 25GB email storage, a campus-wide integrated calendar, and a host of versatile collaboration tools to create and share documents with project teams, colleagues, and clubs across the Internet.

Helpdesk and Desktop Support: The University operates Help Desk and Desktop Support units that provide hardware and software services for the UNO community. These units provide the University with a helpful, single point of service for computing account services, peripherals, desktop and mobile devices software and hardware, and support for UNO’s main computing systems.  The Help Desk and Desktop Support units are staffed by full time staff members and student workers during normal business hours and weekends.  The staff maintains an informational Website containing frequently asked questions, user guides for many online services, and online utilities for email and password maintenance, as well as pointers to general university information, policies, and procedures. Services can be requested by telephone e-mail, or in person.

WebSTAR portal: (Web Student Admission and Registration)  WebSTAR is a single sign-on location, which provides students access to the University’s most important Web-based services and information. The portal provides students with access to key services that include course registration, scheduling, grades, transcripts, fees, financial aid, parking services, and personal information.  WebSTAR Mobile provides the same services as the Web portal as well as access to a campus map, emergency notifications, course catalog, news, and other services.   

Campus Network:  UNOnet provides wired, wireless, and remote network access to the main campus as well as to the Jefferson and East campuses.  The network consists of a 10 Gigabit Ethernet core interconnecting all buildings on the main campus via a fiber-optic gigabit backbone.  Approximately 5000 individual network connections are serviced on the main campus at data rates of 100 or 1000 Mb/sec.   Wireless connectivity is available throughout all major areas on campus.

Research Computing:  The University is a member of the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI) and an Affiliate Member of UCAID (Internet 2).  LONI is a state-of-the-art, fiber optics network that runs throughout Louisiana, and connects Louisiana and Mississippi research universities to one another as well as to the National LambdaRail and Internet2.   Through LONI, researchers have access to one of the most powerful supercomputing resources available to any academic community with over 85 teraflops of computational capacity from systems based at Louisiana universities, 5.6 teraflops of which is directly provided by a 128 node Dell Linux cluster supercomputer located at UNO Lakefront campus.  In addition, LONI provides access to the TeraGrid community, the world's largest, most comprehensive distributed cyber infrastructure for open scientific research.  Through our association with LONI, UNOnet currently has access to the following Internet services: Commodity Internet (I1) at 90 Mb/sec, Internet2 (I2) at 1 Gigabit/sec, and National Lambda Rail at 10 Gigabit/sec (for Supercomputer clustering and Grid based computing support).

SharePoint: UNO’s intranet is based on SharePoint. An intranet provides increased security by requiring authenticated logon to gain access. In addition to being an intranet portal, SharePoint is a content management system and a document management system. SharePoint hosts a variety of collaborative tools including shared documents, blogs, wikis, and routing forms. The campus intranet has been logically divided into two portals: an administrative portal for faculty and staff and a collaborative portal for student-oriented sites.  

ResNet: is a free high-speed Internet wired and wireless service provided to all students living in Lafitte Village and Pontchartrain Hall North and South. 

Student Computing Labs: The technology fee provides UNO students with two types of computing facilities:  Open Tech Fee labs and Departmental Labs.  Open Tech Fee labs are general use facilities located throughout campus and available to any enrolled UNO student on a first-come, first-served basis.  Student lab assistants are on duty to help users with system related problems. Departmental labs are facilities available to address special computing needs of specific majors and used by specific departments or courses.   

LabStats: LabStats is a system that monitors computer availability in all tech-fee (student open) labs and several departmental labs on campus.  With this system students can use a computer browser or mobile device to view real-time computer availability as well as a map of computers labs and locations.

Mathematical Computing: To assist students and faculty, UNO licenses MATLAB and Mathematica.  MATLAB integrates mathematical computing, visualization, and a powerful language to provide a flexible environment for technical computing.  Mathematica is the tool of choice for scientific research, in engineering analysis and modeling, from simple calculator operations to large-scale programming and interactive document preparation. MATLAB and Mathematica are installed in all Student Open Labs and several departmental labs on campus.

Statistical Computing:  As a Carnegie Research University, UNO is committed to the process of discovery.  To assist researchers, including graduate and under-graduate students with quantitative analysis, UNO supports SAS and SPSS for statistical computing.  The university has a site license for these packages, and SAS and SPSS are installed in all Student Open Labs and several departmental labs on campus.

Learning Resource Center (LRC):  The LRC offers a Writing Center, a Math Tutor Center and tutoring in other subject areas, as well as a computer lab and a Media Library to supplement UNO courses in Mathematics, Sciences, and Liberal Arts.   In Spring 2014, the LRC implemented the Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program, a retention initiative with long range benefits that identifies historically difficult courses and offers weekly out-of-class review sessions for students. The weekly review sessions are facilitated by undergraduates who have recently taken the course successfully. Attendance is voluntary and all students enrolled in the course are encouraged to attend the review sessions. Students who attend the sessions have a chance to meet other students in the class and compare notes, discuss important concepts covered in class, and develop strategies for studying so that they will be better prepared for tests. The goal of the program is to improve student grades and help students develop more effective ways of studying. What students learn in SI will help in other classes as well.

Orientation, First Year Advising, and First Year Experience:  Technology is an important tool for all UNO students, especially for first year students and UNO offers services and support to enhance the student’s experience.   The New Student Orientation program introduces students to resources and information designed to offer assistance with the transition to university and student life at UNO.  The orientation program features small group discussions directed by current UNO students to introduce university resources, campus facilities, student services, social and recreational activities, and to answer questions concerning UNO technology and services. New students have other resources in place to assist with their transition to UNO: First Year Advising is aimed to assist students in attaining their goals and provide them with a solid foundation in higher education that will ease their transition into their program of choice. First Year Experience is designed to provide support services that address academic, personal, and social needs to promote student success.   

The Privateer Enrollment Center (PEC):  The PEC provides a “one-stop shop” for all enrollment services at UNO.  The center is located on the first floor of the Earl K. Long Library and houses all components of the Office of Enrollment Services, including First Year Advising (FYA). The PEC can assist students with academic advising, investigate financial aid, enrollment, registering for classes, paying fee bills, obtaining parking decals, as well as, obtaining answers to questions.

Departmental Resources: Individual colleges and departments maintain technical resources that serve their students.  Each department approaches the special computing needs of its majors and graduate students differently, and available equipment and software varies considerably according to those needs and the financial resources of the department. 

Earl K. Long Library:  As a major center of academic support outside of the classroom, UNO’s Earl K. Long Library provides both access to and instruction and training in the use of information and communication technologies to support student learning. The Library is responsible for the administration and supervision of several high-traffic technology spaces central to student learning. Technology resources in the Library include over 100 desktop PCs in the Library’s Learning Commons and on the 2nd & 3rd floors of the Library; networked printers (color & monochrome); one planetary and two flatbed scanners for student use ; five group study rooms for student collaborative work equipped with computers; and two library instruction classrooms, one with 16 computers and one with 32 laptops. Each classroom has a PC for instructor use and projection equipment to allow for hands-on learning.  Additionally, the Library provides 19 laptops and three netbooks for student checkout. Before coming to the Library, students can check on the Learning Commons page to find out how many computers are available for use. Wireless Internet access is available to all enrolled students throughout the Library building and outside.  Plans are underway to develop a Digital Media Lab on the 2nd floor to provide a space where students and faculty can learn about new technologies and create and collaborate on new digital products and presentations.

Librarians provide formal instruction through scheduled classroom sessions designed to develop information literacy learning outcomes for both undergraduate and graduate students. In-person one-on-one research assistance and technology support is provided at the Learning Commons Reference Desk by Librarians, Library Reference staff, and specially trained student workers. Students may also get virtual help with their research via e-mail, Web chat or telephone.

A wide range of electronic research resources are available at the Library, including discipline-specific as well as general information databases, full-text electronic journals, and eBooks. Electronic resources can be accessed 24-7 via the Internet by the UNO community, including on-campus and distance/online students and faculty. Remote access is provided through the EZproxy server. Students can also search for materials held by the Library regardless of time or location by using the online catalog and discovery service “OneSearch”. The Library website is a comprehensive portal which provides access to information resources and technology and instruction in their use. A more detailed description of the Library’s technology resources and support for students and faculty is provided under Core Requirement 2.9 and Comprehensive Standard 3.8.

Smart Classrooms:  There are 5 rooms that are considered media rooms and are managed by Instructional Media Services, 4 on main campus and 1 in the Jefferson Center. Compressed video courses are offered in 3 classrooms and there are 26 classrooms that use Smart classroom technology as a feature. Compressed video services include distance learning tele-course production, studio and field-based recording, 2D/3D computer graphics and media classroom support.  

Supporting Documents

Document Description
Document IconAZ_Subject_DatabasesWebpage to Access Library Resources
Document IconLearning_Commons_WebsiteLearning Commons Website
Document IconLibrary_Homepage_One_SearchOne Search Feature on Library Homepage
Document IconLibrary_Online_Catalog_WebpageLibrary Online Catalog
Document IconOff_Campus_Access_Instructions_WebpageOff Campus Access Instructions Webpage
Document IconResNet_WebpageResidential Network Webpage
Document IconSharePoint_faculty_staff_portalFaculty/Staff Portal for University of New Orleans Intranet
Document IconSharePoint_student_portalStudent Portal for University of New Orleans Intranet
Document IconUCC_WebsiteUniversity Computing and Communicating Website
Document IconUNO_Campus_Wireless_Coverage_MapUniversity of New Orleans Campus Wireless Coverage Map
Document IconUNO_Computer_Use_PolicyDescription of Technology Resources in Library
Document IconUNO_First_Year_Advising_WebsiteFirst Year Advising Website
Document IconUNO_First_Year_Experience_WebsiteFirst Year Experience Website
Document IconUNO_Help_DeskUniversity of New Orleans Help Desk Website
Document IconUNO_Labstats_WebpageSystem that Monitors Computer Availability
Document IconUNO_Learning_Resource_Center_WebpageLearning Resource Center Website
Document IconUNO_Library_Getting_HelpUniversity of New Orleans Library Getting Help Webpage
Document IconUNO_Moodle_Support_WebpageWebsite Describing University of New Orleans Learning Management System
Document IconUNO_New_Student_OrientationNew Student Orientation Website
Document IconUNO_Privateer_Enrollment_CenterPrivateer Enrollment Center Website
Document IconUNO_UCC_Student_Labs_WebpageDescription of Student Computing Labs
Document IconUNO_WebSTAR_Mobile_GuideMain Page for Mobile Access
Document IconUNO_WebStar_Quick_GuideGuidelines for Using WebStar System