E-Mail's Expanding Role in Education
Scott, Greg, T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)
In the course of moving its student microcomputer lab as well as its own operations onto a 250-node local area network (LAN), the college of business for Oregon State University experienced a number of dramatic, positive changes both in its educational process and in its ability to accomplish day-to-day work. And electronic mail (e-mail) has played a major, causal role.
For example, the school's clerical staff used to manually copy and file each piece of communication into every faculty member's box. Now as much as 99 percent of the college's internal communications are performed online. In addition, the move to e-mail has improved the quality of that communication among instructors, and between students and members of the educational staff.
The school's Computer Services Group helped the network to evolve over the past four years. In the process, we've learned some lessons and drawn conclusions that may be of help to other educational organizations.
When the college of business first considered moving to an automated system in 1987, our concerns were twofold: 1) In order for our business students to succeed in industry, they would need to understand and have experience with the latest computing technology; and 2) As the college grew, faculty and students were finding it increasingly difficult to communicate with each other due to conflicting schedules. To answer both of these needs, our decision was to implement a LAN system.
As centers of learning, universities, in particular, have a high degree of tolerance for risk-taking and experimentation. We responded to the first concern by creating a computer environment that fosters this kind of behavior. E-mail service has been a kind of experiment. In addition, we serve as a beta-test site for a number of network-product development firms.
At present, our LAN is Novell-based. Nine Netware servers …
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Publication information: Article title: E-Mail's Expanding Role in Education. Contributors: Scott, Greg - Author. Journal title: T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education). Volume: 18. Issue: 11 Publication date: June 1991. Page number: 54+. © 2009 1105 Media, Inc. COPYRIGHT 1991 Gale Group.
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