When it comes to technology, Quinnipiac University is among the best, according to the October issue of Yahoo! Internet Life magazine.
In the magazine’s fifth annual Most Wired Colleges list, Quinnipiac finished 67th overall, and was the highest ranked school in Connecticut. Yale University was the only other school ranked in Connecticut.
“We now have outside validation that we’re building technology and support structures that they think we need to offer students a good learning environment,” said William Clyde, dean of academic technology.
The magazine surveyed 1,300 U.S. universities and colleges to find out how they were using network technologies throughout campus. Some of the things they were looking for included a school’s sheer computing power, integration of the Internet into curriculum and classrooms, and available hours of technical support for students. These factors, and others, determined the school’s wired quotient, (WQ) the overall measure of a school’s technology resources.
Each school also received a letter grade in six categories: infrastructure, student resources, Web portal, e-Learning, tech support and wireless. Quinnipiac received an A- for tech support and a B+ for student resources and e-Learning.
“The survey tells us we’re well equipped to use technology to enhance learning and enhance our community,” said Clyde.
According to Clyde, there are many reasons why Quinnipiac was named to this list. “A key feature is our overall infrastructure,” he said. This includes the network and the number of access points throughout campus, student support such as the help desk and S.T.A.R. stations, the network file space, library resources online, and other administrative assistance such as checking grades online.
Clyde also said that the extent to which the faculty uses technology in the classrooms is another reason, and he said that this will only increase in the future.
“I expect that in future years, more and more classrooms will be using Blackboard,” he said. “As a result of this, I expect that the laptop requirement in the School of Business will probably spread to other schools. Then, as a result of that, I expect that there will be more wireless capability in the next couple of years,” Clyde said.
According to Clyde, going forward with technology is important in learning. “It allows communication that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.”
He gave examples of computer programs that allow students to simulate real-life experiences, such as setting up a business. “Instead of the student listening to lectures about marketing or finance, they’re actually setting up their own simulated business,” he said. “I couldn’t simulate a market in class, but the technology allows for this type of learning.”