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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
e. Resources 

6e. Unit Resources including Technology


1. How does the unit allocate resources across programs to ensure candidates meet standards in their field of study?

The budget for the School of Education is set each year by the cabinet. Any changes or additions that the unit requests are given to the Dean of the College of Professional Studies at the beginning of the academic year in preparation for building the budget for the next fiscal year. The Dean advances the budgetary requests to the cabinet for approval.

To assure that candidates meet standards, we have resources allocated to purchase materials for courses. The use of materials aids us in extending the knowledge base of course concepts. The use of consumable materials also allows students to apply their knowledge in internship settings.

Another way that resources are allocated is to pay for supervision of candidates at field sites. The supervision of candidates allows us to observe the extent to which candidates can demonstrate knowledge, skills and dispositions in a practical setting. We have increased our budget for paying for supervision of candidates because we have added two remote sites where our programs are being delivered.

2. What information technology resources support faculty and candidates? What evidence shows that candidates and faculty use these resources?

Faculty offices are equipped with current computer work stations and other technologies. The Information Technology Department replaces computer workstations with re-mastered computers as frequently as possible, and handles all upgrades and repairs. Faculty are assigned individual e-mail accounts and have access to personal and shared server space for storage and sharing of computer files. Server accounts can also be configured for web access and are often used to publish faculty or student websites as part of class assignments. A variety of media equipment (projectors, video cameras, audio players) is also available through the Media Services Department. Along with the Media Services Department, faculty and students can work with Duplicating Services for all their printing, copying, and binding needs.

Students are encouraged to bring their own computers to campus, and are also assigned e-mail accounts and server accounts that are setup and supported by the Information Technology Department. All students, including PACE and transfer students, receive technology training during their initial orientation experience that encompasses information about web use, piracy, e-mail, and copyright issues. Additional training for classes and individuals on how to use specific campus technologies, such as Moodle, Livetext, and productivity software can be arranged by contacting the Educational Technology Coordinator & Research/Instruction Librarian, a position currently held by Joe Hardenbrook. In 2007-08, Hardenbrook conducted 12 technology training sessions for PACE Education classes (including the distance sites) and 13 sessions for traditional Education classes. For 2008-09, he conducted 8 sessions for PACE Education courses (including distance sites), and 22 for traditional classes. The Educational Technology Annual Reports include more information on consultations with individual faculty and descriptions of sessions taught, all proof that the Education faculty are actively using these resources.

Information Technology manages 14 computer labs distributed across campus, and wireless access points are also distributed at strategic locations. These labs are used by both students working on assignments and projects, and by professors for conducting class sessions.  Faculty can schedule their own computer labs for a class using the online campus scheduling program, or they can contact the Campus Scheduler directly for assistance.

3. What resources are available for the development and implementation of the unit’s assessment system?

In their first year as education candidates, students are required to purchase a five year subscription to the LiveText data management service.  By using templates preinstalled by the SoE Assessment Coordinator, students are able to submit assessments to demonstrate their mastery of teaching standards and have those artifacts assessed by a faculty member.  This tool has become the primary means for storing and managing material required for the unit assessment system.

The MUOnline system is used by faculty for course schedules, grade submission, room scheduling, budgeting, sending academic alerts, payroll, viewing course evaluations, and many other record keeping tasks.  It is also used to track all data related to unit assessment checkpoints. These checkpoints include GPA, introductory English courses, Introduction to Education, computer competency tests, credits earned and ICTS standardize state exams.  The system is used by students for course registration and scheduling, checking grades, the students' account & financial aid, and starting in 09-10 for online course evaluations (SIRS). 

The University also uses an open source course management system named Moodle that contains messaging, on-line discussion forums, scheduling, grading and other useful interactive features. 

4. What library and curricular resources exist at the institution? How does the unit ensure they are sufficient and current? 

The library’s owned physical collection includes over 212,000 books (11,204 listed in education), 3,000 videos, 8,500 musical recordings, microforms, and multiple years of over 1,600 titles of periodicals, some going back to the early 1900s. The books include a reference collection of over 6,700 titles (en­cyclopedias, almanacs, indexes), over 8,500 musical scores, as well as 4,200 children’s books and 2,200 preK-12 curriculum items.  Additional materials are easily available through interlibrary loan and can be obtained in a matter of days.

As circulation data shows, the library has been used extensively over the past eight years.

CIRCULATION

 

2008/09

 2007/08

2006/07

2005/06 

2004/05

2003/04

2002/03

Number of initial circulations (ex­cluding reserves).

16,454

19,731

 20,274

 21,809

24,287

24,398

22,717

Total circulations (initial and re­newals, excluding reserves).

22,684

27,231

 

 27,021

 

 28,703

30,850

30,877

28,273

Total number of materials pro­vided to other libraries

4,592

4,235

3,788

 4,215

3,012

3,087

3,452

Total number materials received from other libraries or providers.

5,328

5,049

4,196

 

 3,187

 

3,460

3,887

4,144

In addition to its physical research resources, Staley Library subscribes and facilitates access to a wide range of electronic research resources. This includes periodical databases that provide indexing as well as the full text of many scholarly publications. The library subscribes to approximately 80 databases, including many that directly relate to the needs of education students (ERIC, PsycInfo, PsycArticles, etc.). The Staley Library website provides links to many additional free resources from governmental and private entities.

Library materials for the education curriculum are selected by both library and education faculty. Librarians continually read book and product reviews and make selections for purchase. Through interactions with students and faculty in reference and instruction sessions, the Librarians are familiar with current topics being researched and discussed in courses, and they use this information in their selection decisions. Librarians also share new publication reviews with the education faculty, who can then make recommendations for library acquisitions based on the courses being taught, as well as student and faculty research needs.

The Library’s Education Dept. Liaison, currently Debbie Campbell, is available to conduct assignment-tailored instruction sessions for any education class. During the 07-08 academic year, she conducted 7 sessions for PACE Ed. courses, and 9 traditional courses. During 08-09, she taught 5 PACE sessions and 9 traditional sessions. Both the Education Dept. Liaison and the Educational Technology Coordinator travel to the remote sites to provide instruction at the request of the Education Dept. faculty.

The library also has a reciprocal borrowing agreement with the Decatur Public Library that allows students to have Decatur Public Library Cards. In addition, students are able to borrow curriculum materials from the Macon-Piatt Regional Office of Education Media Library. Music Education students also have access to the Music Education Resource room located in the Music building, which houses method books, musical scores, instruments, and assessment materials that can be used for peer teaching and instruction at practicum sites.

5. How does the unit ensure the accessibility of resources to candidates, including candidates in off-campus, distance learning, and alternate route programs, through electronic means?

Students’ library cards can be used at 75 other libraries in the state, including Parkland Community College, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, University of Illinois at Springfield, and Lincoln Land Community College. Students placing interlibrary loan requests can have items delivered to any of the 75 libraries, so if Millikin is not the school closest to their home, they can pick up the materials at a more convenient location. This access enables the students at our remote site programs to have the same materials as our home campus students.

A proxy server also allows any Millikin student, staff, or faculty member to access databases from their home computer. Since our PACE students are driving up to 50 miles to either a remote site or the Decatur campus, access of library resources from their home computers is very beneficial. Articles can also be ordered through interlibrary loan. When a distance student places a request for an article and notifies the Library’s Interlibrary Loan Associate, when the article arrives at Millikin, the Associate will either mail the article, or scan and email it to the student. That way the student does not need to pick up the physical copy on Millikin’s campus.

Millikin librarians are available to assist distance students through instant messenging, email, and by telephone. Since both the Education Dept. Liaison Librarian and the Educational Technology Coordinator visit the distance sites at the request of professors, students at those locations receive the same technology and research training as the on campus students. Among other things, the Moodle course management software allows professors to share assignments, create online discussion forums, and message students with the same ease as the traditional on campus classes. Moodle can be accessed from anywhere there is Internet access. The same is true for LiveText- students can upload and review their candidate assessments from any Internet accessible location.


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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
 
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