The Instructional Support Services’ Learning Center continues to keep pace with changes in the media structure of the university. This semester the center increased its hours by extending its closing time from midnight to 1 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays.
September hours totaled 405, which was an increase from the previous four-year average of 386. Client entry was at 39,953, down from the four-year average of 41,723. Printing was 82,098 pages, compared to the average of 88,386. This usage reflects the increase distribution of computer labs on campus and in residence halls.
Web site traffic: The use of Webtruth (http://www.iss.stthomas.edu/webtruth) increased 47 percent, from 988 to 1449 hits this year, and Studyguides (http://www.iss.stthomas.edu/studyguides) traffic increased 79 percent from 34,265 to 59,893 hits for all pages.
This semester, Studyguides is adding Luganda, Hindi, and Turkish translations to the six already translated. The Russian translation was completed in a unique joint venture with Moscow State University.
This month the Learning Center delivered its first audio file via Website (http://www.lc.stthomas.edu/chaucer) to students in Dr. Joan Piorkowski’s class studying the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. The first 18 lines of the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales were read in 1997 by Dr. Glen Steinburg, a former member of the UST’s English Department.
Previously all audio was distributed in the Learning Center on audio cassette. Students listened to the recording in order to recite this introduction in class in Middle English. The advantage of Web site delivery is that students no longer need to go to the Learning Center to obtain recordings; they now can access it from their home or residence-hall computers when studying. Of note: Less and less students even have audio cassette decks and instead favor CDs!
Computer competency and computer software training: This September, testing for the Learning Center’s document-processing portion of the Computer Competency Program increased 74 percent, from 87 to 151 tests successfully administered; all students passed.
A full range of software training was introduced after the initial flurry of students accessing their new NT accounts. One hundred seventy-three students registered for 44 sessions covering MS Excel and Powerpoint, FrontPage and Web site development, graphics and text scanning and manipulation (OmniPage and Adobe Photoshop). The Learning Center staff was especially pleased that course evaluations were uniformly positive. For details see the summary Web site at http://www.iss.stthomas.edu/lc/review.htm.