Upon returning from summer break for this school year, Pacific students were able to physically see the evidence that the Forest Grove campus had undergone changes. However, these changes can not only be seen in students’ living and lounging spaces, but in their learning areas as well. According to the university’s Chief Information Officer, Jim Fleming, Pacific as a whole made technological updates over the summer in hopes that it would “benefit the traditional learning experience.”
Where updates were going to be made was determined by needs that arose for both faculty and students in the classroom. What Fleming calls the “status of where all the classrooms are” technologically was based upon priorities that the faculty held, what they wanted to accomplish in their classes and what changes in technology could be made in order to make achieving that goal simpler. From there, the updates were made.
Not only has nearly every academic building on the Forest Grove campus received one or multiple pieces of new equipment for computer labs, classrooms, lounges and libraries, but technological updates were made on Pacific’s other campuses as well. The newly-opened Beaverton EyeClinic was built and the Eugene campus had a new Smart Board to begin the school year with.
The list contains a total of 375 pieces of equipment purchased to improve students’ experience in their classes and make simpler what Fleming said is just about “anything that is technology related” in a class’s curriculum.
A few classrooms on campus are still in the process of receiving their updated technology, but according to Fleming, this is most likely the extent to which updates will be made for this school year. The entire process of updating all the campuses was far too invasive, said Fleming, to continue while school is in-session because it would require “exclusive use” of the facilities being worked on.
Following this year, Pacific plans to continue updating technology, according to Fleming.
Next summer will be the last one in which students will be using Blackboard as a resource for online class management. The student body as a whole will then transfer to using Moodle, a different provider similar to Blackboard.
Fleming feels the faculty at Pacific is “most enthusiastic about that switch” because it is simpler in use and will allow students to carry out important tasks on their own, without needing the university’s assistance. For example, students would then be able to send copies of transcripts and pay for them electronically, rather than having to request them from the registrar.
The overall goal of the technological updates made, according to Fleming, was to make necessary everyday tasks that differed by class simpler. All in all, he feels that the University Information Services has achieved that goal.