Connected Campus

3.4.12 Technology Use

 

The institution’s use of technology enhances student learning and is appropriate for meeting the objectives of its programs. Students have access to and training in the use of technology. 

 

_X_  Compliance           ___  Partial Compliance          ___  Non-Compliance

 

Narrative

 

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (MABTS) uses technology to enhance student learning in a number of appropriate ways. The technological resources and support may be divided into two categories: (1) school-wide resources, requirements, and initiatives; and (2) discipline-specific resources, requirements, and initiatives within individual departments. These resources are fully appropriate to the various educational programs, and students have access to training in their use.

 

Past Seminary-Wide Uses of Technology to Enhance Student Learning

 

In 2006, MABTS moved to a new facility located at 2095 Appling Road in Cordova, TN. This building was equipped with an Ethernet local area network (LAN) with access in all administrative and faculty offices, classrooms and study areas. The LAN was accessible via wired and wireless devices. The campus was equipped with Internet/data/digital voice access through Time Warner Business.

 

Computer stations were also made available in every classroom (17 total). Each station included a computer with connected projector, external sound system, amps, video playback systems (DVD/VHS), document camera. Two classrooms and the chapel were equipped with recording capabilities which professors and students used for presentations.

 

A computer lab was provided for student use with 24 computers, Internet access, and printing capabilities. Additional computers (25) were provided for student and guest usage in the Library circulation area. The Library staff provided training to patrons and students for using electronic resources. The policy for using seminary computers is found in the Internet Usage Policy [1], in the 2014-15 MABTS Student Supplement and Housing Handbook.

 

The chapel provided students and guests with enhanced content delivery and capture capabilities via three video cameras, a projector, a switching/production station, sound equipment and recording equipment. 

 

Satellite television access was provided to men’s and women’s faculty/staff lounges and to the student center. Students were also provided with video gaming and other electronic entertainment equipment in the student center. 

 

Present Seminary-Wide Uses of Technology to Enhance Student Learning

 

From 2011 to 2014 the school upgraded the campus LAN, computers, computer lab, website, and online course delivery platform for two purposes. First, to enhance the learning environment for residential students in the classroom, computer lab, and library. Second, in preparation for the launch of the online degree program in fall 2015. A significant redesign of the campus website provides current and future students with access to campus information and resources regarding course offerings, policies, procedures and training. It also functions as a portal to other electronic resources such as student email, online courses, and web based library resources. 

 

During this time, MABTS email services were brought in-house. Two MS Exchange servers were purposed to provide email services for faculty and staff. One server provides primary services and the second functions as a redundant server. Faculty, staff, and students may access email from campus computers, any web interface, or mobile devices. Users are provided instruction for connecting through the Information Services web portal [2] on the mabts.edu website.

 

The campus wired and wireless networks were upgraded to provide needed data speed enhancements and well as standardized enterprise level security.

 

The campus computer lab was remodeled into a mission’s research center and maintains sixteen computers for student use. This room is also equipped with 2 projectors, 2 web cameras, and the ability to host synchronous distance classes or record classes for asynchronous access via Adobe Connect, the school’s online learning management system (LMS).

 

The library computers were replaced with 25 new thin-clients, which provides students with access to electronic library resources, student email, printing services and other student accounts.

 

The campus contracts with Remote Learner to provide a web-based course delivery platform (Moodle). A new version of the site was developed in 2014. This site reflects the branding and functionality of the school website. Additionally, it provides the students with the ability to access curriculum asynchronously and in formats that best suit their learning styles. Furthermore, the school licenses Adobe Connect for synchronous meetings with students as needed.

 

Appropriateness of the Technology to the Educational Programs

 

All departments require students to perform research and demonstrate competencies in a variety of topics using various methodologies. In order to aid students in this process, the institution provides a number of technological resources. These include, but are not limited to, Microsoft Office Professional for multimedia classroom and group presentations, spreadsheets for scheduling and budgets, and word processing for reports, papers and other documents.

 

Quality research is performed using library resources using databases, which are primarily accessed electronically. Therefore, it is important to offer superior network resources and specifically a large amount of data bandwidth in order for many students to successfully access the needed resources for research.   

 

The biblical language study software LOGOS is required by the New Testament/Greek and Old Testament/Hebrew departments for study in Greek and Hebrew classes. The institution, in cooperation with LOGOS Bible Software, offers students the ability to purchase this software at a highly discounted rate and students are able to pay for it in installments.

 

Training

 

MABTS offers training for use in technology for students at New Student Orientation. The director of Library Services has recently produced online instructional videos on use of the Ora Byram Allison Library and undergraduate students receive instruction in computer use through the course CS 4950 Introduction to Computing, which is described as “A basic introduction to the use of the personal computer, with special attention to word processing and selected programs applicable to academic research and professional ministry.”

 

Online faculty have received instruction the use of the school’s LMS Adobe Connect, SonisWeb (the school’s educational management software), and Moodle (the school’s web-based delivery platform).

 

The human resources office uses the Office Proficiency Assessment and Certification (OPAC) software in assessing suitability of potential employees. Ongoing training in software for various office (registrar, the business office, human resources, etc.) is provided for employees. 

 

Documentation

 

1. 2014-15 Student Supplement and Housing Handbook, p. 36-40

2. Campus Technology Web Portal

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