Faculty Senate discusses leasing iPads
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 18:01
The first faculty senate meeting of the spring semester met Friday and discussed the possibility of incorporating iPads into the First Year Experience program.
Senators Jill Simons, Gina Hogue and Mark Hoeting proposed the new initiative that would incorporate iPads into the Making Connections curriculum. The program would include an iPad-compatible digital student handbook, and students would be encouraged to bring the tablets to class and use them to highlight and take notes during lectures.
“We want to help students learn to make effective use of technology at school and in the work force,” said Jill Simons, dean of the university college.
The program would necessitate that students furnish their own iPads, according to Mark Hoeting of Information and Technology Services. He said a majority of students already bring the Apple tablets with them to college. For other students, the university is working on a two-tiered lease initiative that would allow iPads to be rented by semester or by year.
Per semester lease rates would run around $30 to $50, and a yearly leases would fall between $100 and $200.
Yearly leases could also come with a buy-out option, which would allow students to purchase the tablets at a reduced price at the end of the lease period.
“If it becomes a requirement, financial aid or excess aid would cover it,” Hoeting said.
Simons emphasized that there are still details to be finalized in the program, and said that training for staff would begin this spring. “We’re hoping to build some momentum behind it this fall,” she said.
The senate also introduced a motion that would govern excused class absences for non-athlete students participating in university-sanctioned activities.
Student athletes are already the beneficiaries of a policy that allows them the opportunity to make up classwork missed for sports events, but strictly academic students have no such policy.
Lynita Cooksey of Academic Affairs and Research proposed the creation of a policy that would allow students to be absent from class or make up work they missed while participating in educational events such as clubs, off-campus activities and conferences.
Freshmen and sophomore level students are allowed to miss class no more than twice the number of times the class meets in one week, and further absences may result in a significantly lowered or failing grade for the course.
The new policy could allow exceptions to that rule for students involved in academic development events.
“We want to help guide faculty on how to handle student absences that are university related,” Cooksey said. “There are occasionally gray lines, and faculty are looking for definites.”