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Campus Briefs


EXCEL IN GRADING. Instructors at the College of Business Administration at Abilene Christian University (TX) now check student work more thoroughly and quickly, and return it complete with individual feedback. They’ve designed and implemented a tool called “ChexEl,” which automates grading of homework completed via Microsoft Excel.

THE GREAT COMMUNICATOR. At St. Petersburg College (FL), IT leaders hoped to use their course management system from Angel Learning to communicate more effectively with a diverse and growing student population. They created the St. Petersburg Online Communicator (SPOC), which works within Angel to increase the number of touch points between faculty and students. SPOC is a rich set of tools for voice communication, screen capture, and video and audio recording.

WE GOT IT COVERED. For two years, Norfolk State University (VA) has worked toward ubiquitous internet access on campus, with dorm renovations for connectivity, WiFi installations, and more. Now, the school is completing a reaffirmation project to doublecheck that it provides 100 percent internet coverage on campus, including in the green spaces and other areas covered by the wireless service. The project will culminate in the fall with a media event featuring NSU’s WiFi capabilities, so that returning faculty, staff, and students will be more aware of wireless services on campus and how to use them to the fullest.

VIRTUAL COMPUTER LAB. The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is offering students remote access to a virtual computer lab, so that they may use specialized software any time, from anywhere. The lab is open 24/7/365 and can be accessed via a web login and remote desktop protocol.

CYBER ENTREPRENEURS. Using several collaboration technologies, including a discussion forum, a wiki, a web portal, and an intranet, students in Harvard Business School’s (MA) International Entrepreneurship course participated with nine other universities worldwide in a Virtual Entrepreneurial Team Exercise, a global business simulation. The VETE allowed some 460 students working in 98 teams to hone their skills in dispersed group dynamics on an international stage.

Scott McNealy

Sun’s Chairman Scott McNealy
at Stanford’s CEES dedication.

ONLINE COMMUNITY PATENT REVIEW. Students and faculty at New York Law School’s Institute for Information Law and Policy are working on a project to inform and streamline patent reviews with an online system that will involve community experts as advisers in the patent examination process.

BIG EARTH, BIG COMPUTERS. Two institutions boosted their contributions to computational geosciences this summer. The California Institute of Technology dedicated a new Earthquake Media Center to assist media in quake reporting. The Geosciences Computational Facility, where the center is housed, uses a high-performance supercomputing cluster based on technology from Dell to generate earthquake visualizations. And Stanford University (CA) opened its new Center for Computational Earth and Environmental Science (CEES) as a research partnership among the university, government, and private industry. Sun Microsystems donated $3 million in hardware, services, and cash to help launch CEES, so researchers and students can tackle complex computational problems surrounding analysis, simulation, and prediction of geologic processes and ecological systems.

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