Today, University of Nebraska at Kearney Chancellor Gladys Styles Johnston announced that UNK has met 99% of the criteria for a technology rich campus and curricula, according to guidelines set by EDUCAUSE. The University issued this first ever Technology Report Card after an analysis showed almost total congruence with stated criteria.
EDUCAUSE is an international, non-profit association of more than 1,700 campuses, organizations, and corporations dedicated to enabling transformational change in higher education through the use of information technology in teaching, learning, scholarship, research and institutional management. “We want our students to be fully prepared to assume their professional roles after graduation,” said Chancellor Johnston. “To that end, we have worked diligently to integrate information technology into all aspects of the UNK community and academic enterprise.”
UNK initiated its comprehensive technology strategic plan in January of 1999. Since that time, UNK has incorporated new technology that allows students to do many tasks online:
WebEasi. UNK’s WebEasi system provides students with access to many different features. WebEasi was first introduced on campus in the summer of 1999. The primary goal of WebEasi was to make registration online available. Now WebEasi offers many more options for students. Students can review their degree audit, check their grades, check their class schedule and print out class schedules in an easy block format. Students can also check their current bill, check their address and make any necessary updates, check any holds against their registration, inquire into financial aid award information, view access to Lotus Notes (the student email system), apply for admission, and receive IRS 1098 T form information all on the web. Available in the fall of 2001, students at UNK will be able to make payments by credit card online.
“UNK has the widest range of functionality within the university system,” said Deb Schroeder, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of Information Technology. “The Web makes registering very simple because you can receive a degree audit describing what classes are needed for a certain program and also you can check for any holds.”
WebEasi also allows you to have access to the Lotus notes system, which contains student e-mails. Every student at UNK is given an e-mail address at freshman orientation. The application for admission has been provided online since November 2000 to make things easier for prospective students.
Web For Faculty. The Web gives faculty and advisors access to student records, access to degree audits and, soon, faculty will be able to input their grade roster online.
Course Info. Course Info is also now available to UNK students. Course Info allows students to take classes online from any location. Course Info was established two years ago and currently there are more than 450 courses that use some component of Course Info. Many faculty utilize Course Info software that allows the development of Web-based courses or of Web-based supplements to traditional courses. UNK will be moving to a new version of Course Info this summer, called Blackboard Enterprise. The software will be working with a portal, which will tie the student directly into Course Info and will be customized for each person. The portal will allow students to do a single sign-on. Everything will be connected after logging in only one time.
Distance Education. Video conferencing over Internet protocol has been installed between UNK and UNO. This allows the university system to talk point-to-point and to have visual contact. Three classes at UNK used this system during the spring 2001 semester.
The Athletic Department at www.lopers.com streamed audio over the Internet for a number of athletic events this past year. Video of President William Jefferson Clinton’s December 2000 address at UNK was streamed over the Internet as well as audio and video of the spring 2001 Commencement ceremony.
UNK has extensive plans to add additional smart classrooms and other technology enhancements in preparation for the fall academic year.