Troy University
SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation
3.4.12 The institutions use of technology enhances student learning and is appropriate for meeting objectives of its programs. Students have access to and training in the use of technology. (Technology Use)
 
X Compliance   Partial Compliance   Non-Compliance

Narrative:  

Troy University is in compliance with this Comprehensive Standard.

Troy University is committed to preparing students to meet the challenges of living and working in a global economy. To prepare students for this context the University must teach not only the basics of technology use, but it must also give students the foundation they need to adapt to the changing landscape. This foundation includes competencies, knowledge and skills related to information literacy, critical thinking, innovative thinking, and global awareness.

The Troy University mission statement identifies the significance of student learning in “providing a variety of educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels for a diverse student body in traditional, non-traditional and emerging electronic formats.”

The eCampus is the vehicle through which Troy University reaches its students in multiple time zones, states and countries. Multiple degree programs leading to majors and concentrations at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels are available completely online. The University utilizes an advanced content management system to support student learning and resources the upgrades necessary to keep it in its most current configuration.

Troy University’s policy for the use of technology and enhancement of student learning may be found in Appendix A of the Faculty Handbook.

The University Library offers a comprehensive array of materials and services in online format. An online public access catalog (WEBCAT) provides access to a multitude of online database systems containing full text journals, online database systems with partial full text and/or bibliographic references, and online full text books. The online resources are available 24 hours a day from any location. Assistance is also available through Live Chat, an online chat service available around the clock when classes are in session and by e-mail. Evidence to support the WEBCAT online catalog search engine as well as the online database systems and the electronic reserves can be found at the Library Web site.

The University is committed to graduating students who are technologically capable of succeeding in the information age and as such, the University incorporates a basic technology course into its general studies requirements. IS 2241 Introduction to Information Systems provides an interdisciplinary introduction to microcomputer literacy, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, business graphics and the Internet. Additional technology instruction is integrated into various degree programs within the various colleges.

The syllabus for IS 2241 is attached. This syllabus states the course purpose and learning outcomes as:

PURPOSE (COURSE OBJECTIVES):

The course objective is to develop the computer skills necessary for satisfactory performance in upper-level business courses, and to encourage further development of these skills for effective participation in business organizations. This course is a prerequisite for admission into upper-level business courses.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • List and describe the hardware and software components of a computer system.
  • Maintain file systems, and run applications.
  • Use a word-processing application to create, modify, save, and preview fully featured, academically formatted documents.
  • Use an electronic-spreadsheet application to create, save, modify, and preview a fully featured, multiple-sheet workbook.
  • Use a database package to create, save, populate, maintain, and query a database and to produce formatted reports.
  • Use a presentation software package to create, save, modify, and show a multiple-slide presentation using various templates, designs, formats, objects, headers, footers, and animation and transition schemes

In the IS 2241 course, students receive instruction in the following technologies:

  1. general computing concepts,
  2. Microsoft Windows,
  3. Microsoft Office fundamentals,
  4. Microsoft Word,
  5. Microsoft Excel,
  6. Microsoft PowerPoint, and
  7. Microsoft Access.

The competencies taught in the course are measured by a unit exam designed by the course instructor. The skills taught in the course are measured by the assessments designed into the MyITLab product provided by Pearson Education. MyITLab is an online solution professors can use to deliver courses on Microsoft Office 2007 with defensible assessment and customized training. The MyITLab solution allows for authentic assessment of demonstrated technology skills through project-based and skills-based assessments. MyITLab's advanced reporting capabilities, including detailed student click-stream data, let instructors see exactly what actions their students have completed click-by-click, for true defensible grading.

The table below maps these technologies that are covered in the course to the appropriate learning outcome and indicates how the outcome is measured.

Competency / Skill

Learning Outcome

Evaluative Criteria

General Computing Concepts

List and describe the hardware and software components of a computer system.

Unit Exam

Microsoft Windows XP

Maintain file systems, and run applications.

Unit Exam

Microsoft Office Fundamentals

Use a word-processing application to create, modify, save, and preview fully featured, academically formatted documents.

MyITLab Exam

Microsoft Word

Use a word-processing application to create, modify, save, and preview fully featured, academically formatted documents.

MyITLab Exam

Microsoft Excel

Use an electronic-spreadsheet application to create, save, modify, and preview a fully featured, multiple-sheet workbook.

MyITLab Exam

Microsoft PowerPoint

Use a presentation software package to create, save, modify, and show a multiple-slide presentation using various templates, designs, formats, objects, headers, footers, and animation and transition schemes

MyITLab Exam

Microsoft Access

Use a database package to create, save, populate, maintain, and query a database and to produce formatted reports.

MyITLab Exam

By integrating this basic technology course into the general studies curriculum, Troy University is ensuring that students have received formal instruction related to the computing competencies and skills that they will need across their academic and employment endeavors.

Not only does Troy University provide this technology course, but it also encourages its faculty to integrate technology into the teaching and learning process so that students have multiple opportunities to use technology to refine their technology skills as they progress through the curriculum.

Troy University’s emphasis on integration and use of technology in its teaching is evidenced by the Graduating Student Survey Report summarized in the Troy University 2007 Fact Book in which graduating students rated the faculty’s use of technology in enhancing teaching at 3.93 on the Troy Campus and 4.20 in the Global Campus on a 1 to 5 point scale. (Page 85)

The University provides ample computer labs and student access computers at all of its campuses and sites as well as wireless access in dormitories and common use areas. These labs and student access computers provide licensed software as well as Internet access.

The University maintains a robust and sophisticated Web presence including a Web site for student and faculty support (www.troy.edu), a student interface (Trojan Web Express) with the student database system (Datatel), and a customized content management site, BlackBoard. Additionally, students are provided with an email account that functions as the e-mail system for the school (Trojan Web Mail) allowing students to communicate freely with instructors and other University personnel to support learning and well as administrative and social needs.

Training on the use of technology is provided not only through course work but through a variety of help desks and online tutorials. Help desk support for Web Mail and Web Express is located at https://it.troy.edu. Help desk support for BlackBoard is located at http://www.troy.edu/bbhelp/.

Troy University has demonstrates its distance learning education leadership responsibilities with its investment in new technologies to support online testing. Troy has partnered with Software Secure, a leading test security company that has developed a cutting edge device designated Remote Proctor. Remote Proctor meets the needs of today’s distance education student by ensuring both the identity of the distance learning student and monitoring the test environment of the student taking an exam remotely. The Secure Exam Remote Proctor represents a technological leap forward in the area of test integrity for distance learning education students and is the result of a heavy investment of both time and money on the part of the University.

Technology is integrated into programs and course objectives by the colleges to enhance learning. The following courses are specific examples of courses in which technology is an integral part of the course:

Undergraduate Courses

ACT 3396

Accounting Information Systems

ART 2210

e-Drawing

ART 3308

 Principles of Digital Design

ART 3310

 Time/Sound

ART 3315

 Design for the Internet

ART 4424

 Design Studio

BIO L100

Principles of Biology Lab

BIO L101

Organismal Biology Lab

BIO L110

Survey of the Human Body Lab

BIO L202

Principles of Environmental Science Lab

BIO L229

General Ecology Lab

BIO L307

Invertebrate Zoology Lab

BIO L308

Vertebrate Zoology Lab

BIO L320

Genetics Lab

BIO L325

Plant Form and Function Lab

BIO L326

Plant Diversity Lab

BIO L347

Human Anatomy and Physiology Lab

BIO L372

Microbiology Lab

BIO L382

Immunology Lab

BIO L386

Hematology Lab

BIO L405

Entomology Lab

BIO L410

Animal Behavior Lab

BIO L413

Limnology Lab

BIO L414

Food Microbiology Lab

BIO L416

Microbial Ecology Lab

BIO L421

Population Ecology Lab

BIO L428

Environmental Pollution and Control Lab

BIO L430

Applied Genetics Lab

BIO L432

Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy Lab

BIO L433

Embryology Lab

BIO L445

Ichthyology Lab

BIO L446

Herpetology Lab

BIO L447

Ornithology Lab

BIO L4471

Parasitology Lab

BIO L448

Mammalogy Lab

BIO L451

Toxicology Lab

BIO L452

Industrial Hygiene Lab

BIO L478

Cell Biology Lab

BIO L479

Environmental Assessment Lab

BIO L480

Histology Lab

BIO L482

Molecular Biology Lab

CHM L115

Survey of Chemistry Lab

CHM L142

General Chemistry I Laboratory

CHM L242

Analytical Chemistry Laboratory

CHM L342

Organic Chemistry I Laboratory

CHM L350

Principles of Physical Chemistry Laboratory

CHM L352

Biochemistry

CHM L381

Physical Chemistry I Laboratory

CHM L444

Advanced Inorganic Laboratory

CHM L445

Instrumental Analysis Laboratory

CS 2244

Computer Programming I

CS 2261

Foundations of Computer Science Concepts

CS 2262

Business Systems Programming

CS 2265

Advanced Programming 1

CS 3323

Data Structures

CS 3325

Operations Research

CS 3329

Analysis of Algorithms

CS 3330

Data Structures and Algorithms

CS 3331

Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence

CS 3332

Software Engineering I

CS 3339

Fundamentals of Object-Oriented Programming

CS 3347

Advanced Programming II

CS 3357

Logical Structures of Computer Design

CS 3365

Introduction to Computer Organization and Architecture

CS 3370

Nature of Programming Languages

CS 3372

Formal Languages and the Theory of Computation

CS 4401

Special Topics in Artificial Intelligence

CS 4420

Introduction to Database Systems

CS 4443

Web-Based Software Development

CS 4445

Data Communication and Networking

CS 4447

Systems Analysis and Design

CS 4448

Operating Systems

CS 4449

Applied Networking

CS 4451

Computer Security and Reliability

CS 4461

Software Engineering II

CS 4462

Special Topics in Object-Oriented Programming

CS 4495

Special Topics in Computer Science

DRA 2245

Stagecraft Lab

EDU 3305

Microcomputers in Education

EDU 4499

Technology Across the Curriculum

ENG 3366

Professional Document Design

GEM 1100

Computer-Aided Drafting

GEM 3391

Applications of Geographic Information Systems

GEM L110

Computer-Aided Drafting Lab

GEM L220

Basics of Cartography and Surveying Lab

GEM L391

Applications of GIS Lab

GEM L409

Hydrology Lab

IS 2241

Computer Concepts and Applications

IS 2244

Computer Programming I

IS 2260

Computer Programming II

IS 3300

Introduction to Information Systems

IS 3320

Data Communication and Computer Networking

IS 3330

Web Authoring

IS 3339

Object-Oriented Programming I

IS 3346

Database Management Systems I

IS 3349

Object-Oriented Programming II

IS 3380

Network Operating Systems

IS 4430

Web Site Design

IS 4440

Database Management Systems II

IS 4443

Internet Development

IS 4447

System Engineering and Project Management

IS 4450

Network Design and Management

IS 4451

Network Infrastructure and Security

IS 4460

E-Commerce Design

JRN 1100

Technologies in Journalism

KHP L474

Exercise Physiology Lab

MGT 4452

Supply Chain Management Information Systems

MGT 4480

Technology and Innovation Management

MTH 2220

Computer Programming for Mathematics

MUI 3310

Audio Principles and Techniques

MUI 3325

Recording Studio

NSG 1160

Introduction to Technology in Nursing Education

PHY L252

General Physics I Laboratory

PHY L262

Physics I with Calculus Laboratory

PHY L410

Modern Physics Laboratory

QM 2241

Business Statistics

SCI L 234

Earth and Space Science Laboratory

SCI L233

Physical Science Laboratory

SCI L335

Physical Geology Lab

SCI L336

Observational Astronomy Laboratory

SCI L340

Marine Science Laboratory

SCI L350

Weather and Climate Laboratory

SPE 3330

Integrating Assistive Technology

 

Graduate Courses

ADE 6605

Computer Based Instructional Technologies

ADE 6606

Current and Emerging Instructional Technologies

ADE 6608

Curriculum Integration of Technology

BIO L505

Entomology Lab

BIO L510

Animal Behavior Lab

BIO L513

Limnology Lab

BIO L516

Microbial Ecology Lab

BIO L521

Population Ecology Lab

BIO L530

Applied Genetics Lab

BIO L532

Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy Lab

BIO L533

Embryology Lab

BIO L545

Ichthyology Lab

BIO L546

Herpetology Lab

BIO L547

Ornithology Lab

BIO L548

Mammalogy Lab

BIO L551

Toxicology Lab

BIO L571

Parasitology Lab

BIO L578

Cell Biology Lab

BIO L580

Histology Lab

BIO L582

Molecular Biology Lab

BIO L600

Aquatic Entomology Lab

BIO L602

Human Pathophysiology Lab

BIO L606

Economic Botany Lab

CHM 5545

Instrumental Analysis

CHM L545

Instrumental Analysis Laboratory

CHM L552

Physical Chemistry I Laboratory

CHM L553

Physical Chemistry II Laboratory

CS 5543

Software Engineering

CS 5545

Computer Architecture

CS 5547

Systems Analysis and Design

CS 5549

Analysis of Algorithms

CS 5550

Operating Systems Principles

CS 6640

Data Base Management Concepts

CS 6641

Society and Information Systems

CS 6643

Theory and Design of Compilers

CS 6646

Information Systems for Operations and Management

CS 6647

Simulation and Modeling

CS 6648

Operations Research

CS 6649

Special Topics in CS

CS 6650

Distributed System Principles

CS 6651

Artificial Intelligence

CS 6652

XML Technology Principles

CS 6653

Topics in Software Security and Reliability

CS 6654

Topics in Software Engineering

CS 6655

Digital Logic Design – Principles and Practices with Emphasis on Testable Semicustom Circuits

CS 6656

Design and Testing of Reliable Digital Systems

CS 6699

Research and Thesis

EBS L513

Limnology Lab

EBS L521

Population Ecology Lab

EBS L530

Applied Genetics Lab

EBS L551

Toxicology Lab

EBS L552

Industrial Hygiene Lab

EBS L578

Cell Biology Lab

EBS L582

Molecular Biology Lab

EBS L600

Aquatic Entomology Lab

EBS L630

Pollution Science Lab

EDU 6605

Computer-Based Instructional Technologies

EDU 6606

Current and Emerging Instructional Technologies

EDU 6607

Curriculum Integration of Technology

EDU 6611

Educational Technology in the Curriculum

EDU 6617

Graphic Design in Multimedia Instruction

EDU 6618

Advanced Multimedia Production

IS 6672

Information Systems and Business Strategy

IS 6674

Information Systems Management

IS 6676

E-Commerce for Global Business

IS 6679

Management Information Systems

MTH 6650

Trends in Technology and Problem Solving in Secondary Mathematics Instruction

NSG 6635

Integration of Technology in Information Exchange

PSE 6606

Current and Emerging Instructional Technologies

PSE 6608

Curriculum Integration of Technology

SPE 6635

Meeting Instructional Needs Through Technology

The eCampus

Troy University has been actively involved in the development and evolution of distance learning technology for over fifty years. Troy’s Global Campus (formerly called University College) has been formally organized for thirty-five years. With the addition of the Alabama campuses in fall of 2007, Troy University’s eCampus became the consolidated, Internet-based online provider for all Troy University students.

Troy’s eCampus, which operates globally, offers flexible and convenient educational opportunities, innovative teaching methods and advanced technology. Student goals are achieved by removing accessibility issues, geographical boundaries and time concerns. All Troy University degree programs are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Both undergraduate and master’s degrees are offered using a variety of interactive Web-based classes. To achieve best practices in distance education, eCampus course requirements, like all course requirements, are standardized in terms off faculty development, assessment and continual review and redesign of courses. Troy University’s eCampus engages in best practices in distance learning technology, training and development of faculty, and e-course review and redesign.

Technology

Troy University uses Blackboard as its content management system for online and Web-enhanced courses. Through the Troy Blackboard system, instructors and students have access to the Blackboard Support Page that offers tutorials and other training material to support instructors and students as they learn to maneuver the Blackboard System. Additional training material is also offered to instructors on the use of the Content Management System (CMS). Licensed software such as Respondus, Turnitin and Impatica are available through Blackboard to faculty to help with the enhancement of their online courses. Students also have access to the Smarthinking student tutorial software as well as the eLibrary to support their online course work. The eLibrary tab is available to online students and with a valid Troy University User ID students have the opportunity to do research using the online search programs.

Troy University instructors are required to take the Teaching Online Proficiency (TOP) course before they are allowed to teach using the Blackboard system. TOP is a three-week training course that teaches instructors how to build a quality course using the primary functions within Blackboard. Once the instructor successfully builds his or her course development shell for the TOP course, he or she is identified as Blackboard proficient within Datatel and is allowed to be scheduled for Blackboard courses. Instructors are periodically required to be tested on the latest features of Blackboard to maintain their proficiency status.

Training

Troy University is committed to providing the training and support necessary for its faculty and staff to be able to integrate technology into the teaching and learning process. The University’s strategic initiative 4.1 is “to ensure that 100% of the faculty and staff will be trained in the use of technology needed to execute their responsibilities.”

An ad hoc committee has been charged with guiding and monitoring the University’s progress toward the completion of this objective. The committee has identified the following strengths:

  1. The current technology training initiatives are congruent with the technology training needs reported by faculty and staff. For example, the types of training which are most often provided are training on Datatel (the University’s student record management system) and Blackboard. Datatel and Blackboard were also reported as the technologies for which there is the highest expressed need for training.
  2. The implementation of technology training is focused at the local campus level yet coordinated centrally. The types of training requested and the delivery system as well as preferred dates and times vary substantially from campus to campus. For example, faculty and staff from the Troy Campus reported that they prefer face-to-face training. Faculty and staff from eCampus reported that they prefer online training. Using the data provided on the campus specific reports, campus leaders are in the best position to match technology training needs with training programs.
  3. The Human Resources department coordinates training initiatives across the University. The Human Resources Department’s Training and Development provides training services for Troy University to advance institutional effectiveness by providing training and development opportunities designed to enhance employee performance. Training & Development includes providing publicity, registration, tracking of attendance, online service support, and coordination of facilities for the training sessions. This centralized entity works to fulfill training needs throughout the University.
  4. The IT (information technologies) department of Troy University provides several live and online training opportunities and resources. The IT department provides training for Datatel, the Microsoft Office suite, computer basics and security training. This training is provided face to face as well as online.
  5. The eCampus provides Blackboard training. All faculty members who use Blackboard must demonstrate mastery of the software prior to being assigned a faculty user account. Completion of this is tracked in the faculty member’s record in Datatel.

In an effort to measure the degree toward which this objective is being met, the committee surveyed 2752 Troy University faculty and staff in the spring of 2008. Almost half of all faculty and staff (43%, N=1171) participated in the survey. The Technology Training Survey results and analysis provides a thorough analysis of the types of computer software being deployed across Troy University and as a component of the institution's strategic plan, will be used to develop further opportunities to integrate technology into the teaching and learning process.

eCourse Redesign

The eCourse redesign project is an initiative to update all of the online courses taught by Troy University. Using the common curriculum across Troy University, there is a need to ensure that the common learning objectives are being met in all online courses.

The typical course development method used by Troy University has been to give a blank Blackboard shell to each adjunct or full-time faculty member selected to teach an online course. The faculty member would then design the course as he or she considered appropriate. This process has resulted in many exemplary online courses. However, it has also created extensive variability across multiple sections of the same online course. The eCourse redesign project is a multi-year process to create an eCourse or course template that defines the minimum required content necessary to meet the learning objectives of the course.

This eCourse redesign project has been mandated from the Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost’s office and was planned for several months. The current committees were established by the deans of the various disciplines with the intent of providing experienced faculty with the tools and abilities to make and implement these decisions. The eCourse redesign project is being directed by the Vice Chancellor of Troy Global Campus.

The project goal is to establish an acceptable set of learning objectives and resources that all faculty members teaching these courses in any Troy University program will use. This will be the minimum acceptable level. Faculty will be able to choose how they wish to teach these and what additional points they feel should be added. It is important that all academic decisions be made by faculty involved with the courses. Instructional designers will help with structure and with trying to maintain the schedule. They will also do research on additional resources available and technical issues. Faculty will choose the content and the scope of the courses. The desired result is a course designed and created to teach the right material, with a chosen text, support materials and even possible assessment suggestions. The scope and depth of this process are up to the faculty redesign team.

As part of this overall redesign process, Troy University enhanced its commitment to the integrity of its online course offerings by standardizing the proctoring options available to students in online courses. The eCampus implemented a more stringent proctoring policy beginning with the Summer 2008 term. The goal of this policy is to improve the validity of University claims related to student authentication and enforcement of the instructor’s requirement for a standardized testing condition. The policy requires the student to use one of the following four options:

  1. use the Remote Proctor device;
  2. go to a third party certified testing center, such as Sylvan or Prometrics;
  3. use an approved Military Education Office; or
  4. use a Troy University workstation testing center located at a University sites.

Students with extenuating circumstances can contact the eCampus Assistant Director for Testing for assistance.

Support

Troy University invests in providing technical support to students, faculty and staff. These support services are detailed in Core Requirements 2.9 and 2.10 and Comprehensive Standards 3.8.1 and 3.8.2. Innovations such as Blackboard and interactive video sessions in chat rooms are putting students in touch with their professors and classmates. Also included in the eCampus are the University’s email system, the toll free information call center, online chat assistance, informative Web pages, adaptive needs services, online book services including electronic books, a large e-library database, a specialized library search tool called Helot, online student orientation, expanded financial aid services, a writing center and online tutorial services. An added thrust to eCampus is the SecureExam remote proctor, a technology co-developed by Troy distance learning educators and Software Secure, Inc. The aim is to provide an additional level of security for online test takers, further ensuring academic integrity for the eCampus programs.

Conclusion

Troy University is in compliance with this Comprehensive Standard.

 

Supporting Documentation Location
Blackboard http://troy.blackboard.com/
Blackboard Support http://www.troy.edu/bbhelp/
Blackboard Support (eCampus) http://www.troy.edu/ecampus/blackboard.htm
Comprehensive Standard 3.8.1 http://sacs.troy.edu/reports/03-08-01.html
Comprehensive Standard 3.8.2 http://sacs.troy.edu/reports/03-08-02.html
Core Requirement 2.9 http://sacs.troy.edu/reports/02-09.html
Core Requirement 2.10 http://sacs.troy.edu/reports/02-10.html
Fact Book, 2007 Edition http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/Fact_Book_2007.pdf
Fact Book, 2008 Edition http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/Fact-Book-2008.pdf
General Studies, Undergraduate Catalog, 2008-2009 http://www.troy.edu/catalogs/0809undergrad_pdf/documents/2008-2009_9U-GS.pdf
Global Campus Library Services http://uclibrary.troy.edu/
Help Desk Support https://it.troy.edu/
Library http://library.troy.edu/
MyITLab http://www.myitlab.com/index.asp
Secure Exam Remote Proctor Media Kit http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/remote_proctor.pdf
SMARTHINKING Student Handbook http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/smarthinkinghandbook.pdf
Software Secure http://www.softwaresecure.com/index.htm
Syllabus - IS 2241 http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/syllabi/IS-2241-Syllabus.pdf
Teaching Online Proficiency (TOP) Course http://www.troy.edu/bbhelp/blackboardpolicy.html
Technology Training Needs Analysis Report http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/Technology-Training-Needs-Analysis-Report.pdf
Trojan Web Express http://www.troy.edu/webexpress.htm
Trojan Web Mail https://mail.troy.edu/
Troy University http://www.troy.edu/
Troy University: VISION 2010 A Strategic Plan 2005-2010 http://sacs.troy.edu/reference/Vision2010.pdf

 

Last Updated: 08/22/2008