It’s final exams time in the AUC, which means our students, faculty and staff will be burning data and doing rapid-fire information consumption.
We wonder – how do they use technology during this high-stress, fast-paced time of year?
From the vantage-point of the Technology Design Studio desk, we have a great spot for people-watching. We can casually monitor behavior and draw conclusions as to how our users survive finals.
THEY USE LMS’s.
During mid-terms, we noticed our students access their campus learning management systems more often in the scramble to submit assignments. Clark Atlanta University uses BannerWeb and WebCT; Morehouse College uses Tigernet, their own version of WebCT; Spelman College uses both WebCT and Banner Web; and the Interdenominational Theological Center uses Moodle. WebCT is now owned by Blackboard, so essentially, most of our schools use Blackboard and are currently weathering the changes that arrangement has wrought.
THEY USE EMAIL.
We also notice students logging-in on their school and personal email accounts more often. Usually, they’re doing tasks like:
- submitting assignments to faculty;
- emailing each other about group assignments;
- making travel arrangements and printing boarding passes for trips home;
- and cleaning out in-boxes on our desktops, where it’s easier to see on the large screens and perform mass deletions.
THEY USE PRODUCTIVITY SOFTWARE.
We see students using the Microsoft Office Suite for MAC (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) more often. They’re writing, proofing, editing, and printing papers, running formulas and preparing presentations.
THEY USE TIME MANAGEMENT APPS.
We also hear more alarm bells ring on students’ devices, see more folks looking at calendar applications, and get more requests for locating the time and clock functions on the iMacs.
THEY USE SPACE.
Physically, we notice a new phenomena – students bring piles of books and journals and spread out their learning materials in front of a beautiful iMac station. Large groups of students cluster around work terminals to work together. Thank goodness our chairs have wheels and we have the space. Demand for our reserved rooms spikes as students compete for collaboration space, too.
THEY USE POWER.
More students come into the Library and plug-in personal devices for charging. During our renovation, Library administrators worked with contractors to ensure more outlets were available to users. During Finals, those outlets become precious. In our area, students use them while working on iMacs.
No matter how our users take advantage of our technology, it’s interesting to see how and why they do it. What changes do you notice in Library or the Technology Design Studio during finals?
As finals quickly bring about the end of Spring semester, some of our favorite regular users are preparing to graduate or go home for the summer. We wish the whole AUC community a great summer and congratulate everyone on finishing out strong. It’s been a great year. Stay connected and keep building those technology skills.