MAILED: July 30, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- Two new computer labs at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will have split-second response and advanced equipment, and one will provide 24-hour access.
One computer lab is in room 275 of the Fine Arts Center and the other is in room 210 of Schneider Social Science Hall (24-hour access). Both will open Aug. 1 to allow faculty to learn how to use the computers and programs.
In the design of the labs, faculty were consulted on what they thought would be important for their curriculum, said David Hart, assistant chancellor of Information and Technology/Management.
The computer lab in the Fine Arts Center will have 14 Pentium Pro 200 MHz computers, Hart said.
"It's not a huge lab but it's going to be, without question, the best lab on campus," he said.
This lab is designed with 14 computers located around the room next to the wall, he said. The teaching station is in the center of the room, allowing faculty to observe the students.
"We hope to have a collaborative teaching environment in the learning experience," Hart said. "We'll be able to see what works and what doesn't work."
Faculty in theater arts will use software to explore and experiment with stage and lighting design, Hart said. The lab also will be capable of running other graphic software.
Students will be able to see what the stage designs would look like with the lighting, said Bill Mellien, professor of music and theatre arts. Before this equipment was available, students had no way of knowing what the lighting would look like unless they actually set the lights, Mellien, said.
Mellien said he hopes to eventually have a program for make-up design as well.
"It will allow us to teach better," he said, adding that it will save time and better prepare students for their jobs.
Dr. Paul Thomas, associate professor of physics and astronomy, has helped in the faculty advising of the project in the Fine Arts Center.
"The really big difference is the faculty consultation," Thomas said. "They drove the decisions."
There were numerous meetings with faculty about what equipment they needed, types of software, and the design of the rooms, he said. Faculty also had the opportunity to test six types of computers and the decision to choose the company Compaq was based on faculty opinions, he said.
The computer lab in the Fine Arts Center will have higher performance, have zip drives, 17-inch monitors and printers capable of printing 11-by-17 size paper, Thomas said.
A new feature, the Robotel system, will allow faculty to take what is on the teaching station and put it on the students' monitors, he said.
"We hope to set a pattern for the rest of the labs of the campus," he said.
The computer lab in Schneider Social Science Hall will have a lecture style layout with 45 work stations, Hart said. It also will have Pentium Pro 200 MHz computers. The CPUs will be located underneath the desks, allowing more desktop space in both labs, he said.
The lab also will be open and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said.
Both computer labs will run Windows NT operation systems and will encourage faculty to use technology to support the curriculum, he said. This should create a teaching environment that is extremely reliable, Hart said
"We want to create in the mind of the faculty a feeling that it's easy for them to make a 3-D color image work every time," he said.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 30, 1997