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Academic Experience

Active learning with technology: bringing students, faculty, and information together.

Coursework; in and out of class

How does the campus use technology to enhance teaching and learning in your areas of interest?

Instructional Technologies Support (ITS) provides services to enhance teaching and learning at Texas State. Services include online syllabi, web-based discussion groups, and electronic portfolios. The TRACSlearning management system is used in the majority of courses on campus, allowing students and faculty to communicate and collaborate online. This system enables faculty to bring their course materials, class discussions, assignments and quizzes to the Web. Students can view course and campus announcements in one location, access direct links to course web sites and groups, and create a personal calendar and; lists correlated with individual course calendars.

The University Alkek Library provides access to information through its online catalog, databases, periodical list, and web-based services including virtual reference, electronic reserves, interlibrary loan, tutorials, online exhibits, and ,a digital repository of scholarship generated at Texas State.

The university uses many other types of technology to enhance teaching, learning and access to information such as discussion boards, custom-built CDs and DVDs, technology-enhanced classrooms, video programs, and fully-equipped television and recording studios.

Is there technology in the classrooms?

We are striving to make the learning environment at Texas State a more positive experience by successfully integrating and maintaining multimedia equipment in the classrooms. Over 85 percent of large and medium-sized classrooms have been re-engineered for multimedia, internet, interactive conferencing and distance education. These classrooms provide data and video projection, networked computers. Many are equipped with DVD and VHS players, visual presenters and other media equipment.

We also house an assortment of media projection and playback equipment available for checkout or delivery. We build, maintain and provide support for distance education courses in our interactive television (ITV) classrooms. These ITV classrooms use television cameras, monitors, and audio equipment to allow two-way interactive exchange of real time audio and video images between two or more geographically separated sites.

Will you use technology to collaborate with other students in both your introductory and advanced courses?

Many courses at Texas State rely on teamwork for projects, assignments and enhanced learning. The learning management system provides tools such as discussion groups that enable team and project activity.

Does the school give credit for courses taken electronically (online/at a distance) from other institutions and sources of instruction?

The university does not distinguish between electronic or classroom-based courses in evaluating transfer credits. For more details on transfer credits please see the Equivalency Guides on the Undergraduate Admissions Transfer Web site.

Support services

Does the school have multimedia labs you can use to work on projects? Is there help available?

The University provides an assortment of media projection and playback equipment available for checkout or delivery. The Distribution Center on the first floor of the Alkek Library has video cameras, digital still cameras, digital projectors, screens, VCR’s, and laptop computers available for reservation and checkout in support of classroom projects. Additionally, the Alkek Library provides audio and video playback equipment for building use and checkout. Video editing equipment is available at the library’s computer lab.

For those wanting a deeper engagement with sound and recording technology, Texas State is the only university in the state, or in the entire southwest, to offer a baccalaureate degree program in Sound Recording Technology. The university owns and operates an active commercial studio, the Fire Station, which allows students an opportunity to learn their craft in a professional setting.

Are library collections and resources—such as catalogs, research databases, special collections, course reserves, full-text electronic journals, books, and streaming media—available online and accessible off-campus?<

The Alkek Library provides a wealth of online resources for students, faculty, and staff, including subscriptions to:

  • over 56,000 unique electronic journals,
  • 328 databases,
  • over 216,000 eBooks, and
  • electronic course reserve materials including streaming media.

The library’s Web site includes links to catalogs of other libraries and access to these collections through the electronically managed interlibrary loan service, and TexShare, a program that gives you borrowing privileges at libraries all over Texas. Texas State also houses The Wittliff Collections, which include the Southwestern Writers Collection and Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection. The Wittliff Collections feature online archival inventories and finding aids for 83 of the archival collections held at the Wittliff along with online exhibitions including:

What technology resources and help are available to students with special needs?

Instructional Technologies Support (ITS) maintains an open assistive technology lab that is fully equipped with tools to assist disabled students who need to work in a technology environment. Students are encouraged to work in this lab to discover the most applicable tools, which will then be installed in the departmental lab appropriate to the student’s major to allow integration with discipline specific software. The available tools range from software like Jaws to hardware like CCTV, video projectors and large LCD’s. Special desks, keyboards and pointing devices are also available. The Alkek Library also has adaptive equipment and other services to help you with your research.

Note also that the Office of Disability Services (ODS) coordinates the provision of assistance to students with special needs. The ODS Web site includes a host of special services, including a description of all adaptive technology and sources of help available.

Can the library deliver documents to you electronically, either via e-mail, file transfer, or through Web posting? Is there a cost associated with that service?

The Interlibrary Loan department provides books and other materials such as photocopies of articles and documents that are not available in the Alkek Library. This service is offered free of charge to currently registered students, faculty, and staff of Texas State University. Using web-based software, Texas State faculty, staff, and students can interlibrary loan materials and receive copies of articles electronically.

The library also provides numerous full-text database resources. Content of these full-text databases can be downloaded and used for research and learning activities within the established limits of copyright law.

What kind of help does the library provide for research assistance, and when is the help available?

In addition to in person and phone reference assistance, our Ask a Librarian chat or email service allows students to work with a librarian from anywhere the student can connect to the Internet, on or off-campus, including dorms and many classrooms. Library hours vary by semester and day of the week. Generally speaking, research assistance is available whenever the library is open. 

Looking toward graduation and a career

Does the campus offer general or profession-specific training programs that will ensure you are fluent in current information technologies when you graduate?

Information Literacy is an important part of learning in the highly networked world we live in today. Working collaboratively with faculty, librarians use technology enhanced rooms to provide instruction in locating, evaluating, and using information effectively. We conduct over 200 Information Literacy classes annually. Our Information Literacy classes will help you to become a better information consumer.

Texas State also offers introductory and foundational courses that provide insight into the basic concepts and utilization of technology in contemporary society, including text processing, spreadsheets, databases, data communications, and the Internet. These include:

  • CS 1308 - Computer Literacy and the Internet
  • CS 1319 – Fundamentals of Computer Science
  • CIS 1323 – Introduction to Microcomputer Applications

Every Texas State degree program incorporates the technologies critical to its discipline. Beyond Texas State’s general purpose computing labs, there are numerous departmental computing labs with over 240 different software titles, providing you access to the latest tools in use by practitioners in your field of study.