4.0483 More on Computers for Faculty (2/59)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 13 Sep 90 16:43:24 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0483. Thursday, 13 Sep 1990.

(1) Date: Thu, 13 Sep 90 08:15 EDT (36 lines)
From: Tom Flaherty <FLAHERTY@CTSTATEU>
Subject: Faculty microcomputers

(2) Date: Wed, 12 Sep 90 23:25:23 -0400 (23 lines)
From: jdg@eleazar.dartmouth.edu (Joel D. Goldfield)
Subject: "Computers & faculty"

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 90 08:15 EDT
From: Tom Flaherty <FLAHERTY@CTSTATEU>
Subject: Faculty microcomputers

In the discussion re: providing faculty members with computers, it seems
to me that a couple of points, mundane though they are, need to be made.
First, it is essential that the people so supplied be trained to use
them effectively--workshops & such. Perhaps the major reason so many
faculty use them only for WP is that they don't know how to do anything
else. I am amazed at how many faculty still use grade books when they
have a PC on their desks and access to any number of spreadsheet
programs for the asking. The same is true for databases and other
software. Why do we assume that because someone is intelligent that
they don't need support in acquiring specialized skills? Would we be
comfortable knowing that our 737 pilot had a Ph.D. and an IQ of 160 if
we also knew that he'd never been in a cockpit before?

On the other side, whatever resources institutions put into faculty
computing should be quickly recovered in saved people time. Does anyone
remember when secretaries completely retyped 25+-page papers six or
eight times? Very few secretaries do routine typing anymore. Many of
our faculty teaching large sections (although we provide precious little
of the support referred to above) generate and edit their own objective
exams on their PC's, thereby saving more secretarial time. I am not
sure where we'd be if we did not have the computers; we surely would not
have adequate secretarial support otherwise (not that it is adequate
now; many make do with none at all).

With the exception of a few recalcitrants and curmudgeons, faculty use
their computers in ways that allow levels of productivity that would
otherwise be impossible. Once the bug bites, it is unstoppable. Thus,
on the purely practical side, I can think of few better investments for
a college or university than (appropriate) faculty computers and
training in getting the most from them.

--Tom Flaherty, Central Connecticut State University
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------36----
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 90 23:25:23 -0400
From: jdg@eleazar.dartmouth.edu (Joel D. Goldfield)
Subject: "Computers & faculty"

Some very good arguments for providing computer tools necessary for
humanistic research have already been made, and recent attendees at the
ACH, ALLC & CALICO conventions have an even greater repertoire, I
suspect, of legitimate, helpful applications. Schools like Brown U.,
the U.S. Air Force Academy, Naval Academy, and others would have no
problem, I assume, justifying the substantial investment they've made in
computer-assisted language learning hardware & software, not to forget
training for faculty to develop custom-designed materials. It's another
matter to help colleagues with little or no experience in instructional
technology experiment with curricular models for integrating these
materials into their courses.

For information on the use of computers in literary criticism, I'd
suggest _Literary Computing and Literary Criticism. Theoretical and
Practical Essays on Theme and Rhetoric_ (ed. Rosanne G. Potter, U. Penn,
Joel D. Goldfield
Visiting Scholar, Duke U.