Student Computer Ownership Committee


February 22, 2000


Members Present: Greg Abowd; Linda Cabot; Matthew J. Realff; Miles; Kathy Tomajko; Jonathan Rowe


1. Discussion of Student and Faculty Surveys

The surveys revealed several useful things: 

a). The students were unhappy about the delivery of some courses entirely via the web. This information is unavailable to them and many would have avoided the sections if they had known this.

(1). Action Item: Attempt to find a way to have information on the delivery of the course listed in the OSCAR. [Linda Cabot to check].

(2). Action Item: A more general point is that the information about required software should be available for a course just as the textbook is. We should find out how the textbook information is kept and hence try to link the software and web delivery questions to this. [Linda Cabot to check]

b). Faculty have a perception that a lot of "commercial software" not on the SCO list is required for courses most of this turns out to be software that can be obtained free and thus is not an economic issue. The use of other software packages appeared to be by course and generic and therefore not in the purvey of the committee. No Action Item

c). Students have complained about "turning in" homework only to find that the TAís required it in a different format. This raised the general issue of what recourse students have in the case that they are using a package that is listed under SCO but the TA/faculty refuses to accept that format.

(1). Action Item Draft a statute that gives the students the right to "take it up the line" if this refusal persists. The committee felt that all faculty should be required to take the homework in the appropriate format listed under the SCO rules, that applied at any time during the studentís stay, if on-line submission was required. [Greg Abowd to draft something more formal].

2. Procedure for Adding/Deleting/Substituting Software

a). It was felt that we should follow a specific procedure for this activity.

b). A minimum of one meeting a semester would have this on its agenda.

c). For faculty/schools wishing to do any changes there would be a form, similar in concept to a human subjects form that goes before the IRB, that we will generate and distribute. This form would become the basis for the decision about changes and would be submitted to the committee to be considered at the appropriate meeting. The faculty supporting the change would be requested to attend the meeting.

d). The form can be submitted at any time and if it is urgent a special meeting of the committee would be convened to consider the request.

e). A delay period of at least one semester would be enforced and a preferred timeline of a one-year delay be suggested.