Laptop Computer Program Student Survey ~ Spring 2011

Each spring, business students are invited through email to participate in an online Laptop Computer Program Student Survey.  This year, approximately 12% of business students responded to the survey.  Freshmen were the largest population to respond; however all levels were represented.

Laptop purchase

Approximately 59% of the students purchased a Lenovo laptop through the Laptop Program.  An additional 25% have other Windows computers. Approximately 15% of the students use Apple laptops.

Classroom use

When asked about in-classroom computer use during the 2010-11 academic year, nearly all seniors reported using computers in at least one class.    On the contrary, nearly 40% of  freshmen reported not using computers in any classroom during the same period (Table 1).

Student Technology Center

Reported use of the STC services varied by class level.  A large percent of freshmen (30.56%) never sought help at the STC.  See Table 3 for more information.

Overall, Viruses and spyware were the most frequent reasons for students seeking support.  72% of those who received spyware or virus support rated the STC as GOOD or EXCELLENT on turn-around time. Problems with hard drives were the most frequent hardware issue.

Response to student concerns

Two common responses in student comments regarding the Laptop Computer Program involved students’ misunderstanding of the current business school policy on purchasing a Lenovo and concern about the cost of the Lenovo ThinkPad laptops.

Many students noted that they felt purchasing a Lenovo laptop should not be mandatory.  Purchasing a Lenovo is not mandatory. However, since some students’ perception is contrary to the policy, changes are being implemented to improve communication with incoming students.  These changes are on the website and in our mailings.

Current students expressed concerned over the cost of the Lenovo ThinkPad laptops.  To address this concern, a third laptop option is now available to students.  In addition to the Lenovo ThinkPad T420 and T520 models, students can purchase a Lenovo ThinkPad X120e.  This computer is the size of a netbook, but supports Windows 7 Professional and the SJU model is bundled with ThinkPad Protection, which covers both accidental damage and hardware failure for four years.  Students purchasing this model are eligible for free loaners at the STC.

The Lenovo flyer has more information on current SJU student models.

For additional information on the Laptop Computer Programs Student Survey, contact Jeannine Shantz at jshantz@sju.edu or x 1678.

The full survey results can be viewed  here.

Teaching Online: Detecting and Preventing Plagiarism

A concern about teaching online involves the authenticity of assessment.  Some instructors are concerned there isn’t a way to verify that the papers/projects/tests being submitted are those of their students. Although in many ways this same statement could be made about the on-site classroom, there is a greater feeling of security when one is able to establish a personal relationship with one’s students.

One way to check a student’s work for suspected plagiarism is to look at his/her postings in a class threaded discussion.  These postings are generally spontaneous and more likely to demonstrate the student’s writing style. If the style differs dramatically from the written report, a red flag would be raised.  For more tips on this subject see – Drexel Library’s Plagiarism Guide .

In addition, a reminder that Saint Joseph’s University subscribes to the anti-plagiarism services provided by Turnitin.com.  This site provides the means to submit students’ papers electronically in order to validate their originality. Turnitin is part of  iParadigms, LLC. Please visit Plagiarism.org, the educational arm of iParadigms, for tips and references on how to avoid plagiarism and cite sources properly.

If you have subscribed to this service in the past, you can login at the site (http://www.turnitin.com/) with your email address and previously assigned password.  Once on your Homepage, click the Add a Class button on the right.  Fill in the requested information and click Submit.

If you are new to this service, please send me your name and email address.  I will enroll you in the service. You will then receive an email from Turnitin with your login information and instructions for accessing the site.