A COST-EFFECTIVE DESIGN AND IMPLEMETATION OF A COMPUTER LEARNING CENTER.

Title A COST-EFFECTIVE DESIGN AND IMPLEMETATION OF A COMPUTER LEARNING CENTER.
Author, Co-Author Stephen Whittaker
Topic
Year
1992
Day
Monday
Program Number
Poster 65
Room
Great Hall
Affiliation
Abstract Computer-assisted instruction and access to other computer programs such as word-processing, data-bases, expert systems, tutorials, patient simulations, etc are becoming increasingly important in optometric academic programs. In designing a computer center, Colleges of Optometry should consider initial cost, selection of hardware that will accommodate useful software, accessibility of computers, maintenance costs, security (including virus protection), and ease-of-use. At the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, our student computer services have evolved over the past 5 years into a recently completed Center for Computer-Assisted Learning. We found a PC (personal computer) local-area-network (LAN) with single floppy drive workstations is a less expensive, more easily maintained and secured system than as few as 4 fully independent IBM compatible computers. Although initial costs of an equivalent LAN would be higher than 6 or fewer independent computers, software maintenance (e.g. installing and updating programs) of a LAN is a fraction of independent PC's. Moreover, a LAN provides better security and more accessible records of student performance. We reduced staffing and hardware needs by locating the computer center in or adjacent to our library and developing easy menu access to all programs. I will illustrate the system design and provide a cookbook describing how AUTOMENU(tm) and NOVELL(tm) utilities can be used; 1) to provide easy menu access to instructional software and word processors, 2) to install individual students with secure records of their individual performance, 3) to secure the system against viruses and tampering, and 4) to share printers. I will also provide a list of DOS and MACINTOSH(tm) programs that are useful for Optometric Education. We have NOT successfully Networked MACINTOSH computers for use with HYPERCARD(tm) instructional programs.
Affiliation of Co-Authors
Outline