Grossmont College Technology Plan 2007-2010.

Technology

Biology

Description

The Biology department is entering a critical transition period as we move from a decades-old lab facility into a new lab facility.  This transition will include increases in the number of sections of many classes, the resulting increase in students, and the need from more full-time faculty and more technology.  The new facility also includes two new auxiliary classrooms, a greenhouse and a native garden; and a dedicated Biology Study Center. The new auxiliary classrooms augment our existing Nature Preserve. 

Recent retirements have meant the influx of new faculty and the need for updating existing faculty computers.  In addition, the department expects to add two new full-time faculty to its staff (bringing department total to 12) and a fourth technician over the time period of this plan.  With the uncertain state of funding for faculty and staff it is difficult to predict when these new faculty and staff members will be added and thus when we will need computers for these new department members.  As of the writing of this plan, one faculty member has a new computer (a dual platform Mac), two have Macs that are less than 3 years old, five have antiquated PC’s and inadequate monitors, one faculty member has chosen to no longer use an office computer, the lead technician has a Mac that is less than 3 years old and 2 remaining technicians have older PC’s .  All department members (faculty & technical staff) rely on a single network printer.

The department views its instructional technology needs in the light of its four distinct academic areas:  Health-Sciences preparation, Cell & Molecular Biology, Environmental Biology/Ecology, and General Education/Transfer.  The departments Major’s level courses are part of the Transfer, Cell & Molecular Biology and Ecology/Environmental Biology disciplines. While each has its own particular needs, there are some needs that cross all four disciplines.

Currently, the state of our Department’s instructional technology is a combination of newer equipment and old-outdated equipment.  In particular, as our departmental Education Master Plan states, our need for additional mobile computing facilities (laptop computers, wireless hubs, networked printers) is most pronounced.  Our request for two complete mobile computing carts (each with 16 laptops and a network printer) has not been met.  We currently have just 6 laptops, one cart, and one, “hand-me-down” network printer that has yet to be linked to the laptops.  We expect that, with our move to the new building in Spring 2007 and the addition of 8 more laptops, that one of the mobile stations will be almost complete (14 vs. requested 16).  Based on current information, each new lab will have a dedicated computer for faculty use in instruction.  Should those computers be eliminated or reduced, the department will need to ensure that all labs have dedicated computers for faculty use in instruction.

In addition to computers, the department has numerous other non-computer technologies.  These include:

§         Student Compound Microscopes

§         Student Dissecting Microscopes

§         Microscopes with Digital Camera and digital output

§         Digital Display camera

§         Data Projectors

§         Field Equipment including

·        Sling sycrometers,

·        Field binoculars

·        Portable computers and software for monitoring and analyzing variables in the field

§         Mac Labs and attachments

§         “Reevue” (brand-name) Metabolic Analyzer

At the writing of this plan, the funding is available to equip, with minimum student technology, all of the labs in the new building.  However, funding for devices for use by faculty in the presentation of material for labs has been severely cut.  In particular, Microscopes with Digital Cameras/Output and Digital Display Cameras and projectors are not available for all the labs. 

At the writing of this plan, due to the lack of sufficient student computers, only two types of specialized software are in regular use: Power Lab Software (for use in Health Preparation Courses) and Statview (for use in our Majors statistics class).

The equipping of all lab facilities with Data projectors, other projection equipment, Microscopes with Digital Cameras and Digital Display Cameras is the department’s ultimate goal.  In addition, our department foresees the need for upgrades to existing Power Lab equipment, expansion of biotechnology education to include PCR, microarrays, bioinformatics and Cell Culture, the expanded use of electronic equipment in our Environmental/Ecology courses, and the incorporation of relevant technologies in our Health Science Preparation courses.  Actual needs will depend heavily on available staff to maintain and use technology.

Curriculum Impact

Our department needs to continue to expand the use of computer simulations into all areas of our department.   Each faculty member is expected to continue to expand the use of technology in both the lecture and the lab environments.  All areas expect the influx of new technologies to result in an almost continually changing learning environment.  For example, the introduction, across the curriculum, of basic biotechnology techniques and the increase in web-based databases will produce significant changes in both content and teaching methodologies.

Approximate Number of Students Served

In our current facility, we serve approximately 3400 students in Fall and Spring semesters combined and an additional 410 students each Summer semester.  As we move into the new facility we expect that this number will increase by approximately 50% over the course of this plan, reaching a maximum of approximately 5700 students each academic year.  In addition, an indeterminate number of students will be served by the new Biology Learning Center and “bonus” sections that are currently offered to boost college enrollment.

Support Impact

In addition to new “in-department” technical staff for day to day needs, we foresee the need for two types of support personnel:

§         Contracted technical assistance to maintain and repair autoclaves, dishwashers, de-ionized water system, and microscopes

§         “In-House” technical assistance (i.e., Biology Department Technicians) to

o       Maintain and repair electronic equipment including but not limited to faculty and student computers.

o       Maintain Field Equipment

o       Maintain Metabolic Analyzer

o       Greenhouse and Native Garden Maintenance including irrigation equipment, lighting and maintenance of database of plants in both areas.

§         Personnel to cover the Biology Learning Center

§         Training for Biology Technicians and Faculty: Metabolic Analyzer, Field equipment (see above)

Year 1 (2007-2008)

 Objective

The main objective of Year 1 will be to identify technology needs that were originally planned for the new lab building but were cut due to a lack of funding.  This includes both laboratory/student and faculty computers and laboratory and teaching technologies (including) replacement  of out-dated, un-repairable physiology technologies

 The secondary objectives of Year 1 will be:

  • Expand mobile computer facilities to serve 2 full lab classes simultaneously. (Mobile Computer Station #1 & #2)
  • Equip and maintain technology in the Biology Learning Center

o       Assumes that funding for supervisor(s) for this facility is provided as well as the availability of faculty for oversight.

Action to Meet Objective

List is Prioritized

1. Purchase replacement for Collins Respirometer: Reevue Metabolic Analyzer

1. Purchase 2 laptops to complete Mobile Computer Station #1 (16 total needed, 6 on-hand, 8 scheduled for purchase as part of Science Building budget=14 total available/anticipated)

1. Network Printer for Mobile Computer Station #1

1. Purchase 3 Digital Display Cameras 

1. Purchase 3 Microscopes with Digital Cameras

1. Purchase a stand-alone laser printer/copier for Department Chair (V.Dudley)

1. Purchase new PC’s for 6 full-time faculty members (in priority order)

§         Milgrim

§         Golden

§         Alagia

§         Caldwell

§         Perchez

§         Replacement Hire (Fall, 2007)

1. Purchase new PC’s for 2 existing and one anticipated new technician.

§         Fawcett

§         New Microbiology Technician (hire date Nov, 2006)

§         New Biology Technician (approved, pending funding)

1. Hire department technician with skills to maintain technology and plants in the Greenhouse, Native Garden, Nature Preserve, and Lath House (assuming the latter is properly re-habilitated). This support position has been approved but is not funded

1. In-House support for laptops, display cameras, microscope cameras, data projectors, printers and faculty computers.

2. Purchase 16 laptops, Mobile Cart, and Network printer. (Mobile Computer Station #2)

2. Purchase technology for Biology Learning Center

§         5 Microscopes

§         2 student Laptops

§         Software for Laptops

3. Purchase additional technology for the Greenhouse

3. Purchase 7 stand-alone laser printers for each faculty office.

3. External lighting and signage for Native Garden

4. Support for Faculty course-specific Website establishment, construction and maintenance

Year 2 (2008-2009)

 Objective

All objectives for the second phase will be tied to accomplishments in Year 1 (08-09).  Assuming, for this writing, that our primary Year 1 objective is met and all Actions to Meet Objective prioritized as “1” have been completed, both secondary objectives of Year 1 are listed here along with one new objective

 The Objectives of Year 2 will be:

  • Expand mobile computer facilities to serve 2 full lab classes simultaneously.
  • Equip and maintain technology in the Biology Learning Center
  • Purchase simulation software for a variety of Biology topics for use in lab and lecture classes.

 Action to Meet Objective

1. Purchase 16 laptops, Mobile Cart, and Network printer. (Mobile Computing Station #2)

1. Purchase technology for Biology Learning Center

§         5 Microscopes

§         2 student Laptops

1. Software for Laptops

  • Natural Selection/Evolution
  • Ecosystem modeling
  • Anatomy (to supplement Cat and Cadaver dissections)
  • For General Education classes –

o       Dissection: Frog & Fetal Pig

o       Physiology Modeling: Frog

2. Purchase additional technology for the Greenhouse – this action assumes that the department’s 4th Full-Time technician has been hired to maintain this technology

3. Purchase 7 stand-alone laser printers for each faculty office.

3. External lighting and signage for Native Garden

4. Support for Faculty course-specific Website establishment, construction and maintenance – this action will continue to be included in this and all future plans.  There is the assumption of an ongoing increase in the complexity and size of course websites and the need to continue to provide support to faculty for these student-centered websites.

 Year 3 (2009-2010)

 Objective

All objectives for the third phase will be tied to accomplishments in Year 1 (08-09) and Year 2 (08-09).  Assuming, for this writing, that our all our Year 1 and Year 2 “Actions to Meet Objectives” are complete, the objectives for Year 3 are

 The Objectives of Year 3 will be:

  • Expand mobile computer facilities to serve 3 full lab classes simultaneously.
  • Upgrade 6 laptops in Mobile Computing Station #1

o       Dell laptops originally purchased pre-2005

  • Expand technology into field courses
  • Replace faculty computers no replaced in Year 1

 Action to Meet Objective

1. Purchase 16 laptops, Mobile Cart, and Network printer. (Mobile Computing Station #3)

1. Purchase 6 laptops to replace out-dated laptops for Mobile Computer Station #1

1. Field Equipment including

o       Sling sycrometers,

o       Field binoculars

o       Portable computers and software for monitoring and analyzing variables in the field

2. Purchase Mac Computers for 2 faculty and one technician

o       V. Dudley (Faculty)

o       Shearer (Faculty)

o       Farley (Lead Tech)


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