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Lessons Learned Creating A Laptop Policy For Computing Programs

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Computers in Education Poster Session

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.883.1 - 11.883.11



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Paper Authors

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Timothy Lindquist Arizona State University

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Harry Koehnemann Arizona State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Lessons Learned Creating a Laptop Policy for Computing Programs Abstract

The Division of Computing Studies at Arizona State University at the Polytechnic campus is in the process of instituting a laptop requirement policy for undergraduate and graduate students. The paper describes the motivation and rationale for this policy, the information gathered during the feasibility study, and finally the policy itself as well as a rationale for the decisions. The paper provides others considering similar requirements the experience gained by this organization. The study also considered a campus-wide laptop policy, but concluded there were too many unanswered questions and risks which are both discussed in the paper.

1 Introduction

The Division of Computing Studies Arizona State University (ASU) at the Polytechnic campus offers Computer Science programs at both baccalaureate and masters levels. It distinguishes itself from the traditional Computer Science programs on the Tempe campus in two respects. First, the predominance of courses are problem-based, hands-on, and utilize computing best- practice tools, methods and languages. Second, upper-division and graduate offerings earn their place in the curriculum by representing concepts and technologies widely used in the computing profession. The primary bachelor’s program is the BS Applied Computer Science and the primary graduate program is the Master of Computing Studies. The Division has roughly 120 undergraduate students and 60 masters students, as opposed to over 1200 students in the traditional Computer Science programs offered at the Tempe campus. The Polytechnic campus of Arizona State University is located in East Mesa and enrolls nearly 5000 students, whereas the university totals over 60,000 students. The campus is less than 10 years old and is rapidly growing at a rate of roughly 20% per year. Many services, including most IT, administrative computing support, admissions, financial, as well as degree analysis and awarding are provided by Arizona State University at the Tempe campus.

Like all ASU students, students at the Polytechnic Campus are given 200 megabytes of network- accessible disk space to perform and save work. In addition, IT staff installs more than 100 software products as requested by academic departments on ASU computers which students can access during supported hours. As is typical in any IT environment, computer users have restricted access to computing systems and cannot perform certain functions, including the installation of new software and the configuration of most installed software applications. Such restrictions are standard practice for any IT organization, academic or otherwise, to ensure that one user does not break or corrupt a computer for another user. Further, IT asks departments to provide them software five months before the semester begins.

Due to the nature of Division courses, faculty members have issues with these restrictions, notably the space for student work, the ability to configure software, and the advance notice for software installation. This paper discusses the Division’s motivation and steps to create a 1:1 laptop policy. The next section briefly details the Division’s motivation for the policy. Section 3

Lindquist, T., & Koehnemann, H. (2006, June), Lessons Learned Creating A Laptop Policy For Computing Programs Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1076

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