SFA'S TABLET ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM (STEP)
Origins of the Project
In 2014, Dr. Richard Berry (Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs) asked the Center for Teaching & Learning formulate a committee to investigate the benefits and feasibility of a one-to-one tablet initiative for students and faculty at SFA. The charge to this committee is to determine if Stephen F. Austin State University should conduct a large-scale, one-to-one, tablet initiative and if so, to determine the scope of such and how best to implement it through use of measurable criteria.
This investigation looked at a variety of mobile devices including, but not limited to, iPads, Android devices, and Windows-based tablets. The committee continues to consider the educational, financial, technical, and administrative benefits and challenges of a campus-wide tablet initiative.
The committee is comprised of various stakeholders from departments across the university. An initial meeting was held September 16, 2014. At the initial meeting, four subcommittees were formed: Education, Administration, Finance, and Technology. Full committee meetings occur monthly, with sub-committee meetings and collaboration occurring both face to face and online via D2L.
Fall 2014 Planning
In Fall 2014, the Mobile Device Investigation Committee decided to conduct a pilot deployment of devices in five classes in Spring 2015. The committee considered a number of mobile devices and selected the iPad Air 2 and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 for deployment. Five pilot faculty (Dr. Brian Beavers of the Department of Mathematics, Dr. Dan Bruton of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ms. Beth Gound of the Department of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership, Dr. Lee Payne of the Department of Government, and Dr. Louise Stoehr of the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Communication) were selected and allowed to choose which of the two devices to deploy in their classrooms. Faculty began considering how they would update their courses to incorporate tablets into the learning experience. CTL ordered 132 devices (60 iPads, 72 Surface Pros).
Spring 2015 Deployment
Pilot project was named STEP (SFA’s Tablet Enhancement Program). Prior to the Spring 2015 semester, CTL staff prepared devices for deployment. CTL Assistant Director Mary Smith then met with each class to distribute devices and ensure device functionality.
Fall 2015 Deployment
Fall 2015 pilot faculty have been selected, and devices have been prepared. Faculty and students will begin using devices during the first weeks of the semester.