Learning Resources Computer Lab supports the college mission to “provide educational opportunities of the highest quality to all the people of the Sandhills” by providing student and academic support (Goal 2), opportunities for cultural enrichment and community service (Goal 5) and resources to “advance the excellence of its programs (Goal 6). The mission of the Katharine L. Boyd Library is “to serve the students and faculty of Sandhills Community College as well as, insofar as budget and staff permit, the students enrolled in baccalaureate programs on our campus and the members of the community who draw upon the college library for research and recreational use.”
As a vital part of Boyd Library, the Learning Resources Computer Lab (LRC) supports students, faculty, and staff from all academic programs by providing access to technological resources, including Internet access, distance learning communication tools, and departmentally selected software; additionally, the LRC provides staff assistance with the use of these resources.
The Learning Resources Computer Lab plays a vital role in the education of Sandhills' students. While the LRC continues to be a convenient and familiar place for students to write papers, technology advances have changed many of the educational needs of today's students. The past year has seen a significant shift in the volume and nature of use of the LRC as we respond to changing needs.
Distance Learning - The explosive increase in distance learning courses both at Sandhills and elsewhere has created a need for a Learning Resources Computer Lab that is able to assist in all aspects of students' online participation. LRC staff have been trained in and are proficient in Moodle. All staff are required to become familiar with the various distance-learning courses offered each semester to better aid students as needs arise. In addition to staff support, the LRC provides technology for students' pursuit of distance-learning courses.Sixty percent of traditional students are also enrolled in at least one distance-learning course. Students attending traditional courses often find themselves with schedule gaps that are perfect opportunities for completing distance-learning coursework in the LRC. Distance-learning students that do not visit campus on a regular basis may find assistance with the format by accessing the online instructional materials found on the LRC web pages. Online instruction is available for help with email, Internet research, use of online databases, and more. Additional online instruction is planned to accommodate the needs of Sandhills students working from home.
Research - The Learning Resources Computer Lab's location within Boyd Library continues to create a unique learning synergy. Students are able to conduct research both traditionally and electronically and receive help with both methods without leaving the building. Moreover, when research is complete, they are already located in an area in which to assemble their notes, both handwritten and electronic, to create the required paper. This may then be either printed or submitted electronically. LRC hours are closely aligned with Library hours to maximize the opportunity for cross-media learning and to allow broad access (including evenings and Saturdays) to the facility.
Support - In addition to the primary roles the Learning Resources Computer Lab plays in assisting students' research and distance learning, the role of support facility for instructors is growing. Instructors request installation of instructional software in the LRC that supplements course material in order to make it more widely available for their students. A sampling of departments and programs served include: Nursing, Cosmetology, Math, Languages, Office Systems Technology, Accounting, Psychology, etc. The LRC supports the role of the Division of Student Services by providing access to financial aid material. Students may also access career placement material and job search gateways. For the transfer student, the LRC is a place to seek information about and submit applications to four-year institutions. Sandhills' students enrolled in distance learning courses offered by other academic institutions such as Fayetteville Tech., NC State, and others, rely on the LRC in order to participate in coursework and the electronic learning community.
Basic Services – The Learning Resources Computer Lab continues to be a location where students type and print papers, work on computerized database and spreadsheet assignments, create résumés, polish basic computer skills, practice keyboarding, and discover Internet resources.
The Learning Resources Computer Lab currently serves approximately one hundred students each day, half of them in the morning hours. Despite increased use, LRC computers are available to students with no time restrictions. The LRC staff affirms that learning takes place at different rates and it is a goal of the LRC to allow students as much time as they need to learn. The Learning Resource Computer Lab Supervisor and staff continue to strive to meet our Goals:
- The Learning Resources Computer Lab (LRC) will provide adequate information resources to support instructional program needs.
- The LRC will provide sufficient staff to provide service to users.
- The LRC staff will provide knowledgeable assistance.
- The LRC staff will be courteous and helpful.
- The LRC will provide adequate equipment.
Boyd Library's Learning Resources Computer Lab is a site supportive of all college programs. The LRC provides and maintains information resources that allow students to become competent users of technological communication and global research tools by making available access to additional online resources and software which supplement those of Boyd Library. The LRC provides current hardware and software consistent with the college's academic program as well as its commitment to incorporate technological advances into its educational resources.