Office of Administration and Finance
16APR2002                       LTComm                FINAL DRAFT
        Salisbury University's Technology Fluency Policy

The Mission of Salisbury University states, "Our highest purpose
is to empower our students with the knowledge, skills and core
values that contribute to life-long learning and active
citizenship in a democratic society and interdependent world."
In the 21st century, information technology is a crucial
component in that process of empowerment.  Therefore, it is the
policy of Salisbury University that all students graduating from
this institution can demonstrate an appropriate level of fluency
with information technology with regard to discipline-specific
requirements within academic departments.  Salisbury University
recognizes that fluency in information technology requires three
kinds of knowledge:  contemporary skills, foundational concepts,
and intellectual capabilities.  This knowledge is attained in
four broad context areas namely:

       I.   Basic Operations and Concepts
       
            Students demonstrate a sound understanding of the
            nature and operation of technology systems.
          
       II.  Accessing Information through Technology
       
            Students use technology to access, evaluate, and
            process information efficiently and effectively
          
       III. Communicating Effectively using Technology
       
            Students use technology effectively and
            appropriately to communicate information in a
            variety of formats
          
       IV.  Organizing and Analyzing Information with Technology
       
            Students demonstrate the ability to use technology
            to organize and analyze information to solve
            problems and make informed decisions.

As outlined in the book, Being Fluent with Information Technology
(National Research Council 1999), the National Research Council
has outlined ten specific skills that fall into these four
categories.  These specific skills have been suggested by the USM
Board of Regents as the appropriate starting point for achieving
technology fluency on the campus of Salisbury University:

I.   Basic Operations and Concepts

     a.   Setting up a personal computer
          A person who uses computers should be able to
          connect the parts of a personal computer and its major
          peripherals (e.g., a printer). This entails knowing
          about the physical appearance of cables and ports, as
          well as having some understanding of how to configure
          the computer (e.g., knowing that most computers provide
          a way to set the system clock, or how to select a
          screen saver and why one may need to use a screen
          saver).
     
     b.   Using basic operating system features
          Typical of today's operating system use is the
          ability to install new software, delete unwanted
          software, and invoke applications. There are many other
          skills that could reasonably be included in this
          category, such as the ability to find out from the
          operating system whether there is sufficient disk
          space.
     
     c.   Connecting a computer to a network
          This process can be as simple as wiring the
          computer to a telephone jack and subscribing to an
          Internet service provider, although as more powerful
          communications options become available, this process
          may become more complex.
     
II.       Accessing Information through Technology

     d.   Using technology (e.g. Internet) to find information
             and resources
          Locating information on the Internet involves the
          use of browsers and search engines. The use of search
          engines and browsers requires an understanding of one's
          needs and how they relate to what is available and what
          can be found readily. Additionally, it is important to
          both be able to specify queries and evaluate the
          results.
     
     e.   Using instructional materials to learn how to use new
             applications or features
          This skill involves using online help files and
          reading and understanding printed manuals. One aspect
          of this process is obtaining details or features of
          systems one already comprehends; a second aspect is
          using the tutorial to grasp the essential models and
          ideas underlying a new system.

III. Communicating Effectively using Technology

     f.   Using a word processor to create a text document
          Minimal skills in this area include the ability to
          select fonts, paginate, organize, and edit documents.
          Integration of image and other data is becoming
          essential. Additional possible applications include the
          creation of Web pages using specialized authoring
          tools.
     
     g.   Using a graphics and/or artwork package to create
          illustrations, slides, or other image-based expressions
          of ideas
          Today, this skill involves the ability to use the
          current generation of presentation software and
          graphics packages
     .
     h.   Using telecommunications to communicate with others
          Electronic mail is a primary mode of computer-based
          communication. However, discussion boards, web pages,
          and instant messaging are also valid telecommunication
          modes.  Variants and improvements, as well as entirely
          new modes of communication, are expected in the future.


IV.  Organizing and Analyzing Information with Technology

     i.   Using a spreadsheet to model simple processes or
            financial tables
          This skill includes the ability to use standard
          spreadsheet systems and/or specialized packages (e.g.,
          tax preparation software).
       
     j.   Using a database system to access useful information
          Database systems are becoming ubiquitous in the
          workplace, and personal information managers are
          becoming increasingly common. In the future, different
          approaches, perhaps Web-oriented, may become the
          prevalent mode.

However, while the National Research Council and the USM Board of
Regents have endorsed student competence in these ten generic
skills as the recommended goal for each USM campus, we at
Salisbury University recognize that each academic discipline will
have a specific set of contemporary skills, foundational
concepts, and intellectual capabilities that it considers to be
critical to success of its graduates.  For example, within the
Sciences, a special emphasis may be placed on organizing and
analyzing information while in the Liberal Arts, communication
with technology may be of primary importance.

Therefore, it is the policy of Salisbury University that all
students graduating from this institution can demonstrate an
appropriate level of fluency with information technology with
regard to discipline-specific requirements within academic
departments.  As part of the upcoming annual assessment process,
academic departments will identify the technology skills,
concepts, and capabilities they consider to be most important to
success in their discipline.  Within this assessment process,
departments will create measurable outcomes to demonstrate the
level of technology fluency within their majors, create means to
assess these student learning outcomes, and include the results
in their annual assessment report.  Obviously, all of the
possible student technology fluency goals cannot be assessed in a
given year; departments should prioritize their goals and assess
a few each year.

In summary, Salisbury University believes that being fluent with
information technology is crucial for the success of our
graduates in the Information Age.  We agree with National
Research Council (1999) when they wrote that students:

          ...should use information technology confidently,
          should come to work ready to learn new business
          systems quickly and use them effectively, should
          be able to apply information technology to
          personally relevant problems, and should be able
          to adapt to the inevitable change as information
          technology evolves over their lifetime. (p. 5)

By assessing our students' fluency with information
technology, we will be helping to ensure that their college
degree is competitive in the marketplace and that they are
prepared for a lifetime of learning about ever-changing
technology.



National Research Council. (1999).  Being Fluent with
     Information Technology.  Washington, DC:  National
     Academy Press.




   Salisbury University's Technology Fluency Policy 
                 (for Univ Catalog)

The Mission of Salisbury University states, "Our highest purpose
is to empower our students with the knowledge, skills and core
values that contribute to life-long learning and active
citizenship in a democratic society and interdependent world."
In the 21st century, information technology is a crucial
component in that process of empowerment.  It is the policy of
Salisbury University that all students graduating from this
institution can demonstrate an appropriate level of fluency with
information technology with regard to discipline-specific
requirements within academic departments.  The discipline-
specific requirements will be refined from four broad technology
knowledge context areas: 1) basic operations and concepts; 2)
accessing information through technology; 3) communicating
effectively using technology and; 4) organizing and analyzing
information with technology.