Office of Administration and Finance
                                
                                
              INTERIM POLICY ON TECHNOLOGY FLUENCY

UMBC recognizes that the use of technology is instrumental in
enabling learning, advancing research, facilitating business
functions, and enhancing the quality of citizens' lives. UMBC,
therefore, has developed, and regularly, updates a Strategic Plan
for Information Technology (April, 2000) to ensure that
technology enhances the quality of the campus' teaching and
learning, research, and administrative services. UMBC's Strategic
Plan for Information Technology responds to the Regents' mandate
that graduates from USM institutions be technologically fluent.

UMBC recognizes the importance of technology fluency in promoting
success in employment and  enhancing lifelong learning and
communication capabilities. It is the intent of this policy to
ensure that UMBC graduates will possess the information
technology related skills that define technology fluency as a
result of curricular focus, instructional strategies, and
exposure to technology as members of the UMBC community.

In order to accomplish the goals of UMBC's Strategic Plan for
Information Technology and to implement this policy, UMBC
students must have access to computing, software, and the
internet. UMBC initiated its Assured Access to Computing Policy
in 2001 to ensure such access. In so doing and recognizing that
appropriate applications of information technology in teaching
and learning will vary according to discipline and by course,
UMBC faculty now are free to incorporate online resources and
methods into their teaching and require students to complete
assignments that entail use of those resources and methods.  This
policy, therefore, incorporates UMBC's Strategic Plan for
Information Technology as well as its Assured Access to Computing
Policy.

UMBC graduates will possess the ability to use information
technology to help define research agendas and goals, identify
and evaluate information sources, develop write and edit reports
and papers, and meet other course requirements (i.e., online
information research, analysis, and writing skills); present
their work through a variety of online or technology assisted
means such as web pages, email, online forums and presentation
software (i.e, publishing/presentation skills); and bring
appropriate technology to bear on the problems within their
disciplines and have knowledge of technological tools relevant to
their disciplines and to being an active member of society (i.e.,
problem solving).

In addition to the incorporation of UMBC's Strategic Plan for
Information Technology and  its Assured Access to Computing
Policy into this policy, UMBC will achieve the goals of this
policy in the following ways:

    provide training beyond the classroom to students to enable
     the effective use of information technology and develop a 
     level of information literacy (currently provided by the 
     Office of Information Technology, and the library);

    continue to enhance UMBC's required composition course
     (English 101) and other composition courses which teach
     technology skills;

    offer required courses that teach technology skills within
     the major;

    technologically enhance other courses within the disciplines
     as appropriate to each discipline;

    make technology an integral part of all aspects of
     university life by continued use of technology to deliver 
     student services (such as registering for classes, viewing 
     account balances, accessing the schedule of classes and 
     checking the status of library books)


Assessment

UMBC recognizes the need to evaluate the effectiveness with which
it implements its instructional activities and accomplishes its
technology fluency goals. UMBC will assess the degree to which
its students achieve technology fluency by the monitoring and
reporting of its assured access program; regular assessment of
its required courses in composition and those within the major
(especially at the senior level) that contain a technology
component; and regular surveying its alumni. The Office of the
Provost working with the Office of Institutional Research shall
be responsible for such assessment.

In addition, all academic program reviews shall address the issue
of technology fluency.  New program proposals also shall include
a plan achieving technology fluency.



February 2002