5.0678 Courses in Computer Skills (2/61)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 13 Feb 1992 20:33:20 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0678. Thursday, 13 Feb 1992.

(1) Date: Thu, 13 Feb 92 00:29 PST (13 lines)
Subject: 50660 Computer skills

(2) Date: Thu, 13 Feb 92 17:08:59 -0330 (48 lines)
From: David Graham <dgraham@morgan.ucs.mun.ca>
Subject: Re: 5.0672 Courses in computer skills

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 92 00:29 PST
Subject: 50660 Computer skills

In the French Department at UCLA, computer skills are taught as part of the
introductory course to literature for first year graduate students. It
involves general information on selecting and using wordprocessing programs,
basic DOS commands, participation in introductory courses needed
to use the on-line library catalog (taught by library staff),
registration with the office of academic computing and access
to e-mail services, introduction to ARTFL (U of Chicago French textual
data base) and basic search via e-mail (using ARTFL's MOPS commands) or
modem (using ARTFL's PHILOLOGIC program).

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------68----
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 92 17:08:59 -0330
From: David Graham <dgraham@morgan.ucs.mun.ca>
Subject: Re: 5.0672 Courses in computer skills (4/114)

Christian Allegre asks me to post a summary to HUMANIST of responses to
my request for information about courses in computer skills. I will of
course be happy to do so, though the editors' suggestion of a public
airing of this topic may diminish the requirement. I will at least try
to pass on useful information not otherwise posted to HUMANIST.

Michael Kessler writes that my question is loaded,

>...since the committee seems to
>assume that the university needs a course in computer skills for new
>first-year students.

The committee was struck to advise the Dean of Science on whether such a
course is needed, and if it is, what it should be like. So far, there
has been no suggestion that the course should be compulsory; on the
other hand, there's a fairly strong feeling on the committee that a
great many students may wish to register for it.

>not require that every department offer one course at a relatively low
>level incorporating the computer skills deemed necessary to that

I suppose the obvious answer to this question is that those skills might
well turn out to be duplicated, at least to some extent, from one
discipline to the next, and that most departments (if mine is any
example) do not in and of themselves have the resources (in personnel or
equipment) to offer such a course.

Kessler asks a number of other pertinent questions, some of which have
already arisen in the committee, and others of which have not yet been
addressed. The question of financing, it has been suggested, may perhaps
be solved if the course is to be a credit course, since the tuition fees
should pay for much of the capital cost (assuming that the course is as
popular as we suspect it will be). Our university certainly does not yet
have the requisite lab space, and indeed space may yet prove to be the
most intractable element of all.

I'm grateful for answers already received, and hopeful I shall receive
more! Many thanks.
David Graham, Dept of French & Spanish ** dgraham@morgan.ucs.mun.ca
Memorial University of Newfoundland  *-/-*  dgraham@kean.ucs.mun.ca