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LITRE: Learning In A Technologically-Rich Environment Banner NC State University
Welcome to LITRE

LITRE Plan Executive Summary

LITRE is an empirical research program aimed at enhancing the extensive learning with technology opportunities available to students and faculty at North Carolina State University. Although LITRE is the quality enhancement plan portion of NC State’s reaccreditation portfolio for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, it is primarily a university-wide initiative that has been embraced by our faculty, students, and administration as essential to the learning, research, and outreach missions of our institution.

The LITRE plan is the result of eighteen months of initial investigation into opportunities to significantly upgrade the already impressive technology-enhanced learning environment at NC State. This preliminary investigation was conducted by research groups made up of NC State’s faculty, staff, and students. The groups focused on five areas: 1) educational infrastructure, 2) student information fluency, 3) faculty engagement, 4) learning resources and educational technology applications, and 5) e-learning environments. The recommendations of these research groups were presented to the faculty at a campus forum held in spring 2003. Later that spring the investigations of the research groups were expanded with an extensive campuswide survey (55 percent response rate) that elicited faculty views on the current condition and possible enhancement of technology-aided learning.

The combined research, forum, and survey results helped the LITRE team identify a list of promising opportunities for institutional investment in technology-enhanced learning. During summer 2003, groups of faculty and staff developed this list into twenty-two proposed implementation plans. A panel of the LITRE team agreed that all of these proposals were strongly linked to NC State’s success in improving its learning environment, but also winnowed the list to twelve plans, based on likely funding limits and potential for immediate measurable impact on the learning environment. This reduced list was presented to the university community at the Educational Technology Expo in the fall of 2003 and was subsequently forwarded to NC State’s SACS leadership team.

After substantial analysis and discussion, the SACS leadership team identified a set of five initial actions for immediate implementation. These actions are the starting point of the ongoing LITRE initiative. The clear understanding of the LITRE team is that each of the issues identified in the original set of proposals must be addressed if NC State is to optimize our technology-enhanced learning environment. However, appropriate research protocol and severe university budget constraints limit the extent of the immediate efforts. The initial items are: 1) expanding and expediting the classroom technology improvement plan, 2) implementing and testing the new university standard for classroom technology in a limited number of classrooms, 3) deploying a new classroom-based technology learning system, 4) establishing pilot technology-enhanced workspaces for student group projects, 5) initiating a faculty-support grants program. In addition, the leadership team acted to establish a sustainable LITRE organization, led by a principal investigator recruited from the faculty.

The LITRE plan describes the process by which NC State will leverage scholarly investigation and judicious additional investments to further capitalize on its $30 million program of educational technology. LITRE’s ultimate goal is to produce students with superior abilities to harness technology to reason, investigate, and communicate.