At times policies have to be developed to ensure better quality assurance and service...
Development of a Policy
The Computer Lab Usage Policy (CLUP) at St. Joseph's Teachers' College (SJTC) Kingston, Jamaica.
1. Is this a new/modified existing policy?
This is a new policy.
2. Who is proposing the new policy?
The Lecturer in charge and the computer department are proposing the new policy. The computer department will implement and enforce the proposed policy if the advisory committee authorizes the policy.
3. Justify the new policy
This policy has been developed to ensure a quality-computing environment at SJTC that furthers the academic research and service mission at the college. The use of SJTC computer resources is seen as a privilege not as a right.
4. What is the proposed new policy?
This policy is a Computer Lab Usage Policy (CLUP). The Computer Lab is available for the scheduled classes and exclusive use by the SJTC students. Access to the Lab is controlled via student ID cards.
The lab is available for general use Mon. to Fri., 40 hours per week unless in use by a scheduled class or when closure is required for maintenance or upgrades.
The lab provides PC systems with Windows and even the Old Windows operating systems. The newer computers are networked and have Internet connections. The policy extends as follows:
- The computer facilities are available only to students who are enrolled in SJTC.
- No eating or drinking is allowed in the lab at any time.
- Talking in the lab should be kept to a minimum so that others are not disturbed.
- Reservations are required for non-contact periods / sessions.
- Walk-ins are welcome if computers are not already reserved.
- No more than two persons may use a computer at a time.
- Only the software loaded on the lab computers may be used; you may NOT download or install new software on to the machines.
- Students are not permitted to install, modify or delete any software on lab computers.
- All thumb drives will be checked for virus by a lab-assistant before used in any of the computers.
- Internet access is provided for educational use, but visiting sites of inappropriate nature or that may be considered offensive by other individuals is not considered acceptable use of this service at SJTC.
- Sending/Posting harassing messages is not allowed.
- Unauthorized copying of copyrighted material is prohibited.
- Printing is provided for course work only. Before printing, check your work by selecting print preview. For multiple copies, use a photocopier (one is available in the library).
- Students' academic folder may be used as a temporary-working folder during the semester. It is the students' responsibility to back up all data to floppy disks before the semester ends.
- Students are expected to shut down the computer and remove their possessions from the lab at the end of every class session.
- Problems with any computer lab equipment are to be reported to the lab personnel immediately.
- Equipment in the Computer Lab is not to be removed without permission from the Lecturer in charge.
- Failure to comply with any of the above policy will result in suspension from the lab. Thus, for more serious offenses there may be greater disciplinary or legal action taken.
5. The ultimate impact of the proposed policy on the internal staff/ administration of the Computer Department, in terms of workload, additional resources required benefits, etc.
To implement this policy will certainly increase the workload of the internal staff because users will have to be aware of the lab policy and the staff would have to monitor the lab accordingly.
The additional resources required would be one powerful server for the network and network cables. The benefits that may be derived from the implementation of the policy is that in the long run lab maintenance will cost less as equipment will be kept in check, the machines would not have to be repaired because of virus.
6. The ultimate impact of the proposed policy on those external to the computer department and who would be affected by the policy.
Those persons who are external to the department such as students, faculty and others cannot save files on the hard drives or use the USB port or disk drives. They would have to get help from the lab assistant to copy files onto their thumb drives. This may be a little time consuming to the customers because they would have to wait their turn to get the service done. The benefits of locking the computer disk-drive though is that the lab assistant would be better able to keep secured data so customers cannot just copy data to their thumb drives or diskettes as they feel like. Another benefit too is that all thumb drives and diskettes will have to be checked for virus so customers cannot just insert their thumb drives or diskettes and destroy the systems files.
7. If the proposed policy were approved, who would be its most prominent beneficiary?
The most prominent beneficiary would be the computer department. The implementation of CLUP would curtail the department's operation. Time would be saved in cleaning of virus and expectations would be clear to users. CLUP would make it easier for the lab manager to carry out the department's responsibilities.
8. What procedures would be put in place by the computer department in order to implement and enforce CLUP?
All users of the lab would be informed of CLUP and the new users would be oriented. All networked machines will be updated and all software for use by the scheduled classes and other departments will be installed. A lab timetable will be established and placed where all persons can easily see it. The timetable will also display the name(s) of the personnel on duty for contact and non-contact hours.
9. If CLUP were approved, how would it be publicized to those who would be affected by it?
If CLUP were approved then it would gain publicity by advertising with the use of calendar, notice board, newsletter, college yearbook, and announcements at devotion.