The Clemson University Laptop Program was originally started three years ago (1998) as a Pilot program as part of an evolution of teaching methods. Though the program has been in existence for these three years, it still exists in a Pilot state. Because of this, an investigation of the Laptop Program was conducted, and that investigation's findings have become the subject of this research.
Clemson University English 101 and 102, 102-H classes conducted the task of researching the laptop program to aid the stakeholders in their determining of the vitality of the program. Though this investigation was not conducted by professional researchers per se, the researchers gained their credibility on this subject by their intensive work concentration on this subject throughout the Fall 2000 semester. In addition, the research was conducted by those with an inside perspective on the curriculum, being part of the Pilot program themselves.
From the beginning, this research has been designed to aid the Clemson University Pilot Laptop Program's stakeholders to provide them with a different, and potentially helpful, perspective of the program's existence. It was intended to be an unbiased, open-ended evaluation of the program. Though it is understood that there are many areas for consideration in the determining of the continuation of the program, it is our goal to present this paper to help the stakeholders with their decision.
This research is not meant to be the end of a process, but rather the beginning of one. We hope the ideas and insight gained from this venture will open the doors in a quest for the future of Clemson University's marriage to the Information Technology of the future. This research paper is not an attempt to predict the future, rather it is intended to serve as a tool for the benefit of those examining this future, and for the benefit of those affecting it.
Without the help of Dr. Christine Boese, Dr. Cynthia L. Selfe, Dean Janice Schach, Dr. Bernadette Longo, Dr. Elisa Sparks, Laurie Sherrod, concerned Laptop Students, and the Cooper Library; this project would never have made it off the ground. For this reason, deepest gratitude is expressed for their willingness, helpfulness, and desire to contribute to this research. They have been the drive behind this undertaking.
The research of the Pilot Laptop Program is not complete, and there are many facets to it beside the one presented here. Because this research is about the future of the program, it will be up to those in this future to act based on this information as well as other research to determine the best path for Clemson University.