Austin Community College ACCelerator – Largest Computer Lab in USA

Austin Community College ACCelerator – Largest Computer Lab in USA

August 21, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


[music] When I first walked into the Accelerator,
I was like amazed. It was like a wow! The Highland Campus Accelerator
is the nation’s largest computer lab. It has 604 computers and it offers Austin Community
College the opportunity to do a lot of innovative
things. We started with developmental
math because that’s one of the nation’s big problems
for students in terms of completing college. I’m definitely not what I
would call a “math” person. It’s been a problem
topic, problem subject for me ever since high school. With Alexs, when I first
got on to the program, I did an assessment so it put
me exactly where my level is so I felt like everything
was customized to my current learning ability. And, that really made
me feel comfortable and I could take things one
bite size piece at a time. When we originally put the
Alexs curriculum together, we wanted it to be
centered around the student, the individual student. Every student starts with
the entire developmental math curriculum when they
begin in the program. Then, the first thing they do
is take an initial assessment. The system generates
their own individual pie for the curriculum that
they have to cover. Well, this is Alexs and this is
what I have been working with. This is an Alexs pie which
is basically all the topics that I need to learn in the
course and it is sectioned off so you’ll haveÖ Instructors
actually track students individually so they
can go into the system, they look at each one
of their students, they can see their
progress, they can see where they’re spending
longer periods of time, they talk to the students
on an individual basis, they answer their questions
on an individual basis, and if they detect that a
student is taking longer on a particular topic then
they might think should happen, then they know that student
really needs some instruction. We have classrooms and you
can pull students aside and give them little
mini-lectures so that you’re meeting
their individual needs. You don’t have the pressure
of feeling confused in class; you don’t have the
pressure of grades; you don’t have the
pressure of tests; all of these things can be
really distracting for you as a student so this
takes that all away and it’s you and your computer. It’s all about what
you are ready for so I really,
really recommend it. Faculty are all reporting that
they really enjoy the classes and both the students and
the faculty are telling us that they have a much closer
relationship between them than they do in regular
lecture classes. This is definitely a
wonderful complement to the traditional classes. [music]