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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

VT Online Class Materials Now Available

By Gail McMillan

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 07 - October 10, 1996

There is now a central location for students to find online class materials, the VT Online Class Materials website at http://reserve.lib.vt.edu. To make this phttp://reserve.lib.vt.edu. To make this possible, University Libraries has renamed its electronic reserve system and improved online file management for the faculty.

Selecting one of three options, faculty members will contribute to easy access for students to their online class materials.

* Faculty members who maintain their own Web page and electronic class materials can have this page included in the university list of classes and faculty members with online course materials by registering the URL (Internet address) of the Web page at http://reserve.lib.vt.edu/registry/ER-register.html.

* Faculty members who maintain their own homepage but who do not have access to a server can have secure and ample disk space on the library server. To request an account for online class materials, go to http://reserve.lib.vt.edu/request_space.html.

* Faculty members who create online class materials but do not wish to create a Web page or maintain a website may send their files of class materials to the library. Automated programs will generate a standard Web page for every class and add new materials as faculty members submit files throughout the semester. To use this service, request a password at http://reserve.lib.vt.edu/pass.html and submit files at http://reserve.lib.vt.edu/cgi-bin/ER_ submit.cgi.

There are several advantages for faculty members who store their files on the library's server. It is very stable and secure, with copies of files regularly made and stored off-site so that if anything happens to the primary server, recovery files are readily available. VTOCM files on the library server are available only to our university community (whether local or remote) so that the current copyright and fair-use laws are being complied with. Use statistics are also recorded so that faculty members can determine if their class files are being accessed. There is no limit to file size, but files should be web-compatible.

Faculty members contributing to the centralized VT Online Class Materials make it easier for Virginia Tech's students to find and use their course materials. Students do not have to remember multiple URL's-a separate one for each class each semester-and they are not limited to library hours as they are when photocopies are placed at the Reserve Desk. However, the Reserve Desk is still in full operation-ready to assist faculty members and students during normal library hours. The Library staff is currently writing programs that will integrate the index of classes and faculty who use VTOCM with the materials stored and available through the Reserve Desk.