EDUCAUSE Study of Student Information & Technology

EDUCAUSE conducts annual research on undergraduate students and information technology. This year the research is based on survey responses from 130 higher education institutions in the U.S. and overseas, and from more than 64,000 students. The Study provides insights on student use and preferences of technology.  Of particular relevance to our campus, the research findings point to:

  • While desktops, laptops and smartphones are important to academic success, minority students and underprivileged students rate the devices significantly more important than their counterparts. “Instructor policies that ban or discourage mobile device use in the classroom may disproportionately affect students of color, students with disabilities, first-generation students, students who are independent, and students who come from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.”
  • A majority students prefer “blended” learning. They value learning environments that consist of face-to-face class instruction along with online learning options.
  • Students who self-identify as having a physical or learning disability rate their institution’s awareness of their needs for accessibility as poor. The Study encourages institutions to offer faculty training on universal design for learning, and inclusive instructional practices.

The full report and data can be found at https://library.educause.edu/resources/2018/10/2018-students-and-technology-research-study.

From Special Collections and Archives: Fire Insurance Surveys

Three important items that give a snapshot of the physical layout of the College during the Depression are the 1932, 1938, and 1941 fire insurance surveys. As many local historians know, fire and property insurance records often provide details and information about communities and structures that are not easily located in other resources, and this is true of the R-MC insurance documents.

1938 Insurance Values for Several R-MC Buildings.
1938 Insurance Values for Several R-MC Buildings.

In addition to the value of each structure, the descriptions and details on the buildings include information that varies with each structure: the type of construction and materials used; the function of the building and in some cases, changes since the last insurance assessment; building layout and room use; the physical condition of the building; the building’s location; and who occupied the structure.

While the 1932 insurance inventory is brief and primarily lists buildings, values, and points out safety problems that should be resolved (don’t store cleaning supplies under wooden staircases!), the 1938 and 1941 inventories include much more information as well as photographs, which in some cases are the only visual representations we have of some structures such as storage buildings, garages, and yes, the corn crib, stables, and chicken houses!

Stable and Corn Crib on R-MC Campus, 1938
Stable and Corn Crib on R-MC Campus, 1938

The 1938 inventory indicates that the building designated as Cottage #7 “…was formerly a dormitory and lunch room but is now not used except one room on first floor which is occupied by one of the students who sells ice cream to other students on the campus.”   Also, one of the garages since the 1932 inventory “…has been enlarged to accommodate a school bus….”  The Gymnasium Building (Crenshaw) was used “solely as a Gymnasium, except for occasional school dances.”  Washington-Franklin Hall, now home to the History Department, was the Administrative Building. The Washington Room and the Franklin Room on the first floor were used by the College’s two literary societies while the second floor housed all of the administrative offices, the college book store, and the Y.M.C.A. rooms. The Y.M.C.A., the Young Men’s Christian Association, was one of the largest student organizations.

Washington Franklin Hall, 1938
Washington Franklin Hall, 1938

One of the fun things to notice in the insurance photos is the cars parked right by the buildings. During that time period, students and faculty just drove up to the buildings and parked,  whether there were drives and parking areas or not. There were so few cars on campus that parking was very convenient!

These inventories provide a great overview of the campus and add to our understanding of how it has evolved over time.

Sabin Americana, 1500-1926

Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 is a full text primary source archive covering the Americas from the colonial era through the early twentieth century includes over 13 million pages from more than 65,000 works published over a period of 4 centuries. Sources include pamphlets, books, magazines and newspapers, sermons, political tracts, speeches, broadsides, legislation, maps, literary works and more. Materials can be used to explore politics, culture, religious beliefs, events, social attitudes, and other aspects of life in the Americas.

Cover of "The History of Virginia in Four Parts" by a Native and Inhabitant of the Place, second edition published in 1722
Cover of “The History of Virginia in Four Parts” by a Native and Inhabitant of the Place, second edition published in 1722

Some sample topics that can be researched include the history of European settlement in the Americas; government policy towards Native Americans; the changes in women’s social status and rights over time; changing perspectives on immigration and different groups of immigrants; colonization and slavery; and virtually any other topic. The database is particularly strong in its interdisciplinary coverage and all documents are full text searchable. Items have been digitized from the collections of several libraries and archives in addition to private collections, giving users access to an extraordinary amount of research in one place.

Learn more about this database and others at https://library.rmc.edu.


International Education Week Resources

Thinking about studying abroad?  The McGraw-Page Library has a display of books to help navigate the adventure of college outside of the United States.  Here are a few of our top picks:

Cover of the book Prepare for Departure by Shelley Story.

Prepare for Departure
by Shelley Story

Being prepared to go abroad isn’t achieved by packing the right things in your bags. Real preparation is built with plans, process, and practice. This book will walk you through all three, and give you a strong foundation that sets you up for your best possible study abroad experience.

LB2376 .S86 2016
Catalog Link – Prepare for Departure

Global Dexterity
by Andy Molinsky

What does it mean to be a global worker and a true “citizen of the world” today? It goes beyond merely acknowledging cultural differences. In reality, it means you are able to adapt your behavior to conform to new cultural contexts without losing your authentic self in the process. Not only is this difficult, it’s a frightening prospect for most people and something completely outside their comfort zone. But managing and communicating with people from other cultures is an essential skill today. Most of us collaborate with teams across borders and cultures on a regular basis, whether we spend our time in the office or out on the road. What’s needed now is a critical new skill, something author Andy Molinsky calls “global dexterity.” In this book Molinsky offers the tools needed to simultaneously adapt behavior to new cultural contexts while staying authentic and grounded in your own natural style. Based on more than a decade of research, teaching, and consulting with managers and executives around the world, this book reveals an approach to adapting while feeling comfortable–an essential skill that enables you to switch behaviors and overcome the emotional and psychological challenges of doing so. From identifying and overcoming challenges to integrating what you learn into your everyday environment, Molinsky provides a guidebook–and mentoring–to raise your confidence and your profile. Practical, engaging, and refreshing, “Global dexterity” will help you reach across cultures–and succeed in today’s global business environment.
HD62.4 .M64 2013
Catalog Link – Global Dexterity

Cover of the book Preparing to Study Abroad.

Preparing to Study Abroad: Learning to Cross Cultures
by Steven Taylor Duke

This book is designed to help you prepare for your study abroad experience so you can get the most from it, and gain critical intercultural skills while crossing cultures. It offers strategies for learning about and exploring cultural differences and similarities of the country you will visit; and advice about how to actively observe and participate in the life of the locality in which you will find yourself. Each chapter illustrates key concepts through the personal accounts of students. This book aims to help you with your own personal journey, and to make your study abroad experience as meaningful, rewarding, and insightful as possible.
LB2375 .D85 2014
Catalog Link – Preparing to Study Abroad

Find more resources on the Mc-Graw Page Library website.

Yellow Jackets in the Great War

According to James’ Scanlon’s history of Randolph-Macon College, 207 Randolph-Macon College alumni served in World War I. Eight of these RMC veterans lost their lives in the conflict.

Evan A. Edwards, R-MC Class of 1894, served as the Regimental Chaplain in the U. S. Army’s 140th Infantry (Sixth Missouri).

The regiment trained at Fort Doniphan in Oklahoma, shipping out to France in June 1918. The unit fought along the Western front as part of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive until the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918.

Edwards recounts his service with the unit in his memoir
From Doniphan to Verdun: The Official History of the 140th Infantry (Lawrence, Kansas: The World Company, 1920). 

The Library’s copy of Edwards’ book is inscribed: “Presented to R.M. College by the author, Jan. 1921” and is housed in the Randolph-Macon College Archives. 

The Great War and Randolph-Macon College

Randolph-Macon College students and faculty were commissioned as officers in the U.S. Army in 1918 in Plattsburgh, New York and returned to campus to start the Students’ Army Training Corps.

The Students’ Army Training Corps (SATC) was created in 1918 by the US War Department to expedite the training of soldiers during World War I. A SATC division was established at Randolph-Macon College in August 1918, providing students an opportunity to continue their studies while fulfilling their draft obligations. In addition to their RMC course work, the young men participated in military training exercises.

The SATC had a short and interrupted life at Randolph-Macon College. In October 1918, many RMC students were afflicted by the world-wide flu pandemic. When the armistice brought the war to end on November 11, 1918, the SATC soon demobilized until a similar training corps was established in World War II.

While the SATC helped the college maintain its enrollment during the war, President Robert E. Blackwell gave an unenthusiastic report of the Students’ Army Training Corps in a letter to a government official in December 1918.

“The influenza struck us the first of October before we had inducted a single man. For several weeks we were struggling with that without a single trained nurse and with nearly one third of the students in the hospital. During these weeks the classes met, but we could not expect to make any progress. After inductions took place and most of the students were out of the hospital, the attendance on the classes was not much better owing to various military duties. Every student, for instance, was on guard duty for twenty-four hours every sixth day and was in no condition to study or receive instruction the day after… The military work was done well and enthusiastically till November 11. Then all enthusiasm died out of that. Then everybody was too far behind in studies to take any interest in them. These are the short and simple annals of the S.A.T.C.   Very respectfully, R.E.B.”