We have a similar setup to that mentioned by Barbara, and we've found that
since the computer lab doesn't have 100% staff coverage all day long, it's
rather difficult to "police" printouts and Internet usage.

Here's a rather radical solution that may not appeal to those of you whose
learning centers are built around computer labs.  Get rid of the computers!
Let the computer labs be computer labs and the learning centers be learning
centers.  Let the IT department or the library or whomever would have run of
these computer labs pay someone to police printouts, monitor computer usage,
and deal with questions like, "how do I save this to my disk?"  Let the
tutors tutor.

Here at Palo Alto we are trying an experiment which is working beautifully.
Formerly, our tutoring center and computer lab were in the same space.
Writing tutoring moved up the hallway and math tutoring moved into its own
room.  That left the computers alone with our coordinator and a front desk
clerk to handle them.

The benefit of this arrangement is that our English tutors are no longer
expected to play receptionist, file clerk, computer troubleshooter, and
tutor all at once.  They can focus on tutoring.  If a student prefers to be
tutored at the computer, my tutors will walk down the hall with them and sit
with them at the computer.  However, very few of our students seem to prefer
that.  They'd rather print out their paper at the lab, bring it to us,
discuss it, and then go back to the computers to make corrections
independently.  The separation of computers and tutoring center also
prevents students from relying TOO heavily on writing tutors.  They are
forced to literally "go away" and do the bulk of the work themselves.

Of course, our computer lab still houses a variety of learning assistance
software, and that software usage must be monitored by someone.  It would be
nice if our institution would fund a couple of part-time lab techs whose
sole job would be to answer technology-related questions.  Unfortunately, at
this time, that is not the case.  In the meantime, our coordinator and his
front-desk clerk help students inasmuch as possible.  It's not a perfect
solution, but for the time being, it is working better than the old arrangement.

At 05:29 PM 4/3/01 -0400, you wrote:
> that is good on the one hand but whenever you charge for things,it makes it
>inaccessible for students with low incomes and disabilities who cannot
>easily afford to print out things for their courses.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Ice, Barbara
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Sent: 4/3/01 2:08 PM
>Subject: Re: Computer Etiquette in Student Centers
>Lorraine, we too have 24 computers. We check out our computers to
>as they enter the Learning Center and request. Each computer has a
>card with the computer's number on it. We take the student's ID and hold
>until he/she returns the card. All print jobs come to a single
>help desk. We charge 10 cents per printed page except for module scores
>(which you probably don't have). This policy discourages printing out
>from the Internet and using the computers for questionable activities.
>our computers are not in a "lab". They are interspersed among the tables
>around the support columns. Some are around the walls, but never in
>of more than four. We've had it both ways and like this better.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Lorraine Lavorata [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2001 12:46 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Computer Etiquette in Student Centers
> Have a real clear sign that says no food and drink in computer centre.
>anyone who brings food and drink that they must finish it outside before
>they can enter. Also you can institute firewalls to prevent students
>going on questionable sites. Also you can prohibit game playing and
>extensive use of chat rooms for non-educational purpose. At the school I
>teach at, we post such roles and tell anyone that breaks these rules
>they can lose their compute priviledges. You can also put warnings that
>anyone is caught downloading or accessing questionable sites on the
>that they will lose priviledges. I hope this helps. France
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Schulz, Karyn
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Sent: 4/3/01 1:15 PM
>Subject: Computer Etiquette in Student Centers
>Our Center opened officially in January 2001 and we are experiencing
>difficulty with computer etiquette such as accessing inappropriate
>food/drink at the terminals and defaulting certain programs/sites to
>particular terminal. In light of this situation, we are in the process
>creating "rules" that will be posted at each terminal (24) for students
>have immediate access to.  I am in need of suggestions/ideas that can be
>If you want to post to me directly, my email is [log in to unmask],
>just post to the listserv.
>Karyn Schulz
>Coordinator of Tutoring
>Student Success Center
>CCBC Essex
>(410) 780-6473
>[log in to unmask]
Mary Jo Garcia
Instructional Skills Specialist -- English
Student Learning Assistance Center
Palo Alto College
1400 W. Villaret
San Antonio, TX 78224
Office: Room 113 -- Palomino Center
Phone:  (210) 921-5199
Fax:    (210) 921-5129
Online Writing Lab (OWL):