The Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication program has access to some of the best computer and technology resources in the world. The English Department at ISU manages excellent multimedia facilities including eleven state-of-the-art computer classrooms managed by our faculty, servers accessible to students with high-end web application development frameworks (including JSP, .Net, PHP, Python, Flash Server, MySQL, JBoss/J2EE, Zope/Plone and many similar technologies), a range of multimedia equipment available for check-out, and several small multimedia development suites available for our students. Students also work closely with the ISU Human-Computer Interaction Initiative, the Studio for New Media, and EServer.
In addition to the classrooms, the Iowa State Studio for New Media was founded and is currently directed by a member of the RPC faculty. The Studio is a venture to facilitate high-end multimedia development and collaborative production with digital media. Studio members (membership is free for RCPC students) may access the Studio facilities 24/7 and use its cluster-processing capabilities to render video evenings and weekends, from off-campus or other remote locations if needed.
Iowa State, in conjunction with the English Department, has made eleven computer classrooms available primarily for writing classes. The English Department houses four of these computer classrooms in Ross Hall. Still other computer classrooms are located strategically around the campus to provide students access to Linux, Mac OS X and Windows computers. The computer facilities are funded in part by a special student fee assessed along with tuition charges.
ISU has provided other computer labs available for general purpose computing. The Durham Center houses public Vincent workstations and microcomputers that may be reserved for instructional purposes. When not reserved, these rooms are open 24 hours daily for use by the ISU community. The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching’s eLab also assists instructors in developing, specifying, authoring, and field-testing computer-based instructional modules. This lab focuses primarily on computer-based teaching materials that encourage students to participate actively in the learning process. Such courseware typically depends heavily on computer-controlled CD-ROM, laserdisc, high-quality audio, and full-motion video.