In January 1997, the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies became the home for MU’s graduate programs in Library Science and Educational Technology as well as a new, interdisciplinary doctoral program in Information Science & Learning Technologies.
Since then, our numbers of faculty and students have more than doubled; our levels of scholarly productivity and grant-funded work are at an all-time high, and our strategic partnerships continue to serve ourselves and others.
The School’s mission is to improve the professional practice of information specialists and learning technologists, as well as to advance the research on information, learning, and performance.
SISLT is a member of the iSchools consortium, an international consortium of information schools in institutions of higher education dedicated to advancing the information field in the 21st century.
Research & Development
SISLT faculty are internationally renowned for their R&D accomplishments. As new students quickly realize, the faculty are committed to a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach, both within MU and among other research-extensive universities.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the Allen Institute, a 10,000-square-foot facility dedicated to supporting collaborative R&D at the intersection of Information & Learning.
The Reflector opened its doors in 1995 and was conceived to support the undergraduate teacher development program, and the name is based on the ‘reflective practitioner theory’ of education.
The Reflector is a technology resource and support center for College of Education students and faculty. The Reflector provides an environment that supports and promotes technology utilization and integration in teaching and learning. The facility has approximately 100 computer workstations and also includes a library of print and non-print resources for students and faculty in the COE.
The Reflector is a technology-rich environment that offers a place of activity that is warm, welcoming, and “user-friendly,” a flexible space which adapts to changes in technology, support for collaborative teaching and learning, and support for experimentation, research and innovation. There is no other facility like the Reflector, therefore the staff is free to experiment with new procedures and technology, and to implement changes that make things run more efficiently and better serve our customers.
Learning and Performance Support was formed out of a need that developed from the Math Science Technology (MST) Initiative started by Dean Richard Andrews. In 1994 Dean Andrews provided funding and appointed Dr. John Wedman the task of improving MST in the College of Education.
New faculty members with expertise in these fields were hired and new technology was purchased. A computer classroom/lab was created and faculty and staff technology was updated. There was soon a need for someone to provide technical assistance for the new equipment and a full time technician was hired. As the quantity of technology grew, so did the need for technicians to manage it.
In 1996 the official name was created for these technicians and LAPS came in to being.
The same year the Instructional Materials Center was merged with the computer classroom/lab and John Wedman’s dream, the Reflector, was born. In 1998 Lynn Diel was hired as the Technology Infrastructure Manger (TIM) to oversee LAPS as Townsend went under renovation and the College offices were spread far and wide. Lynn returned to MU’s medical technology arena about the time Townsend’s renovation was completed. When LAPS moved back to the newly renovated Townsend Hall in 2000, Jason Goran and Tom Lindberg co-managed LAPS.
Tom left in 2001 for an overseas adventure, with the College, and Jason Goran became the LAPS manager. In 2010 Jason left the College of Education to become part of the campus support team and Seth Lammers came on board as the LAPS manager. The current LAPS team consists of manager Seth Lammers, and two full time technicians (Aaron Schnurman and Drew Harter). LAPS manages the technical support needs of the faculty, staff, the Reflector, and classrooms in the College of Education. This includes printers, iPads, SmartBoards, and over 1200 computing devices.