Message from the President
The Instructional Revolution
As the state's leading research university and one of the top 50 such institutions in the nation, Virginia Tech has long been on the leading edge of technology. It's not surprising then that the university has taken the lead in the development and use of sophisticated instructional technologies in the classroom. The new technology is transforming how we teach and how students learn.
As professors discover how instructional technology can enhance their classrooms, students are discovering new ways to approach problems, are more excited about their classes, and are learning more and absorbing it faster.
Time has demonstrated that the electronic classroom actually increases the critical contact between professor and student. With a few taps on a keyboard, students can "speak up" at any time, instead of waiting for a break in a lecture or an appointment. Being shy is no longer a handicap. But there are other benefits of this new electronic classroom as well. For example:
This new tool for teaching is just one aspect of the recent and rapid proliferation of digital technologies. Advances in fiber optics, wireless communications, and high-speed data transmission enable students, professors, and researchers to tap such rich sources of information as video, high-resolution images, voice, and music. Throw in the Internet -- the ultimate in universal electronic bonding -- and you have a revolution of life-altering proportions.
Enormous opportunities are at our disposal. For example, distance is no longer a determining factor in the cost of communication, and we now have the ability to combine knowledge in new ways to create new visions and the power to reach out to the community, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the world. Fortunately, Virginia Tech has positioned itself well to take advantage of this explosion of technology, which will help ensure that our students can live productive lives in the next century.
The following pages highlight our accomplishments during the 1995-96 fiscal year. As you will see, we continue to be a major doctoral-granting, research state university in the land-grant tradition. Our comprehensive programs in instruction, research, and outreach reflect our historical commitment to the practical application of knowledge for the benefit of society.