Laptop Loan Program

Overview: As education becomes more reliant on technology it becomes important that all students are able to participate in the education experiences. This project incorporated three elements 1) the rewriting of the laptop requirement 2) the purchase of laptops for a loan program administered by the library and 3) an easy way for students to purchase a warrantied computer.

Outcomes: The creation of a system for checking out temporary laptops, the revision of the laptop description, and the development of an easy computer system that meets university needs and is warrantied.

This project was a collaboration between EDLI, APUE, MSU Library, and MSU IT. The initial effort was to create a support structure to increase equitable access to technology through the development of a laptop loan program. However, in looking at the entire system there were multiple components that potentially put students at greater risk for technology access instability. The plan was then modified to take into account three elements: 1) the rewriting of the laptop requirement, so that students start off with a robust laptop that can support students’ academic needs over the course of their college career given their program 2) the purchase of laptops for a loan program administered by the library so that those experiencing temporary loss of their computer will not fall behind in course work and 3) an easy way for students to purchase a warrantied computer so that students will be prepared to replace or repair their laptop in the event of mishaps over their college career.

The initial Laptop Requirement description was drafted in consultation with all collaborators and in discussion with advisors and those engaged in student success programs, both of whom are engaged with students in this concern. The drafted language was then brought before the University Committee for Undergraduate Education (UCUE) and the Council of Undergraduate Education Deans (CUED) for input and approval.

The Laptop Loan Program will have 20 laptops housed and circulated by the MSU Library and maintained by MSU IT. EDLI purchased an initial 10 computers, with another 10 to be purchased based on demand. To request a laptop, students just need to fill out this Qualtrics form: Data from the survey and from a follow up survey will help us to better understand technology needs and experiences of MSU students.

Future Plans:

  • clearer plans for purchasing computers
  • computer training of university software
  • study of who is most at risk for technology deficits
  • methods for helping students who transfer between programs


Author/Personnel: Jun Fu; Stephen Thomas
Partners: APUE, MSU Library, MSU IT

Stephen Thomas

Dr. Stephen Thomas is a faculty member and the Associate Director for the Center for Integrative Studies in General Science at Michigan State University and the Digital Curriculum Coordinator for the College of Natural Science. He provides expertise for the EDLI team in pedagogy, curricular reform, and visual thinking.