SMU STAR Program





Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty

Why should I be interested in working with a STAR?

Student Technology Assistants in Residence (STARs) are available to help with any short-term instructional technology project. Since the start of the program, STARs have assisted over faculty with hundreds of projects such as the ones listed below.

  • Helping a faculty member develop course-related Web pages.
  • Adding a form to an existing Web page.
  • Formatting class notes for publishing on the Web or as PDF.
  • Showing a faculty member how to set up a blog for a course.
  • Creating animations for a course Web page.
  • Digitizing slides and graphics for a course.
  • Showing a faculty member how create a podcast.
  • Creating an interactive map graphic for a course activity.
  • Scanning slides or handouts.
  • Digitizing audio and video recordings for use on the Web or in Blackboard.

Who can get a STAR?

Any SMU Faculty member with a "short-term" project requiring instructional technology support can request a STAR student. The one restriction is the STAR students are available for short-term projects on a first come, first served basis.

What is the cost?

The STAR Program is provided as a services to SMU Faculty at NO CHARGE, except for any consumables that may be used such as but not limited to CD's, DVD's, film, or videotape.

How do I request a STAR?

To request a STAR, you can...
complete the Online STAR Request Form at
or contact the STAR Program Manager, Ian Aberle, at 214-768-3867
or by email at iaberle at

Can I have the same STAR from a previous project?

While you may request a STAR that was previously assigned, in general, the student and the program benefit when the student has the opportunity to work with multiple faculty members on multiple projects. Also, we may find another STAR is more appropriate for your project's needs.

When are STAR Students available?

STARs are available during the academic year except during "reading days," finals, and breaks.

I have 200+ slides. Can the STARs scan and label them for me?

Currently, we usually limit our scanning to about 1 slide tray per semester. As to the labeling, we are not the content expert, so labeling would not only be time consuming, but error prone.

Our process is to have the scans are organized in a folder corresponding to the slide tray (e.g., "Tray 5" or "Egypt 18th Dynasty"). Slides are auto-numbered (e.g., Tray5-18.tiff--i.e., the 18th slide in Tray Five). We add no other metadata.

Can a STAR add a class roster to my Blackboard course?

The answer is technacally, yes. Though, you may find a better solution here:

How do I add students to a Blackboard course?



The contents of this Web site are the sole responsibility SMU STAR Program, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Southern Methodist University.

©2006 by Academic Computing Services, Southern Methodist University.
STAR Program web site and logo created by Ian Aberle.