Academic Technology Support
One of the most effective means of empowering large numbers of students is through supporting faculty support in their use of technology. The liaison approach affords Academic Computing staff the opportunity to provide support as problem-solvers, technical consultants, connectors, teachers, and co-instructors. The expected result is a body of faculty who are increasingly capable of weaving appropriate technologies into their programs, improving delivery of content and ultimately student experience.
Technology liaison work can take many shapes depending on the needs and wishes of the faculty. The primary role of the liaison is of provider of technical resources, consultant and connector. Below are the methods used to achieve these goals.
Curricular requests are often faculty originated and are often the starting point for identifying needs with follow up work. Understanding what faculty are trying to do and helping move them towards the appropriate technology typically requires meeting with them or consulting over phone or email to understand their goals. This can be followed up by one or more consultations where the liaison can train the faculty in using the solution of choice.
If a need is expressed for which there is not a stock answer, it may require a custom solution. Within reasonable expectations, the liaison will customize our existing tools if possible or integrating third party solutions to fit their particular need. Custom solutions are what inform us as to what is possible, but can also be a huge time consumer. If a custom solution is developed for a faculty, this customized approach is expected to carry beyond this one classroom experience so others may benefit from our internal knowledge base. Thce.
Engaging with students in the classroom is a high-value connection which directly informs our working understanding of students’ relationship with technology. Partnering with Media Services and Library Reference, Scientific Computing, your liaison will find the best person on campus to teach your workshop.
- We will connect faculty to the appropriate areas to provide specialized workshops (such as media, library, science, etc) allows us to leverage the expertise of others in the institution and provide. If we determine that it is a workshop that fits in a specialty area, our role is to contact and arrange for that workshop with the outside group. If it is determined that we are the best suited to teach the workshop, we oblige with expectations.
- Technical workshops should be planned and co-taught with the faculty. This serves the dual purposes of providing quality instruction for the students and raising the faculty’s understanding and skill in using the technology. The goal is that hopefully they may feel comfortable doing it on their own the next time. and we are explicit in our communications with faculty regarding this goal.
- Multiple/progressive workshops should be avoided as this starts to take the shape of staff acting as co-faculty, which we are not unless prior arrangements have been made through the academic deans.