Academic Technology Support
Technical Support and Consulting for Faculty
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.
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, Library Reference, and Scientific Computing, your liaison will find the best person on campus to teach your workshop.
- Connecting 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 quality instruction. If we determine that a workshop request fits best in a specialty area, our role will be to contact and arrange for that workshop with the specialty group. If it is determined that one of Academic Computing staff are the best fit to teach the workshop so be it.
- Co-teaching with the faculty is the model we typically support. Technical workshops are planned and co-taught with the faculty, serving the dual purposes of providing quality instruction for the students and building faculty understanding and skill in using the technology. The goal is to build faculty efficacy so they may be comfortable teaching future technology workshops.
- Multiple/progressive workshops are generally avoided within Academic Computing as this extracts considerable resources from an area that needs to be able to support all faculty equally.