From February to April of 2009, ComETS members, by invitation of the CIO Ron Kraemer, worked on the initial charter development for many initiatives relating to the Teaching and Learning portion of the Campus IT Strategic plan. The work that they did on three of those initiatives is attached below and prepended with 'ComETS.' You'll note that there are actually four charters attached. The fourth charter -- Establish a Learning Management Systems roadmap -- was not worked on by ComETS.
In early May, the CIO then asked a small number of campus members to develop the charters even further. Our group -- Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning Aaron Brower, Ron Cramer (DoIT-AT: LTDE), Doug Worsham (College of L&S, Learning Support Services) and Kathy Konicek (DoIT-AT: PTE) -- is now in the process of gathering further input, refining those charters and outlining strategies to move them closer to implementation.
This team's charge is to extend and specify the charters for three initiatives related to the Campus IT Strategic plan:
- Research and evaluate which instructional technologies have a demonstrated positive impact on teaching and learning objectives, disseminate findings and best practices accordingly, and foster broader use of these technologies.
- Establish an Innovation Incubator to research and evaluate instructional technologies.
- Offer and provide support for an identified suite of instructional technologies for all faculty and instructors
The fourth charter -- Establish a Learning Management Systems roadmap -- will be worked on by the Campus eLearning Roadmap Group in conjunction with key partners including the Moodle Council.
In thinking about "how we might do this" as a campus, the team is looking at the three initiatives more holistically with these goals in mind:
- Focus on research and evaluation of instructional technology for making informed decisions about the technology solutions provided on campus
- Raise awareness and engagement on campus regarding teaching and learning challenges, essential learning outcomes and learning technology innovation.
- Align groups and programs interested in addressing common teaching and learning challenges with learning technology solutions thereby increasing potential for joint solutions to challenges.
- Improve the coordination of infrastructure, support, and funding at both the grassroots and programmatic level.
Another way our team is being more proactive with implementation is by providing a staged process that helps to unify the three initiatives and suggest pathways at the grassroots and programmatic level for pedagogical innovations to receive attention and support.
We envision the four (and a half) stage process described here in very brief detail:
In Stage One, we start with a Good Idea, which can come from anyone in the Teaching and Learning community. Whether it comes from research, lit. reviews, observation and/or classroom experience, a Good Idea is inspired by a teaching and learning challenge and taken up with a desire to produce a solution (which involves technology) for it. Most importantly, it requires a willingness to share that pursuit and it’s outcomes with campus partners.
In Stage Two, we Grow the Good Idea. By scanning for and finding partners to share in the pursuit, the Good Idea receives more attention, more input and more assistance for its development. Whether it is through grassroots means or formal, programmatic approaches, active networking helps the Good Idea grow and gain greater interest by the campus.
- In Stage Two and a Half, we Grow the Idea More. The Good Idea may need more energy around it. This could come in the form of more pedagogical analysis, more technical development, or more advocacy. In this stage, a Good Idea continues to progress, attracts more interest from the campus, and is revisited and re-evaluated based on that progression.
In Stage Three, we Evaluate and Manage Ideas. We evaluate the evidence developed in the earlier stages and, if necessary, search out more (Stage 2.5). We can also provide more support for the idea through additional funding and/or by suggesting a pathway that best serves the campus.
In Stage Four, we make Recommendations for the suite of instructional technology based on what we have learned. We share the responsibility for managing the suite and re-examining it when necessary. We inform campus faculty and instructional staff and members of administration and disseminate our findings on the impact of instructional technology.
We will provide greater detail for each stage which will include mechanisms for communication and sharing, identifying key partners involved in the implementation, and suggested funding mechanisms for supporting research and innovation on campus.