Posted by: Apurva Mehta | December 1, 2009

IT Reorganizes Faculty Support Services in the New Digital Learning Studio

We are witnessing an explosion of new technologies that enhance teaching and learning and, as Director of Educational Technology and Client Services, I am happy to report that we are being proactive in evaluating these tools and rolling out the ones we think that best meet the needs of the faculty and students.  In the process, we have also had to re-evaluate the ways in which we have been providing faculty support.

This semester many of the services provided by Educational Technology have been relocated to the The Digital Learning Studio,  a new faculty support space  on Healey 3 (in the former Media Center).  The DLS will combine the support for multimedia projects which has been offered by the staff of the Media Center and the instructional design support for using Blackboard and other instructional tools that was formerly located in offices on the lower level of Healey. 

As our services to support the use of educational technology grew, those services were distributed across several floors of the library and across several offices – making for a very disjointed service model.  Faculty often had to move between instructional designers, media specialists and Blackboard administrators to get their work done.  With the introduction of new technologies and services slated to be rolled out in the coming months such as blogs, wikis, clickers, and a classroom capture system, we realized the need for a coordinated service model – one that will allow the faculty to interact with a varied group of educational technology specialists.  As part of the new service model, the existing media center was repurposed as the Digital Learning Studio, a  faculty support center where faculty can make an appointment or drop in to avail themselves of the services from media specialists, instructional designers or a blackboard administrator.

The mission of the Digital Learning Studio is to assist faculty and graduate teaching assistants to develop or enhance their classroom teaching as a way to promote student learning. The DLS supports the key mission of the university,  to “sustain a superior faculty dedicated to excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching,” by providing one-on-one consultations; workshops and faculty development programs.

On behalf of the manager and the staff in the DLS, I would like to invite you to drop in and avail of our services.  We are always looking for ways to improve our service and hence welcome suggestions.  Please feel free to contact me at Apurva.mehta@umb.edu or by calling 617.287.5952.

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