Learning Technologies continues to evolve from being solely an instructional technology support group to an instructional development center. We introduced our first group of instructional designers in 2013 and today, through Title III funds and other campus initiatives, we are happy to announce our new direction for supporting your teaching and learning needs.
We outgrew our division name. Learning Technologies was a name that originally aligned with the direction of the North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) several years ago, but the name does not accurately capture the plethora of services we provide today…especially to those that are unfamiliar with this jargon.
The Center for Transformative Learning (CTL), an existence made possible through the leadership and work of the late Dr. Bonnie Pope, former Dean of Heath Technologies, is the hallmark of Learning Technologies. As an instructional development center, we are confident that the CTL is the mechanism for “providing students, faculty, and staff with an environment that fosters student success.” We have ingrained this mission at the core of our support services because it is at the heart of transforming teaching and learning at Forsyth Tech.
To address the challenges and barriers to student success in online learning for credit and non-credit courses, Learning Technologies will embark on a continuous improvement journey during the 2016-2017 academic calendar year. This begins with how the CTL utilizes its instructional design and technology personnel. First, we are structuring job titles to clearly define what each person manages or supports in the CTL by making them more actionable:
- Director, Center for Transformative Learning is now Director, Faculty Development & Instructional Design (Stephen Chan)
- Operations Specialist is now Instructional Technology Specialist for Operations & Implementation (Brent Cooke)
- Our three Instructional Designer positions have lead designations: 1) faculty development, 2) learning management, and 3) learner engagement (vacant, Helen Dollyhite, Lucious Oliver)
- Coach for Technology & Success is now Coach for Learning Management Systems (Kevin Labore)
- Instructional Technologists are now Technologists for Learning Management Systems (Leah Adkins, E. Ashley Holdren)
The Faculty Development Lead (vacant) will be responsible for coordinating faculty development programs for the CTL. This program will introduce the principles of Quality Matters through workshops and as an instructional design practitioner for online and blended course development.
The Learning Management Lead (Helen Dollyhite) is a Title III position and responsible for educating faculty and staff on how to demonstrate best practices for teaching and learning through our learning management systems (Blackboard and Odigia). This position supervises support staff which includes a Coach for Learning Management Systems, a position responsible for coaching on the effective use of learning management systems and the tools within them for the betterment of student success. Another position in the Learning Management Team is the Learning Management System Technologist, a position responsible for the day-to-day operations of Blackboard and Odigia such as answering general questions on the use of LMSs from a faculty and staff perspective. This team will serve as a cohesive support ecosystem for supporting and training on the use of Blackboard and Odigia for the goal of student success in these platforms.
The Learning Engagement Lead (Lucious Oliver) will supervise activities that promote learner engagement in regards to use of multimedia in teaching. This Designer supervises our New Media Team, a group responsible for developing templates for faculty and staff to use for teaching and/or support services. In addition, the Team offers video recording and production services for faculty and staff to use for their online and/or face-to-face classes, promotion of services, and other instructional or marketing needs. Other services included voice narration, development of interactive content (if approved), and workshops that promote DIY (do-it-yourself) audio and video recording.
Finally, a critical piece missing from the CTL is a digital collection of instructional development resources. Resources include tutorials for operating Blackboard, Odigia, Skype for Business (as it relates to teaching), classroom technology, etc. In the past, we’ve built these resources by request; however, we will make this a primary focus for enhancing our teaching and learning support ecosystem. This effort will be made possible by the Instructional Technology Specialist for Operations and Implementation (Brent Cooke). This position is also responsible for consulting with faculty and staff to learn of their instructional technology needs. Also, the Specialist is in charge of managing interactive television (iTV) facilitation for the broadcasting of classes from campus to centers. This includes supervising Part-time Instructional Technologists who facilitates these iTV classes. The Specialist will also be available to set up instructional technology demos for faculty and staff. This position, along with the Director of Faculty Development & Instructional Design and the Dean of Learning Technologies, will be the front line for collecting pertinent feedback and bring more instructional technologies and other learning tools to our online and physical classrooms…all to provide students, faculty, and staff with an environment that fosters student success.
Please follow us this year as we keep you updated with our continuous improvement journey.