The Digital Learning Initiative as defined in the 2012-2017 Technology Plan is meant to support the University’s primary function, which is to enable and expand learning. In doing this, the Initiative supports the University's Institutional Mission and Purpose and contributes to its continued success. The Initiative’s scope encompasses both academic and administrative functions; thus it affects students, faculty, staff, and administrators. It focuses on the actions necessary to achieve its purpose, and organizes those actions into three categories: institutional policies and procedures, human resources, and distance learning and administrative environments and resources. Implementing the Initiative requires the University to provide adequate resources necessary to optimize current investments in technology and to continue to invest in and expand the uses of appropriate available and emerging technologies.
Goals of the Digital Learning Initiative
Focusing on Institutional Policy and Procedures (goals, policies, procedures, expectations, and commitments that need to be in place to enable implementation of the technology plan)
- Amending the institutional purpose, Centennial Compass 2.0, and the 2012 Academic Plan to emphasize the relationships among ‘academic excellence,’ ‘learning paradigm,’ an effective technology infrastructure, and appropriate uses of technology;
- Recognizing that technology in all of its forms is a significant tool to encourage academic engagement;
- Establishing a technology council to advise the technology leader, who reports to the President. Members of the technology council will represent all University constituencies. The council’s will assist with planning, budgeting, implementing, and assessing the university's technology plan. Because council members may be invited to engage special projects or assume added council responsibilities, their contributions and participation will be recognized in their workload calculations, as appropriate;
- Establishing a series of policies with FMOLHS IS to more effectively support academic and administrative activities of the university;
- Ensuring that technology needs and plans are part of processes already in place to make decisions about allocating resources;
- Linking this plan with facilities planning and furniture acquisition, with particular attention to the learning spaces movement as the University implements its new Campus Master Plan;
- Supporting a plan to enable students to complete General Education requirements through Distance Learning courses (blended and / or online);
- Supporting the instructional design and delivery of additional academic courses and programs (using internal or external subject matter experts) that will be offered through Distance Learning;
- Requiring a laptop and mobile device of all entering students no later than fall 2016 and assuring that faculty members have access to similar kinds of devices to enable them to prepare and deliver quality academic content;
- Establishing a University-relevant policy to refresh technology;
- Work with enrollment management, bursar and health and safety to develop policies and procedures for a paperless office;
- Establish a distant learning fee to fund to support the expansion of online/blended programs.
Focusing on Human Resources (the personnel necessary to support the various uses of technology across the campus)
- Adhering to the framework outlined in Appendix B that outlines when technology support personnel will be employed by the University;
- Adhering to the framework outlined in Appendix B that outlines hiring instructional technology support personnel to support faculty with instructional technology needs;
- Identifying responsibilities and roles of technology support personnel, including but not limited to the following;
- Install and maintain hardware and software;
- Support students, faculty, staff, and administrators as needed;
- Assist with development, implementation, and oversight of academic and administrative technology uses, including distance learning;
- Administer intranet and Internet “portals”;
- Develop and sustain research plans to stay current with trends and scholarship in instructional technology and contribute to the knowledge base in the field.
Focusing on the Distance Learning and Administrative Environments and Resources
- Developing an intranet and internet portal to its fullest potential to provide a one-stop virtual learning and administrative environment for students, faculty and staff;
- Virtual Campus, recruiting, admissions, enrollment / registration / registrar, advising, retention: Finance, accounting, bursar functions, financial aid, Advancement, fund-raising, communications / PR, alumni, Administration, Human Resources, Record-keeping, External web presence for University, Schools, Programs, Departments, and individuals, and “Best of breed” technology products for academic use;
- Providing robust, secure access to network resources for faculty and staff and ubiquitous access to the Internet on campus for students and faculty;
- Supporting the University’s distance learning capabilities;
- Identify and share current research and scholarship in instructional technology and innovative pedagogy/andragogy that uses emerging technologies;
- Support the development and distribution course materials via an m-Learning modality;
- Develop and oversee a multi-media production center to assist faculty with creating and using current and emerging media (audio / video / graphical / print / digital).