[Institutional Report] University of Victoria
Contributed by Technology Integrated Learning @ UVIC
UVic’s planning and budget framework identified educational technology as a priority for learning and teaching. Technology Integrated Learning (TIL) was founded was in 2014 and Dr. Janni Aragon was named Acting Director. TIL merged Distance Education Services and Learning Systems. In our first year, the unit doubled, with six new staff hired. TIL is becoming a more visible presence within the UVic community and our team of Instructional Designers, Educational Technology Support Specialists, and co-op students are here to provide excellent support for faculty, staff, and students.
Major projects for the year included the transition from Moodle 1.9 to CourseSpaces (Moodle 2), a robust learning management system with many improved features from the previous instance of Moodle. CourseSpaces better supports user access via tablets and other mobile devices, includes click and drop functionality, as well as an improved learning experience for students.
TIL continues to support i>Clickers, TopHat, Turnitin, and the Online Academic Community (WordPress). TIL also offers workshops, drop in sessions, and consultations related to new apps and other ed tech software. TIL has established a partnership with MediaCore for teaching and learning purposes. We have branded the pilot, Go Media, which provides the utility and ease-of-use of YouTube with the ability to integrate at the course-section level in a secure and private environment.
In the Fall 2014, the client support system was streamlined thanks to a collaboration with our new Technology Integrated Manager, Manesh Bhathella and colleagues in University Systems. Bhathella notes, “We don’t want to meet client expectations, we want to exceed them.” Feedback from campus has been overwhelmingly positive about the new speed of response and overall increased help for our clients.
TIL led Educational Technology Focus Groups with faculty, and a consistent message was that faculty wanted more support and opportunity to explore educational technologies. Faculty also wanted a place to go to for training, documentation, and one on one meetings with trained staff to assist them with their use of innovative technologies in the learning and teaching environment. TIL has responded to the message and offered more than 50 drop in sessions and numerous consultations to meet faculty need. TIL also led several workshops for students in the Learning Commons and student residences.
Our goal is to meet the educational technology support needs of the university today and tomorrow, deliver on campus expectations, and to be seen as a leader by leveraging emerging technologies. The strategic plan for the unit includes hiring a permanent director and more staff.