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November 5, 2007

OIT Publishes Strategic Plan for Teaching, Learning and Technology

This fall, the Office of Information Technology has published Richness AND Reach: A Strategic Plan for Teaching, Learning and Technology and now seeks campus feedback on five specific recommendations and their related issues and opportunities [excerpted below]:

From the TLT Plan Executive Summary . . .

To face our issues and take advantage of recent opportunities, this plan recommends the following actions over the next five to seven years:

1. Assess and promote TLT practices that improve student learning; facilitate faculty awareness, networking, mentoring and training of or in these effective practices, especially in STEM disciplines or where large, introductory “gateway” courses have a history of high failure or dropout rates.

2. Invest more fully in the Blackboard architecture and community of practice, to support and elevate existing faculty usage from simple user and document management to increased interactivity and online assessment that improves student engagement, retention and recruitment.

3. Coordinate development, implementation and support of all current and proposed online degree programs. Collaborative partnerships could include academic departments (for subject matter expertise), the Faculty Development Center and Office of Information Technology (for instructional design and technical support) and Continuing and Professional Studies (to administer and market the online program needs and experiences of students).

4. Develop a strategic plan for design of formal, informal and (where appropriate) virtual learning spaces. A good first step is to complete the three-year plan to equip all registrar-controlled classrooms with fixed presentation technology by FY11. In addition, we should use the new Fine Arts and Humanities building to challenge current and future assumptions about what it means to learn not just anytime, but also anywhere.

5. Create an interdepartmental Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology charged with defining, implementing, evaluating and reporting progress on recommendations 1 through 4. The TLT Center could be populated with staff from the Library, OIT’s Instructional Technology unit, FDC, Learning Resources Center (LRC) and Continuing and Professional Studies (CPS).

Working with a faculty advisory group at the start of the Spring 2007 semester, the plan was developed over the summer and presented to the Provost's IT Steering and Classroom Committees last month, as well as to the Faculty Senate Computer Policy Committee, for which chair Ant Ozok is devoting several meetings to discuss the plan in detail.

In addition to sharing feedback with representatives of the IT-related committees above, members of the campus community may also share comments at the end of this article, or contact John Fritz, director of Instructional Technology & New Media, at fritz@umbc.edu or 410.455.6596.

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