Page 10 - Campus Technology, October/November 2019
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Q&A rhea kelly Engaging Faculty with New Tech Technology innovation does not always come easily for time- crunched faculty members in higher ed. Here’s how one institution provides a variety of training opportunities to help inspire faculty to try something new. HOW CAN college and universities encourage faculty to use new technologies in their teach- ing? We talked with Julin Sharp, assistant vice president for information technology at Marist College (NY), about her institution’s efforts to engage faculty with innovative tools and pedagogies. Among Sharp’s responsibilities is leading Marist’s Digital Education group, a centralized team that works with faculty across the col- lege to support technology-enabled teaching and learning. The department’s stated mission is as follows: “Digital Education is committed to leading the promotion, infusion, and support of tech- nology-facilitated pedagogical innovation. This innovation is designed to aid faculty in enriching student learning experiences as a means to develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century. “Our interdisciplinary team offers a broad range of services to promote and support pedagogical innovation and technology- enabled learning, including but not limited to: • Training and support for faculty, staff, and students on teaching and learning in the digital environment; • Promoting ongoing discussion on learner- centered teaching, with emphasis on col- laboration and active learning; • Facilitating the use of state-of-the-art edu- cational technologies for faculty, staff and students; and • Providing individualized consultations to aid in the design, production, and evaluation of digital learning materials.” Here, Sharp gives an overview of those ser- vices and the faculty training strategies that have worked best so far. Campus Technology: What do you think the most common challenges are with faculty trying new technologies? Julin Sharp: I believe one of the biggest issues is time. Faculty are doing so much during the academic year. They are teaching, grading, holding office hours, conducting research, serving on committees and much more. Learning a new technology takes time and many already have a packed schedule, so it’s hard to squeeze in one more thing. CT: What are some of the strategies you’ve used to help engage faculty with technology? Sharp: We’ve developed a variety of training pathways for faculty. They can come to a fac- 10 CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | Oct/Nov 2019 

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