The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM) Learning Technology Center(LTC) provides faculty development and pedagogical consultation, technology training and support, and evaluation and research of an array of course delivery modes, including tech-enhanced, blended, and online. Comprised of an enthusiastic team of teachers and researchers with advanced degrees in their respective disciplines and with many years of experience teaching and supporting technology-enhanced, blended, and online courses, the LTC works with faculty and instructors to improve teaching and increase student learning by crafting sound, proven, and active learning strategies. The UWMLTC team provides timely support through a variety of methods, from one-on-one consultations to workshops, for faculty and instructors seeking to use technologies in pedagogically effective ways. While the LTC is not a production unit, it works with other campus units to meet custom technology needs of faculty and their students.
In addition, a major goal of the LTC is to research, investigate, pilot, and evaluate new and emerging technologies intended to facilitate innovative teaching and learning methods. Members of the LTC share their knowledge and experience with the UWM teaching community and disseminate this research at conferences and in publications.
The UWMLTC has adopted a campus wide approach to the support of learning technologies quite different from analogous organizations at other universities. On many if not most American campuses, the learning technology support unit is staffed by experts in instructional design. By contrast, the majority of the UWMLTC staff are themselves faculty who hold terminal degrees in their respective disciplines, and are teachers of many years’ experience, including both online and blended modes of instruction.
Because of the UWMLTC’s extensive experience in effective instructional practices, they focus backwards design principles emphasizing the identification of learning outcomes, assessment, and learning activities, including digital content, that exemplify sound pedagogy and measurement rather than upon technology per se. Moreover, because the UWMLTC staff members are not primarily technologically oriented, they are not a production unit. Instead, we teach instructors to become independent users of their own learning technologies.
Finally, the location of the LTC on the UWM campus is both symbolic and practical. The LTC position in the UWM Libraries expresses their fundamental commitment to the heart of the academy. The location near the campus center makes it convenient for faculty to drop in for consultations and workshops.
And it works! In regard to overall satisfaction with the LTC, 97% of respondents rated from neutral to very satisfied with only 3% reporting dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. For example:
“The LTC staff are THE BEST! Really, every time I have called, every course I have taken, every need I have had, there is ALWAYS someone who can help me, they are excellent, I never feel dumb asking a question…you get the idea. The LTC is one of the best uses of campus funding we have! My gratitude to all.”
The UWMLTC draws on the expertise of a highly trained and skilled staff who teach online, blended, and technology-enhanced courses in their disciplines. A support unit is only as strong as made by design. The LTC is staffed by individuals who hold advanced degrees in their field of study and who have extensive knowledge and training with our learning management system (LMS), Desire2Learn (D2L). This skill combination provides a very unique set of knowledge that is used to support campus teaching staff and help provide them will assistance regarding their issues when teaching online, blended, and technology-enhanced courses.
Our staff members have:
- An advanced degree (M.S., M.A., or Ph.D.) in their field of study
- Teaching experience at the college level that includes blended, online, and technology-enhanced courses
- Experience and skill using learning management systems like D2L.
- Experience consulting with faculty and academic teaching staff on instructional design and learning technologies for effective use teaching and learning
- Experience with emerging technologies, such as student response systems, rich digital content (e.g., video, audio, images), ePortfolios, social media, virtual worlds, open education resources, MOOCs, games, tablets, and/or eTexts
- Experience evaluating and/or researching digital teaching and learning
- Effective writing, public speaking, and presentation skills
- A demonstrated passion for increasing access to and improving teaching and learning for students
Joosten, T., Barth, D., Harness, L., & Weber, N. (2013, anticipated) Impact of blended faculty development. In Research perspectives in blended learning (Eds . Anthony G. Picciano, Charles D. Dziuban, and Charles R. Graham). Taylor and Francis.
Joosten, T., Pasquini, L, & Harness, L. (2013). Guiding institutions use of social media. Planning for Higher Education, 41, 2.
Joosten, T. (2012). Social media for educators. Wiley/Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
Recent Conference Presentations
2013, July 8th. Strategies to ensure quality in online and blended courses. Workshop. Sloan Consortium Blended Workshop and Conference. Milwaukee, WI.
2013, July 9th. Using MOOCs for Blended Learning. Featured Session. Sloan Consortium Blended Workshop and Conference. Milwaukee, WI.
2013, August 7th. Strategies to ensure quality in online and blended courses. Workshop. Annual Distance Teaching and Learning Conference. Madison, WI.
2013, August 8th. Survey says! Uncovering faculty support needs and instructional technology preferences .Annual Distance Teaching and Learning Conference. Madison, WI.
2013, October 15th. Ensuring quality in online and blended programs. Workshop. EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, Boston, MA.
2013, October 15th. Social media for teaching and learning. Workshop. EDUCAUSE Annual Online Conference, Boston, MA.
2013, November 22nd. The flipped classroom: Taking advantage of renewed opportunities. Workshop. Sloan Consortium International Conference for Online Learning. Orlando, FL.
Media, Press, and Special Attention
Graham, C. R., Woodfield, W., & Harrison, J. B. (2013, in press). A framework for institutional adoption and implementation of blended learning in higher education. Internet and Higher Education. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2012.09.003
Graham, S., & Terry, J. (February 1st, 2013). Companies making money from online students–by doing their work for them. Today’s TMJ4, NBC Affiliate, and 620WTMJ. Retrieved from: http://www.todaystmj4.com/features/iteam/189437201.htmland http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/189437201.html. [quoted]
Doyle, M. (January 17th, 2013). Manti Te’o dating debacle sparks local reaction. CBS 58 Local News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbs58.com/news/local-news/Manti-Teo-dating-debacle-sparks-local-reaction-187374001.html. [quoted]
Schaffhauser, Dian. (Dec 2012). 4 Keys to a Better Hybrid.Campus Technology.
Cavanagh, T. B. (2012). The postmodality era: How “online learning” is becoming “learning.” In D. G. Oblinger (Ed.). Game changers: Education and information technologies.EDUCAUSE.
Parry, M. (2011, March 30). Think you’ll make big bucks in online ed? Not so fast, experts say. Wired Campus: The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Fusch, D. (2011, January). Higher ed impact monthly diagnostic. Academic Impressions.
Mallet, G. (2010, October 19). UWM students use tweetup to connect. WTMJ Channel 4.
Gardwood, B. (2010, October 18). Three takeaways from EDUCAUSE 2010. Ed Tech Magazine.
Gardwood, B. (2010, October 15). EDUCAUSE 2010: From the floor (video series). Ed Tech Magazine.
Young, J. (2010, July 22). How social networking helps teaching (and worries some professors). Chronicle of Higher Education.
Ziff, D. (2010, June 20). UW System learning how to best use virtual world. Wisconsin State Journal.