The CFT Educational Technologist works with instructors to explore potential technologies to support student learning. Complementing local support providers who offer basic hardware and software training, and Information Technology Services who maintain the enterprise systems for Vanderbilt, the CFT works with individual or groups of instructors to develop a plan for successful integration of technology into their teaching. This may include assistance with your course web site, electronic communication tools, course presentation technologies, and a range of other issues geared to the needs and expertise of the instructor.
In addition to consultation, The Center for Teaching also provides teaching guides that can help you incorporate technology into your teaching.
- Course website – Blackboard, WordPress, and OmniUpdate are some of the choices Vanderbilt offers for posting course content online. Deciding if a course website might facilitate student learning and evaluating which delivery option is best are processes the Educational Technologist can help facilitate. During a course website consultation, instructors can explore how a website might facilitate student learning and evaluate various web delivery options. In addition, instructors can learn best practices, tips and guidelines for designing content for the Web, for creating online learning communities, and for effectively engaging students.
- Electronic communications – Instructors are increasingly making use of chats, blogs, and Wikis as a way to augment in-class interactions. In consultation with the Educational Technologist, instructors can discover new ways of encouraging students to interact with both the course content and each other through the use of such social learning tools. Consultations might explore the differences among the tools, as well as the strengths of each type, allowing instructors to determine which mode of engagement would be most beneficial.
- Course presentation technologies – During a consultation, instructors discover how classroom response systems (“clickers”), tablet PCs, SMART boards or other technologies might be incorporated effectively into class presentations. In the process, instructors can explore how and why they might (or might not) use these technologies in their courses, as well as experiment with these technologies first-hand, building confidence in using the equipment.
- Meetings with faculty groups – Including a consultation with the Educational Technologist during the development of an educational grant or research project helps faculty groups identify technical considerations and draw potential connections between their project and the work of others, both across campus and nationally. The Educational technologist also consults with the group about technical aspects of a proposal or project plan in order to identify potential tasks or expenditures associated with technology.