I often focus on the emerging needs of students at a university. The rationale is students are the largest audience for an IT department. In this post I would like to focus on what a new faculty member needs from the Information Technology Department. The number one requirement new faculty need is information necessary to be successful in the classroom or with research. Often new faculty have a limited understanding of what a university information department has to offer. Many IT departments use email or web sites to exchange information. Both tools are important but what a new faculty member needs is an individual that is available to answer their many questions. I assume new faculty often default to asking a peer or taking a stab-in-the-dark. I have often thought an IT boot camp would be a great way to interact with new faculty and make a new impression. The event would not be long, possibly a day with lunch provided. During the boot camp faculty would be presented with all the resources needed to be successful interacting with the technology they are encouraged to adopt. Several ideas for a boot camp might be:
- Faculty need a quick guide to locate services available, nothing fancy but a phone number and email address for all technology support groups. Assistance in person is a major asset for the IT organization.
- Information on how to use the campus student information system (SIS). The SIS provides the faculty a wealth of information on students in their courses and to students they are assigned to advise. Faculty often are informed of the SIS but are not informed of the wealth of information it contains. Faculty also need information necessary for entering mid-term and final grades.
- Information on the campus learning management system (LMS) and directions on the support available from the information technology department. Faculty are often bewildered by what is expected in implementing a course. Expected best practices would be helpful.
- New Faculty need to be informed of all the support technologies at a university. Many new faculty have taught at other universities and understand their standards and often adopt the “known” rather that the campus standard. Provide faculty a list of tools such as Adobe Connect, Goggle Apps, Microsoft Apps and the campus course capture is important to faculty getting support.. Better yet is offering one-on-one training sessions.
- Don’t forget the basics, be sure to explain to faculty the guidelines for telephone service, cell phone service and any site license software.