Cost, access, time, and knowledge are among the common barriers faculty members cite to successfully using technology in the classroom, according to Academic Technology Services’ Lindsey Sudbury. That’s why ATS offers a range of free tools and services to help faculty bridge these gaps.
“The key point we want to emphasize to faculty is that we are here to help them be comfortable with the technology they’re using in the classroom.”
ATS, which is a division of Northeastern’s Information Technology Services, offers a range of services to help faculty choose and implement technological solutions for a wide range of classroom goals. ATS also works closely with the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research—or CATLR—to help meet faculty needs.
Here, Sudbury, a senior academic instructional technologist in ATS, describes five services faculty should know about—and how they can leverage ATS to advance their teaching and learning goals. To learn more about additional ATS support services, visit the ATS Teaching Technology Support page.
Top five free services available to Northeastern faculty via Academic Technology Services
1) Poll Everywhere: Allows students to respond to polling questions and displays results in real-time
2) Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Web Conferencing: Allows faculty, staff, and students to meet in an online space with video, audio, chat, whiteboards, and screen sharing
3) Qualtrics survey and analytics suite: A web-based survey software tool that supports research, teaching, and administration by allowing users to develop and deploy surveys, store data, analyze results, and create dynamic visual reports
4) Video production and editing support: Includes Lightboard and self-service items such as Tegrity lecture capture and Playposit Interactive Video. ATS also provides high-quality video production services to Northeastern faculty.
5) Adobe Creative Cloud: Provides digital media creation and design-related software applications and services, including Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Animate, Adobe Lightroom, and Adobe Muse (coming in September 2017)
Faculty can find more about these services and others on ATS’ companion page to this article.
How to connect with Academic Technology Services
ATS offers a range of group classes throughout the semester for faculty to learn about these and other web tools. Over the next week alone, there are classes scheduled on how to use Blackboard, Solstice, Tegrity Lecture Capture, and Storyline, as well as for learning about tools for creating online content and interactions. In particular, Sudbury recommended faculty consider taking a course on using Blackboard Grade Center if they plan to use that service. “It could save them a lot of time,” she said.
One-on-one consultations and trainings:
Faculty can also contact ATS (firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.396.4287) to schedule consultations to talk through what technology solutions might best fit their classroom needs. They can also schedule trainings for more in-depth assistance on using a particular tool or service and for support on individual projects.
Sudbury said one-on-one consultations are also useful if faculty are in the midst of a big course revision, or if they want to explore technologies to support goals such as flipping their classrooms, creating an online course, or increasing student engagement.
“Sometimes group classes work better for faculty, but sometimes faculty members don’t know yet what tools they should use or which workshops to take,” Sudbury said. “Most of all, the key point we want to emphasize to faculty is that we are here to help them be comfortable with the technology they’re using in the classroom.”