Consult and Connect
Instructional Technologists at LMU are members of the ITS department and are assigned to each one of LMU's colleges as liaisons. They are expected to know the curriculum, culture, and nuances of their academic community so they can suggest tools and practices best suited for those teaching and learning styles. The job is performed by people who communicate well and communicate often. Ultimately, this team offers friendly human help, builds long-term relationships, provides personal direction, and gives invaluable guidance and support to help LMU's educators function at their highest level.
Instructional Technologists at LMU are great problem solvers. They work to advance technology competencies among faculty by evaluating curricula, instructional methods, and materials, then preparing recommendations, solutions, and strategies. They assess teaching and learning challenges and recommend ways to address those challenges. Solutions can include providing tools and resources, leading one-on-one consultations, planning workshops and training sessions, and developing self-paced guides. Strategies can include introducing teaching techniques, exploring best teaching practices, implementing learning technologies, offering general software training, and applying adult learning theory. They bring their own specialties to the table and use creativity in the problem-solving process.
LMU Instructional Technologists are available to instructors as a vital IT service. They are experts in identifying the best uses for computer hardware and software in instruction, plus they consider teaching objectives, learning outcomes course content, information organization, media management, and more. Additionally, they consider factors such as licensing, cost, security, privacy, scale, accessibility, usability, feasibility, standards, and metrics, then advise accordingly.
Most importantly, Instructional Technologists contribute to a cooperative culture. They work together, support each other, share knowledge, combine efforts, collaborate regularly, communicate openly, and cooperate willingly.
There are some areas of overlap between Instructional Technology and other services, so please review these important differences so that you make apples to apples comparisons and then contact your Instructional Technologist for the appropriate purpose.
Instructional Technology vs. Classroom Technology
- The Instructional Technology team helps you prepare for the semester, organize your course information, pre-configure your grading schemes, integrate additional technology, and more.
- However, once class time begins, contact the Classroom Technology team if you have questions about using any of the equipment in the classroom (i.e. computer or projector) or programs you use to interact (i.e. Zoom or Echo360).
Instructional Technology vs. Instructional Design
- Expect to work with Instructional Designers at the very outset as you develop your ideas for a course from its very inception to the first time you teach it.
- Then, expect to work with Instructional Technologists on an ongoing basis as you evolve, refine, and enhance your course.
- Instructional Technologists know design and typically have design experience in their background so they employ those skills as needed while serving in the technologist role.
- While Instructional Design is largely informed by theory and optimization, Instructional Technology is informed by practice and customization. Think of the adage that says a house is not necessarily a home, meaning it becomes a home as we customize it Instructional Technologists help faculty customize their courses and move beyond the defaults.
- Both help you with your course content, however, Instructional Designers focus on content creation and content development while Instructional Technologists focus on content management and content integration.
Instructional Technology vs. Center for Teaching Excellence
- Go to the CTE for inspiration. It is a supportive community environment where faculty share expertise in teaching methods, educational research, and innovation. The center's main goal is to help instructors improve the learning experience for students. It offers various resources including workshops, working groups, grants, materials, and other services.
- Go to Instructional Technologists for motivation. Instructional Techs invite you to try new things in your courses to boost engagement. They work with you to push the envelope, helping you overcome limitations and uncover best ways to use technology.
Instructional Technologists vs. ITS Service Desk
- Contact the Help Desk first!
- While you could directly contact your Instructional Technologist, they might need time to research your request, and they could even have prior engagements, meetings, absences, commutes, etc. that contribute to delayed response times.
- However, the more efficient and most recommended approach is to submit your question directly to the ITS Service Desk because your matter will start to get addressed immediately.
- The Help Desk answers an overwhelming majority of questions regarding Brightspace and other Instructional Technology tools.
- Help Desk agents know what many of the common issue are and they know where to find answers quickly. They can direct your question to the best person to respond to you from anywhere in ITS, because it might not be your Instructional Technologist, rather a Technology Support Specialist or Educational Apps Specialist.
Instructional Technologists vs. Technology Support Specialists
- If you need help because an application seems like it isn’t functioning properly, your college’s Technology Support Specialist can help you fix it so you can keep doing your work. They guide you in a technical sense.
- If an application is functioning properly, yet you need help using it in the best way possible, an Instructional Technologist can help you push the envelope and take full advantage of it so you can work in new ways. They advise you in a pedagogical sense.
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