Wells College is a very traditional, small liberal arts college in Central New York. With a student population just over 500, and under 40 full-time tenure-track faculty, we affectionately call ourselves a micro college. Before the summer of 2015, there was no campus wide Learning Management System available to the faculty. My first major project when I arrived in July of 2015 was to choose and install a Learning Management System, integrate it with the other college systems, troubleshoot the installation, and create guides for faculty use.
The challenge of working with a faculty that was not used to any level of technological support from an educational professional helped to shape my job immediately. I intentionally did not create expansive guides for the faculty to use, instead I made it my mission to visit them during office hours, talk with them about what was going on their classes, listen more than I spoke, and make careful strategic suggestions where I thought I could help.
Making Strategic Goals
With a campus that did not previously have a Learning Management System, it was important for me to make manageable goals. In my first year on campus, I hoped to identify early technology adopters and faculty members that had the respect of their colleagues, and make sure all faculty members could use Moodle in the most basic way, for the sharing of documents and already created videos. There was a real concern that if I overloaded the faculty they would become frustrated with the time they had spent on the system.
If the document to the right looks more like an advertisement than a help guide, that’s because that is exactly what it was meant to be. This was a teaser, and if you wanted to find out more information, I am here to help, I’ll come to your office, at your convenience, and help you upload your first documents, post your first video, or put your first picture up. More detailed directions were preloaded into every course shell.
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