Improving the learning technology ecosystem

By Simon Bates posted on September 8th, 2014

In late 2013, the Provost tasked the leadership of UBC IT and CTLT to find ways for the respective units to work more collaboratively and effectively in their provision of central support for learning technology. In tandem, we were challenged to work towards a structure that would enable us to define the future evolution of the learning technology ecosystem, and to enable us to build a roadmap to get there.

Though this represents a significant program of work, we have already made a good start. We have:

  • Re-articulated a shared responsibility for leadership in central provision of learning technology, both strategically and operationally across both design and delivery functions. Design and selection of learning technology applications must be based on pedagogical need, backed up by robust and effective operational delivery.
  • Made changes within our units to foster closer working operations and established shared processes and approaches as key central providers of learning technology support.
  • Implemented a number of short term improvements to the ease of use and functionality of Connect.
  • Committed to work in collaboration and consultation with the UBC community (faculty, staff and students) to design the future evolution of the suite of tools and applications to support learning

The need for this approach was further confirmed by the feedback obtained by UBC’s participation in the first ECAR survey of faculty use and perceptions of technology, administered by EDUCAUSE in March 2014. Results showed that the performance and stability issues with Connect at the start of the previous academic session cast a long shadow over faculty perceptions of and trust in learning technology systems (and to some extent, support). The lack of a clear strategic roadmap was flagged as a major omission.

This feedback is a clear call to action, and it will be invaluable in shaping our discussions as we move forward. You can find more details on the survey results themselves, the short-term improvements we have been able to make in response and how the survey results will inform the future direction for our learning technology ecosystem, here.