New CIO Discusses Instructional Technology

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April 15, 2019
FAC Building

On April 12, the new Chief Information Officer, Chris Sedore, visited a meeting of the Technology-Enhanced Learning community and discussed the ways in which campus IT can support and expand opportunities for instructional technology. 

In his opening remarks, CIO Sedore was very enthusiastic about next five to ten years at UT and identified several areas on the horizon with instructional technology.  According to Sedore, creating efficiencies in infrastructure and data management will help us identify areas and find collaborate solutions to support these areas.  Overall, we should consider ways to expand the availability of materials outside the classroom using digital tools or online delivery.  Implementing online models, simulations, and visualizations will give students the chance to engage with course materials and concepts in more depth and detail outside the classroom. 

CIO Sedore Visits TEL

In addition, we should consider new models for course instruction, such as flipped classrooms or independent learning.  In attendance was Jen Moon, Associate Professor of Biology and chair of the Technology-Enhanced Education Oversight Committee, who voiced her support of exploring these directions and highlighted recent efforts to create an “inclusive-access” program that would provide students the option to access lower-cost online course materials.

Given the sheer size of UT, it can be challenging to come up with a comprehensive approach to supporting these innovative directions in instructional technology.  Many present at this discussion spoke very favorably of the way in which Canvas was adopted as the new learning management system for campus.  According to Sedore, “it’s in our best interest to support some things centrally that are harder to replicate at the college level such as learning analytics, working in partnership with colleges around local interests and research.”  With guidance from ITS and units on campus such as the CTL or Liberal Arts ITS, schools and colleges are encouraged to signal their interest in innovation and take on a leadership role for campus. Continuing to identify faculty needs for instructional technology and opportunities for conducting research around the impact of these technologies will help connect classroom support issues with conversations around wider adoption of these tools and platforms for campus.