During the 2015/2016 Academic Year, ITSS will be able to offer new and expanded resources to support online and hybrid (partially online and partially face-to-face) learning.
ITSS has always supported faculty in their efforts to put courses partially or fully online, through two Educational Technologists who provide all manner of support where technology and pedagogy intersect. Last year, ITSS was able to use an open staff line that had been an application developer and repurposed the staff position into a third Educational Technologist. This year, with expanded per-student funding for students in online courses, we have added a fourth Educational Technologist.
In addition to this support in the technology pedagogy intersection, ITSS will also add a full time Online Coordinator who will provide the many things bricks-and-mortar students take for granted, like the announcements and interaction they might receive on the first day of class when that is both time and place dependent. This role will be defined by the feedback received from faculty and staff who have been delivering online courses at UMD in recent years and we expect it to evolve with further experience and feedback. It will also gather and analyze student experiences to help create proactive solutions to common online student problems.
Finally, some of the per-student online funding will be used to bolster infrastructure such as internet connectivity and the ability to serve software to online students on their own computers in ways that mimic the stability and ease with which bricks-and-mortar students use computer labs on campus.