As technology evolves, the lines between traditional, place-based and online education have become blurred, according to Randy Collins.
“The technology we use online is the same we are using in the classroom,” said Collins, executive director of academic initiatives in the College of Engineering and Science. “The primary difference is that with traditional classes, the students are physically here. But with the emergence of blended and flipped classrooms, faculty can interact with students in a completely different way.”
Collins asserts that the technologies we use must focus on and support academic goals. That’s why Collins is excited that the university’s learning technologies group — formerly under CCIT — is moving over to Clemson Online.
“This move is being made to create a one-stop shop for faculty,” explained Witt Salley, director of Clemson Online. “What was happening is that faculty wanted to teach a blended or online course and had to go to multiple places for support, which created a fragmented process. This move streamlines faculty support and training for technology and pedagogy of 21st century education.
As part of the reorganization, leadership for such instructional technologies as Blackboard, Adobe Connect, Echo360 and others will shift to Clemson Online. However, backend support, maintenance and troubleshooting tasks will remain with CCIT.
Both Salley and Collins cite other benefits as a result of this realignment.
“I think this [reorganization] allows for better synergies among faculty,” said Collins. “This robust solution can help faculty more easily match their academic needs to the technologies that can support them. The centralization also allows Clemson Online and the faculty to share best practices. The more we pull like-minded things together, we enable synergies that would not happen otherwise.”
“This realignment supports our commitment to and strategy concerning online initiatives and puts the resources behind that commitment,” said Salley. “Underlying the interface of technology and pedagogy – no longer can you separate the two.”
“The benefit of this change is really to our customers,” said Melissa Lockhart, one of Clemson Online’s instructional technologists. “Previously they had to come to one group on campus for guidelines and best practices and another group for training and support. Now that we are combined it offers our customers a one-stop shop for all their online and classroom technology needs.”
For more information, contact Witt Salley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Jackie Todd, office of Media Relations