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Archive

Learning Through Technology Plan: September 1997

Introduction


In June of 1996, UWM unveiled its Strategic Plan. The Plan outlined four campus priorities–one of which was to dramatically expand the use of technology across the campus. This initiative called for UWM to employ appropriate information and communication technologies to improve academic, student service, and business operations on the campus.

UWM recognizes that there are a number of factors related to technology that have had a profound impact on our institutional mission and our day-to-day operations. These include:

  • Technologies that are changing so quickly that we run the risk of implementing yesterday’s solutions;
  • Increased demand for access to technology;
  • Technology-literate prospective students;
  • Information technology that invites increased collaboration between UW system institutions and new partners (including the corporate community);
  • The need to adapt to changing work skills that results in a need for lifelong learning.

The implications these factors have for UWM include:

  • Our need to reconsider the present assumptions about teaching and learning and examine how technology can contribute to and enhance the learning process;
  • Our need for a focused planning effort directed toward technology development;
  • Our need for state-of-the-art equipment and appropriate infrastructure that will be critical to support leading-edge research and the learning process;
  • The opportunity to enhance student access to our programs and to support and develop competencies that will allow us to share our faculty and other resources with collaborating universities, industry, and K-12 programs.
It is clear that technology will be a vital component in UWM’s efforts to integrate research and instruction and that our reliance on computing and information technologies will continue to grow. It is also clear that the resources needed to meet the demands must be well managed. UWM's Learning Through Technology Plan is designed to effectively address our current and future technology development and needs.

The framework that serves as the foundation of the Learning Through Technology Plan (the priorities, initiatives, and the ideas that became the basis for the tactics) was developed during the spring of 1997 by the Learning Through Technology Roundtable. The Roundtable included representatives from each of UWM's 12 schools/colleges, each division, the Student Association, and 12 campus committees.

In addition to creating the Plan, the group identified a set of planning assumptions (both internal and external); general guiding principles of responsibility; and strengths, threats, weaknesses, and opportunities related to technologies facing UWM (see http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/Acad_Aff/). The Roundtable will continue to serve as a campus forum for technology planning and will provide a venue for the discussion of issues that arise as we implement the Plan.

Kenneth L. Watters
Provost and Vice Chancellor
September, 1997


THE OBJECTIVE OF THE PLAN

The Learning Through Technology Plan is organized around five strategic priorities.

  1. ESTABLISH ADEQUATE, PERMANENT FUNDING SOURCES FOR TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT, UPGRADES, & SUPPORT
  2. EXPECT CAMPUS ADMINISTRATORS AT ALL LEVELS TO TAKE A LEADERSHIP ROLE ON TECHNOLOGY ISSUES
  3. PROVIDE FACULTY, STAFF, & STUDENTS WITH TECHNOLOGICALLY APPROPRIATE TOOLS & DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES NEEDED TO DO QUALITY WORK
  4. FOSTER COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS & ENHANCE COMMUNITY OUTREACH VIA TECHNOLOGY
  5. INTEGRATE APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGIES INTO THE CURRICULUM, PEDAGOGY, AND RESEARCH

It is important to keep in mind that the priorities are interdependent, that they rely on a guiding principle of shared responsibility, and they are in direct support of the priorities outlined in UWM's Strategic Plan. Examples of defining initiatives and tactics are listed under each of the five priorities.

PRIORITY: ESTABLISH ADEQUATE, PERMANENT FUNDING SOURCES FOR TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT, UPGRADES, & SUPPORT

  • *Establish long-term plans for managing the University's investment in current and emerging technologies.

    Tactics

    • Develop budget solutions to address technology needs.
    • Develop plans for upgrading or retiring current technologies and adding new facilities and staff.

  • *Expand funding (private & public, internal & external) for the implementation of technology at all levels within the university.

    Tactics

    • Develop partnerships with private companies that lead to technology transfer.
    • Seek extramural funding for equipment and software.
    • Include the cost of technology equipment and infrastructure in grant budgets.
    • Reallocate campus resources.
    • Request additional state funds.

  • *Develop and communicate technology funding strategies and incorporate these strategies into the campus resource planning process.

    Tactics

    • Periodically evaluate criteria for centrally administered technology funds (Laboratory/Classroom Modernization, Educational Technology Fee, etc.) to determine if changes are needed in allocation methods or priorities.
    • Establish an ongoing mechanism for obtaining faculty, staff, and student input regarding the effectiveness of current services, existing unmet needs, and planned future directions.
    • Make opportunities and resources widely known and available.
    • Incorporate into the planning process clear guidelines on the types of funding provided at the central administration level and the criteria for evaluating requests.


PRIORITY: EXPECT CAMPUS ADMINISTRATORS AT ALL LEVELS TO TAKE A LEADERSHIP ROLE ON TECHNOLOGY ISSUES

  • *Campus administration will provide the leadership for building a consensus for new directions and initiatives.
  • Tactics

    • Organize campus-wide forums on issues related to the implementation of technology.
    • Develop mechanisms to solicit input from the university community for new or improved services.
    • Communicate campus strategies and accomplishments vis à vis technological improvements.

  • *Establish responsibilities at campus, school/college, and department level.

    Tactics

    • Clarify the responsibilities at all campus levels (central administration, divisions, schools/colleges, departments, faculty, staff, and students).
    • Empower user departments to develop and improve administrative systems via collaborative partnerships with I&MT staff.

  • *Identify and remove those organizational, cultural, and physical barriers which prevent the effective applications and use of technologies.
  • Tactics

    • Develop comprehensive plans that encourage sharing resources across units and coordinate campus technology resource planning in order to avoid costly redundancy.
    • Foster communication and exchange of ideas.

  • *Reevaluate the incentives and rewards associated with adopting/developing/integrating technology to improve effectiveness.
  • Tactics

    • Ensure that development and/or innovative adoption and utilization of new technologies be included in the recognition, reward, and promotion structure for faculty and staff as called for in the UWM Strategic Plan.

PRIORITY: PROVIDE FACULTY, STAFF, & STUDENTS WITH TECHNOLOGICALLY APPROPRIATE TOOLS & DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES NEEDED TO DO QUALITY WORK

  • *Provide support to assist faculty and staff to develop competencies and enhance creativity.
  • Tactics

    • Provide support for on- and off-campus development opportunities for faculty/staff/ad hoc instructors, and TAs to participate in IT professional development.
    • Support the Learning Technology Center.
    • Initiate appropriate assistance and orientation programs to address the diverse needs of all students so that they are able to make use of new technologies in their course work & research.
    • Provide opportunities for students to develop their interests in and skills for utilizing new technologies.

  • *Ensure that the technologies available on campus are effective and reflect what is available and/or needed in the workplace.
  • Tactics

    • Maintain and constantly assess the information infrastructure.
    • Improve and support information dissemination activities.
    • Develop a process for migrating applications to academic and administrative users.
    • Address the current problem of inequities between schools and colleges in desktop access and equipment.

  • *Ensure that competent, responsive technical support is available to faculty, staff, and students.
  • Tactics

    • Establish clear levels of services available to faculty, staff, and students and articulate how they are obtained, costs, etc.
    • Periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the I&MT organizational structure in responding to the needs of the campus community.
    • Develop a strategy for prioritizing I&MT needs, projects, and service requests to allocate resources more effectively.


PRIORITY: FOSTER COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS & ENHANCE COMMUNITY OUTREACH VIA TECHNOLOGY

  • *Use campus and community partnerships supported by technological innovation to help redefine the public perception about UWM.
  • Tactics

    • Identify and prioritize relationships with external constituencies that can be enhanced via technological innovation.
    • Establish and maintain clear pathways of communication pertaining to technology needs between community groups and appropriate UWM units related to the implementation of new technologies.
    • Coordinate an expanded technology partnership programs with the public schools.

  • *Make UWM a center for technological innovation that serves the community's needs for obtaining knowledge through the use of new technology.
  • Tactics

    • Use emerging technologies to foster partnerships between UWM and potential UWM students, current UWM students, and alumni.
    • Utilize new technologies to support outreach activities that take place in neighborhood centers such as community schools and groups.


PRIORITY: INTEGRATE APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGIES INTO THE CURRICULUM, PEDAGOGY, AND RESEARCH

  • *Ensure that our teaching and research spaces have in place the necessary technological infrastructure.
  • Tactics

    • Develop a plan for upgrading and maintaining classrooms, laboratories, and studios.
    • Maintain a viable technology network infrastructure.

  • *Take advantage of technologies for promoting and supporting the breadth, depth, and continuum of the UWM educational experience.
  • Tactics

    • Encourage programs to define the teaching, learning, and research opportunities enhanced by technological innovations unique to their discipline and supportive of interdisciplinary collaboration.
    • Support activities that infuse distributed technologies into the curriculum and research.

  • *Recognize the diverse relationships that various students have with the university and use technology to support those relationships.
  • Tactics

    • Create an infrastructure that allows the faculty and staff to provide remote services to students electronically.
    • Develop enrichment programs that exploit emerging technologies for pre-college through undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate; full time and part time students.
    • Enhance access to UWM programs for adult and returning students within their homes and employment sites.

  • *Encourage the diversification of pedagogical methods.

    Tactics

    • Support research on the effectiveness of technological innovations for teaching and student learning.
    • Reward efforts that incorporate new technologies into the learning process and that help improve the curriculum.