The Academic Technology Committee is a standing committee of the Faculty Council. Its role is to serve as an intermediary between the faculty and those who are responsible for the technology infrastructure on campus as it relates to teaching and research. It makes recommendations on hardware and software acquisitions intended for Campus-wide academic use, contributes to the formulation of plans for expansion and improvement of academic computing facilities, recommends policies, based on curricular considerations, for determining distribution of, and access to, Campus-wide academic computing resources, and advises and consults with other relevant committees.
I’m now in my second year as chair of the committee. Other members for 2012-2013 are Betzi L. Bateman (Instructional Design); Laura Bozeman (Curriculum and Instruction); Jeffrey A. Dusenberry (IT); Eugene Gallagher (EEOS);William Hagar (CSM); EllieKutz (EdTech/English); Catherine Mazza (Art); Apurva Mehta (IT); Michael Milburn (Psychology); Anita Miller (Provost’s Office); Pamela Nadash (Gerontology); Ann Torke (Art) ; Catalin Zara (Math) .
In recent years, the committee has, at the request of Faculty Council, set up a task force to examine quality concerns related to online learning (link to report), conducted surveys of faculty users to help determine software needs and priorities for site licenses for particular software, and reviewed the help system for Blackboard, for example. Monthly meetings address a slate of topics such as technology for students with disabilities, library information portals, and resources for working with big data.
This year’s meetings and exchanges have focused on a report on online learning in gerontology ( Pam Nadash) discussed elsewhere in this issue, a lively discussion on student accountability and ways to address the potential for cheating in online courses, and a beginning exploration of the appearance of MOOCs (the massive open online courses being created at MIT, Stanford, and other institutions, including UMass Boston in Spring 2013) and their implications for our work. At our November meeting, CIO and Vice Provost Anne Agee reported on current IT infrastructure initiatives. (See previous article.)
Faculty members who have concerns that they’d like to bring to the attention of the committee should email me at Varghese.George@umb.edu .