Instructional Technology Support at the Center for Teaching
by Derek Bruff, executive director
While preparing for our recently published 2021-2022 Year in Review, I was curious to know what kinds of lasting effects 18 months of pandemic teaching had on the use of instructional technology by the Vanderbilt teaching community. Our instructional technology support team gathered some data to get a sense of that. Here’s a brief excerpt from our Year in Review on the subject:
The CFT began administering and supporting Provost-provisioned educational technologies in 2015, starting with Vanderbilt’s course management systems, Blackboard and later Brightspace. Today, these technologies include Kaltura, Turnitin, Perusall, Top Hat, Gradescope, and more.
In a fall 2021 MyVU story about the ways faculty were continuing to improve their teaching as a result of lessons learned from pandemic teaching, Anita Wager, associate dean for undergraduate affairs at Peabody College, said, “A common thread among faculty is that the resources provided by the university, and especially through the Center for Teaching, were invaluable last year and are at the heart of what is making us even better teachers this year.”
While demand for instructional technology support has subsided from peak pandemic levels, it is significantly higher than it was before the pandemic. For instance, the CFT Brightspace support team fielded 2.7 times as many requests in 2020-21 (8,695 tickets) as in 2018-2019 (3,233). That team doesn’t just solve technical problems, but also helps instructors learn to teach more effectively with technology. Indeed, the team conducted 67 individual consultations this year that went beyond tech support into best teaching practices.