The Epiphany Project
Survey Results: Challenges Creating a Culture of Support 5/5
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 11:53:55 -0500
From: Dickie Selfe <>
Subject: long--Small college challenges

The question that generated this list was the following: What are the most important challenges at your institution to setting up a culture of support for those interested in teaching with technology?


* Religious Affiliated, private, many first-generation college students with low SATs
- lack of knowledge in faculty and time
% about the computers themselves
% about available software and about how to use it
% the benefits and the disadvantages of technology as a teaching tool.
- lack of classrooms with computers, lack of access to the type of collaborative environments exhibited at the institute (DIWE, CommonSpace, Norton connect)
* Small branch campus of huge university, all undergraduate, lots of support
Just to stay current with this field. I've spent thousand of hours, hours that rightfully belong to my family, to my students, to my research, to myself. This field fascinates me--it's like an addiction, though.
* Small college, 1200 students, 67 faculty, 51% non-traditional, good infrastructure, poorly trained faculty
1) faculty and students resistance to time, to cost, to change
2) personal time to stay current, to be creative, to problem-solve, rather than just "treat" (as in symptoms).
3) Unreasonable expectations that computers are a magic bullet
* Urban, 4000 under, 1000 grad., Jesuit, strong liberal arts tradition
- persuading the provost and presidents of the importance of faculty development (in addition to the hardware investments the U. is newly making)
- having the technical support & training (the professional "permission" of the rewards/incentive structure) to develop new pedagogies in the classroom.
- creating a faculty community of "techno-educators" who could be a catalyst for change *without* the necessary support from the administration.
- finding the right software for he task I can imagine
* 7,500 students, open admissions, urban
A crisis at the university: It looks like about 125 faculty out of 400 are going to be cut. Getting through that period and not loosing track of technologies, students, pedagogy. If we make it through that period, then summon some enthusiasm for the work that needs to be done. Clearly, in the next year or two we are going to have to make a lot of changes. I need to remember that crisis connotes opportunity and find ways to use the forced change as means for encouraging some positive steps.
* Coed, liberal arts, 600 day students, 400 adults in off-campus programs, middle class, 20% minorities; many students underprepared/motivated; many are 1st generation college students.
1) generating *interest* among many established faculty members (esp. tenured); overcoming their fears. These fears may relate to lack of time to understand technology.
2) finding the TIME to continue teaching & meeting existing commitments while thinking through and developing new courses using technology (& new ways to use tech.)
3) funding to provide the technology we need--particularly the equipped classrooms. (We have strong administrative support, which helps). Or perhaps the knowledge to make wise choices concerning how to spend limited funds.
* Suburban, 6,000 day students, vital continuing Ed. program; liberal arts, private, IMBA and MBA and an ME. Currently building fiberoptic network campus wide. HU lab to be completely networked by Feb. Faculty committee working on technology.
1) departmental support: I feel like the "Lone Ranger" since I am highly interested in TWT. However, the Director of the Writing Lab, for whom I work as a writing specialist, is supportive in helping me get to conferences such as this one and also encouraging me to apply for local grants for summer study.
2) not enough technical support: getting better though
3) faculty interest?
* Small multicultural, bilingual university, 2200 students, large ESL/developmental population
Priorities/Planning/Assessment--these three are connected. We can't set priorities w/o assessment & we can't plan w/o priorities.
* Same as above:
- (may not be the biggest challenge but ...) lack of good equipment. I'd like to incorporate WWW activities but have not access from my office and no current classes for composition classes.
- current departmental focus for computer use is drill and kill software. No real support for encouraging students to engage in meaningful writing activities on the "developmental" level.
* 5000 students, private, undergrad. liberal arts college
1) My major challenge as Director of WAC is to convince the admin. on the one hand and faculty on the other that we need systematic long-range planning for
- tech support
- curriculum revision
- rolling replacement & upgrade
This must all precede the "meteor crash" we anticipate during 1997.
2) The immediate need is to enlist the direct support of our president, ... in a university-wide educational technology planning team.
* Private, undergrad.
- time constraints: supporting technology is only a small part of my job; I'm pulled in too many directions and don't have time to create enthusiasm
- budget constraints: not enough departmental & institutional money; need more labs and upgraded equip.; staff support
- lack of knowledge: I don't feel like I have enough knowledge to help others but I have enough to do things for myself. Don't have the extensive knowledge to help others out of "problems."
* Small college
- Computer services (technical support providers) and faculty who want to use technology have different agendas but do not understand the constraints of the other group. Each wants the optimal environment for *their* success but each vision places constraints and demands on the other group.
* Sm. lib. arts sch., prim. resid., 2200 students (1600 undergrad.)
I see on of our greatest challenges as being the lack of preparation time & technology training necessary. The kind and amount of tech. support are inadequate, leaving faculty with the feeling that they are regarded as nuisances by the tech. folks. We seem to be exceptional in that our administration is "sold" on technology.
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