ATS CLT Embedded Support Model
As the fall term approaches, staff with Academic Technology Services (ATS) and the Centre for Learning & Teaching (CLT) are working to improve support models to better assist course instructors in online teaching. The revised Support Plan for Fall, based on our Spring/Summer Plan, outlines centralized and collaborative support for Dalhousie and King's. However, it’s become clear that Faculties are seeking to create or bolster their internal resources. To ensure that cohesive support is provided for all of Dalhousie, ATS and the CLT are exploring embedded and/or collaborative support models with Faculties.
When possible, ATS has assigned graduate student Course Builders to their home Faculty or the one where they take the majority of their courses. CLT has assigned their Educational Developers to specific Faculties as well. While this approach will improve support overall, more can be done to alleviate challenges.
There are two existing pilot examples rolling out across Dalhousie and King's right now. Below are concrete examples of the kinds of additional embedded supports available:
1. The Centre for Learning & Teaching is partnering with King’s, Engineering, Management, and potentially FASS, to share Educational Developer positions. These academic units leverage CLT’s expertise in hiring and managing educational developers while CLT has greater reach with their support.
2. ATS has worked with the Faculties of Science and Management to embed ATS graduate students who are working on frontline support with Faculty course instructor experts. The embedded student serves as a point person to respond directly to instructor questions or to triage the question to ATS, CLT, or the Faculty's team as appropriate.
In both cases, there’s a key benefit to providing additional human resources directly to academic units. Just as importantly, the embedded individuals form part of a critical two-way communication mechanism between central and local unis. As Dalhousie navigates new challenges, things are changing rapidly on all fronts and it’s critical that information flow on new/improved tools, pedagogical approaches, or other concepts related to online teaching.
As we work to realise the President’s One Dal vision, this hub-and-spoke support model will benefit everyone through a flexible partnership between central and embedded support.
These are only two examples, but others are possible. ATS and CLT would like to find solutions that work for each Faculty.