Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Technology Training Support Services: Making an Impact

In the five years since its inception as a unit within the University Libraries, Technology Training Support Services (TTSS) has grown in scope. Today the unit offers individual faculty and staff consultations, faculty-requested student training, a comprehensive Web site, walk-in clinics, special projects, a newsletter, and an annual technology fair for faculty.

The unit’s core activities continue to be instructor-led workshops providing a myriad of technology sessions to faculty and staff, according to Yasemin Tunç, director.

Since 2003, there have been 2,804 technology training sessions. These have been held at Bracken Library. Attendance at these events stands at 9,710 faculty and staff, many of whom have attended multiple sessions.

Dr. Deborah A. Ceglowski, associate professor in the Department of Elementary Education, said that since joining the Ball State faculty this academic year she has had more training in technology than in her previous 13 years of higher education experience elsewhere. “That sets the stage for how Ball State Libraries is providing support and training to faculty members,” she said. “I appreciate what they do.”

Dr. Susan A. McDowell, associate professor in the Department of Biology, said that she has learned how to use her iLocker, create a blog, and develop interactive PowerPoint presentations, thanks in part to the training services of TTSS. “The training and support I have received has made it easy for me to provide high quality presentations in all of my classes,” she said.

Dr. McDowell reports that the skills that graduate and undergraduate students gained from attending a PowerPoint “how-to” session were valuable to them in making posters. This skill will allow them to participate more easily in poster sessions at local, regional, national, and international meetings.

The unit’s decisions about which training sessions to offer and when depend on changes and updates in technology. For example, during last spring semester with the introduction of Sitecore — the University’s new content management system — new sessions in that technology were offered.

Similarly, sessions for Microsoft Office 2007 became in demand as more departments began to use the MS 2007 productivity suite. Generally, the weeks prior to fall and spring semesters result in an increase in the number of sessions on Blackboard, Gradebook, inQsit, and PowerPoint. All sessions are offered frequently to accommodate the schedules of busy faculty and staff.

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