I just read the Grad Students and Digital Education article by Joshua Kim and found the reflections of his participation in the strategic planning process interesting. I do think that the conversations that we intentionally have during periods of transition are incredibly insightful allowing people from various parts of campus to share their stories. Luckily, we continued to do this on our LMS committee and I think it keeps the ideas flowing between IT, Faculty and Support Staff.
In particular Kim’s take on what he heard resonated with me concerning faculty training and support. In ECAR’s 2011 National Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, one of the student quotes is telling. “I’d like them to use [a commercial learning management system] to give us more resources outside the classroom, to post grades, and to have discussions outside the classroom. The tools are all there, but they’re not used.” (p. 14)
Most faculty members I know are BUSY, really BUSY. Which is why they need easy, intuitive tools to use. If a LMS is cumbersome, clunky, and archaic, how can they be expected (on a grand scale) to effectively utilize the tool? If the school is locked into an outdated system, then training and extra support services can help them fill in the gap between student expectations and a faculty member’s need for support.