N E W S! COLLEGE PARK, MD (January, 2015) Multiple evaluations of various data sources have led Educational Technology Services to redesign its group-training model. We will no longer offer arbitrarily scheduled workshops targeting faculty, focusing instead on small-group trainings of departmental cohorts. This allows better customization of content and scheduling, which should in turn result in boosted attendance and more successful outcomes.
One major source of data was workshop attendance itself. ETS-scheduled workshops had an attendance rate one-eighth that of department-requested small-group trainings. While the fact that department requests resulted in higher attendance was not surprising, the ratio was.
A second, corroborating source of information was the recently completed annual survey of technology use and support. Three themes recurred that aided this decision: one, faculty expressed a frustration with not having enough time to do everything they wanted to do, including attending scheduled workshops; two, they prefer to have training customized more to their needs; and three, related to timing is that of scheduling course instruction can make workshop attendance impossible when attendee obligations are not part of the initial planning.
We will continue to offer opportunities for brown-bag discussions on the third Wednesday of each month at noon, but will experiment with offering it with the option to attend via Adobe Connect over the web; another result of additional feedback from the annual survey.
We can always bring back more pre-scheduled workshops should the need arise, as it did when campus switched learning management systems and workshop attendance peaked. Our learning technology specialist, Rosalia Webb, will also continue to be available for one-on-one training to COE faculty on learning technology tools. To request a training session, either individually or for a small group, please contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or x50309.