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Completed Initiatives for 2017-2018


Blackboard Collaborate Ultra


Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, the new enhanced version of Blackboard Collaborate, became available on the 20th of February 2017. Announcements were sent out throughout campus to help make faculty aware of this new tool, to promote training sessions, and provide support related information. After three weeks of the implementation, the use ratio of the new version to the old version is 4:1.


Computer Lab Expansion - Cyber Café


Student services with high demand that were once available only in the Library’s Technology Support Center are now also available in the Student Union. The enhanced Cyber Cafe opened at the beginning of the spring 2017 semester. This more than doubled the number of computer workstations available to students, and made Apple computers with Adobe Creative Suite available as well. Additionally, tech support personnel is always on-site to assist.


Internet To Go


50 personal hot spots have been purchased from T-Mobile. The student survey results have been received and considered. The hotspot recipients have been selected and have been provided with details of the loaner program. Devices are now available for pick-up.


Quick Setup for Apple Computers


An integration of Apple’s Device Enrollment Program and JAMF was completed in the summer of 2016. Since September 2016, our PC technicians no longer have to receive, setup, and deliver new incoming Apple computers. Our clients receive new Apple computers faster and our full-time technician once dedicated to the processing of new Apple computers has been reassigned to assist us with the high volume of other computer hardware/software related support requests.


Supporting A Single SRS


As of the spring 2017 semester, we officially support only one Student Response System - REEF Polling. The Technology Support office offers REEF training to faculty, in-class introductions for students, as well as handling all support-related requests, including integrations with the Learning Management System. Students do not incur any additional expense in their use of this system. The level of success can be summarized by its use by almost 4,000 students during spring 2017 semester.


Technology Enhanced Classrooms


Academic Technologies, in collaboration with faculty focus groups, completed the new design of the Classroom of the Future in the spring of 2016. During the summer semester of 2016, a pilot of the first prototype was launched in UGLC 340. During fall of 2016, the Department of Telecommunications Infrastructure deployed the new design in the following classrooms: Liberal Arts 303, Liberal Arts 308, Geology 123, Education 312, Education 405, Business 329, Classroom Building 205, and Campbell 234. One of the high impact components of the new design is the projector selection. It is an efficient and reliable projector which does not require a lamp and needs no maintenance. Projector failure is the component with the highest impact in lost classroom instruction time. With limited funding available and a large number of classrooms (250+), our next goal is to replace all projectors within the next five years to minimize or eliminate the loss of instruction time.


Blackboard Institute


In January 2017 and as a strategy to maximize the use of the LMS, Information Resources started its first Blackboard (Bb) Institute. The Bb Institute is a five-day cohort-based professional development experience for UTEP instructors who want to maximize the use of Blackboard Learn. In two years, we have worked with almost 200 instructors through nine different cohorts. The Institute was created to move faculty beyond using Bb as a repository, and help facilitate increase its adoption as an integrative tool to their teaching and research. The Bb Institute has become key to faculty not only maximizing their use of Blackboard for teaching and learning, but also has sparked innovation, creativity and engagement with using technology at our campus.


Teach Tech Faculty Co-Op
The TeachTech Research Project introduces guide, and support faculty with implementing technology, tools and strategies into their classes, using an integrative and applied learning framework. Thru this project, faculty work collaboratively with its technology experts to develop, deploy, and evaluate innovative strategies to integrate technology into their curriculum. As a result of this project, faculty have been given the tools and training necessary to flipped their classroom, and increase student engagement thru gamification and virtual reality.



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