November 20, 2014

Technology Mentor Program is available

A pilot initiative to increase faculty adoption and integration of cutting-edge technology is available. 

Through the Technology Mentor Program, faculty volunteers undergo training on new technology introduced on campus. These mentors then assist departmental colleagues in integrating technology into their teaching practices. 

“The point of the program is to expose our faculty and staff to new technology, find the technology’s value, and help the faculty see the capabilities that exist in the technology," Reza Habib, associate professor and undergraduate program director in the Department of Psychology, said. Habib was an early mentor program volunteer. 

The peer-to-peer sharing program, which began in August, gives faculty and staff an increased understanding of unfamiliar technology. Mentors undergo training sessions on programs including D2L (Desire2Learn), Top Hat Monocle and eBooks, as well as training on using tools including the tablets distributed to all incoming freshmen as part of the ‘Mobile Dawg’ initiative. 

A goal is to increase faculty comfort with and use of new technology to facilitate student engagement. Creating a consistent learning environment across classrooms and enriching the learning experience in each classroom will assist in student retention and success. 

Mentors are asked to commit to a four-hour training session at the start of each semester, Casey Rolape, program coordinator and lead for the Technology Mentor Program, said. 

"During this session, we familiarize mentors with the tablets and identify other tools and programs that are important to that department. In addition, we ask mentors to attend an hour-long session once a month to expand their knowledge base and confidence," she said. 

Mentors then hold workshops to familiarize faculty members in their respective departments with the programs, tools and technology concepts they learn. Each department determines its workshop content based on its unique needs and interests. 

"We hope to have a mentor available to faculty in each academic department to assist them when integrating technology into their pedagogy practices," Rolape said. 

Departments interested in the program can contact Rolape at 618/453-6131 or