Meet the 2020-2021 Provost’s Faculty Fellows – Laura Sremaniak
The Provost’s Faculty Fellows Program has selected a second cohort of talented faculty to explore academic leadership roles at the university’s highest levels. Laura Sremaniak from the Department of Chemistry is one of four Fellows who will embark on specific projects throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, with mentorship provided by senior administrative officials.
Mentor(s): Greg Raschke, Senior Vice Provost and Director of Libraries
Project: “Education Technologies”
This project focuses on education technologies: an evaluation of what we currently use, how they are adopted and supported, and how they enhance student learning in a variety of formal and informal learning environments. The project will focus on technologies which are supported by education technology fees and what emerging technologies are under consideration for future adoption, part of which will be informed by the work of the Leading the Digital Transformation of Higher Education strategic planning task force. Recommendations will include ways to improve transparency in prioritizing needs, faculty/administration input and feedback mechanisms, and future opportunities in emerging technologies.
This project proposal was written long before the pandemic began, but the pandemic will certainly impact it. Given the shift to all-electronic delivery of education, there is a unique opportunity to evaluate many aspects of education technology, including access to resources, continuity planning, how robust and flexible our infrastructure is to meet demand, and support for remote instruction.
A very measured approach is required in such an evaluation. Remote teaching and learning done under emergency circumstances should inform many things about our academic community’s ability to meet its mission in unusual circumstances, but should not be directly compared to carefully planned and implemented distance education courses.
Our university, like other academic communities, will likely make decisions which are greatly influenced by the response and outcomes of this current crisis (including financial ones), and this project is poised to provide a meaningful examination of the relevant issues to inform those decisions.
With all our support, we wish Laura the best of luck on her project!