Portfolio of Strategies for Collaborative Change
– for Planning and Implementation
Vision ("Why Bother?"), TLTRs, LTAs, STAs, (V)TLTCs and Flashlight
Our Approach: A way of describing your current situation, analyzing your options, and developing a selective “portfolio” of strategies appropriate for your institution, division, or department. We recommend a balanced mixture of visionary thinking, realistic analysis, flexible planning, and pragmatic implementation – a Portfolio of Strategies for Collaborative Change which includes the six elements listed here. This list also offers links to a growing set of related resources from The TLT Group, some of which are described in more detail below.
Institutional Educational Mission
(and Vision for improving teaching and learning with technology)
"Why Bother?" http://www.tltgroup.org/gilbert/WhyBotherHOME.htm
Fundamental Questions Activities
Taxonomy of Goals http://www.tltgroup.org/resources/F_Types_of_Goals.html
Queries about Educ., Tech., & Change http://www.tltgroup.org/gilbert/QuakerQueriesIWswg2-19-01.htm
Vision Worth Working Toward http://www.tltgroup.org/gilbert/vwwt2000.htm
(Minimum requirements for technology, support service infrastructure, and information literacy)
TLTR Guidelines http://www.tltgroup.org/resources/rtltguide.html
Information Literacy http://www.ala.org/acrl/infolit.html
Wide/Shallow Projects, Programs
(Plan for annual initiatives or improvements, each of which benefits many faculty members and students – well-beyond a single course or department)
Low Threshold Applications http://www.tltgroup.org/LTAs/Overview.htm
Virtual TLT Centers http://www.tltgroup.org/gilbert/(V)TLTC/Resources.htm
Student Tech. Asst. Programs http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/sta.html
Narrow/Deep Projects, Programs
(Set of more focused, extensive, expensive, risky programs, each of which provides dramatic benefits but often for a relatively smaller fraction of the total institution)
Improving Outcomes... http://www.tltgroup.org/resources/Visions/Improving_Outcomes.html
Collaboration and Learning
(Developing a “Nurturing Community” in which colleagues help each other)
TLT Collab. Change Network http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/round.html
Comp. Pioneers & Nurturing Communities http://www.tltgroup.org/firecircles/activepage.htm
Thoughtful Planning, Assessment,
(Tools and approaches that generate information to guide successful implementation, program revision, and realistic budgeting)
Flashlight Program http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/flashlight.html
A coherent, well-publicized set of strategies can help transform skepticism, fear, wastefully confused decisions, and reluctance about change into confidence and focused energy. A Portfolio of Strategies for Collaborative Change can help you maintain what you cherish most about your institution while achieving new heights of educational quality and accessibility.
On many campuses there is a new dedication to engaging and serving almost all the faculty in using information technology to improve teaching and learning. Within this context, the TLT Group offers several programs and services that can help a college or university develop its own Portfolio of Strategies for Collaborative Change, including TLT Roundtable, Low Threshold Applications and Activities, Virtual TLT Center, Student Technology Assistants, and Flashlight. To make the best use of most of these resources, colleges and universities can participate in the TLT Group’s Collaborative Change Network or Flashlight Network. See:
An institution's TLTR, a uniquely diverse group, represents all those who can and should work together to improve teaching and learning with information technology. Through regular focused meetings, a TLTR can help its institution make better-informed decisions, sustain collaborative change, and develop better strategies for using technology to improve teaching and learning. Roundtables can reduce the confusion, frustration, unrealistic expectations, and wasteful duplication of effort that often accompanies the explosive array of opportunities offered by educational technology. TLT Roundtables work best when they are advisory to one or more “sponsors” – usually the Chief Academic Officer and/or other top-ranking administrators – who actively and publicly support the Roundtable’s work, listen to its suggestions, and implement some of its recommendations. The TLT Group originated the TLTR concept and has been instrumental in assisting hundreds of institutions to launch, enhance, or revive their local TLT Roundtables.
Low Threshold Activities and Applications (LTAs) – Long-Term Widespread Collegial Professional Development
Every LTA includes a teaching/learning application of information technology that the potential user (teacher or learner) perceives as not intimidating and not requiring much additional work or new thinking. LTAs have low incremental costs for purchase, training, and maintenance.
Most “pioneer” or “early adopter” faculty members enjoy the challenge of learning how to use new technology options – for some, the more challenging the better!
In addition, on many campuses, “early majority” or “mainstream” faculty are now receptive to improving their own teaching and their students’ learning with technology – and many have already begun. However, most members of this much larger group are already busy with other goals – they do not see technology as a major interest nor do they see themselves as having much extra time for new challenges in this area. What can faculty leaders and other professionals do to help them? What options are available to them for helping themselves and their colleagues? Part of the answer lies in LTAs.
Each LT Activity can be described as a combination of :
1. “What?” LT technology application and relevant pre-requisites for its use.
2. “How?” LT teaching/learning Approach.
3. “Why?” LT Achievement -- educational purpose or intended outcomes.
4. “How well?” LT Assessment.
The newest TLT Group initiative focuses on building collections of LTAs and helping institutions and individuals use them to enhance professional development programs – especially for encouraging and enabling “mainstream” faculty members to help each other to use information technology to improve teaching and learning.
(Virtual) Teaching, Learning, and Technology Centers – (V)TLTCs – Inter-Departmental Support for Professional Development
The proliferation of attractive options for improving teaching and learning using information technology requires an unprecedented level of continuing professional development for faculty and staff. To meet this growing need, local (V)TLTCs provide training and consultation services and related materials for faculty members (and, possibly, for staff, administrators, and other support professionals).
A local (V)TLTC should include these elements:
1. Collaborative projects and programs (combining staff and other resources from the faculty development, library, technology support, and other related organizations);
2. Combinations of media and structures selected to meet the learning needs of faculty and other academic professionals;
3. A room (usually in or near the library) where some representatives of some of the relevant support services work together some of the time;
4. Online services and resources; and
5. Ongoing assessment.
A local (V)TLTC is "virtual" in two ways: organizationally and technologically. Participating academic support services remain separated organizationally and geographically. Information technology, especially the Web, is used to schedule, coordinate, publicize, deliver, and revise faculty support services and related resources. A TLTR can serve as an advisory or governing board for a (V)TLTC. These Centers can also promote collegial coaching based on collections of LTAs and benefit from using STAs.
Student Technology Assistants (STAs) – Using Unique Resources to Improve Technical and Instructional Support
Institutions face a
two-headed “Support Service Crisis.” The demand for IT-related services is
outrunning budgets. A shortage of qualified staff makes it difficult to fill
existing support positions. One solution is large scale programs for training
and using students to provide some of the technology-related support for
students, faculty, and staff. While most colleges and universities already use
a few students to monitor public computing facilities, etc., a growing number of
institutions are adopting models in which many students are taking more
substantive and varied roles – including training and supervising their peers.
Many of these students report that this structured learning and service
experience enriches their education and enhances their relationships with
faculty while providing some income and strengthening their resumes. The best
Student Technology Assistant Programs provide a highly cost-effective response
to the continuing acceleration of change in teaching, learning, and technology
options. The TLT Group's Student Technology Assistant Program offers materials
and assistance in organizing such programs (especially encouraging
The Flashlight program provides a relatively ‘low threshold’ approach and tools for assessment.
Any evaluation that seeks to relate technology investment to educational outcomes must first describe how students, faculty and others actually used the opportunities that the technology made possible. This attention to what people actually do with technology applies to two levels of assessment:
The Flashlight approach
helps faculty and other academic support professionals learn how each type of
data can be used to improve teaching and learning. Many of the Flashlight
evaluation tools can be especially valuable in gaining the most from investments
of institutions’ money and individuals’ time.
Also see: http://www.tltgroup.org/programs/flashlight.html