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Notes from EDUCAUSE Connect, San Diego, February 2015

Interested in engaging your faculty? To engage faculty with the inspiration to utilize technology that improves instruction is a challenge that confronts every institution and its’ unique culture. ASU’s status as one of the largest universities in the US suggests that challenge may loom larger here due to our diverse audience and scale.

A presentation delivered last month at the EDUCAUSE Connect conference in San Diego, shared some successful methods St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin used to promote good use of instructional technology. Although St. Norbert is a smaller school their methods created impressive results, which are worthy of passing along so that others might be galvanized.

One of the first points Dr. Clemmons, Vice President and Chief Information Officer made was that for their faculty, hearing real life experiences from their peers made a difference. St. Norbert’s Center for Teaching and Learning had an epiphany. They could facilitate faculty development by partnering with IT and Library Services to establish a faculty led Digital Learning Initiative. The partners reached out by taking their ideas to the various academic bodies rather than inviting people to come to them.

Here is an overview of some of their ventures:

  • The Digital Learning Initiative began to schedule active learning sessions, and group discussions to explore course design.
  • A grant was established for instructional technology innovators.
  • Participation in the Digital Learning Initiative was required for grant recipients to maintain good course design.
  • A contest was conducted for coolest class. The winner won $2500. Judges were from outside the institution.
  • Faculty had the opportunity to become Digital Fellows. This involved a yearlong appointment during which time they would promote digital citizenship, learning, and innovation in technology in a series of sessions.
  • Faculty was offered $250 to attend 8 of these sessions. A $1000 fee was paid to the Digital Fellow.
  • Food was offered at the sessions!
  • E-portfolios were studied for use; Goshen College Examples were cited.
  • Clickers were used in a pre-semester get-ready session.
  • A drop-in lab was offered the week before classes started.
  • Learning Communities were established with sponsorship from the President, Dean, and Library Services.
  • Orientations were offered about Information Technology and the Library.
  • An Online Summer Institute was established.  Faculty applied to attend and fill the 6-18 seats available. Cost to run the Institute –  $25,000.
  • More was learned about St. Norbert’s Technology Adoption Life Cycle in terms of the timeline for adoption to decline in use of a given technology.

One of the more important insights from St Norbert’s initiative as presented by Dr. Clemmons, was the atmosphere of inclusive collaboration that existed in lieu of accomplishments for any one entity throughout the successful integration of instructional technology.

Does the St. Norbert Initiative give you some ideas about how ASU might achieve similar accomplishments? Maybe you are aware of other similar successes from ASU or other institutions. If so we hope you will share them with Teach Online.


Clemmons, R. 2015. “It Takes a Village: Boosting Faculty Instructional Technology Use”. Retrieved from EDUCAUSE Connect Conference, San Diego, February 2015

DeLisle, Andy. 2015/02/February.Photo Archive/2015/02-February/Steve Desch-Portrait. Retrieved from URL –

Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana.  EPortfolio Samples. Retrieved from