(May 15, 2012) --- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has opened its Faculty Instructional Technology (FIT) Lab, a resource center to assist faculty with the use of new technologies in instruction. One hundred faculty members are already making use of the FIT Lab to teach more effectively.
Located in the Multidisciplinary Studies Building at the UTSA Main Campus, the lab is conveniently located next door to the Online Learning Team, which is available to assist lab users with any questions.
The FIT lab supports UTSA faculty with instructional technology and features a classroom podium setup and projector for faculty to practice live lectures. Additionally, the lab has a quiet room for individuals to record lectures using a sound booth with high-end hardware, audio and video editing software. Multimedia experts, instructional designers and developers are available to provide consulting services to faculty members looking to redesign their courses.
The Online Learning Team is also available to answer questions about Blackboard. UTSA instructors use Blackboard for online course learning, email, assignments, process management and course improvement.
Department of Communication Associate Professor Christopher Hajek has taken advantage of the lab for specific help in loading exams to Blackboard.
"The huge screen in the lab has been so helpful, as it has allowed me to sit comfortably with an instructional development specialist as she explains some of Blackboard's more advanced features," said Hajek. "We're not huddled together in front of a small screen -- it's great."
Vice Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Ken Pierce was instrumental in setting up the UTSA FIT lab. He noted the importance of having a centralized place for faculty members to receive assistance in online learning design.
"As a part of UTSA's Graduation Rate Improvement Plan, we are tasked with implementing more online content," said Pierce. "The timing of the opening of the FIT Lab could not be better as it will help attain this goal."
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
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