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Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning and Library Partner for Transitions

During the summer the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning (CTRL) and AU Library worked together to transfer a number of CTRL services to the library following a spring announcement of these changes by University Provost Scott Bass. CTRL and the library have always shared goals in support of faculty research and teaching, and this common purpose ensured that the transition has resulted in the continued availability of a wide range of support and services in both units. The services transferred to the library all involve academic technology, which means they are finding a natural home in the library, a unit already heavily engaged in providing information technology. CTRL, in turn, benefits from the new arrangement as the Center continues to focus with even greater depth on its essential support to faculty for teaching and research, along with its increased emphasis on faculty development. 

Courseware: Blackboard & Wimba

One of the four major types of academic technology services transferred to the library is courseware support. Jim McCabe, renowned on campus for his helpfulness with Blackboard and Wimba, is now residing in Room 321. This bright space with a lovely view of the university quadrangle is also now a lounge where faculty can continue to enjoy a quiet workspace just as they used to in the Faculty Corner in the Hurst building. Jim and his team are also providing the same technical support that was previously provided in CTRL.

Equipment Loans

The equipment formerly available for check out through the Faculty Corner is now available through the Technology Services Desk (laptops, macbooks, netbooks, portable projector, ipads, tablets, and classroom clickers) and the Media Services Desk (basic and pro level video cameras, audio recorders, microphones, tripods, and still cameras). Both of these desks are located on the lower level of the library. Reservations for the equipment can be made by contacting the respective desks.

New Media Center

Also on the lower level of the library, faculty and students will find that another academic technology service, the New Media Center, has helpfully merged with the library’s Media Services and former Digital Media Studio. Now anyone who wants to borrow or make videos does not have to think twice about where to go; they can visit one convenient location for both services. Lots of support for multimedia production, including assistance, instruction, workshops, tutorials, and troubleshooting is offered here. 

AUAV and Academic Multimedia Services

Located in the library’s satellite Anderson Computing Center (ACC), but with staff willing to visit any area of campus where their support is needed, are two other services, Academic Multimedia Services (AMS) and AU Audio Visual (AUAV). Scott O’Beirne and Bob Brownlee are the respective group leaders. AMS, popularly known around campus as the people behind AU’s iTunesU, records and edits classes and events and makes them available online when requested. AUAV is the team that makes audio, Internet, and other technologies work smoothly for AU classes and events. They are on call during every class period, day and night, to resolve any unexpected problems with classroom technology.

Of course, users do not have to trek to ACC to get in touch with either AMS or AUAV. All of the CTRL and library services described here are just a phone call or email message away. Please see the attached list for schedules and contact information. 

CTRL: What Changes, What Stays the Same

In the midst of shifting some of its previous functions to the library, CTRL has reorganized its own configuration on the second floor of Hurst. The Teaching and Learning Resources (TLR) group has moved into the old Faculty Corner. (Yes, coffee and tea are still available). TLR staff continue to work individually with faculty on incorporating technology into their classroom pedagogy. Across the hall, the Research and Online Learning Resources group manages the Social Science Research Lab (SSRL), assists faculty and students with research involving quantitative or qualitative methods, and is responsible for training faculty in offering courses online.

During much of August, a “Pardon Our Construction” sign is out, as some renovations to the space are being completed. CTRL looks forward to welcoming the campus community to an Open House in the fall once all the dust has settled.

Need Additional Information or Have Suggestions?

All faculty are invited to the Annual Faculty Lunch in the library on September 8, 2011, 11:00am – 1:30 pm. Drop by to connect with colleagues old and new, and get valuable information on how the library and CTRL are working together to enable success.

Naomi Baron, Executive Director of CTRL, and Bill Mayer, University Librarian, are continuing their collaboration to provide the best possible teaching, research, and academic technology services for faculty. They welcome suggestions and ideas and can be reached at nbaron@american.edu and bill.mayer@american.edu.