Amherst College’s Academic Technology Program
As educational technologies become ubiquitous in higher education, faculty members are often unsure about how to integrate new technologies and traditional pedagogies.
|Assistant Professor of Biology Josef G. Trapani in the lab with students.
Courtesy of Amherst College
An AVDF grant enabled Amherst College to fund an instructional technologist position, allowing Amherst to achieve its long-term goal of a highly effective academic technology program that reinvigorates liberal arts teaching and learning. Rather than simply provide faculty with technical support, the technologist assisted faculty and IT staff with experiments in teaching with technology, identified promising approaches for use at Amherst and beyond, and created ways to evaluate the effectiveness of blended and hybrid learning methods.
Through these efforts, the technologist helped lay the foundation for a reinvigorated, leading-edge approach to faculty development at Amherst—one that takes advantage of emerging research on how students learn best, and how the prudent use of technology can enhance learning in a residential, liberal arts environment. This planning grant has the potential to become a model for other institutions facing similar issues.