The “Dark Side” & “The Force” of Academic Support

Concurrent Session 1
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Faculty support professionals have varied roles, responsibilities and reach.  We will explore the who and what of faculty support professions and share techniques to stay away from “The Dark Side”  and inspire “The Force” that builds awareness and supports change for improved teaching and student learning in higher education.


Sponsored By


Dr. Kurzweil is the Director of the ETI and has worked at USU since 2006. In this capacity, she provides strategic direction for the ETI, instructional and educational technology support for faculty, supervision of ETI personnel, and management of the ETI office. Prior to that, she worked at the National Defense University providing direction and vision of the instructional team supporting the Center for Educational Technology. She also is a faculty member in the Health Professions Education program at USU. She has served on numerous committees and task forces examining a wide range of topics including educational technologies, interprofessional education, professional development for K12 and higher education faculty, learning management systems, program assessment and evaluation, instructional design, and teaching/faculty support paradigms. Dr. Kurzweil has presented at international, national, and regional conferences, including American Educational Research Association (AERA), multiple conferences offered by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference (I/ITSEC), the Open Apereo (Sakai) Conference and AAMC.
Dr. Linda Macaulay is the Assistant Director of Instructional Technology at Elizabethtown College (PA). She has over 15 years of experience teaching in online, blended, and traditional higher education programs. Before coming to the college, she taught graduate and undergraduate educational technology courses and was also an elementary teacher for eleven years. Her background in leadership for change, technology, and learning theory provides a broad base of knowledge to support faculty as they work to enhance their face-to-face, blended, and online courses with innovative teaching strategies and technology. She states that she is a "teacher first, techie second" because it is good teaching and course design that makes all the difference for student success. She lives in Landisville, PA with her son and pets and enjoys listening to Kenny Roger's music and spending time with her family to unplug and recharge. Look for her around the OLC Conference buzzing about in her red mobility scooter!

Extended Abstract

During the ID2ID 2017 cohort sponsored by Educause and Penn State, there was extensive conversation within the group’s Google Community around the theme of “What Do We Do and How?” It is clear from the dozens of comments that the field of faculty support for teaching and learning, especially as it relates to digital tools and online and blended learning, is varied.  Drawing on sources such as Inside Higher Ed’s 2017 article  “Boosting Faculty Buy-In For Online Learning”,  “Instructional Design in Higher Education” by Intentional Futures, Hall and Hord’s “Implementing Change: Patterns, Principles, and Potholes,” and Rogers; Diffusion of Innovation theory, the facilitators will lead participants in a collaborative presentation which will lay out responsibilities of faculty support team members (FSTM) and their roles in their institutions. The workshop will focus on topics including: Evolving and emerging roles, perceptions of support (ID, technology, etc.), advocating in the face of resistance, communicating with others at the institution, as well as methods to promote growth and development in these areas.

Participants will come away from the education session with methods, techniques and ideas to overcome organizational, interpersonal and/or intrapersonal barriers, specifics about how those at other institutions support faculty members, strategies for serving as advocates for technological innovation in support of improving distance education and the basic research to encourage faculty to use available support personnel and services.  Participants gain practical information for developing a plan to harness "The Force" in their institutions.