Onboarding Hybrid Learning Technology at University of Kentucky

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dr. Kathi Kern, Associate Provost of Teaching, Learning, and Academic Innovation, and Kathy Hamperian, Executive Director of Customer Support and Student IT Enablement at University of Kentucky, joined the podcast to talk about the massive and ambitious investment they made in hybrid learning technology in preparation for this fall.

We talk all the time about thedigital natives, yet these students need a lot of support and learning how tomake these technologies work. You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education,the best professional development podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at theircollege or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies ortools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into theshow. Welcome back to enrollment growth university, proud member of the connect ETU podcastnetwork. I'm Eric Olston with Helix Education and we're here today with DrCathy Kern, associate provost of teaching, learning and academic innovation, and Cathyand Perion, executive director of customer support and Student It enablement at University ofKentucky. Dr Kerr and Cathy, welcome to the show. Thanks so much. Thank you. So excited to talk with you both today about the investmentin highbrid learning technology you made this year in preparation for fall. Before wedig in, can you give the listeners a little bit better understanding of bothUniversity of Kentucky and your roles? They're beginning with Dr Kern. Sure well. Thanks, so much Eric for having us. We are a large publicland grant university with around thirty onezero students in located in Lexington, Kentucky,and we began a planning process from the moment we went remote in March twentythree, I think it was, of two thousand and twenty. We starteda planning process that would enable all possibilities for the fall, including a residentialexperience, knowing that many of our students wanted that, as well as onlineand hybrid. So my role has been to lead the instructional mission, toshepherd that to I'm a history professor by training, and so over the courseof the spring and summer we worked with a lot of innovative, diligent facultyto get the full courses ready to roll.

And, Cathy, help us understandyour role as well. I am within the Information Technology Service of Sectorat the University Kentucky, of Dr Kerr has already pointed out, we're alarge, large institution and the technicopy is important as a support for our instructionalmession. Cathy, to prepare for your hybrid fall, you upgraded the technologyand approximately ninety percent of your classrooms. Talk a little bit about that very, very ambitious process. We got a request in early May, in factmay first, to what would it take to put a live streaming flash recordingdevice in as may classrooms as possible. At the time we've been using ECOthree hundred and sixty four about ten years. At a time we had about ahundred sixty four are classrooms that had echo three hundred and sixty in it. So we proposed adding more echo classrooms than adding more classrooms with panoramic camerasto use zoom teams, that kind of collaborative software to help with the transitioninto a dual modality teaching. It was very aggressive. We place the firstorder on May the sixth with the rest of the country, and so someof the things are a little harder to get. So we had completed ourwe had completed our installations in all of our classrooms by July thirty one.Wow, it's incredibly impressive. Dr Kern, one of the biggest critiques of HybridCourses Is the concern that our remote students will feel left out of theprimary classroom discussion. How does your text Sol attempt to help solve for this? Well, as you know, technology is a great enabler of connection.It's not full proof. We still have challenges, but I guess first ofall we would point to the meteor rise...

...of zoom, something that, youknow, in March of this year we had a limited number of licenses.We had a university wide license, not that many people had taken advantage ofit. Now we have thirty nine thousand licenses. So you know, thatis really that kind of video conferencinging. You know, as well as Googlehang out in skypes and teams. People have, I think, gotten increasinglycomfortable with connecting that way. It also allows us, of course, achat feature. As a teacher, I think I've also been able to exploitthe possibilities of keeping my students engaged using the Google suite. So I usea lot of Google forms to take the temperature of the class, not literally, I realize in Covid that sounds like that could temperature, but rather toto ask them what they think about something using a using some kind of pullingdevice, whether that's Google forms or meant to meter or pull everywhere. Ialso use the Google docs to get students brainstorming ideas, whether they're remote orin the classroom, and that's been very interesting to watch them populated document andI've always used Google slides and continue to use those for collaborative work. SoI think that we've all gotten better at the tools that are available. Butit's still poses challenges that you know that students, you know, don't feelcomfortable, for whatever reason, turning on their cameras. That that students candisengage and we don't know it as easily. If somebody is, you know,sitting in your class with earbuds in and and texting, you can sortof see that and witness that behavior and realize like, okay, I amnot engaging this student. But the technology at least allows us to make theseefforts to produce a really connected the class. From experience, so much new technologyso quickly Dr Current. What have the faculty and Students Training and techon boardings looked like for all this new...

...technology? Well, I think that, starting with the faculty, it's been very intense and when we went remoteon March thirteen, we began offering day long drop in office hours via zoomfor our faculty and initially we did those nine to five, but then wealso did them in the evenings and on the weekends because we realize that lotsof faculty members are probably going to be preparing Monday's class on, you know, Saturday afternoon. So we need to be available to people in those zoomdrop in sessions. I would say that, you know, ninety percent of thehelp that people were seeking was like how to do something, how tomake the technology enable them to meet this learning objective for the course. So, you know, we hope that we would get to talk more about pedagogyand strategy with the faculty, but at least in the first few months,virtually everyone who came was saying how do you do this? How do youmake this work? So that was that was really important and as well asongoing workshops. And then we did two big weeks of teaching with our withour faculty. One of them was in May and one was in July,and we had over a thousand participants and that was like a week long.So posea where where folks could could work on redesigning their courses for the summeror the fall. In terms of students, this is a really interesting issue becausewe talk all the time about the digital natives, yet these students needa lot of support and learning how to make these technologies work. You know, they haven't necessarily used a learning management system in high schools. So wehave done some introductions to canvas over the summer, but we have also recognizedthat as faculty we have to spend time teaching the tools and helping the studentsunpack that technological landscape that is college education today. Cathy, how future forwardwere you trying to be in these tech...

...investments? For example, were youprimarily focused on this kind of two moonth window, making sure you had whatyou needed to launch this hybrid fall successfully, or were you also trying to thinkabout what your classroom needs might be five years from now? Eric,very good question. Obviously we were. We were thinking about how do wedeliver the technology for the faculty and students in the false semester. But youknow, as you know, technology changes with the breeze. So we've beenusing I go three hundred and sixty for ten years. That have served USreally well until the panoramic cameras, whether it's zoom or teams like Dr Kernmentioned, or any other tool that comes along. We tried to select sortof device or software agnostic hardware that would would allow us to use it withwhatever new technology came along. I also want to point out that Cathy's teamsupplied personal wi fi spots, my figs, to students and the faculty and weweren't sure when we began meeting in emergency operations. We weren't sure howmany people might need something like that. But but that was really interesting forus to see that the demands for better internet once we went remote absolutely andwe started a program last fall that every new, first time freshman receives anIPAD that that they can keep through their career at the inverse of Kentucky andthis was a second year to do that. But it's that, as Dr Kernmentioned, when we went after spring break in the in the spring atwhen we went to remote. We're in Kentucky, the the Internet capabilities aren'tgreat. You know, we don't want to send people to parking lots todo their homework or to take their class so an investment was made in themy fis, the hot spots that people could borrow to use for their classwork. We also try to have some some equipment for faculty or instructors whomight need that as well to borrow that...

...as the as the time went along. I wanted to also add to what Dr Kern said. The partnership thatthat we have with Dr Kern's organization is incredible. I don't think we coulddo our job without getting their input. I mean they had their fingers onthe pulse of the faculty and what they need in the students and what theyneed because they're very active and they actually created and support a wonderful website,teach anywhere, dot U Kiddu, which is just jam pack full of wonderfulinformation for a faculty or anyone who's interested that wants to go look at it. But her staff has just been, you know, they've been really thethe cornerstone to making the successful. That's so generous of you, Cathy.Thank you and I can't believe I didn't think to mention the teaching your websiteand the learn anywhere website that we created with the help of our marketing unit. Those are great resources and we found that, you know, thousands ofthousands of people from around the country have used that teach anywhere website and oneof my favorite things on the learn anywhere website is we had students who weretutors. This summer make a series of life hack videos, and so they'reshowing in these videos the kind of technology tools that they use for time managementand to keep on top of their studies, and they're really priceless resources. Infact, I thought, God, if I had been as organized asas these young people. Yeah, so the learn anywhere, they learn anywhere. That UK out of you too is just wonderful for our student but youknow, if you get a chance, if your listeners get a chance togo take a look at what was created there, like Dr Kurn said,with first half in our wonderful marketing department here at the university. Yeah,wonderful. And, Dr Kern, what's next on the list in terms ofwhat you've seen is a new need that you might not have seen five monthsago, or even broader than that.

What you're excited to eventually get toadd your tech Arsenal moving forward? Well, that you know, that's a goodquestion. I think that part of what we need to do is faculty, is to kind of continue to get up to speed with some of thegreat tools that are out there, and so for me, something exciting thissemester has been using jam board and that's part of the Google suite and it'san interactive whiteboard and you know, faculty can use it to teach, butI use it for team base learning and and have my students learned to dovisual analysis and I preload the jam board with political cartoons. So we justdid a an example of the variest the visual culture of the early twenty centurywhen women were trying to get the right to vote and there were many politicalcartoons in opposition to that and caricatures of what would happen to the American familyof women voted and children would be neglected. And so the students would see thiscartoon, this image from the early twenty century, and then they woulduse jamboard to draw on it and to show the points of ephesis and stickynotes to make comments about the analysis, and so it was really great forme as a teacher to see their learning kind of demonstrated through this technology.So I'm I'm really interested in what kind of tools are going to allow usto unveil learning more and to be engaged with our students learning. So I'malways I've always got an eye out for that, like what's going to helpme be a better professor, and then I think the other issue that youmade me think about, Eric, with this question is what's the future ofproctoring? You know, that's again something that, you know, we hada little interest in online proctoring before the remote teaching and then suddenly a hugedemand for online proctoring. And so how do you do that? How doyou do that in a way that respects students privacy concerns? How do youdo that in a way that doesn't cost...

...your students yet another fee to completetheir coursework? So, you know, we've been looking at different ways ofdoing that, but we've also been seeing some some faculty decide, like youknow what, I'm coming up with alternative assessments, because proctoring online proctoring andlockdown browsers and and Webcams on my students and then having to upload various kindsof you know, credentials and assignments is to anxiety producing for these students.You know, they're already they're living through pandemic, they're living through over sucha do we really need to to put them through this just to just tomeet the goals of the course? So I think we're going to see areally interesting discussion with a lot of you know, corporate entities, you know, refining their product and and trying to continue to have strong relationships with universities, but I think also some pushback both from faculty and students. Well,for those listening right now, we just recorded a wonderful episode on the futureof online proctoring. If you scroll up one episode in your feed you'll probablyfind it, but it's not live yet, but I gave you re advertise.Thank you. Thank you, Dr Karn wonderful, wonderful stuff and we'reso excited about what you've been building and we're going to continue to look toyou because you've proven again and again how quickly and and with a high qualityyou guys are able to adapt. Finally, any next steps? Advice for institutionswho are listening in there looking to provide the best hybrid learning experience possible. Where should they start next? Starting with Cathy. There's so many differentconsiderations and you know, from a technical perspective that's the easy part, tobe honest with you, that you know find in the right hardware to use. But I think establishing the relationship that we have with Dr Kern's organization tounderstand what the faculty and students are needing. That was pivotal. You know,I think if we hadn't already had...

...that relationship ship, this would havenot gone as well as it did. So I think being partners and providingthe support that they needed, that's just, you know, that's taught us avery valuable lesson and and information technology that we are support to the institution. And again, that relationship with Dr Currn's group has just been invaluable inthe success and Dr Kurrent I would agree with that. I think we loveto partner with our our colleagues in it and I think if you have theif you're if your focus is on, you know, how do we helpour students make it through this pandemic and create the richest possible learning environment forthem, then any kind of you know, they're always sort of territorial issues ona campus, like who's going to own this particular contract or who's goingto represent us with this vendor? Where should this unit, you know,be housed? They're always those kinds of decisions, but they all kind offall into the background when you're thinking about, you know, the future of highereducation and the survival of our of our institutions during this this really cataclysmictime that we're living through. So I think if we keep the focus onour students and supporting them and our faculty and supporting them, that that,you know, that's really everything else should should pale in comparison. I thinkyou know, recognizing, I think the campuses will need to continue to recognize, you know, that we are all learning right. Teachers are seriously havingto learn how to teach all over again in new settings. And it doesn'tmean that your values, your pedagogical values, change, it doesn't, but itmight mean that the way you achieve those has to change, and that'sI think. You know, it's a learning curve for everybody and to thinkit's really important to for campuses not to not to go about casting blame.The faculty are working their butts off.

I have never seen as much efforton the part of the faculty to do high quality teaching in thirty years andhigher education and the student support services are working so hard to support the themental and physical well being of our students and the other support services like Auntieor working so hard. So I think it's really important to to really supporteach other with a lot of grace and compassion, because nobody's ever been throughthis before. And I'll just add on to to Dr Current statements. Imean we have an incredible team at the top our institution, with our president, our provost and our Executive Vice President for finance administration, that really putstudents first and I think that's the message and our goals are to make surethat we serve our students and again, like, like Dr Current said,it's just been incredible effort across all across campus. Thank you both so muchfor your time today. What's the best place for listeners to connect with youif they have any follow up questions? Starting with Dr Kern, my emailis kern. My last name Kai are in at Uky Dot Edu. AndCathy, my email address is cathy dot ham Periam h am peer I aAM at UK why Dodd, you awesome. Thanks against you both so much forjoining us today. Thanks for having US are. Thank you so much, erreich. We appreciate it. Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adoptingnew enrollment strategies. Helix educations. Data driven enterprise wide approach to enrollment growthis uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helixhas just published the second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brandnew content on how institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges. Downloadedtoday for free at Helix Educationcom. Playbook.

You've been listening to enrollment growth universityfrom Helix Education. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribeto the show on Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so muchfor listening. Until next time,.

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