A key component of the e-START grant is the use of technology to improve STEM courses and the capability of Howard College to meet the needs of its student population, especially Hispanic, rural, and other student populations who are under represented in STEM careers. To address this need, the e-START grant supports the improvement and expansion of existing technology infrastructure and the development and implementation of new STEM courses in online and interactive television. The Teaching and Learning Center at the Big Spring campus will serve initially as the hub for these activities, and with a goal of expanding the capabilities of all Howard campuses to better serve students and faculty through technology.
Mission of the Teaching and Learning Center
The purpose of the Teaching and Learning Center is to support learning and teaching by providing faculty, staff and community members with appropriate academic services and facilities to improve current skills and to learn new skills. The services of the Teaching and Learning Center are designed to be flexible enough to meet the demands of a changing population. The Center has a great emphasis on our ability to meet faculty demand for instructional and professional training, which ultimately assists students with learning and in enhancing skills in the context of their courses of study.
- Implement instructional trainings to facilitate and assist the teaching-learning process at Howard College.
- Promote/advertise instructional trainings that illustrate how to effectively use technical resources and or software in online class such as SoftChalk, SMARTBoard, Outlook, Jing, Video Pad, ITV, Camtasia and Prezi.
- Offer various styles of training sessions, such face-to-face, ITV, and online at various times of the day.
- Produce an instructional training schedule so that faculty may plan in advance to participate in professional development.
- Identify specific campus training needs throughout the district and provide customized trainings for that campus.
- E-learning mentors/campus representatives will assist faculty with one-on-one training sessions to enhance the teaching learning process.
- Provide a venue for sharing teaching research and teaching best practices.
- Create Teaching and Learning Centers (TLCs) throughout the district to provide a one-stop shop for faculty to use computers, software and other resources to collaborate with campus constituents to support innovative teaching and learning initiatives by having access to equipment, software, and resources that would not be otherwise available.
- Purchase 3 workstations and 1 Mac Pro equipped with specific software and equip the TLC with these items.
- Encourage innovative research and scholarly conversation on teaching and learning.
- Host a Teaching and Learning Symposium in Spring 2013 for district faculty and spotlight keynote speakers and breakout sessions let by HC outstanding faculty members.
- Host "Lunch and Learn" series to provide seminars led by faculty to showcase how faculty members are incorporating innovative strategies in their classes to produce a generation of student learners.
- Identify faculty members who would be interested in hosting a session on how they successfully utilize software and other resources in their classroom.
- Leverage the experience and wisdom of faculty leaders to promote teaching excellence.
Progress To Date
To date, with e-START/STEM grant funds, the eLearning department has purchased a new video conference infrastructure and fiber VLAN for the HC District. In addition, a new Titan mobile video conference unit has been purchased and placed in the Malone Center for Applied Sciences at the Big Spring campus. In October, eLearning is scheduled to begin rebuilding eight existing video conference rooms, converting them from old to new high-definition technologies. During the remaining four years of the grant, eLearning has plans to not only rebuild existing video conference rooms but also add new rooms throughout the Howard College District.”