The LTR initiative is a campus-wide project that provides funds and resources to hire and train a team of UBC co-op students from a variety of academic backgrounds to provide in-person, onsite, online and just-in-time support to instructors using learning technologies.
UBC Science LTRs greatly increase the support capacity of Skylight, allowing the team to support more in-person support, and to contribute more extensively to campus-wide learning technology initiatives.
In 2014, UBC's Provost’s Office recognized a need for increased capacity for LT support across the University. As a result, CTLT partnered with the faculties of Science and Arts to pilot the LTR initiative, which has expanded to other Faculties since its inception.
The initiative increases the availability of in-person support for instructors employing learning technologies in their teaching. The LTRs provide first-tier support with referrals to other Faculty and campus resources as appropriate, such as Skylight staff, CTLT or the LT Hub. The focus is on providing support in a manner convenient to instructors, whether that be in-person visits from the LTRs to provide hands-on assistance and demonstrations, step-by-step LT resource guides developed by LTRs, or timely troubleshooting via email.
LTRs expand Skylight’s ability to offer first-class learning technology support to instructors, allowing them to focus more on enhancing their teaching instead of dealing with the technical challenges that come with using technologies for in the classroom. The LTR initiative also provides Skylight the opportunity to leverage the student perspective in investigating and testing new learning technologies. LTR activities include:
- In-person support and demonstrations for instructors
- Faculty of Science-specific LT support documentation
- Training sessions on an ad hoc, as-needed basis
- Providing user test scenarios for UBC enterprise LT platforms
- Participation in hackathons on learning design for blended learning
- Ground support for education events across the Faculty of Science
- Science LTR blog (internal training resource)
- Pan-UBC collaborative projects (videos, presentations, posters)
Outcomes and impact
The LTR initiative provides additional support capacity to the Skylight LT team, improving wait times for instructors seeking assistance with immediate issues or advice on LT choices and approaches. The initiative also allows permanent staff to focus on broader projects, enabling Skylight LT to be a more prominent contributor to projects whose impacts are faculty- and campus-wide. In addition, the LTRs provide valuable student-focused feedback on new LT tools and systems under investigation at the department, faculty and campus level.
Skylight LT manages the entire LTR initiative within the Faculty—from hiring to training to providing ongoing supervision and guidance for the LTRs. Skylight LT develops and deploys the LTRs where needed to improve faculty experiences with learning technologies, and provides support to CTLT staff leading central training sessions.