Undergraduate Learning Technologies Associates: Call for Applications

In order to support continued innovation in the use of instructional technologies to support student engagement and learning, the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning and UITS Learning Technologies are sponsoring a pilot for Undergraduate Learning Technologies Associates (ULTAs). This program will support teams of instructors and IUB undergraduate students in developing new uses of instructional technologies, implementing them in a fall course, and studying their impact on student learning.

Program Goals

  • Provide instructors with student perspectives and experience as they design, implement, and study innovative teaching approaches with new learning technologies
  • Provide students in target courses with peer-based support in the use of instructional technologies and new learning approaches
  • Promote student-centered teaching approaches by viewing students as partners in education rather than merely recipients of it
  • Provide professional experiences to undergraduate students

Program Details

The ULTA program will provide funding and training for four to six undergraduates who will partner with instructors to plan, implement, and assess new uses of learning technologies.

ULTAs may engage in the following tasks:

  • Assist instructors in designing activities utilizing the new learning technologies
  • Assist students in use of the technology—both in technical issues and how best to use the technology for learning; this may happen during or between classes, as appropriate and agreed upon with the instructor
  • Assist the instructor with live technology-related support during class meetings—e.g., tracking student responses in TopHat, monitoring a back channel for Q&A, managing Google Jamboard or Miro sessions, moderating Zoom breakout rooms.
  • Help gather feedback throughout the semester on student use of the technology and their learning, helping the instructor make mid-semester adjustments.
  • ULTAs should not be used as graders or for work like typing in test banks; the goal of the program is to foster active learning via learning technologies. Specific ideas can be vetted with CITL/LT staff.

Participating instructors each will recruit a student who meets the criteria for a ULTA:

  • Has previously taken the target course with the instructor
  • Can meet during the class time 
  • Is technologically proficient and has the capacity/interest to learn more; they need not be proficient yet in the target technology
  • Has good communication skills, both with instructors and peers
  • Is eligible to work 5 hours per week during the summer and the fall semester
  • Can engage in bi-weekly check-in meetings with CITL/LT staff and other ULTAs

The CITL and other LT staff will provide training/support for ULTAs:

  • General training on instructional support and learning theories
  • Specific training in the selected learning technology and its pedagogical application
  • Support during the semester to assist with student or faculty questions about the technology

Proposed projects should utilize learning technologies that have been reviewed and approved for use at Indiana University. A list of approved external tools is available on the UITS Knowledge Base. Questions about any of these tools can be directed to CITL or Learning Technologies staff.

This program is open to all full-time IU Bloomington instructors—tenure-track and lecturer-track.

Financial Support from CITL/LT

CITL/LT will provide $1,500 per class project in order to pay the ULTA under the following guidelines:

  • 5 hours/week (mix of in-class work, consultation with the instructor, and training/check-ins with CITL/LT staff)
  • 16 weeks during the semester, plus 4 weeks summer pay for planning and training, totaling 20 weeks.
  • 20 weeks x 5 hour/week = 100 hours x $15/hour = $1,500 per project
  • Departments are free to pay for more hours, if desired. Those decisions should be made at the departmental level.
  • To simplify payment, CITL/LT will transfer the grant amount to the department for payment within their own systems and processes. Transfers will be made prior to June 15, 2021.

Assessment Methods

In order to assess the effectiveness of this pilot program, we will gather the following:

  • Instructor reflections on their experience, both on the adoption of the new learning technology and the use of a ULTA to help with adoption.
  • ULTA reflections on their experience—the usefulness of training/support we provide, the approaches they used to support the instructor and peers, the impacts this had on their education and professional growth, etc. 
  • Student reflections on the use of the learning technology, the ways it was employed in the class, and the ULTA’s role in helping them use the tool to enhance learning.

For this pilot, we will not be directly studying impact on student learning, although we encourage participants to seek out a SoTL grant to study such implementation in subsequent semesters, ideally with the student as a research partner.

Application Process

Interested instructors should submit a brief (2 pages maximum) application via email to CITL Director, Greg Siering (gsiering@indiana.edu) with the following information:

  • Applicant’s name, rank, and contact information
  • Course name and number
  • Number of students in the course
  • Proposed learning technology and a brief explanation of its intended use.
  • Goals of the project
  • Brief letter of support from the department chair indicating the department’s willingness to accept the funding and handle all student hiring and payroll processes.

Application deadline: May 31, 2021, 5:00 p.m.

Questions about this program or the application process can be directed to CITL Director, Greg Siering (gsiering@indiana.edu).