University of Virginia

Teaching+Technology Initiative

A partnership between the Office of the Vice President & Provost and the Office of the Vice President of Information Technology.

Fellows began their year with a retreat, and met monthly with their project teams and with each other to discuss the difficulties and the breakthroughs in their work.

TTI Fellows' Retreat

The retreat was usually a 24-hour event, held at a place such as Wintergreen. The idea is for Fellows to step out of their usual routine for a short but precious period of time, and interact creatively with one another, with selected former Fellows, and with experts from various UVa technology units.

TTI participants tend to value the retreat time very highly, as these comments from previous Fellows express:

I actually found the retreat the most useful of all the general meetings. Part of that was, I am sure, the fact that we were temporarily pulled out of the pressure-filled atmosphere of the campus, but just as important was the opportunity it afforded for detailed conversations.
A very important event symbolically and in terms of setting a tone for future communication. Everything, including the meals, was conducive to meeting new people and making us feel ... curious about the other Fellows' projects. It was during the retreat that I identified people with whom I had common interests (interests that aren't necessarily apparent from our project descriptions.)
This is a crucial part of the program which should be continued. As a result of conversations with other Fellows, I made changes in my project which improved it.
The retreat contributed fundamentally to the Fellowship 'community'.... I was extremely glad that it included the whole TTI team of experts and support people; knowing them on a first-name basis made them more approachable at the monthly meetings.

Monthly Meetings

Fellows meet monthly throughout their TTI year, using the opportunity to update the group on the work they've been accomplishing with their TTI technology advisor. The meetings are open to all members of each Fellow's team (which can include other faculty members, as well as graduate and undergraduate project assistants), and often also open to the University community. In some years, one meeting is structured so that a couple of former Fellows whose work paralleled that of a current Fellow talk about the work-in-progress, then the small groups share insights with the whole group.

Sample meeting topics over the past few years included copyright issues surrounding digital scholarship; open source software (Sakai, Fedora, grassroots approaches); tool development (E Class, Audio-Visual Tools, WebWork, User Collection Tool); and ITC Classroom Support (what's available now, what's coming soon, how to schedule the rooms, and so on.)

The TTI Project

Of course the focus of the TTI year for each fellow is on his or her particular project. Project work is active and ongoing during the year, facilitated by project meetings, close consultation with the Instructional Technology Advisor (ITA) and related and necessary consultations with support staff and colleagues. At the beginning of the year, this could mean weekly meetings. Later in the year, as the project work gets well underway, there will be at least a monthly project coordination meeting. Ater each of these, your ITA will circulate a brief report listing progress to date and specifying immediate items to be done.