Enhancing the Instructor Experience in UMD’s Classrooms

Aiming to streamline and unify the overall instructor support experience in UMD’s 230+ general purpose classrooms, the Division of Information Technology in partnership with the Office of the Provost have planned some changes for the Fall 2017 semester. Here is a summary:

  • A new dedicated support line, 301.405.2500 (x52500), was created to provide immediate classroom support and dispatch a technician to assist instructors on-site, or to direct your inquiry to the appropriate local departmental contact. You can get support from Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The new number is in an easy-to-find location -- the classroom computer’s mousepad.
  • Several classrooms were enhanced with technology upgrades during the summer, and more rooms will be upgraded during the fall semester. The upgrades include, but are not limited to, new projectors, document cameras, and AV touch panels; wireless network improvements; and an overall increase (20%) of lecture capture capabilities around campus.
  • We have expanded our student-tech classroom support team and distributed them among four campus regions to shorten our response time for on-site support. The techs wear red vests, and you will find them around campus helping instructors, performing routine equipment checks, refreshing batteries as needed, and making sure that all classroom technology and instructional supplies are available and working as expected.
  • We will soon deploy a quick guide in all classrooms that will provide basic operational instructions for most of the room technologies (Panopto, WebEx, clickers, doc cameras, etc.). If you would like an intro (or a refresher) for any of the technologies, you can request an appointment and one of our technicians will schedule a 1:1 consulting session.
  • If you teach in a large lecture hall and would like to increase engagement in your class or make it more fun and accessible, contact us at 301.405.2500 or send an email to classrooms@umd.edu to request a Catchbox. A student tech will deliver one to your classroom and show you how to use it. Currently, the Catchbox mics are available in in the new Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center, but availability will expand throughout the semester.

We will continue to work diligently to improve the quality of our classroom support services and optimize the overall instructor experience in our classrooms. To report any issues or to request an individual appointment with one of our techs, please contact us at 301.405.2500 or send an email to classrooms@umd.edu. Note: we cannot fix issues we do not know about! Please don’t hesitate to report issues.