Justify Your Year – 1 Page Front and Back

We’re getting a new supervisor in the near future so we were asked to write up a success/challenges<footnote>See how I made them opportunities? ABC baby. ABC. Or ABC if you’d prefer. I’m good with either.</footnote> sheet to give them an idea of what’s working for our various groups and what’s giving us problems. I thought it might interest some people to see how I lined up some of our work.  I toned down examples and hyperlinks as I’m not sure whether it’ll end up printed out or not. I sacrificed a chunk of space to use headers under the belief that these things are often scanned. It’ll be interesting to see how it all goes.

Ram Pages

Success: A key tool in VCU’s SACSCOC accreditation goals for integrating digital fluency into the curriculum, Ram Pages has over 35,000 sites and nearly 33,000 users. This flexible platform supports student portfolios, courses, projects, and more. Use continues to expand with increases in innovative and powerful uses across disciplines.

Opportunities: Building confidence that the service will continue will increase usage rates. We’ve had confusion between our service and IT’s version of WordPress (now closed) have negatively impacted this perception.

Student & Faculty Portfolios

Success: We support 12+ VCU departments in their use of student portfolios for assessment, accreditation, and workforce engagement. Roughly comparable scale and capability using third-party services would cost over $300,000 for portfolios alone.

Opportunities: We could expand this and make it far more powerful with centralized-goals and enterprise considerations. Portfolios could also be tied into accreditation at the institutional level much more effectively.


Success: Part of our role is engaging with departments that have been hesitant to engage in online or blended learning in ways that open their eyes to new opportunities.  Selected examples include:

  • Virtual Geriatrics Case Study – online course for the MCV Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care
  • Photography 391 – blended Arts course which led to three online Arts courses
  • Online Digital Sociology Masters Program – program site and course sites

We support a significant number of courses and programs that align with major VCU initiatives including the Common Book, the REAL initiative, community engaged learning, large course redesign, and service learning. Selected examples include:

Opportunities: With particular metrics or enterprise-goal-alignment we could target particular departments or faculty more specifically. There is the potential to feature some of the more public faculty members in MOOCs to drive interest in VCU and particular programs.

Open Education Resources/Grants

Success: In partnership with the library, we have supported VCU Open and Affordable Course Content Faculty Awards for the last 3 years: 18 awards, 9 schools/colleges, 31 sections, 3,726 student seats, $620,000 savings (2017-2019).

We currently support two VIVA grants for course redesigns (Sociology, Social Work) and have written letters of support for three additional VIVA grants that are in process.

Select grant support examples:

  • The College of Emotional and Behavioral Health (COBE) – multiple grants
  • The Collaborative Studies on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) – multiple grants
  • World Language Digital Curriculum – multiple grants
  • Environmental Studies RIVER Field Studies Network Incubator Grant

Select OER support examples:

  • Digital Histology – Replaced histology text for medical campus students
  • VCU Writes – Replaced an $80 textbook for all first-year students for over $350,000 a year in student savings.
  • VCU Arts Qatar – Part of a grant from the Queen of Qatar to create educational resources unique to Qatar and the Middle East.

Opportunities: With program alignment and support we could target high DFW courses for alignment of supplementary OER material. This could be tied into larger curricular and assessment patterns. We are supporting an increasing number of grants but need to determine our financial model.

Faculty & Program Support

Success: We help programs think through how technology can help them do what they need to do in the best way possible. This includes workflow, data dashboards, and project evaluation.

We provide complete support for faculty members engaging in digital learning endeavors. This support ranges from supporting a variety of platforms to providing workshops and individual consultations on a wide variety of topics.

Opportunities: There is a real need for digital workflow and data consultations for many major VCU initiatives.

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