ET Partners Provide One-On-One Tech Assistance To Faculty And Departments

As you survey your educational technology needs at the beginning of this school year, you may find that you want to jazz up your lectures using multimedia resources, or that you need some assistance with Gradebook or Quizbuilder in MyUCDavis. Or, if you're a department chair, you may want to tackle a large educational technology project in your department. Welcome to the Educational Technology Partners program, which pairs technology-savvy students with individual faculty members, departments, and MyUCDavis course management tools users.

ET Partners provide one-on-one assistance to individual faculty members for an entire quarter, work with whole departments until their proposed objectives are met and needs have been served, and provide ad hoc consultation to instructors who need in-depth assistance with MyUCDavis course management tools. Here's a spotlight on folks who've' been using ET Partners and the new services the program offers.

Juana Maria Rodriguez: Learning New Software and Short Cuts

Juana Maria Rodriguez, professor of Women and Gender Studies, signed up for an ET Partner in Spring 2004. Her goal was both clear and challenging: she wanted to integrate images, video, and text from different media sources and find a way to catalog that information. Acting on the advice of her student ET Partner, Khanh Nguyen, Rodriguez purchased a new software program, Portfolio Extensis, that helped her organize mixed media. During their weekly one-to-two hour meetings, they worked together to learn the software, troubleshoot problems, review their progress, and discuss next steps.

In addition to integrating and cataloging media, Nguyen assisted Rodriguez with programs she was already using, like MyUCDavis, PowerPoint, and Eudora. Rodriguez would come across questions, or simply wonder if there were an easier, faster, or smoother way to do something. She jotted down those questions and discussed them with her ET Partner at their meetings. Nguyen also helped Rodriguez with other technological tasks, like learning to use her new scanner/fax machine and making PDF files from the scans. ?All in all, the partnership went very smoothly,? comments Nguyen. ?We had enough time to get everything done that we had planned!?

Textiles and Clothing Department: Bringing Faculty and Images Up to Speed

Because they operate in an image-intensive field, staff and faculty in Textiles and Clothing needed to organize the wide range of images and video held by the department. Two student ET Partners, Adam Barr and Anuj Shah, worked with the entire department during Spring Quarter helping them utilize Almagest, an online tool that integrates images, video, sound, and text into lectures. By the end of the quarter, the department had created an online database housing hundreds of images formerly contained on slides, video tapes, CDs, and in news articles. ?We now have film clips trimmed to exactly that portion needed for lecture, along with very high-quality images, PDF files, and entire Web sites in a data base searchable by keywords,? proclaims Department Chair Susan Kaiser. ?All these are easily accessible by students and faculty in the department, and downloadable into Powerpoint, Adobe Photoshop, or Dreamweaver.?

In addition to helping develop this large image database, the Partners assisted the department with the purchase of a server and two state-of-the-art imaging stations. The server is now up and running, and the Web site is already undergoing some major revisions. The ET Partners also worked individually with faculty, staff, and students resolving persistent problems, teaching computer security, and fixing fickle Internet connections.

As a result of the ET Partners? work, Kaiser reports that the the faculty, staff, and students in the Textiles and Clothing Department have moved to a new level of 'techno-savvy.? ?We still have a lot to learn,? admits Kaiser, ?but it all now seems much more do-able.?

Barr and Shah are still working with the department to support its educational technology objectives. They're part of the Textiles and Clothing Media Team, a group of faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students who meet weekly to discuss computers and technology. Kaiser notes the influence of the ET Partners in their department: ?Their professional and patient manner?along with their healthy sense of humor?contributed to the creation of an environment in which experimentation, collaboration and creativity, with respect to all things technological, flourished.?

Now Available: Personal Help with MyUCDavis

Beginning this quarter, a few ET Partners will be available on an ad hoc basis for faculty who need help with the course management tools in MyUCDavis (Gradebook, Website Builder, and QuizBuilder). For quick questions about MyUCDavis course management tools, contact the IT Express Help Desk at (530) 754-4357 or The Help Desk will determine whether more in-depth assistance and a one-on-one consultation with an ET student partner would best suit your needs and, if so, will contact the program for you. The Teaching Resource Center will also be referring faculty to ET Partners for assistance.

To learn more about the ET Partners program or to apply for a Fall or Winter Quarter partnership, contact Chris Sarason at (530) 752-9545 or visit Applications for Fall Quarter partnerships will be accepted through 5:00 p.m. Monday, October 4, 2004 or until all partnerships have been established. Winter Quarter 2005 applications will be accepted until Wednesday, December 1, 2004.