The TRC Now Located in Hamersly Library

We’ve moved!

Big changes have come to the Technology Resource Center.  At the end of August, a decision was made to move the entire Technology Resource Center operation into Hamersly Library, including myself.  We’re located in the northwest corner of the first floor.  My own office is just outside the TRC, in HL 123.  The general purpose of the TRC should remain much the same — to empower faculty, students, and staff in the use of technology, whether it be editing a digital video, creating an effective PowerPoint presentation, or even creating an ebook.  Basically, we see ourselves as the link between technology and learning, in whatever form or process that technology or learning entails.

However, because we’re part of the library, we’ll have the support of the greater library infrastructure behind us, which will mean our equipment will be available far more hours than before.  Although the equipment will be available for self-service during all the hours the library is open, training and tutoring will be available during posted hours, or by making an appointment by emailing us at trc@wou.edu.  Stay tuned for more details on this front as we get things worked out.

The equipment for checkout — digital cameras, laptops, and other devices — is now handled at the library front desk.  This ensures that the equipment is available far more hours than they were when housed at the old TRC location.

As for me, my role as an instructional technologist here at WOU will also evolve, though the central purpose will remain the same:  to help our WOU community use technology tools to improve teaching, learning, and productivity.  The last few years, most of my time was swallowed up supporting Moodle, which in five years has seen its use on campus grow from about 70 course shells to 420 in spring term.  Partly because of this, we’ve changed to a Moodle Support Team approach, in which the Division of Extended Programs will play a much more central role.  Basically, what this means is that if you want the fastest response to any Moodle issue, please email moodle@wou.edu or call the support line at 503-838-9300.  The appropriate person (and it still very well may be me) will respond as fast as possible.

The hope is that by alleviating me of being the sole support person on the user side for Moodle, it will also free me up to focus on other growing needs, namely assisting in the creation and distribution of information in all its forms, whether that be websites, ebooks, digital video, or something else.  The nature of libraries in the twenty-first century is evolving, from being a repository of information to being a conduit to it.  I hope to play my own part in assisting Hamersly Library — and WOU in general — as it adapts to the needs of a wired world.

Website Update in Progress

I’ve recently switched to using WordPress as my website management tool, so things may be a bit spotty around here at the moment.  I’ve used WordPress a lot with other wordpress-logo-680x400projects, so it shouldn’t take too long for me to get comfortable with it, but please be patient as I spruce things up a bit.  I plan to make this site a lot more robust as a resource for the WOU community.

I’m also working with University Computing to work out some of the bugs before we begin doing training on this powerful and easy CMS (content management system).  It’s by far the best website and blogging tool out there.

How to Create Your Moodle Course

imagesThe Moodle Level I course for instructors using Moodle at Western Oregon University is now an open course, meaning anyone with network access at WOU can enter it without needing a password.  Rather than updating the written instructions here, I’ll simply direct you to that course here.

However, I have also updated the brief video tutorial, and since some faculty members have said it’s difficult to watch the video within Moodle while also using Moodle, I’ve placed it here as well:

Link to Getting Started with Moodle Video

Note:  There’s a bit of a bug embedding video right now, but the above link should play just fine.