In order to increase our organizational effectiveness and efficiency, the Information Technology Unit reorganized during February 2015 into the Information Technology Services (ITS). The ITS provides information technology resources, systems, services, tools, and training to the university community.
ITS’s mission is to advance the university’s strategic goals, support learning, enable scholarly endeavors, and improve institutional management by effectively leveraging the resources of the ITS’s groups.
The key to ITS’s success is our people. Technologists, support staff, student workers, and others in the ITS are distinguished by their commitment to building a great organization within a great university and to providing outstanding customer service.
As part of the ITU reorganization, the services provided by the Division of Instructional Technology (DoIT) have been integrated into new departments within the ITS. The ITS remains committed to fostering and supporting the university community in the use of technology for research, teaching, and learning and will continue to provide many of the resources that were under the DoIT umbrella including Classroom and Lab Technologies, Learning Support Services, GMU-TV, and Collaborative Video Technologies.
CLASSROOM AND LAB TECHNOLOGIES
Classroom and Lab Technologies (CaLT) enhances the learning experience across Mason’s campuses by provisioning, supporting, and maintaining technology-enabled learning spaces and by providing access to well-maintained and up-to-date hardware and software in open computer labs. CaLT also supports Mason’s Virtual Computing Lab (VCL). The units within CaLT are Fairfax Classroom Support, Regional Classroom Support (Arlington and Prince William), Learning Space Design, and Computing Services.
Classroom and Computer Lab Support
Classroom and Lab Technologies provides support for all university general-purpose and technology enhanced classroom facilities, and audiovisual services at George Mason University. CaLT assists faculty and students with technical issues via phone and in the classroom. CaLT maintains AV equipment in all Registrar-scheduled classrooms. CaLT also supports four general access computer labs. Labs are available to all students and have the technology resources needed for preparing assignments, conducting research, and pursuing other academically-related services. Consultants are available in the computer labs to assist students with computer-related issues and basic software help with university software packages, printer support, and monitoring of the lab facility to ensure a good experience for our patrons.
For faculty who require additional equipment to support instructional activity in the classroom, equipment is available for checkout on each campus. Equipment may be checked out on a first-come first-served basis by faculty and staff. Checkout equipment includes laptops, LCD projectors, dvd/vcr, and other equipment.
Computing Services serves as system administrators for the university’s general purpose classrooms and labs. Computing Services works to enhance the availability and usefulness of Mason’s academic computing labs and classrooms through virtual computing and remote software delivery technologies. Computing Services installs requested software into classrooms and computer labs for specialized academic use. Software and licensing information are required.
LEARNING SUPPORT SERVICES
Learning Support Services (LSS) provides an array of resources to faculty, students, and staff that contribute to the innovative teaching and learning environment of the university. LSS provides support for instructional technologies including Blackboard, the campus learning management system. It offers faculty consultations to discuss best practices for teaching online, hybrid and face-to-face courses, as well as strategies for incorporating technology into the curriculum. LSS also maintains two Collaborative Learning Hub (CLUB) facilities, which provides support on a variety of multimedia and instructional technologies and access to collaborative workstations, and the Student Technology Assistance Lab (STAR), which offers a game design lab, full video production studio and multimedia and video editing suites.
Online Learning Resources
Online Learning Resources helps advance instructional initiatives by providing support, administration, and training for the off-site hosted learning management system (LMS), Blackboard Learn, Organizations, and the university portal (myMason). The unit also provides strategies and best practices for fostering student engagement and interaction using the LMS and other instructional technologies including Blackboard Collaborate, PB Works, and iTunes U.
Instructional Design (ID)
The instructional design team offers a variety of services and expertise to faculty teaching courses at George Mason University. The primary goal of the ID team is to assist faculty in designing effective eLearning which is accomplished by continuously evaluating new instructional strategies and technologies for effectiveness and introducing best practices to enhance the curriculum. Instructional designers assist professors in areas including design and development, training and technology tools, technology support, and resources for the development of their courses.
The Collaborative Learning Hub (CLUB)
The Collaborative Learning Hub (CLUB) is a space designed to support collaborative work of students, faculty, and staff. The walk-in lab features 10 workstations, a walk up help bar, and collaborative spaces that include digital imaging, Camtasia video editing software, web development, Scantron score machine, scanning, and a host of other software applications. The CLUB offers a full schedule of free workshops, walk-in and prearranged consultations, technology showcases, instruction in the effective use of electronic teaching environments, support for course management tools, and resources for learning about technology use. Faculty can also consult with Instructional Designers in the CLUB to discuss strategies on best practices for incorporating technology into their instruction.
Student Technology Assistance & Resource (STAR) Lab
The Student Technology Assistance & Resource (STAR) Lab is a state-of-the-art multimedia computer facility that provides students, faculty, and staff the space and resources to complete creative projects. Mentors with specialized knowledge of operating systems and applications are on hand to assist with troubleshooting. All Macs and PCs are equipped with a combination of the latest versions of software.
GMU-TV assists with the creation and development of instructional, training, marketing and promotional videos, and courses suitable for television broadcast. Original productions highlight the research and developments in higher education at George Mason University. Programs include short form documentaries, distinguished guest lecturers and panel discussions, cutting-edge research symposiums and research communications, artistic performances and more. GMU-TV also provides the Mason community with scripted material, recording and broadcasting of live events, and promotional and marketing materials for academic and administrative units. GMU-TV is recognized as an award-winning leader in educational, informational, and public interest programming.
Collaborative Video Technologies
CVT is responsible for providing, promoting, and advancing high-quality, effective videoconferencing, telepresence, and related real-time media technologies for both academic and administrative purposes. Key functions of CVT include enabling faculty and students to gather from disparate locations for course discussion, review of course materials, or participation in academic consortia, enabling students to take courses offered by consortia to which the university belongs, such as the Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program and 4-VA, and providing the collaboration tools and services necessary for efficient communication, professional development and training, seminar discussion, and sponsored events.