Technology Tango: How faculty can dance their way to success with digital tools

Teamwork and collaboration has been an essential part of the healthcare industry for the sake of the patient ( When implementing new technology, the benefit of collaborative IQ can’t be understated for the sake of the faculty and the student.

As your team is considering implementing new instructional technology, consider the power of partnership with other faculty and students. For a faculty partnership, find a colleague that is willing to walk with you on the journey to successful implementation. The best plan is one that allows both members of the team to use it in their respective courses. For instance, the instructors in pharmacology and fundamentals both adopt Sherpath at the same time. The two faculty agreed that they will both use the book part of Sherpath with microquizzing for 10 minutes a day during class. They will do this in both of their classes. Now if there are any technology hang ups in the process, the faculty can talk with each other as a means of supporting effective implementation.

The other benefit of a faculty pair is that they can remind each other of the value of moving this process forward. For most instructional tools of this nature, the enhanced outcomes for students is significant when the faculty make a concerted effort to work together to make the implementation a success.

When partnering with students, the value instantly rises and the efficiency of the process does as well. For the Sherpath example above, using the new tool (just the book part with Quiz Coach) in every class for 10 minutes a day allows faculty to learn with students on how to manage the new technology. It should be noted that not all the features of the new technology are implemented right away. It should also be noted that when students are using technology in class (didactic lecture) they should always work together (2-3 students per computer/iPad/etc.). This promotes the development of important technology skills, teamwork skills, and most importantly, critical thinking.

Finally, when partnering on a new technology, the consistency between instructors benefit both faculty and students combined. In the aforementioned example, the students are in both pharmacology and fundamentals at the same time in the same term. When the students see that two instructors have implemented this new technology together, they become more secure in adopting the new way of learning. This security can also spill over into other parts of the curriculum and lesson plan, and even promote success in other areas.

Partnering for technology implementation has multiple benefits. As this discussion has demonstrated, the power of partnership can’t be understated when implementing a new instructional technology. The goal should always be to help promote success for the students. Just as teamwork and collaboration have proven imperative for healthcare, the same can be said for academia. Together we all succeed for the sake of the student.

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Tim Bristol,


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