OIR Gifts to You

Keep up with the ARC

January ARC is Just Around the Corner

Each year, the Office of Instructional Resources offers three weeks of training, discussion, and reflection opportunities for all WSU/WSU Tech instructors and student-facing staff.  Anyone can come and everyone is welcome to the Academic Resources Conference (ARC). It's free, it's online via Zoom, and the next set of ARC events take place January 9-13, 2023.  We hope you can attend this event, and if you see a session you would like but can't make the time, it's not a problem! All our sessions are also recorded.  If you would like to have a look at the schedule and download calendar invites for sessions that interest you, you can find the January schedule here. After the sessions are over, you'll find links to the recordings on the same page.  In addition, here is a "schedule at a glance" to help you plan your week of events: 

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Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation and AI

January's ARC's theme is "Digital Transformation and the Impact of AI on Higher Education."  This theme is everywhere in higher education press right now, and we wanted to give the WSU community an opportunity to learn about the major issues and reflect on and talk about how we see WSU responding to them.  

The conference has 14 sessions addressing the theme including conversations about academic integrity, equity, and what the future might hold.  We hope you will make time to join the conference on January 9th at 10:00 am for President Muma's opening remarks and the plenary on digital transformation at WSU. You will come away from that session with a good idea what to expect from the rest of the week as well as a few things to think about as we move into spring term.

Transform How You Work

Although we have been experiencing changes in digital technology for the last few decades, the pace of change has increased dramatically in the last few years. As an employee of Wichita State, you have access to tools and capabilities that were unimaginable as recently as the 1990s.

In January, you have the opportunity to learn about two important systems: high performance computing and ArcGIS. Both of these technologies have the ability to support original research for instructors and students. We encourage you to take a moment to learn about these capabilities and consider ways they may help you and your students do work more efficiently and at scale.

Guard Your Mental Health

While many recent technological changes have made our lives and work easier, the speed of those changes may also be making the world feel less familiar, and perhaps even more dangerous.  It's important for each of us to guard our mental health.  

On Wednesday at 9:00 am, Jessica Provines is offering a session called Mental Health for Instructors. A similar session in the August, 2022 ARC was very popular, and attendees reported that they found it valuable and reassuring. We hope you will join us for the January session!

President and Provost

Join Rick and Shirley at the ARC

The Academic Resources Conference is proud to once again welcome President Rick Muma and Provost Shirley Lefever as speakers.  

On Monday, January 9th at 10:00 am, Rick will be sharing his thoughts on digital transformation at Wichita State.  Then at 10:00 am on Thursday, January 12, Shirley will be providing a campus update and then conducting a listening session to answer questions and concerns from WSU instructors of any rank.

Everyone is welcome to these sessions, so please make plans to join us!


Blackboard Training at the ARC

All this focus on digital transformation and AI may have you wondering, "but what about technical training at the ARC?" Don't worry! We have you covered.  This January we are offering two Blackboard training sessions:

Who should come to these sessions? Absolutely anyone who is interested in Blackboard! No prior knowledge or special Blackboard account is necessary. These sessions are especially useful to new instructors of any rank and student-facing staff. Please help us spread the word by downloading the invitation and forwarding it to anyone you think could benefit from the session.

Getting Blackboard Training Over Break

If you are working on your Blackboard classes over break and need help or training, you have options. The Office of Instructional Resources will be answering emails sent to OIR@wichita.edu on most days during break, and OIR also offers web-based training on our website.  You can find Blackboard Classic training on these pages (check the Section Menu for the index of pages) and Blackboard Ultra training on these pages. And if you want to ask your peers questions, posting them on the OIR Facebook Group is a great way to start a conversation.

Panel Discussions

Excellent Panel Discussions Scheduled

Every ARC has a lunch time "Panel Hour" that runs from noon-12:50pm. This ARC has four excellent panels with guests from WSU, the community, and other institutions.  We hope you enjoy these offerings:

Reading List

Discuss Robot Proof With Peers

Joseph Aoun's 2017 book, Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, starts off its in-depth discussion of the topic with this startling fact: According to a 2015 survey of the U.S. public's worst fears, the American public fears technology, specifically having their jobs replaced by technology, more than almost anything else.  Only the fear of nuclear war was worse.  

In the higher education environment, we can see that fear in our colleagues and our students. To meet those concerns head-on, the Office of Instructional Resources and University Libraries teamed up to bring you an opportunity to discuss Aoun's excellent book at 1:00pm, January 12, 2023 as part of the January ARC. University Libraries has secured both the ebook and the audio book, and you can access it online at any time! We look forward to having an excellent discussion about Aoun's ideas and suggestions.

ARC Podcasts: Reading with Your Ears!

If you are a regular ARC attendee, you'll be familiar with our LinkedIn Learning Challenges, a list of great LiL courses that both instructor and students can enjoy. For January, we are trying something new.  In addition to a new list of LinkedIn Learning Challenges (find them on our ARC Schedule Page), we are also offering a "podcast of the day" each day of the January ARC. Want to get started on your podcast adventure? Here is a sneak peek at our recommendations:


Microsoft Gives YOU Access to Big Data

If "Digital Transformation" sounds like something that is hopelessly beyond your grasp (or interest?), then we have a great session for you!  On Thursday, January 12 at 11:00 am, Ali Levine will be providing an overview of some Microsoft Office tools you can use to access big data. You'll be surprised at what you can already do, and once you learn how to use the tools, who knows how far you'll take them.


Make the MOST of YOUR Library

University Libraries is a phenomenal resource for all members of the Wichita State community.  Interlibrary loan, ebooks, journal articles on demand, and even streaming popular films are at your fingertips, if you know how to access them. On Tuesday, January 10, at 9:00 am, Angie Paul will provide an overview of all this and more! While you are at her session, be sure to thank the Library for providing access to Robot Proof, our ARC book club book this January. 

Textbook Help

Get Help From Your Textbook Vendors

Each semester, instructors reach out to the Office of Instructional Resources for help setting up digital textbook resources.  While we do the best we can, many questions are outside our knowledge base or require admin access that we do not possess.  This is where your textbook representatives can really help.  As a new feature in the ARC this spring, we have invited representatives from Cengage (Monday, 3:00pm) and McGraw Hill (Tuesday, 3:00) to speak about their interfaces and answer questions. If you use materials from either of these publishers, this will be extraordinarily helpful for you!

One Small Thing

Have a Wonderful Break

All of us in the Office of Instructional Resources want to wish you a joyful and restful Winter Break. OIR is proud to support Wichita State instructors. Each of you has gone above and beyond to keep everything going over the last two years, and we hope this year's longer shutdown provides you the time you need for your own wellbeing and happiness. If you need us over break, send us an email to OIR@wichita.edu. We will check that email account once a day except on holidays.  If you just want to chat, come join us and 500+ other WSU instructors and staff at the OIR Facebook Group!