Academic Technology Design Team | Office of Information Technology

Academic Technology Design Team

Last Updated: 06/29/2015

What do we do?

We improve learning by blending emerging technologies with innovative teaching methods.

From left: Tim Riggs, Rebecca Kallemeyn, Dave Underwood, Cory Pavicich, Viktoriya Oliynyk, Courtney Fell, Doris Cheung, Mark Werner, and Mark Gammon.

We approach complex learning problems from design perspectives

Our team includes instructional, media, user experience, and universal designers; educational technology consultants; social media experts; and data analytics professionals. We work collaboratively and creatively on projects such as:

  • Reimagining large lecture hall instruction. In Fall 2014 the College of Engineering and OIT redesigned
    COEN 1500: Introduction to Engineering as a 1-credit MOOC-style course. Building upon the experiences of the Coursera pilot, the design team integrated principles of scaled delivery with the inherent advantages of an on-campus experience to create the first main campus, large-scale online course.
  • Flipping International Student Orientation. We created an international student orientation online environment to provide access to university resources, promote connections with the campus community, and cultivate excitement about attending CU-Boulder. Our partner on this project was with International Student and Scholar Services unit of the Office of International Education. This online environment was successfully launched to over 900 students in June of 2014.
  • Designing, prototyping, and evaluating Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). We worked with members of the BioFrontiers Institute to develop and launch a MOOC entitled, Gut Check: Exploring Your Microbiome in the Fall of 2014. The course attracted over 19,000 citizen scientists from 151 countries and took them on a guided tour of the human ecosystem and its microscopic inhabitants. A new on demand session is now available.
  • Transforming the Student Learning Experience in Graduate Statistics. The Academic Technology Design Team (ATDT) worked on a collaborative project with the Engineering Management Program (EMP) to redesign a core EMP course.  It was a complex teaching environment with on-campus and distance students, graduates and undergraduates, and students from different engineering programs. The course had been traditionally lecture-based and had high stakes assignments. ATDT redesigned it using a flipped course model to incorporate frequent assignments and active learning activities. The students are enjoying the course and learning more with the new model.
  • Investigating, piloting, and assessing ways to address teaching with technologies in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
  • The ATDT partnered with legal writing faculty and Law IT on the redesign of a writing diagnostic focused on retention and helping students become more successful in their academic and professional careers. The project entailed investigating, piloting, and assessing a cost-effective, technology-driven approach to improving students’ writing mechanics. An extensive review of existing diagnostic tools resulted in an Evaluation Criteria Matrix. Ultimately the faculty decided not to move the project forward at this time.
  • Designing and implementing student ePortfolio systems.

We are eager to explore how we might help you! Contact us at, and we will discuss your project ideas, explain our process, and suggest possible next steps. We are especially focused on project ideas that align with our strategic goals of:

  • Investigating, piloting, and assessing ways to improve teaching with technologies in large classes. 
  • Supporting the ease of use of Desire2Learn.
  • Developing effective methods for teaching with technologies in Residential Academic Programs (RAPs). 
  • Investigating, piloting, and assessing ways to address teaching with technologies in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
  • Supporting increased international student retention. 

If there is a good fit between our services and your project idea, we will ask for an endorsement from your associate dean, dean, or a senior campus administrator. We will also ask how your project fits the strategic goals of your unit or the campus. Then we will document this in a very brief project charter that we submit to our OIT leadership team for their consideration. If we receive an approval, our creative, diverse, and upbeat team will work alongside you throughout your project (usually for a semester). Finally, we will help analyze your learning situation, prototype technological and pedagogical approaches to your situation, and evaluate how well those approaches worked for you.

We answer questions about technologies

We have a team of Technology Learning Assistants (TLAs) ready to answer questions faculty members have on how to use academic technologies. Our TLAs are well-versed in technologies like Desire2Learn, VoiceThread, Kaltura, Clickers, and Google Apps for Education, and Qualtrics. At key demand times of the semester, we also provide trainings on these technologies. To contact our TLAs, send an email to or call the IT Service Center at 303-735-4357 (5-HELP from a campus phone). 

Our Technology Learning Assistants. From left: James Ashby, Will Anderson, and Sara Corry. 

We analyze and share learning technology data

Our Coordinator of Assessment and Learning Analytics is Kate Allison.

We analyze aggregate Desire2Learn data to help campus, school, and college administrators answer questions like, how many classes are on D2L, what tools are most popular, or when is the period of peak use during the semester? We are currently working with Arts and Sciences Advising and Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Education, Michael Grant, to pilot a system to alert administrators of students who might need academic help at key points in the semester. For more information about that pilot, or if you have questions about how Desire2Learn is used on campus, contact us at and we will meet with you to better understand your questions and to explain how we can help you.

Let's talk

To reach anyone on our ATDT, send an email to or call the OIT Service Center at 303-735-4357 (5-HELP from a campus phone), and we'll set up a time to talk and see how we might be of assistance.