UNC Pembroke
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Bringing collaboration solutions into the classroom (and beyond)

Crouch emphasizes that planning conversations also engaged faculty, who helped the IT team understand how technology could enhance their work in the classroom. They also solicited input from students attending at distance about how technology could address challenges with the learning management system and overall network reliability. For many faculty, using technology to foster connections and encourage engagement both outside and within the school community were especially important.

Implementing Cisco Webex

UNCP lacked a formalized digital collaboration program. Faculty and staff who wanted to use a medium like video to communicate with students, colleagues, and others made the most of what they had, using personal accounts or tools within the university’s learning management system. As the university expanded its investments in other online, cloud-based tools, however, Crouch and her team saw an opportunity for a single collaboration platform that could be implemented and managed universitywide. “We knew from the start that we wanted to create a single ‘collaboration canvas’ that could break down barriers for the entire university community,” she says. “Cisco Webex allows us to keep the heart of who we are, communicating in a very personal way, without the constraints of space and time. With Webex available onsite and on the desktop, students are collaborating across the geographic and economic barriers that might otherwise have held them back.” The university now relies on Webex for Higher Education, with Webex Host accounts and Webex Teams accounts for all faculty, staff, and students.

Student listening
“Through the careful, planned application of tools and technology, we facilitate the accessibility and collaboration our students need. Anytime one of our users encounters a technical issue, that’s another barrier, and our goal is to eliminate anything that impedes teaching and learning.”

— Kevin Pait, director of infrastructure and operations and interim CIO, University of North Carolina at Pembroke