Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Coordinating Strategic Planning, Technology Initiatives for Innovation in Teaching & Learning, and Institutional Assessment

Vivienne B. Carr
Danielle Mirliss


In developing its 1996 Strategic Plan, Seton Hall University found that most faculty saw the potential of Instructional Technology (IT) to improve collegiate teaching but lacked the technology access and support necessary to do so. The resulting University Strategic Plan implemented a number of initiatives aimed at providing faculty and students with the access, support, and training necessary to make appropriate use of IT. These include the Mobile Computing Program (providing laptop computers to all full time faculty and undergraduate students), the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center (TLTC), which provides a variety of services to support faculty in their use of IT to improve teaching, and the Curriculum Development Initiative (CDI) and a University Teaching Fellows (UTF) program to provide support and incentives to faculty to make effective use of technology in their teaching. Seton Hall University also has a history of assessing the impact of technology of its strategic initiatives - longitudinal assessment of the impact of IT on the learning environment shows that as a result of these efforts, faculty use of IT to support their teaching has grown from 5% in 1996 to 66% in 2003, and students report that faculty use of IT supports effective teaching practices. The University has just launched its Sesquicentennial Five Year Strategic Plan and is undergoing a Self-Study as part Commission on Higher Education’s Middle States Association review. This session will provide a web-based case study to demonstrate the necessary although sometimes tenuous relationships between assessment and strategic planning.