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The growing interest in and need for the incorporation of high quality web-based course materials into the instructional process was the original motivator for forming the Delphi Center for Enhancing Teaching & Learning. As a function of the academic support services and with guidance from the Office of the Provost, the Delphi Center provides instructional technology support to University faculty. In Greek mythology, the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi was a source of knowledge about the future. The name, therefore, is appropriate to a University Center for enhancing teaching and learning through technology since technology-based applications to instruction will be a significant component of the future of teaching and learning.

The Delphi Center is primarily an administrative and support unit that assists faculty and departments in the development of web-based course materials that may be used to supplement instruction in face-to-face courses or constitute fully mediated or distance learning courses. It also provides opportunities for UofL faculty and students to participate in projects that pertain to the research and development of technology-based course materials. The Delphi Center is responsible for organizing marketing research on the need for distance education courses and programs and evaluation research on the impact of technology on the learning process. The Delphi Center also provides administrative support and coordination for distance education courses and programs.

The mission of the Delphi Center is described as: "The Delphi Center: Enhancing Teaching and Learning will help position the University of Louisville as a leader in media-rich learning environments by (1) providing faculty and academic units with technical and academic support in using technology to improve teaching and learning; (2) assisting units in the development of distance education courses and programs; and (3) fostering research on the development of technology-based courseware, effectiveness of instruction in mediated learning environments, and research on market niches for distance learning courses and programs offered by the University of Louisville."

The specific objectives of the Delphi Center are:

a. To support faculty and academic units in the development and effective use of new technologies to support teaching and learning.

b. To research, develop, implement and evaluate technology-based teaching and learning.

c. To coordinate the UofL development of distance education courses and programs for delivery through the Kentucky Virtual University.

d. To identify opportunities and markets for delivery of distance education courses and programs.

e. To cooperate with other support units in the development and implementation of strategies to promote information literacy.

f. To collaborate with other organizations to develop faculty expertise in instructional technology.

The Delphi Center includes three cross-functional teams that will assist faculty and academic units on all three UofL campuses:

a. Instructional Support. This team serves as the primary contact for individual faculty who seek assistance in using technology in their teaching. The Delphi Center provides a walk-in area with equipment and personnel to assist faculty who seek support in instructional technology. This unit also provides group and individual training in instructional technology.

b. Instructional Research and Development. This team works with the academic units to develop high quality technology-based courseware for designated programs. The instructional development unit is conceived as a "roving" unit that assists departments and units on their premises. This team constitutes the research and development arm of the Delphi Center. A primary expectation for the work of this team is basic and applied research on the development of technology-based teaching and learning materials. The research and development team is working with external partners, such as the technology cell from Ft. Knox, and on research projects pertaining to the development of new or advanced technology instructional materials.

c. Academic Coordination. This team serves as the academic liaison with the Provost's Office, academic units, University Libraries, support offices, and administrative offices, such as the Admissions and Registrar's Offices. This team is working to integrate the technical and academic components of technology-based courses and programs, ensuring that internal and external quality control standards are met. Other critical responsibilities of this team include promoting evaluation research on mediated learning experiences and conducting market research on opportunities for distance learning courses and programs. This team will cooperate with other academic support units to develop and implement information literacy strategies that are pertinent to the mission of the Center.

Delphi Center staff includes (please click on image to the right for a larger view):

Our focus over the last few weeks has been to work with faculty in getting their Web courses ready for fall semester, constructing courses for the Master's of Public Administration program for worldwide delivery, developing a template for Continuing Medical Education delivery, and researching the various courseware development tools available on the market or for in-house development. We will soon be working on two additional Master's programs in Justice Administration and in Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education, also for worldwide delivery to Army personnel and other students. The support of the three Master's programs comes from a Defense Department grant. In addition we will be working with general continuing education course development.

Come for a visit anytime. The Delphi Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays with offices in Ekstrom Library, 2nd floor and at the Health Sciences Campus, 2nd floor of the Instructional (B) Building. The phone is 852-4319.