Recent research has shown a backlash against the enthusiastic promotion of technological solutions as replacements for traditional educational content delivery. Many institutions, including the University of Virginia, have committed staff and resources to supporting state-of-the-art, showpiece educational technology projects. However, the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library has taken the approach of helping Health Sciences faculty be more comfortable using technology in incremental ways for instruction and research presentations. In July 2004, to raise awareness of self-service multimedia resources for instructional and professional development needs, the Library conducted a "Multimedia Bootcamp" for nine Health Sciences faculty and fellows.
Program stewardship by a single Library faculty member contributed to the delivery of an integrated learning experience. The amount of time required to attend the sessions and complete homework was the maximum fellows had to devote to such pursuits. The benefit of introducing technology unfamiliar to most fellows allowed program instructors to start everyone at the same baseline while not appearing to pass judgment on the technology literacy skills of faculty. The combination of wrapping the program in the trappings of a fellowship and selecting fellows who could commit to a majority of scheduled sessions yielded strong commitment from participants as evidenced by high attendance and a 100% rate of assignment completion. Response rates to follow-up evaluation requests, as well as continued use of Media Studio resources and Library expertise for projects begun or conceived during Bootcamp, bode well for the long-term success of this program.
An incremental approach to integrating technology with current practices in instruction and presentation provided a supportive yet energizing environment for Health Sciences faculty. Keys to this program were its faculty focus, traditional hands-on instruction, unrestricted access to technology tools and support, and inclusion of criteria for evaluating when multimedia can augment pedagogical aims.