UBC Office of Learning Technology

For this EVA, I look at the UBC Office of Learning Technology not from an investor’s perspective, but rather from the perspective of budget allocation. Michelle Lamberson is the director of the OLT, and she faces an interesting challenge of bringing about cooperation between faculty, staff, IT personnel, and students, as realizes the goal of this cross-campus initiative.

An interesting aspect of personnel management was noted when Lamberson mentioned the need to relinquish her hardware preferences to those that will be actually managing and maintaining the networks and servers. To me, this shows that she is willing to accommodate perspectives other than her own, and that she is looking out for the good of the project rather than her own comfort with familiar tools.

Looking at the market readiness, this was a unit that was already needed when the interview took place, so it is meeting a current and identified need rather than simplifying or streamlining workflow as was noted in some of the other pitches.

With regards to technical innovation, Lamberson seems to be aware of the developments in the new communication technologies, and is experimenting with many of those that could have a positive educational impact. She admits that it is difficult to predict which technologies will take off, but she is preparing to accommodate those that will be successful.

As for an exit strategy, Lamberson makes it clear that her direction and objectives will change with the technology, but the common theme will be supporting collaboration, and connecting decentralized groups and individuals to strengthen them as though they were a cohesive centralized unit.

If I were allocating the budget, I would make sure that the OLT had sufficient resources to continue its service to staff and students.


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