Governance

EdTech Governance

Educational Technology (EdTech) plays a significant role in achieving the University strategic teaching and learning goals, as demonstrated by the 2020-2025 Waterloo Strategic Plan commitment to, “continue to advance an agile, technology-enabled learning ecosystem”. The goal of EdTech governance is to ensure the following:

  • A strategic approach to decision-making for the EdTech ecosystem based on input from key stakeholders, an understanding of our directions in teaching and learning, and the trends and opportunities we see externally
  • An agile approach to decision-making that ensures a balance between long-term goals and emerging needs

Governance bodies​​

A governance structure was implemented in 2022 to support central EdTech efforts, the goal of which is to ensure appropriate inputs, analysis, and communications inform recommendations and decisions regarding funding of EdTech and implementation of new EdTech. The governance structure consists of a Steering Committee, an Advisory group, and an Operations group. 

The EdTech Steering Committee will leverage and empower the Advisory and Operations groups to ensure that opportunities for collaboration across academic support units, Faculties, students, and instructors are in place and provide input to recommendations and decision-making. 

The Teaching and Learning Spaces (TLS) Operations group will also play a vital role in realizing classroom evolution to meet the needs of the University of Waterloo, its instructors, and students.

Guiding principles

Principles that EdTech should meet and/or uphold for adoption are as follows:

  • Have sound pedagogical focus
  • Add value to the ecosystem (e.g., in efficiencies, effectiveness, reliability, usability, student engagement, flexibility, and/or success)
  • Minimize learning overhead (e.g., fill a gap or replace a tool, reducing duplication)
  • Be sustainable (e.g., in added costs for the technology, support systems, training, upgrades)
  • Provide inclusive and equitable access
  • Be scalable, with strong potential for broad campus use

EdTech Steering

Terms of Reference

Purpose

The EdTech Steering Committee advises the Chief Information Officer, University of Waterloo Executive, and as appropriate, other University committees, on uses of educational technology to ensure alignment with the university’s strategic directions, to enable and support innovation where appropriate, and to facilitate and enable sound pedagogy by providing an exceptional digital learning environment.

The Committee has the authority to recommend Edtech expenditures and priorities within the annual budget cycle. For significant investments, this group makes recommendations to the Executive (VPFA and Provost).

Scope

Provides strategic direction for and oversight of the use of central EdTech systems, software, services and support that are primarily used for teaching and learning, including established (enterprise), emerging (pilot) and potential (innovation) EdTech tools and applications.

Objectives

  • Advise Provost and Vice-President, Finance and Administration (VPFA) on matters concerning centrally supported EdTech at Waterloo. 
  • Provide strategic leadership for Waterloo’s Edtech ecosystem to support institutional directions, as set out in the University’s strategic plan, digital learning strategy and the evolution of teaching and learning.
  • Consultation with strategic academic groups to assess support for EdTech directions. 
  • Oversight for the development of Policies regarding the deployment, use and operation of learning technologies, in collaboration with other relevant academic committees.
  • Uphold the guiding principles that EdTech should meet for adoption.
  • Provide directions to EdTech Advisory Committee and make decisions about / seek senior level approval for the Advisory Committee’s recommendations related to EdTech directions, projects, practices, services, adoption of new EdTech and retirement of EdTech.
  • Accountable for Edtech expenditures which involve:
    • Ensuring fiscal responsibility /financial oversight over the EdTech budget and expenditures.
    • Making decisions about Edtech investments within Committee budget parameters.
    • Recommending EdTech investments to Provost and/or Vice- President, Finance & Administration (VPFA).
  • Accountable for ensuring strategic and pedagogical alignment, resourcing, and funding for the EdTech 2-year plan which will provide guidance for identification, selection and adoption of university-wide learning technologies.
  • Ensure appropriate and timely communications related to EdTech directions and decisions are provided to campus stakeholders.
  • Publicly advocate for and support EdTech changes to campus stakeholders

Membership

Title

Current member

Chief Information Officer (Co-chair)

Gregory Smith

Associate Vice-President, Academic (Co-chair)

David DeVidi

Associate Provost, Students

Chris Read

Associate Vice-President, Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Affairs

Jeff Casello

Registrar

Catherine Newell Kelly

Associate Registrar, Enrolment Services & Academic Policy

Jennifer Coghlin

Director, Centre for Teaching Excellence

Donna Ellis

Director, Centre of Extended Learning

Aldo Caputo

Director, Instructional Technologies and Media Services

Pam Fluttert

Decision making

EdTech Steering is a strategic, decision-making body, in place to approve, monitor and support delivery of educational technology, projects and other initiatives that are recommended by the EdTech Advisory committee. Approvals will be based on committee consensus, and will consider

  • Alignment to EdTech principles for additions/deletions/changes to EdTech ecosystem
  • Alignment to applicable strategic plans (University, faculty, digital learning strategy, IT, et cetera)
  • Resource capacity
  • EdTech budget
  • Other institutional priorities and/or dependencies

In the situation where consensus cannot be reached, the Chief Information Officer and/or Associate Vice-President, Academic may request additional information or consultation through other committees, EdTech stakeholders, or within the EdTech support units.

In the situations where the decision pertains to the addition/removal/change of centrally supported EdTech, the Chief Information Officer must approve the contract or equipment, as specified in Procedure 1.

EdTech Advisory

Terms of Reference

Purpose

The EdTech Advisory Group is a body that sufficiently understands EdTech and pedagogical directions to advise where change is needed based on inputs from EdTech Steering, EdTech Operations committee(s) and stakeholder groups.  Advisory assesses potential opportunities and recommends priorities for the changes to be considered based on the principles of EdTech evolution, budget, resources, the university’s strategic directions, and appetite for change in relation to pedagogical and digital learning strategies and directions.

The committee has the authority to recommend EdTech expenditures, priorities, and changes to EdTech Steering for consideration and approval for centrally supported EdTech.

Scope

  • Members provide perspective and feedback to form recommendations to proactively address emerging EdTech issues, gaps, new needs/requirements, innovations, effective practices, and market trends as requested or identified by Edtech Steering, Edtech Operations committee(s), and/or stakeholder groups.

Objectives

  • Provide proactive centrally supported EdTech advice, guidance, and recommendations, while considering cost/benefit implications, strategic and innovative directions, and resourcing.
    • Consult internally with leadership and stakeholders within representative areas to ensure Advisory can make informed recommendations that will gain buy in within impacted areas
    • Recommend changes and priorities, budget requests, projects, and other matters concerning support and leadership to EdTech Steering
    • Communicate strategic directions and recommendations to EdTech Operations committee(s)
  • Consider and coordinate access to specific advisory members for other teaching and learning feedback requests outside of the scope of EdTech advisory and governance.  For example, Teaching & Learning Spaces Ops may want feedback with faculty and/or student advisory members on a classroom item.
  • Provide guidance towards measures and actions to achieve defined success criteria, when required.
  • Serve as a collaboration hub, ensuring appropriate EdTech connections.
    • Promote information-sharing between academic support units centrally supporting EdTech, faculty, and students—not only within the group but beyond to the classroom and university community.
    • Consult with stakeholder groups to assess opportunities towards EdTech directions and innovations.
    • Contribute information about discipline-specific contexts on issues/opportunities related to pedagogical alignment with technology.
  • Assist with setting criteria for selection of new learning technology components in the environment.
  • Ensure appropriate change management practices and considerations are included in modifications to the EdTech ecosystem to assist stakeholders.
  • Uphold the guiding principles that EdTech should meet for adoption

Membership

Title

Current member

Director, Instructional Technologies & Media Services (chair)

Pam Fluttert

Supervisor, Learning Environment, Instructional Technologies & Media Services

Scott Anderson

Associate Director, Systems, Centre of Extended Learning

TBD

Associate Director, Online Learning Design, Centre for Extended Learning

Tonya Elliott

Senior Educational Developer, Faculty Programs and Blended Learning, Centre for Teaching Excellence

Mary Power

Head, Digital Initiatives Library

Krista Godfrey

Undergraduate Student Representative

Alexander Chaban

Graduate Student Representative

Neela Hassan

Arts Faculty Member Representative

Richard Eibach

Engineering Faculty Member Representative

Carolyn MacGregor, Carol Hulls 

Health Faculty Member Representative

Elena Neiterman

Math Faculty Member Representative

Diana Skrzydlo

Science Faculty Member Representative

Robert Hill

Environment Faculty Member Representative

Christine Barbeau

Decision making

EdTech Advisory is a body to monitor, support, and advise on the delivery of EdTech based on pedagogical directions and stakeholder needs that the members represent.  It is the responsibility of each member to understand and consult internally with leadership and other stakeholders on internal priorities, issues, resourcing availability, directions, and project/initiatives to provide appropriate information and perspectives towards informed Advisory recommendations.

While the purpose of Advisory is to provide directional EdTech recommendations, there may be instances where Advisory is requested to provide input that will be used towards operational decisions.

Recommendations passed by Advisory will be based on consensus where at least 60% of the members are present for the discussion.  In the case where agreement is with the majority but not all of the committee, strong objections will be noted and taken forward to steering with the recommendation.

Meeting frequency

  • Monthly

EdTech Operations

A working member group representing relevant EdTech areas to provide recommendations and assessments within guiding principles for central EdTech evolution.

Mandate 

  • Recommendations to Advisory on matters concerning central EdTech (i.e., adoption of new EdTech, retirement of EdTech, operations, practices, services, supports).
  • Seek input and direction from various sources (e.g., Keep Learning, EdTech Advisory, students/faculty representatives, etc.)
  • Enact the principles for EdTech evolution in day-to-day processes and services.
  • Assess intake requests and recommend EdTech additions to Advisory
  • Escalate issues that impact the ecosystem to Advisory
  • Recommendations on how to implement, deploy and retire specific EdTech tools to Advisory
  • Recommend directions for and execute EdTech 2-year plan.
  • Identify gaps and overlaps and assess value in the central EdTech ecosystem to recommend changes/retirement of EdTech to Advisory.
  • Initiate and monitor progress on projects/initiatives, pilots, and investigation activity.
  • Monitor risks, quality and progress of ecosystem operations
  • Maintain EdTech hub, knowledgebase articles, and other documentation/support
  • Communicate activities and progress (e.g., annual report, stories, website updates).

Membership

  • Membership is currently being determined to include and replace the current Online Learning Environment Operations (LEO), PebblePad Operations, and Mobius Operations groups.

Teaching and Learning Spaces Operations