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The LMS Support and Consulting team is now Educational Software Consulting!

What do we do?

The Educational Software Consulting team assists faculty with using technology to enhance their teaching. We seek to empower instructors to create their own instructional resources using the latest technology and evidence-based methods.

We are primarily focused on helping faculty use technology to make teaching their courses more efficient, effective, and innovative. To that end, we frequently partner with our colleagues in the Teaching Support and Classroom Services departments here at the Teaching Center as they bring expertise in pedagogy and classroom hardware.

We are currently working remotely from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The best way to get a prompt response is by emailing us at edtech@teaching.pitt.edu. We’re also available for phone appointments and Zoom meetings.

Who are we?

Bobby Ackerman, Manager, Educational Software Consulting

Bobby Ackerman

Maria Hahn

Maria Hahn

Kwai Lin Kennedy

Kwai Lin Kennedy

Sarah Kildow

Sarah Kildow

Cressida Magaro, Instructional Technology Support Technologist

Cressida Magaro

Dan Pinsky, Instructional Technology Support Specialist

Dan Pinsky

Daryl Putman - staff photo

Daryl Putman

Gwendolyn Stevens

Gwendolyn Stevens

Laura Trybus, Instructional Technology Support Specialist

Laura Trybus

Who do we support?

We provide direct support for the over 3,000 instructors, staff, and teaching assistants that teach courses on the LMS in a given term. While we work with faculty to address issues that students may be having in their courses, we don’t typically work directly with students. Students are encouraged to contact Canvas support for any Canvas-related issues, and the Pitt IT Help Desk for any other educational software support.

What services do we offer? 

Training – We regularly offer live webinars and recorded webinars covering the range of educational software that we support. We strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of these regular offerings, however we also accept requests for custom trainings for groups of 10 or more when possible.

Support – We’re available to answer basic support questions on a first-come, first-serve basis from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please send us an email or give us a call and leave a voicemail. We’ll direct your question to the first available team member who will reach out to you via phone, Zoom meeting, or email depending on your preference.

Consulting – We are also available to schedule time for for longer discussions. If you need some custom guidance on a course, project, Canvas integration, or other educational software topic you can submit a consultation request. In order to provide our services to as many faculty as possible, we ask that everyone please limit their consultation requests to 2-3 hours per academic term.

Self-help resources – We also maintain a dedicated Canvas website where we create and curate a variety of resources that are available for asynchronous help. We regularly update this set of resources to cover new topics in educational software, but we also regularly share resources on teaching and learning created by our colleagues around the Teaching Center.

What do we support?

Working closely with our colleagues in Pitt IT, we specialize in Pitt-provided software applications, most notably the university’s Learning Management System (LMS) Canvas. We also support faculty in their use of other educational software including Top Hat, Turnitin, Gradescope, Panopto, Qualtrics, Zoom and others. We also work with our colleagues in Pitt IT to manage 3rd-party integrations in Canvas. While we are only able to provide limited support for many of these, we do assist faculty with adding approved existing integrations to their Canvas courses as well as consulting on new integration requests.

What don’t we support?

The world of educational software is large, diverse and always changing. There are some software applications that are used at Pitt that fall outside the scope of what we support. Office productivity suites such as Microsoft Office, or very niche applications such as AutoCAD are two such examples. While we have some staff availability to address questions about other applications, we prioritize our support of a more limited menu of Pitt-provided software applications that are specifically designed for teaching.

If you are unsure, please don’t hesitate to ask. We’re happy to support you if we can, and if we can’t we’ll do our best to refer you to other colleagues or resources. For some applications, the University provides free, unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning’s large library of self-paced courses on applications from PowerPoint to Photoshop and the Office of Human Resources, Pitt IT and the University Library System all offer trainings on various applications and systems in use at Pitt.

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