A new organization dedicated to supporting technology-enhanced teaching and learning throughout the university, is taking shape at Virginia Tech.

A new unit, Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies, has emerged from the redesign and restructuring of two award-winning entities at Virginia Tech, known previously as Learning Technologies and the Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning.

Virginia Tech's Plan for a New Horizon recognizes the universal need for technology enhancements in all types of learning environments, from traditional face-to-face classrooms, to virtual courses where students or instructors might never set foot on the Blacksburg campus. 

The realignment helps meet the aim of a networked university, as laid out in the strategic plan.

“This intentional reorganization gives the university a better platform to increase quality and growth in distance learning and use of technology in the classroom,” Mark G. McNamee, senior vice president and provost, said. “The collaboration creates efficiencies and provides the prospect to explore new financial and tuition models to enhance enrollment.”

Like Learning Technologies and the Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning, Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies will work to incentivize innovation and support the technology needs of distance learning programs, online elements of on-campus courses, and hybrid courses. 

During the transition and start-up period that will span the fall 2013 semester, all services and support provided by both former organizations will continue, even as new offerings surface.

"It builds on the strengths of both organizations to better serve Virginia Tech faculty and students," noted Anne Moore, associate vice president, Learning Technologies. “Once the initial work of bringing the new organization together is complete, we envision new possibilities that will enrich course offerings across the university.”

To streamline the process for distance learning students, the Office of Enrollment and Degree Management will handle recruiting, admissions, registration, and related functions. Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies itself will be administered through the Information Technology organization, in close partnership with the Office of the Provost.

The executive director of the new unit will have a seat on the Provost’s Academic Affairs Council. A national search for the executive director began Aug. 1, with the goal of having new leadership in place by the start of 2014.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.