Kelvin’s Report Out from the First 90 Days and Beyond

Kelvin Thompson

The report below was created by Kelvin Thompson, Ed.D., Vice Provost for Online Learning and Teaching Innovation, since meeting with over 160+ members of the UofL community during his first 90+ days on the job beginning January 2023. This report includes what he’s learned about the UofL community and outlines his goals for how we can work together to make UofL a model institution in strategic digital learning in the coming years. There are two versions of the report: the Full-Length, Reflective Report linked and the Quick Version report summary below.

We invite you to join in the conversation about how we can best collaborate to make life better for many Kentuckians and beyond by providing access to UofL’s high quality higher education. Feel free to contact Kelvin via email to discuss how to work together.

View the Full-Length Reflective Report

Quick Version Report (500 words)

Initial Impressions

Since I began at UofL on January 17, 2023, I met with a wide range of people across the university community to learn more about the UofL institutional context, build relationships, and identify ways to meaningfully advance the work of excellent teaching and learning. I found the UofL community warm and welcoming. I’ve noted that many people are committed to a more strategic implementation of online/blended/digital teaching and learning. Yet, I also found there are pockets of doubt in the potential of online learning to contribute meaningfully to the work of the university.

Early Actions

During my first 90 days, I took the following early actions:

  • Met with 160+ individuals across the university
  • Approved the phased upgrade to Blackboard Ultra Course View
  • Launched the Digital Teaching Accelerator faculty summer short-course pilot program
  • Collaborated with the Office of Academic Planning & Accountability to surface institutional data relevant to the advancement of strategic digital learning

Moving Forward Strategically

I believe in the society-transforming power of a high-quality higher education. I also believe in the potential of digital course design/teaching to be a lever, bringing access and assuring quality. I am committed to working with the university community to make online/digital learning even better in ways that provide more flexible scheduling options for current students and increase access options for potential students and non-academic learners.

Influenced by my conversations with the 160+ university community members, in concert with the leadership team of the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning, and aligned with the university’s 2023-2025 strategic plan (specifically the “Learn” pillar), I have identified three priority areas that will guide my intra-institutional collaborations and that will bring focus to the work of the Delphi Center:

  1. Growing the ecosystem of digital course sections at UofL to ensure flexible scheduling options for students
  2. Expanding access-oriented digital initiatives to recruit a wider variety of potential learners to UofL
  3. Focusing UofL course design/teaching efforts to ensure maximum positive impact on students

I believe that these strategic priorities will take time to yield mature results, but that across UofL we can act now to make progress. I am committed to working with the university community to make digital teaching/learning even better.

The Remainder of Year One

Here are some of the specific actions I plan to take in the year ahead:

  • Continue my conversations with faculty, staff, students, and members of the City of Louisville community to find common ground toward a shared vision for teaching and learning
  • Lay groundwork for access initiatives that meet the needs of Louisville and Kentuckiana
  • Work to connect faculty and disseminate evidence-based teaching practices and resources that benefit students
  • Foster a culture of continuous improvement in course design and teaching
  • Seek a sustainable, growth-oriented funding model for strategic digital learning efforts
  • Focus on ensuring that all UofL students have access to high-quality digital learning opportunities
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