Academic Technology Specialist
Amherst College invites applications for the Academic Technology Specialist position. The Academic Technology Specialist is a full-time, one-year position with the possibility for renewal, job group and level PT-2. Given Amherst's distinction as one of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the country, the successful candidate will demonstrate the ways in which they bring value to and will work towards supporting a broadly diverse community.
Reporting to the Director of Technology for Curriculum and Research, the Academic Technology Specialist will support the educational mission of the College primarily by providing expertise in Learning Management Systems (LMS) and academic technology applications. In addition, they will contribute to the ongoing IT accessibility compliance work and provide support for assistive technologies. The Academic Technology Specialist will work independently as well as collaboratively to research, evaluate, select, plan, and implement academic technologies, track trends and new technologies in the field, and recommend solutions to the College to employ new tools and methods for meeting the College's teaching, learning, and research objectives.
Due to the nature of the position, work outside normal hours of operation may be required. There will be an opportunity to work remotely. Working hours will coincide with campus operating hours during Eastern Standard Time (Daylight Savings).
Summary of Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
Academic Technology Overview:
- This position is a key contributor to all phases of academic technology work to support and enhance teaching and learning. This work involves the implementation of academic technology tools and web-based applications in a manner consistent with a complex, diverse, dynamic software environment. The job will require working iteratively and collaboratively with a diverse set of stakeholders across varied Amherst college user groups and engaging with external users.
- Troubleshoot and resolve queries relating to academic technologies, the Moodle LMS and similar systems, as well as assistive learning technologies.
Focus on LMS:
- Demonstrate advanced knowledge and abilities in the management of Learning Management Systems and emerging instructional technologies.
- Provide a wide range of expertise in LMS and instructional technology by researching, evaluating, selecting, and implementing specialized software, devices, and tools to integrate with the LMS and similar systems.
- Contribute to communication and collaboration related to the LMS, regularly making decisions that are critical and relevant to the educational objectives of the College.
- Actively participate on the team responsible for support of all external/internal web related software and applications linked to the LMS.
Technologies for Teaching and Learning:
- Provides expertise in the planning, technical implementation, and management of educational and research projects with students, faculty, staff and colleagues across campus. This includes researching, evaluating, and providing instruction on the use of advanced software and tools for instruction, as well as individual consultations to meet the goals of assigned projects.
- Contribute to the department's assistive technology initiatives. Work with the IT Accessibility Specialist to meet the compliance objectives, as well as provide training and user documentation on their use to students, faculty, staff, and other academic support colleagues across campus.
Faculty Development and Outreach:
- Independently develop and deliver general as well as customized training materials, workshops, user documentation, and consulting services on the LMS and similar systems for faculty, staff, students, and other academic support colleagues across campus.
- Effectively describe how design solutions align with Amherst College's education strategy; create documentation to inform and advance the learning design process.
- Curate and manage these materials on the ATS website.
- Bachelor's degree in any of the following fields or a related field: instructional design, educational technology, information technology
- 2 to 3 years of relevant academic technology experience in a higher education setting.
- Expertise in the administration, management, and use of LMS for students and faculty.
- Expertise in the use of both Windows and Mac operating systems.
- Experience working with a diverse set of faculty and students in an institution of higher education.
- A proven ability to make technical issues understandable and create engaging yet simple training materials, using media formats applicable to the specific need.
- Excellent customer service skills and strong, positive interpersonal skills.
- Effective written and verbal communication skills with the ability to communicate effectively to large groups during training and information sessions.
- Ability to work independently as well as in a team-oriented environment, with constant collaboration among team members.
- Commitment to working with a diverse and inclusive community.
- Proven time management skills with the ability to work on a variety of projects simultaneously and manage complex projects successfully.
- Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Attention to detail and emphasis on quality and accuracy.
- Advanced degree in any of the following fields or a related field: instructional design, educational technology, information technology, OR Bachelor's degree in instructional design/educational technology/information technology and three or more years of relevant academic technology experience
- Demonstrate advanced knowledge and abilities in the installation, administration, and management of Learning Management Systems.
- Working knowledge of content management systems, i.e. Word Press, Cascade, Drupal.
- General aptitude with web applications
- Demonstrated knowledge in the design, development, and delivery of training methodologies
- Exceptional interaction and visual design skills for product applications, including expertise in image creation and image editing software using off-the-shelf software imaging tools, including familiarity with desktop publishing tools (such as Indesign).
- Advanced knowledge of and ability to apply accessibility guidelines; Experience with the evaluation, installation and use of assistive technology tools in educational settings.
Interested candidates are asked to submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information (email and/or telephone numbers) for three professional references. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.
ABOUT AMHERST COLLEGE
Amherst College, one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the nation, is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, a town of approximately 35,000 residents in the western part of the state. The college's community is composed of about 1,800 students from 48 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and 54 countries around the world, and about 1,000 staff and faculty. The college's scenic 1,000-acre campus includes a 500-acre wildlife sanctuary and the Book & Plow Farm ; three museums: Emily Dickinson Museum , Beneski Museum of Natural History and Mead Art Museum ; and multiple educational and cultural venues and resources through the Five College Consortium. The town of Amherst offers an amazing variety of coffee shops, restaurants and entertainment, and a very active outdoor life. Our vibrant campus, diverse community and beautiful surroundings make Amherst College and the Town of Amherst the perfect place to work, learn, and live!