Academic Operations Specialist - (INF00000084)

Texas, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Oct 07, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
Salary Range:

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Job Summary:

The Academic Operations Specialist supports, configures, maintains, and extends the Canvas learning management system and other academic technology systems used at SMU. The Academic Operations Specialist is responsible for the supporting the functionality, security, and training/documentation of SMU's learning management system and other systems. He/she will work with the OIT academic technology team, project managers and team leads, SMU academic units, content authors, and external partners in order to support strategic goals. The specialist will successfully handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment, supporting goals that depend upon the performance of specific academic systems. S/he has a deep interest in on-line learning, in providing end user training and can take on new challenges. The specialist must contribute to a nimble, innovative, diverse team always on the forefront of e-learning technology and possibility.  This is currently a long-term temporary position with the potential to convert to a permanent position.


Essential Functions:
  • Serves as system administrator and subject-matter-expert for the utilization and growth of both the primary campus learning management system (Canvas) and for other digital course-delivery/e-learning technologies employed by SMU and by faculty. Provide support to faculty, staff, and students on issues related to the LMS and its integrated tools. 
  • Provides consultation and assistance on issues relating to end user support and training as as the development and maintenance of of self-service tools and resources. Consults with team members, stakeholders and faculty members about training and support. Collaborates to design, develop and maintain support content, support sites, resources and effective support tools.
  • Serves as escalation support (in person, by phone, and web-based remote support) for the campus' learning management systems and other e-learning systems. Creates, updates, prioritizes and tracks system issues using iSupport ticketing system. Work with Information Technology and Education departments to implement necessary technical changes or enhancements to the LMS.
  • Serves as primary technology system administrator, advocate and vendor contact for the utilization and administration of campus' curriculum assessment system and future integrations.
  • Evaluates external instructional technology toolkits, solutions and vendors as requested by SMU and various stakeholders with a goal of sustaining and continually improving campus LMS and e-learning capabilities for faculty students and academic units. Continually researches emerging technologies and asses their usefulness in academic settings. Monitor system usage and generate reports for assessment and data-driven decision making.
  • Serves as system administrator and advocate for the utilization and growth of Zoom video-conferencing system and that system's LMS integration.
  • Attends and facilitates information sessions and presentations to publicize and educate faculty members and students about instructional technology services and LMS capabilities provided by SMU. Schedules training sessions and tracks them in the LMS. Delivers training modules about LMS and campus e-learning systems as required.
  • Provides direct assistance to OIT academic team members, OIT integration team leads, SMU libraries, and the Center for Teaching Excellence regarding learning management system utilization, problem resolution, testing, and optimization. Works directly with course developers and instructional designers to facilitate adoption of instructional technologies.
  • Performs analysis and testing of campus instructional technology and learning management systems, drives fast bug-resolution and feature requests on LMS systems. Plans and supports migrations as required. Helps provide leadership and knowledge toward the continual evolution of learning management systems and on-line learning solutions available to higher education.
  • Serves as system administrator and advocate for the utilization and growth of Panopto system and that system's LMS integration.
  Qualifications   Education and Experience:

A bachelor's degree and three (3) years of relevant experience is required for this role.  A master's degree is preferred.  A focus in the area of information technology/systems, instructional technology, or related is desired.

Previous experience working in education, training, or online teaching with online learning platforms is required as is working with Canvas LMS.  Previous experience using a variety of distance education technology is helpful.  Must have familiarity with user roles, problems, maintenance of courses, and troubleshooting user problems in learning management systems.  Knowledge of acceptable teaching practices and best practices for delivering online instruction is preferred. 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

The ideal candidate will have strong analytical skills in identifying technical problems.  He/She will have a strong customer service orientation as well as a sense of urgency when assisting others.  Strong oral, written, interpersonal, and organizational skills are a must.  Should be proficient in communicating across all media types (phone, video, chat, email, etc.)

Candidate should have the ability to work and train in both PC, Macintosh, and Mobile environments and have fluency in technical systems relevant to enhancing academic operational efficiencies.  Strong analytical skills that lead to sound decision making is a must.  Basic knowledge in HTML/CSS is desired.

Proficiency in Canvas LMS is required.  Should have experience serving as an administrator of Canvas LMS and other key platforms that support learning, researching, evaluating, and deploying new technologies, including third-party tools that use LTI and API frameworks. Must be able to project and relationship manage; plan, design, market, and deliver Canvas and other instructional technology training opportunities; and collaborate with faculty and program offices in order to meet teaching and learning goals.

Physical/Environmental Demands:


  • Stand
  • Walk for long distances
  • Sit for long periods of time
Deadline to Apply:

 This position is open until filled.

Priority consideration will be given to those who apply by October 31, 2020.