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Faculty Resource Lab has new name,
new manager, and soon, a new site
December 7, 1998

The Faculty Resource Lab is going through some changes: already it has a new name and a new manager, and soon it will also have a new location.

Designed to help faculty and teaching assistants use technology in their teaching, the lab is now part of the Institute for Teaching and Learning.

Currently located in room M036 in the Computer Center, it will move to room 136A in Homer Babbidge Library by the end of the semester.

Its new name is The Instructional Resource Center and its new manager is Kim Chambers.

Keith Barker, director of the Institute for Teaching and Learning, sees the new location as an opportunity for more people to use the service. "The move to the library will bring the center closer to faculty in the arts and humanities, who might not have gone to the Math/Science Building," he says.

The name change, he adds, better fits the goals of the center: "This isn't just a lab space where people can go and work. It is a center for interchange, where faculty can get not only technological advice, but also advice about teaching methodology."

The Institute for Teaching and Learning now has the Media Center (UCIMT) and the Instructional Resource Center under its umbrella, and Barker says there will be close cooperation between the people working in these two units to help faculty with their teaching and presentations. "I'm trying to provide teams of support," he says.

"If a faculty member developing a particular course came to the Instructional Resource Center and wanted to learn how to use PowerPoint, but also wanted to do some multimedia and video, Kim and I would put together a team to enable that to happen," Barker says.

Chambers has worked at UConn since 1982 in the Division of Student Affairs, where he held a variety of positions, most recently as academic coordinator in the Department of Residential Life.

He has three degrees from the University of Florida: a B.A. in psychology, a master's degree in counselor education and a specialist degree in education. He earned his Ph.D. in family studies from UConn in 1995.

The center is currently staffed by Chambers and two graduate students but it may need to expand in the future, "as we advertise the availability of the IRC and the services we offer," Chambers says.

Staff members help faculty use technology in their teaching, either to expand on what they are already doing, to do something different, or just to get their feet wet, he says. "Faculty members use technology in teaching in a variety of ways - some use it very little, if at all, and others use it extensively."

The IRC staff can help faculty with PowerPoint presentations, putting presentations onto CDs, displaying classroom materials on the World Wide Web, and using Adobe Photoshop to edit pictures. "We give faculty hands-on experiences to help them figure out what they want to do," Chambers says, "and basic instructions on how to do it."

To contact the Instructional Resource Center call (860) 486-5052 or check out the website at

Sherry Fisher