The Academic Technology Advisory Council (ATAC) is the OneIT governance council responsible for the Teaching & Learning domain. ATAC assists CIO Steve Fleagle and the Provost’s Office in setting directions and priorities for the use of teaching and learning technology needs at the University of Iowa.


To help council members create a strategic plan for campus academic technology needs, ATAC hosts an annual Student Technology Panel Discussion during the spring semester.


Maggie Jesse, Senior Director of the Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology, facilitates the student panel discussion, asking questions such as, “How prepared were you to use the technology available on your first day on campus, and how well did the technology match your expectations?” and, “Is there any particular technology or application that you wish your professors would utilize?”


The panel is comprised of first-year to graduate students from a variety of major areas of study.


The main takeaways from the 2018 panel discussion include:


  • This group of students was quite pleased with technology opportunities and the support available to them here at Iowa, particularly in comparison to their high school experience or support at previous universities.
  • All students said they carry their personal computing devices on a daily basis and all but one said they regularly use the devices during class time. For example, they type notes on the PowerPoint slide handouts, and search for deeper understanding of discussion points or more information. 
  • Use of electronic textbooks and digital content continues to gain acceptance, but most students still appreciate having the option of paper-based texts as well.
  • Students reported interest in more engaged pedagogies such as TILE and flipped-classroom models.
  • Students were interested in how their own data might be presented to them to support their own learning.
  • Lecture capture and additional content has become an expectation and is regularly used by students at all levels.
  • They gave UI faculty high grades (average was B+ to A-) for their knowledge and use of technology in teaching.


Be sure to attend next year’s ATAC Student Panel discussion to keep up with the ever-changing technology needs and feedback from students. More information about the February 2019 panel will be posted on the Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology events page