Academic Technology - About

Last Updated: 02/09/2016

Our mission

Our mission is to design experiences that solve high-impact learning problems. With the support of University of Colorado Boulder leadership, we collaborate with the campus community to develop scalable and sustainable innovations that realize the university’s strategic goals. 

Why we do it

The Academic Technology Design Team solves high-impact learning problems. Our efforts are supported by the values of innovation, impact, and inclusion and are in alignment with the goals of OIT, the CU Chancellor’s Office, and the Regents of the State of Colorado. 

The quality of teaching and learning matters

  • Retention: Support quality research and teaching; retain good students, teachers, and researchers.
  • Reputation: “effectively maintaining and advancing CU Boulder's reputation as a comprehensive national research university.”
  • Promote access and diversity (economic, political, geographic, cultural, intellectual, and philosophical).
  • Support and encourage collaboration amongst departments and campuses, and between the university and other educational institutions to improve our communities.
  • OIT will be a nationally recognized center of excellence in leveraging information technology to stimulate learning and discovery in global context.
  • Achieve 90%+ Customer Satisfaction.

Innovation matters

  • Transform how we teach, discover, and share knowledge.
  • Build a 21st-century learning environment through collaborative problem solving of the greatest challenges in the sciences, arts, and humanities.
  • Encourage and support innovation and entrepreneurship at all levels of the university including research and creative activities.
  • Improve efficiency, agility, and focus of OIT to better serve the campus.

Impact matters

  • Pursue knowledge in service to Colorado, the nation, and the world.
  • Revenue, Persistence, and Reputation.

Inclusion matters

  • Promote diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and intellectual endeavors/
  • Promote access and diversity (economic, political, geographic, cultural, intellectual, and philosophical).

How we do it

Our project process consists of 3 main phases and a scaffolding plan.

Phase 1: Discovery

During this phase, we conduct a preliminary investigation into the problem. This involves an initial fact-finding meeting, performing a problem and stakeholder analysis, a needs assessment, formulating the problem, and establishing the project team. At this phase, we conduct a tuning protocol that helps us gather a lot of the information we need to move forward with and provides us with the opportunity to receive initial and valuable feedback from you, the team, and different stakeholders. 

For it to be an official OIT project, (i.e., for you to receive ATDT support) we would move forward with a project charter. 

Phase 2: Experimentation

During this phase, the project team puts the information gathered to use and designs, pilots, and assesses different prototypes—a process known as rapid prototyping. We also conduct a pre-mortem; an activity where we talk about all the things that could go wrong with this project and brainstorm safeguards. All throughout this phase, we keep you and other stakeholders informed about the status of the project. This could be through email, phone calls, or meetings. We think of you as an active participant and partner in the project. 

At the end of this phase, we deploy a prototype and put measures in place to assess its success. 

Phase 3: Transition

During this phase, and after your prototype has been launched, we transition it to your care. We also reflect on the project and assess your satisfaction in working with us. 

At the end of this phase, we invite you and stakeholders to a post-mortem session where we wrap-up the project, share interesting findings, and discuss lessons learned. The project team then writes a brief project report and shares it with the public. 


Since our team prototypes solutions that ultimately are owned and run by you, we have a scaffolding plan built into each project. This allows our clients to ultimately take control of the prototype when the project is completed.