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About VPTL

Lytics Lab Barnum

The Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (VPTL) promotes and advances the vibrant, intellectual endeavor of teaching and learning at Stanford.

VPTL works to enrich the depth and range of Stanford learning experiences, leverages digital technology to make Stanford research and scholarship more broadly accessible beyond campus, and supports the growing interest in extended educational programs, which provide meaningful learning opportunities to additional audiences around the world.

VPTL team members collaborate with faculty and scholars in all of Stanford’s schools, research centers and labs, and institutes such as "the d.school" (the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design)—as well as with colleagues in administrative units that serve the university’s undergraduate and graduate students, including the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs. Together we are engaged in a university-wide effort to accelerate advances in teaching and learning.
 
Our goal is to reach out to every corner of campus, to seed inquiry and help spur innovation. In 2015-16, we’re hosting a collaborative series of events to exchange ideas called the Year of Learning. We also offer workshops and presentations to share best practices and research, and comprehensive programs like the Course Design Institute — a collaborative, immersive environment where faculty can design a new course or modify an existing course that is optimized for student engagement and learning. We assist undergraduates through essential learning support services, like tutoring and academic skills coaching, and graduate students through mentoring.   
 
Our integration of learning spaces spans classrooms, labs, computing spaces, and digital learning environments.  We have broad responsibility for designing, operating and sustaining Stanford’s population of about 185 general assignment classrooms and about 100 other technology-rich learning spaces in key central locations, as well as learning and computing spaces in student residences.
 
In 2015-16, VPTL team members transitioned faculty and students to a new, university-wide a new learning management system, Canvas.  Similarly, VPTL engineers continue to collaborate on the Open edX platform developed by Harvard and MIT. The Open edX platform was designed to support large-scale public courses, but it is also well suited for smaller, on-campus courses. VPTL maintains Stanford’s instances called SUClass and Lagunita, which are just two of the digital learning environments that offer Stanford faculty and instructors the flexibility to develop new courses and learning modules that can transform the classroom experience of Stanford students, and extend learning opportunitites beyond campus.
 
Through our Digital Learning initiative  and Annual Grant Program, VPTL has helped more than 330 Stanford professors, lecturers, and researchers from all seven schools produce 720 online offerings representing more than 200 distinct online courses that have reached more than 2.5 million learners across the globe through Stanford Online
 

VPTL was established in December 2014, combining Academic Computing Services, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Office of the Vice Provost for Online Learning, and in 2015, the Classroom Technology Group within the Office of the Registrar.  By operating as one organization, we offer our faculty, graduate students and undergraduates a coordinated, sustainable approach to advancing teaching and learning that is accelerating innovation at Stanford.