The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) has annually hosted the Faculty Summer Institute on Learning Technologies (FSI) since May of 1997. Begun as a HECA Grant initiative, this three-day institute focuses on issues related to various aspects of implementing instructional technologies into the traditional and virtual classrooms. FSI provides a forum for faculty to work with colleagues from other departments across NIU as well as with faculty members from the other participating state institutions and community colleges.
FSI offers both presentation and hands-on opportunities throughout the week. The presentation/discussion sessions provide participants with information about important issues that impact teaching and learning with technology. The mix of hands-on workshops, keynote presentations, and networking opportunities provide an opportunity for attendees to explore a variety of topics, including pedagogical issues of online teaching and practice with specific software that augments teaching with the Internet.
Networking is a main component and benefit of FSI. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and unique teaching methods with others, both in person and virtually. There are many opportunities for face-to-face networking during the conference with receptions, lunches, dinners, and sessions. Attendees are also encouraged to spread the word virtually before, during, and after the conference via Twitter, Facebook, and any other social networking site(s). Participants are asked to use the hash tag #fsi2014 in their virtual communications.