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Instructional Support

START Services Overview

START Team members working togetherSince March 2004, OIT has provided the Student Technology Assistants for Research and Teaching (START) Program as an extension of its training and support to UTK faculty. The START team is comprised of tech-savvy students assigned to assist faculty with the creation of computer-based materials and to provide technical support to enhance courses taught on the Knoxville campus of The University of Tennessee. An Instructional Designer coordinates the hiring and training of Team members and assigns them to projects according to their skill set and faculty requests.

Course Material Development

UTK Faculty members may submit a request for a START Team member to assist with the development of course materials including lecture presentations, digital image editing, website design, instructional tutorials, video creation and editing, data entry, podcast creation, and converting/formatting content for electronic delivery.

Technology-Enhanced Classroom Support

The START Team can train individuals or groups to use the equipment available in the OIT-sponsored Technology-Enhanced Classrooms. The Practice Presentation Room, located in Commons North in John C. Hodges Library, contains all the equipment available in a Technology-Enhanced Classroom:  Cynap system, document camera, DVD-VCR unit, and projector. It also includes a computer and monitor along with rear and forward-facing cameras for videoconferencing via Zoom software. To reserve the Practice Presentation Room or the Martha L. King small-group study room for training, practice, or a meeting space, use the Commons Reservation Form.

Learn more about The Commons


The research component of the START program was launched in January 2007 to assist faculty in integrating the results of current research in their instructional materials, and showcasing and disseminating their research via web-based resources. START Team members engage in faculty-undergraduate collaboration and partnerships with faculty researchers. Faculty members can request an undergraduate student partner to collaborate on designing a website or multi-media, digital documentation that highlights the faculty member’s research while the student gains an understanding and appreciation for scholarly research. Working with OIT Instructional designers and OIT statisticians, START Team members can also assist with designing and implementing basic surveys or other instruments which target the impact of teaching practices and technology integration on learning outcomes.

Learn more about START’s research assistance

START Program Benefits

  • Students receive professional skills, technology skills, and 10-20 hrs/wk employment while serving the needs of UT faculty and students and improving the educational experience for all.
  • Faculty receive the benefit of access to instructional technology support services, resulting in increased use of course websites, modules and instructor-created electronic resources, thereby enhancing the educational opportunities and experiences for all UT students.
  • Faculty and students receive assistance in TEC classrooms, resulting in less lost class time and increased benefit from efficient utilization of limited contact hours.

Faculty members may visit the OIT’s webpage and request the services of a START Team member via our Request for Services form