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Learning Technologies

Academic Technology supports a number of software and hardware tools and techniques to assist faculty in successfully creating technology-supported learning environments. The Resource Guide outlines many of the options for using technology in course development. Many of these tools are available at no charge or at a reduced rate.

In addition, techniques for using technology in the curriculum to enable students to realize their educational goals are outlined. In keeping with the University’s first priority to promote the welfare and intellectual progress of students, techniques are offered in the use of technology to provide an inclusive, cooperative community for learners. The goal of providing an accessible learning environment, which is available to all students, is part of that effort and is in alignment with the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI).


Blog is short for web log. It is an online site that displays postings in chronological order. A typical blog combines text, images, links to other blogs and web pages, and other media related to its topic. Blogs are easy to create and require no specialized knowledge of web programming. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Read more about blogs.


Captioning is the process of creating words to display a transcription of the audio portion of the program as it occurs. There are many different tools to create captions. The University supports DocSoft for captioning which uses speech recognition to create transcriptions. Speaker training is recommended with DocSoft for optimal results. Another option for captioning is to use Automatic Sync for a negotiated fee through the CSU. This service uses live transcriptionists so the accuracy is very high. Read more about captioning.


Collaborate is the web conferencing tool supported by the university. Formerly called "Elluminate," Blackboard Collaborate can be used to create an online classroom in real time with voice–over IP, talking head, application sharing, PowerPoint, video, web tours, closed captioning, and more. Collaborate sessions can be archived to create tutorials that students can access on demand. Read more about Collaborate


An eText is digital version of a textbook or instructional materials that can be either converted from existing print content or created as “born digital” content that never existed in a print format. At CSUN faculty are creating teaching materials, often including multimedia, interactive exercises, and embedded links to customize content for efficient and effective learning while reducing the cost of books for our students. Read more about eTexts.

Learning Analytics

Learning Analytics is the use of data to analyze student progress and performance, predict future performance, and advise student learning. Moodle has powerful learning analytic tools available to enable faculty to analyze student behaviors and improve delivery of instructional materials. In addition to logs and reports, Moodle’s features allow faculty to control access to activities based on set criteria and allow students to visually track their progress. Moodle functionality can also monitor and track students using a set of criteria and standards configured by the instructor. These “rules” are triggered by certain events, conditions or actions within the course which then activates a predetermined action. Read more about Learning Analytics.

Learning Management System

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a courseware system designed to support teaching and learning in an online environment. Learning Management Systems are also sometimes referred to as Course Management Systems (CMS) or Virtual Learning Environments (VLE). Following a year–long evaluation, the University decided to adopt Moodle as its campus supported learning management system. 

Lecture Capture

Lecture Capture - Echo 360 Personal Capture

Echo 360 Personal Capture is an application that makes it easy to record your computer screen, audio and webcam video. With this technology you can create video lectures for integration in online and hybrid classes or capture your on-campus lectures so that your students can “rewind” your lecture to review the content. Read more about Personal Capture.

Lecture Capture - Echo 360 Classroom Capture

Echo 360 Classroom Capture allows faculty to record their classroom lectures--including audio, video and computer screen capture. With this technology your classroom lecture can be scheduled to record automatically for integration in online and hybrid classes or capture your on-campus lectures so that your students can “rewind” your lecture to review the content. Read more about Classroom Capture.

Media Sharing

Media-sharing is done through sites that allow user contributed media. Common media-sharing includes podcasts for audio, YouTube for video and Flickr for photography. Media-sharing can be used a number of ways for educational activities. For instance, the instructor can create instructional materials and post them for students to view. Or students could be required to create assignments and post those. Media-sharing sites can be a rich resource for existing supplemental materials. Instructors can point students to these resources or as an example, give their students the assignment to locate and share back resources they find. Furthermore, the commenting feature of most media-sharing sites promotes communication and community building.


Moodle is an open source Learning Management System (LMS). The word Moodle is an acronym for modular object oriented dynamic learning environment. It contains activities and resources to support teaching and learning in an online environment. Currently, the University uses Moodle version 2 as its campus supported learning management system. Read more about Moodle.


A podcast is a series of digital audio or video media files. These are typically subscribed to via a RSS feed but they can also be downloaded directly. The term comes from the popular portable media device in which these files are played - the iPod. However, they can be played on many different devices and computers. The term combines iPod and broadcast to form podcast. A simple way to think of a podcast is that it is like a weekly radio (video) "show." A simple podcast can be an audio recording of lecture that is distributed via the web and downloaded by students.


Respondus is a Windows-based authoring tool that makes it easy to create and manage exams for Moodle and other learning systems. Read more about Respondus.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is a way to store and organize web resources which are then searchable. Common social bookmarking services include Delicious, Furl and Ma.gnolia. They are useful in creating shared reading and resource lists. In addition, by tagging sites the community of users are building a folksonomy – a shared language of keywords. 

Social Networking

Social networking is a way for people with shared interests or friends to connect. Common social networking sites include MySpace which is mostly for teens, Facebook which is popular among college students, LinkedIn which is a professional networking site and Ning which allows users to create their own social network.


With SoftChalk you can create interactive web–based course materials. Online lessons can include games, quizzes, pop–up glossaries, audio, and video. Read more about SoftChalk

Student Response Systems (Clickers)

Clickers are student response systems used to foster interaction with students in the classroom. Students use response pads to reply to faculty questions. Results are recorded in a "grade book" and can be displayed by the instructor in real time. Read more about Clickers


StudyMate lets instructors develop Flash-based activities and games that can be created and embedded in Moodle or online, without having to know Flash programming or HTML. Read more about StudyMate


Turnitin is an online plagiarism prevention tool, which screens student work against a digital database of publications, papers and websites. The university provides Turnitin accounts for faculty to use in their courses. Read more about Turnitin

Universal Design

According to the Center for Universal Design, Universal Design "is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design." Creating accessible universally designed learning environments is an important aspect of providing students with an environment in which they can learn. Blending Accessibility Standards and Open Standards in a structured learning environment is based on the principles of Universal Design.

Web Conferencing

Web Conferencing is used to remotely conduct live synchronous activities via an online interface. Web Conferencing is sometimes referred to as a "webinars" or "webcasts". The web conferencing tool supported by the university is Collaborate.

Web 2.0 Technologies

Web 2.0 is buzz word that refers to newer web technologies that emphasize user created content, sharing and collaborating, and socializing and networking. Examples of some web 2.0 technologies are: Blogs, Wikis, Media Sharing and Social Bookmarking and Networking (referenced above).


Wiki-wiki is the Hawaiian word for quick and refers to the quick manner in which a wiki can be created and edited. A wiki is a collaborative website whose content can be edited by anyone who has access to it. Some wiki sites allow for versioning so it is possible to track changes. One of the best-known examples of a wiki is Wikipedia. Examples of some common wiki services include: PBwiki, MediaWiki, Wikispaces and wetpaint.