Monthly Archives: October 2012

Ivy League Education Free on the Web

This 7-minute BBC video shows the story of Sebastian Thrun, the Stanford professor behind Udacity, a MOOC provider. The piece shows how Thrun has honed self-paced, student-centered learning through delivery that is engaging and reinforcing, and shows how such learning can complement face-to-face instruction.

Redesign Institute Helps Faculty Bring Their Courses Online

Without a doubt, the demand for online education continues to grow. “Students are asking for the ability to access their class materials anywhere, anytime,” says Deone Zell, Senior Director of Academic Technology at CSUN. “We hear this over and over.”

“But it’s a myth that you can just take a face-to-face class and throw it online. Hybrid and online classes actually take much more planning and management than face-to-face classes,” she said.

To help CSUN faculty members address this need, in June 2012 Academic Technology hosted a two-week Redesign Institute where Faculty Technology Center staff and guest presenters worked side-by-side with 14 faculty members from multiple departments to transform their courses for hybrid or online delivery using a set of seven quality principles.

“Designing classes with technology in mind isn’t about chasing the latest trend; it’s about effectively educating the modern college student,” Zell points out. “Classes that incorporate technology are evolving from a convenience into an expectation.”

Continue reading Your Own Personal Technology Tutor

When you need to learn a new computer program, do you read a manual?  Search Google and then sift through the results? Wouldn’t it just be great if all the answers and tutorials were available in one website that showed you how to do it?

Say hello to CSUN faculty and staff log in).

With access funded by Information Technology, offers CSUN faculty and staff more than 1,460 online courses and 82,000 tutorials for myriad aspects of technology an educator is likely to encounter. More are being added every day. Benefits include:

  • Wide range of comprehensive tutorials. Popular training videos include Moodle, WordPress, Microsoft Office and the Adobe Suite. You can even learn to master hardware such as digital SLR cameras, smartphones and Internet routers. View a sample tutorial video.
  • Accessible anywhere, anytime. Courses are available 24/7 to any faculty or staff member with an Internet connection. The mobile version of the website works on Android and Apple smartphones, and an app is available for iPhones and iPads. Every tutorial video is paired with a transcript, and many of them feature closed captioning for users who would like to follow along with a text version.
  • Convenient organization and bookmarks. With, you can set up a queue of tutorial videos to learn around your schedule. You can bookmark videos you haven’t finished yet with a point-and-click. Answers are quick and succinct—courses on are broken up into small sections for users who need immediate answers to specific questions.

Getting started with is simple. Visit and sign in with your CSUN user ID and password for complete access to all of the site’s resources. Faculty members with questions can call the IT Help Center at (818) 677-1400 or visit the website.

Could Competency-Based Education Uproot the Credit Hour?

The higher education landscape is changing fast. Next up could be the arrival of competency-based education, which could eventually challenge the credit hour. For more, read this article from Inside Higher Ed as well as this report from the New America Foundation called Cracking the Credit Hour.  Certainly MOOCs will also play a role — read the NY Times article on how Colorado State University decided to accept credit for online classes.

Apply to the 2013 Redesign Institute

The second Course Redesign Institute, to be held in Summer 2013, will guide faculty through the process of redesigning their face-to-face course for hybrid or online delivery. Apply now by filling out the Application form. The deadline is December 1, and faculty will be notified in early Spring 2013.