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Learning Technologies

There are many eLearning strategies and tools that you can use to enhance your teaching and learning. Many of these tools are available at no or low charge. More strategies are provided in the eLearning Essentials Canvas site. Contact the Faculty Technology Center at ftc@csun.edu to be enrolled or for any additional questions.

Blogs

A blog, short for web log, is a website 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 feature of many blogs.

There are a number of free blog services including Blogger, WordPress and LiveJournal, which also provide training material. This article from Inside Higher Ed provides additional ideas for using blogs as an educational resource.

Camtasia

Camtasia is a powerful software program that can capture any combination of your computer’s audio, screen, and webcam, and then lets you edit and annotate your recording. Combine your screencaptures with other videos, music, and images to create dynamic lecture videos, "how-to" tutorials, or other video presentations. Read more about Camtasia.

Canvas

Canvas is a learning management system that provides the ability to accept and grade assignments, conduct discussions, administer quizzes and exams, store and organize course resources, communicate with students, and more. Canvas has multiple grading tools including rubrics, audio/video feedback, and a dedicated grading app. Students can access your course on any computer or device in a web browser or through the mobile app. Read more about Canvas.

Captioning

Captioning is the process of transcribing the audio portion of a video program and allowing the text to appear on screen as the video occurs. Read more about captioning.

eTexts

An eText is digital version of a textbook or other instructional material. eTexts often include multimedia, interactive exercises, to customize content for efficient and effective learning while reducing the cost of books for students. 

Learn more about various options for creating eTexts and eLessons in the self-paced eLearning Essentials course for faculty. Email the Faculty Technology Center for access. 

Learning Analytics

Learning Analytics is the use of data to analyze student progress and performance, predict future performance, and advise student learning. Canvas offers tools and features that enable faculty to analyze student behaviors and improve delivery of instructional materials. Course statistics can be used to monitor student access to activities and resources in your course. Activity completion can be set for course assignments and resources to give students a clearer picture of their progress in a course and set prerequisites to restrict access. The gradebook provides faculty with tools to contact students according to certain criteria.

The Faculty Technology Center offers a self-paced, online workshop course where you can learn more about how to use Canvas tools and features to track student access and progress. Self-enroll using this link to the Canvas course.

Lecture Capture and Lecture Creation

Lecture Capture - How it works

In classroom lecture capture enables the recording of all audio and video sources used in the room (see list below). Video from a computer (Windows or Mac), laptop, or document camera connected to the podium in the room will be recorded, along with any audio from these sources. Lecture capture will also record any audio picked up by either the wireless microphone or microphone built into the podium.

Lecture Capture - Classroom Capture

Classroom Capture, available in select lecture halls and rooms on campus, 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. For a list of rooms that have Lecture Capture available, please visit the Lecture Capture page. 

Lecture Creation - Camtasia

In rooms that do not have built-in lecture capture and/or anywhere outside of the classroom, faculty can use software on their Macs or PCs to capture and create video lectures. YouTube and Camtasia are the recommended options; Camtasia can be downloaded from the CSUN Software Downloads page. 

Photos and Graphics

Adding imagery to your course materials can help illustrate complex concepts and add visual interest. There are many free options for finding or creating your own photos and graphics. For example, Canvas features a built-in search of free-to-use images from the Flickr photo-sharing website.

Learn more about various options for finding and creating digital content in the self-paced eLearning Essentials course for faculty. Email the Faculty Technology Center for access. 

Podcasting

A podcast is a series of audio files that students can download to their device or stream via the web using a site such as Soundcloud. Think of a podcast as a weekly radio "show." A simple way to use a podcast as a learning material is to make an audio recording of your lecture that students can download or stream.

Portfolium

Portfolium is CSUN’s electronic portfolio (ePortfolio) network for students, alumni and faculty. Portfolium can be used to showcase work as an electronic resume as well as a platform to connect to fellow Matadors and network with companies for jobs. Read more about Portfolium at CSUN.

Respondus

Respondus is a Windows-based authoring tool that makes it easy to create and manage exams for Canvas and other learning management systems. To get Respondus, visit the CSUN Software Downloads page.

Snagit

Snagit is a tool that helps you capture images and videos of your computer screen for the purpose of tutorials, instructions and more. Learn about what Snagit can do and how to download it.

Social Media

Social media are web-based applications that enable users with shared interests to connect and communicate. You can use social media in strategic ways to maximize learning and facilitate engagement. These include offering students a backchannel where they can ask questions and discuss instructional material, promoting work by individual students or the entire class, and demonstrating real-world applications through measurable impact. 

Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are popular social media platforms Consider what platform will accomplish your goals. Students are already consumers of social media; instead turn them into creators and curators of information and content.

Student Response Systems (Clickers)

Clickers are student response systems used to foster interaction with students in the classroom. Students use response pads, hardware called “clickers”, to reply to faculty questions. Results are recorded in a "grade book" and can be displayed by the instructor in real time. Visit the Turning Technologies website for tutorials, online training, best practices, case studies and presentations. The Support area has user guides and information on LMS integration.

Alternatives to physical clicker devices include web or app-based tools like PollEverywhere and Socrative.

StudyMate

StudyMate provides a drill-and-practice tool for studying facts and vocabulary and is integrated into Canvas. Create questions and answers, and let the student select the study format, including games and crossword puzzles. They can even download the app for their mobile device. You can also have students create their own questions and answers.

For help setting up StudyMate in your Canvas course, see the Instructor Guide for using StudyMate within Canvas.

Turnitin

Turnitin is an online plagiarism detection tool, which screens student work against a digital database of publications, papers, and websites. In addition to plagiarism checking, Turnitin offers various grading tools for annotating and commenting on student work. Turnitin is available as an external tool that can be embedded within assignments in a Canvas course.

To learn how to set up and grade Turnitin assignments within Canvas, visit this Instructor Guide on the Turnitin website.

If you have additional questions or would like to use Turnitin independently of Canvas, please contact the Faculty Technology Center.

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.

Videos

Instructional videos are a valuable teaching tool in and out of the classroom. Using tools like Camtasia, YouTube, and other options, faculty can create or find digital videos to share with their students.

To learn more, see the sections on Finding and Creating Digital Content in eLearning Essentials, a Canvas course for faculty. Email the Faculty Technology Center for access. 

For in-person training on the CSUN resources available for instructional video production, attend a Teaching with Video workshop at the Faculty Technology Center; see the IT workshop calendar for upcoming dates.

Zoom (Video and 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 Zoom.