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AT Partners with U100 Instructor on Digital Literacy Project

January 19, 2023

CSUN Academic Technology (AT) has been a leader in the efforts to increase the digital literacy skills of our students. This fall, AT partnered with Prof. Amber Norwood, English and Academic First Year Experience Departments, and her U100 class on a community-based learning projectAccording to the results of the latest IT Student Survey, 23% of students learn about technology resources from other students, and the effectiveness of this peer-to-peer communication has been demonstrated through our DEIG project where student-created tutorials shared on social media quickly increased awareness and use of technology services

To broaden the peer-to peer communication channel and to meet the requirement for community-based learning, Prof Norwood’s students had to create short videos aimed at other CSUN students that will be posted online by ATThe U100 students were given a list of possible topics including how to connect to Eduroam, setting up Duo for multi-factor authentication, and how to use features in Canvas. The videos the U100 students created highlighted different technology resources available on campus, practical technology tips, and extended to other helpful topics like buying a parking pass online or how to use Microsoft Immersive Reader.

Prof. Norwood found that one of the most challenging parts of the project was the assumption that the students would know how to make social media-style video content. Students needed more support on the actual creation of the video, which was another illustration that students’ digital literacy skills should not be taken for grantedTo help with those skills, Academic Technology’s Digital Equity Student Assistants, Madison Cabrera and Heather Ebell, visited Prof. Norwood’s class and helped students on the basics of graphic design and video production.

“The students were proud of what they accomplished. They shared the work with each other and with the rest of the freshmen at the Freshman Celebration,” Amber noted. “And ultimately, they enjoyed the idea that the work they did might one day be used for other students. I think that motivated their success in a lot of ways.”

Future goals for the project include expanding the variety of topics covered by the student-created content, as well as utilizing them as a resource for the infotech_csun student-facing YouTube channel.