In 2013, at the invitation of President Dianne F. Harrison, California State University, Northridge launched the myCSUNtablet initiative, a one-to-one tablet deployment with the goals of increasing student learning and engagement, improving the quality of teaching materials, and decreasing cost. The first tablet classes were taught in Fall 2013. By Spring 2015, more than 120 instructors are teaching tablet classes in eight departments and enrollment has reached a total of 8,279. In January 2015, myCSUNtablet was recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program. Download an iBook about the initiative that documents the rollout of the program and reviews the results. Apple subsequently renewed myCSUNtablet's designation as a distinguished program for two additional years, 2016-2018.
In support of the myCSUNtablet initiative, participating faculty learn with instructional designers and experienced faculty mentors about innovative use of tablet technologies integrated with pedagogy, creative use of authoring tools, and accessible design. CSUN launched a parallel eText initiative to help faculty adopt, assemble, and create electronic materials. There are currently over 60 faculty-authored eTexts in production, many of which are free to students and used in tablet classes. CSUN’s tablet initiative is unique in a number of ways, most notably the intentional goals of increasing student engagement using a one-to-one tablet deployment and improved quality of teaching materials together with the goal to reduce costs for students. In addition, the myCSUNtablet initiative has cross-campus commitment of leaders, a deliberate focus on ADA accessibility, the inclusion of tablets for advising and athletes, significant expansion of related tablet professional development for faculty and the flourishing development of digital content for mobile delivery.
Currently, seven departments regularly offer iPad-designated courses where students and instructors use tablets in the classroom:
- Health Sciences
- Liberal Studies
- Physical Therapy
- Special Education
In addition, many faculty and staff across campus are using tablets to present lecture material wirelessly or to advise students in a more mobile and seamless manner.
The IT Vision@2017 highlights eLearning and mobile technologies among its top priorities. Academic plans and IT Vision@2015 anticipated a widening deployment of portable devices and cloud technology for teaching and learning. Faculty already are using such strategies to engage students with different styles and paces for learning. CSUN students are urban commuters, tech-savvy and on tight budgets. Portability, cost control, and media-enriched content that can be personalized, are their common expectations.
Many companies make tablets; several produce and solicit applications but few have thought as holistically as Apple. They are sensitive to users’ preferences and have created a system that integrates devices, applications, authoring tools, repositories, and consultation. We at CSUN can benefit from progressive, coherent thinking as we re-think course design and delivery.
myCSUNtablet is now in its fifth year and the initial results regarding its impact on teaching and learning are promising. Read more about the initiative by downloading an iBook that documents the rollout of the program and reviews the results.