SXU Becomes First University in U.S. to join CourseNetworking
~ Innovative Learning Management Tool allows Students to Showcase Projects ~
Chicago (February 15, 2017) – Saint Xavier University (SXU) and CourseNetworking, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, are both so excited to announce their academic partnership that allows SXU students an opportunity to showcase their academic strengths and level of expertise in their given area of interest. SXU is the first University in the United States to offer such an innovative learning management system (LMS) that might look like Facebook, but offers SXU students a chance to network and build a professional business image that will help prepare them for 21st Century employment opportunities.
SXU will utilize CourseNetworking on their Chicago and Orland Park campuses in an effort to complement the current learning management system (LMS), Canvas, by utilizing both the micro certification badges as well as e-Portfolio that support our efforts in a social learning based pedagogy.
Micro certification badges provide a solid validation of a students' knowledge, skills, and abilities that will be very visible on the site. The e-Portfolio allows students to showcase a collection of projects and reports on the site that provide evidence of their learning journey over a period of time.
"It's important we provide SXU students with a tool that allows them to better represent themselves as well as their strengths and talents in preparation for future employers and business opportunities," said Chris Zakrzewski, Ed.D., assistant provost for Technology and Instructional Innovation. "SXU students will also be exposed to students around the world as the site includes discussion boards in over 20 to 30 countries."
CourseNetworking Founder and CEO, Ali Jafari, said "We're very excited to work with one of the oldest liberal arts schools in the country. With this [partnership], together, we're implementing something that those in higher education have been talking about for a long time without action - using systematic micro certification, badges, and certified credentialing. This means graduating students can take a comprehensive, lifelong e-Portfolio URL loaded with certified badges and transcripts that showcase their abilities with them when they go. The difference between CourseNetworking and other learning management systems is its ability to highly engage students in formal, informal, and social learning," Jafari said. "That engagement stems from its concept: a learning management system that looks and feels like Facebook. With the CN Post LTI plug in tool, SXU can now facilitate engaging discussions, polls and more without having to leave their LMS site."
CourseNetworking was founded in 2011 and takes pride in being built by educators, for educators. Its recent launch of sales and marketing efforts in North America and its newer component, the CN Post LTI plug in tool, prompted the partnership with SXU. As more SXU students and faculty join the site and share their information, we anticipate the partnership between CourseNetworking and SXU to continue to evolve.
If you have been in a classroom around campus recently, you have seen a little card posted on the side of the classroom presenter console. These are "service cards," and CIDAT is using them as a means of letting the SXU community know when the room was last serviced. Our classrooms, labs and meeting spaces are all updated by a team of student technicians. We are extremely proud of our student staff and all that they contribute to our teams.
Quality Assurance student workers visit classrooms every two weeks on a rotation to install updates, de-clutter the computer, test the sound, Blu-ray player and network connection, and clean the surfaces of the instructor console. Once this task is complete the technician signs and dates a service card, and leaves it in the room. By doing this, we are able to better identify when a problem starts, while simultaneously communicating to the SXU community when we were last at the location. If any issues arise while the technician is conducting routine maintenance, it will be reported in an internal ticket, temporary equipment will be set, and one of our full-time staff will notify the instructors who teach in the location for.
Of course, you are always welcome to contact the Hub online service request page if a room is not meeting our standards of excellence, or if you have questions about academic technology -- our team is here to help you. Visit The Hub to view our services and knowledge base.
It's time to reshape the way Saint Xavier thinks about technology in fall 2015! Technology touches every corner of the University -- therefore, CIDAT has made some changes to better serve Saint Xavier students, faculty and staff.
CIDAT and IT have partnered to bring to the SXU community an online technology service catalog. We are so excited to introduce the Hub. The Hub services and solutions will provide the tools you need to better utilize campus technology.
What Can I Do There?
- Learn: Read articles from our knowledge base for quick answers to questions, or to learn more about services offered at SXU.
- Request: Login and request services from the service catalog.
- Speak Up: Give us your feedback so we can make our catalog work better for you!
In addition to this online center, the Hub Service Center will be located at the CIDAT reception desk, L-121. All inquiries for campus technology can be addressed here, including password reset, equipment reservations, requests for recording and so much more.
We will have a brand new phone number as well. When you need tech support, assistance can be provided by calling 773-298-HELP (773-298-4357). Patrons will be able to track the progress of a ticket via email and know exactly when the issue has been resolved.
The official release date for the Hub is August 10. CIDAT and IT will host info sessions at Technology Day with more information. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more fun photos, and updates on our progress with the Hub.
We’re proud to introduce Production Services to our CIDAT team. Some of you may be familiar with the services offered by the department, but most may know them best if you’ve ever requested a recording. Associate Director Michael Grimm and his team of student workers have expanded the scope far beyond recording events.
In the “new classroom,” faculty from art and design to mathematics are welcome to bring their ideas to life with production. Behind the scenes of this small but busy department projects are underway; most of which are being created by students of Saint Xavier. Here are some highlights:
- Faculty looking to “flip” their classroom can seek many creative opportunities. Video graphics, recorded lectures, and narrated PowerPoint are just some of the ways to introduce technology to their course. With the help of a Wacom tablet, course content can be better digitized and more accessible to students.
- Student worker Haley Simone is leading the production of an iPad app for the CIDAT team. This app will have a link for patron initiated reservations (coming soon), tutorials on equipment use featured in video and PDF formats, and an equipment database that will allow patrons to view our equipment and properly select what is needed for specific events.
- Grimm and his production student Caitlin Miernicki have been documenting the progress on the first floor library renovations. The finished product will be an awesome before-and-after video.
- The video gaming software is an exciting feature Grimm and his team are hoping to see used more often. This software lends a hand to more than just a class on creating video games. Whether you’re a nursing professor looking to create a simulation hospital game, or an education professor who wants to create a new methods to make education seem like playing games, Production Services wants you to stop by and brainstorm ways to better utilize this software.
Production Services is proud to say that their support for the University exceeds recording a lecture or event. They have grown to facilitate all parts of the educational process and will continue to grow with the support of the SXU community.
Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Information, Rob Huizenga has been working with the department to enhance SXU athletics:
"With the help of Michael Grimm and the Saint Xavier Production Services Department, Cougar Athletics has advanced to the next level in terms of the services we can offer to our fans and supporters. We now can bring the games to the world via their video streaming and now everyone can watch our talented student-athletes play. They are always looking to upgrade their services and find ways to improve to ensure their viewers are always getting a quality product. As someone who works in athletics, I have seen a lot of great teams and we definitely have one in SXU Production Services!"
Jen Quinlan, Facility Manager for the Shannon Athletic Center has also worked with Grimm and Production Services to create online course content:
“For the past two years the Shannon Center has offered Nutrition Counseling Programs. This year, my staff and I had the idea of offering these classes online so that more people can sign up and participate in this wonderful program. I spoke to Mike Grimm from Productions Services and he said his department can videotape and edit all of the classes. I was very impressed with how professional the whole set up was to videotape our nutritionist. The process was extremely smooth and I look forward to working with this department in the near future.”
With so many projects going on simultaneously, you’d be surprised to find that the entire department is run by one full-time staff member and eight student workers. Production Services encourages students interested in working in communication, art, or production to look into on-campus work in Production Services to gain real-world experience in creating graphics and productions, video editing, app making, and any part of the production process.
Winter has come to Chicago—a time for layers of knitted scarves and puffy coats, picturesque snowy scenes, and cups of coffee to wake and warm. Every year I have to make an adjustment, reminding myself to make room in my morning routine to scrape the ice from my windshield, to drive a little slower for safety, and to brace for the harsh, biting winds that are a Chicago winter.
But there will be some good to come this winter, in particular all of the great technology transformations coming to Saint Xavier. The Center for Instructional Design and Academic Technology, along with Media Services, Production Services, and the Title III office are working together towards a common goal for the University, one that will involve some adjustments for the SXU community. Our staff welcomes students, faculty, and staff to embrace technology and new media at Saint Xavier with an open mind and a willingness to adapt.
In the past year, CIDAT merged with Media Services, and from this merge created a third department—Production Services. Along with Title III we are dedicated to creating an environment where this University’s newest generations of learners are fully engaged in their studies. This endeavor can be achieved in the following ways:
- The iPad initiative—offering iPads and app money for students and faculty to interact with each other in a “virtual classroom.” Recently, fourteen 3rd Generation iPads were distributed to Saint Xavier faculty, along with a $100 app voucher. Additionally, six other faculty members were given $300 app vouchers for iPads they currently own.
- ShareStream—software that works with MyCourses to allow faculty to post videos, narrate their PowerPoint presentations, and share vital information with their students. This software will allow professors to expand the ways they are able to involve their students.
- One-on-one training—we believe that no two educators are the same. While workshops may do some good, one-on-one training will help our faculty be the best educators they can be. CIDAT will continue to host workshops and conferences, such as our annual Technology Day, but we welcome faculty to experience a more custom training with a CIDAT or Media Services staff member.
- Classroom “makeovers”—Saint Xavier classrooms are becoming “smarter.” CIDAT and Media Services are accomplishing this through new smart classroom installations. In order to improve learning facilities, most of the classrooms at Saint Xavier contain Mac/PC dual-boot computers, document cameras, Blu-ray players, and Smart Podium pens for the desktop computer.
Change is difficult, and we understand too well that technology changes as quickly as the seasons. It is our hope that our learning community will be encouraged to embrace technology as part of education.
For more updates on what’s new in CIDAT, visit this page each month or stop by the CIDAT office for more information.