SXU Becomes First University in U.S. to join CourseNetworking
Saint Xavier University (SXU) and CourseNetworking 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, former 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 ePortfolio 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, SXU can now facilitate engaging discussions, polls and more without having to leave their LMS site."
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.
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 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.
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 is 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 in CIDAT, visit this page each month or stop by the CIDAT office for more information.