The e-Learning Center works closely with the NAU Office of Curriculum, Learning Design, and Academic Assessment (OCLDAA).

ELC investigates and reports on how technology is used to support teaching and learning at Northern Arizona University. We assess how technology affects student learning outcomes in physical and virtual classrooms and out in the field. We also collaborate with faculty to design studies that identify effective technology practices among both faculty and students, and we provide venues for faculty to share their findings.

In particular, we collaborate with instructors to collect and analyze data on student learning in electronic environments, such as online courses, interactive television courses, hybrid courses, and traditional courses that employ a variety of electronic and web enhancements.

Technological enhancements that have been studied to date include:

  • Classroom Response Systems (i.e., clickers) in Astronomy and Physics courses
  • Tablet PCs in Geology courses
  • Hybrid course delivery in Business and Sociology courses
  • Electronic grading tools in Math courses
  • Electronic simulations in Chemistry labs

Assessment in Action

Suzanne Pieper, Coordinator for Assessment at the e-Learning Center, and Barbara Austin, Assistant Professor at the Center for Science Teaching and Learning, presented a concurrent session on "Using Discussion Rubrics to Encourage Student Participation and Learning" at the Educause Learning Initiative Annual Meeting, January 20 - 22, 2009, in Orlando, Florida. The session focused on using rubrics as tools for promoting quality discussions in online, hybrid, and technology-enhanced courses. Participants learned why and how rubrics can be used to foster online discussion as well as collaborated on applying example discussion rubrics to a sample of online student discussion.