The inaugural Teaching and Learning with Technology Research Carnival will be held on June 19, 2019

The inaugural Teaching and Learning with Technology Research Carnival will be held on June 19, 2019

More than a decade ago, it was commonplace for an educator to ask students to read and memorize important course materials, and at the end of the semester, administer an exam to assess the retention of that knowledge. But how much did students actually remember after they left the classroom?

Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) collaborates with faculty to rethink the way courses are taught and explore how new technologies can be adapted to advance student learning.

Come for the fun games and prizes; stay for the informative discussions with faculty who have engaged in teaching and learning research. The Teaching and Learning with Technology Research Carnival will be held on June 19, 2019 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at The Dreamery, on the ground floor of the Shields Building.

This informal event will focus on answering questions from how to generate researchable questions to how innovative technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and data science can impact students’ learning experiences.

Participating carnival partners include: The Institutional Review Board (IRB), Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, Liberal Arts Teaching Group, Center for Excellence in Science Education, TLT Emerging Technologies Group, TLT Data-Empowered Learning Team, TLT Faculty Programs Team, University Libraries, and the Office of Information Security.

Attendance is free to all Penn State faculty and staff. Register for the 2019 Research Carnival today!

Adobe Connect full retirement date moved to August 16, 2019

Adobe Connect full retirement date moved to August 16, 2019

As a result of content migration from Adobe Connect to Kaltura taking longer than expected, Adobe Connect will remain online and in a “read-only” state until August 16, 2019. This will allow faculty to view and download videos stored on Adobe Connect through the summer sessions. Existing videos may not be edited and no new content may be uploaded to Adobe Connect at this time.

In conjunction with Penn State moving its conferencing and media management services to Zoom and Kaltura, Adobe Connect was placed into a “read-only” state on December 17, 2018, and full retirement of the service was slated for May 17, 2019. The original timeline has been modified to ensure prior existing content is properly transferred to the new service.

Please email if you have any questions.

Harrisburg leads OER innovation in geology courses

Harrisburg leads OER innovation in geology courses

Open educational resources (OER) are transforming the landscape of higher education, allowing for more accessible and affordable learning. At Penn State Harrisburg, geology students are using digital rock kits and an open-access textbook in place of traditional rock packages and text, a change that has fueled student engagement.

Through a partnership between Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) and the Penn State University Libraries, the ACT@PSU program revolutionizes faculty use of the traditional textbook. ACT@PSU supports instructors who want to teach courses through OER. With the assistance of Julie Lang, OER coordinator for TLT, and Dan Poeschl, multimedia specialist for The Center for Teaching Excellence at Penn State Harrisburg, the transformation of geology classes at the Harrisburg campus began in fall 2018.

“When the center purchased the Agisoft PhotoScan software, we created 3D rocks to replace the rock kit ultimately,” said Jennifer Sliko, assistant teaching professor of earth and geosciences at the Harrisburg campus. “In the future, we will have the rock kit as a recommended but not required resource.”

Poeschl photographed rocks from the traditional kit then uploaded them into the software to create 3D models accessible through SketchFab, where people can share 3D models just like they would YouTube videos. “The software’s primary function is to scan and create 3D models of real-life objects quickly. Its most popular use is by game designers. They can quickly and efficiently populate an open world video game without painstakingly creating a bunch of custom objects.”

By the project’s end, Poeschl had created 43 models. Some reflective, transparent rocks like quartz didn’t translate well in the 3D space, but there will be alternative ways Sliko can teach with these rocks in a digital realm.

Initially, Sliko sought out an online replacement for the rock kit to solve the issue of academic integrity. Each year, the campus bookstore bought back the kits from students, and students could pass on the identification of each rock to the next class.

With the 3D rocks, Sliko can change the labeling each year. “In 2018, ‘Rock A’ might be granite, but in 2019, ‘Rock A’ will be a completely different rock specimen. It reduces the burden of the textbook purchase and minimizes cheating from semester to semester.”

Affordability also plays a significant role in switching to OER. By fall 2019, Sliko plans to have her course become completely OER-based. Physical rock kits are costly, with not many used options available. Students in Sliko’s course now have an online textbook they use to reference for rock identification.

Student engagement has significantly increased over previous semesters. Students are researching online and engaging more with their classmates to identify the rocks.

In the 3D space, students can zoom in and out on the rocks and easily manipulate and identify them based on color and individual mineral grains. The effect is the same as though the students were looking at the stones through a hand lens. Plans for improvement include digital representations of other methods to test rocks and minerals, such as reactions to acids and magnets.

The advantages of using digital rock kits and an open-access textbook will extend far beyond the Harrisburg campus. Other instructors can use these models for their online classes as well.

Sliko said, “Having that innovative technology as we move forward becomes more crucial because the students expect it. In online classes, it’s a nice way to enwrap their attention.”

Learning Design Summer Camp set for July 23

Learning Design Summer Camp set for July 23

How learning happens at Penn State is constantly evolving. Those who contribute to the learning design process such as instructional designers, instructional production specialists, librarians, educational technologists, educational web and multimedia developers, and faculty will come together on the University Park campus this summer to discuss methods to effectively contribute to those evolutions.

Learning Design Summer Camp (LDSC) is an annual, informal gathering of Penn State’s learning design community, and it will be held this year on July 23 in Chambers Building. The event is hosted by Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) in partnership with Business eLearning Design and Innovation Group, Center for Teaching Excellence at Harrisburg Campus, College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) Office of Learning Design, Information Technology Learning and Development (ITLD), John A. Dutton e-Education Institute, Department of Statistics, University Libraries, and World Campus Learning Design.

The theme for this year’s LDSC is “Back to the Future: Looking back, moving forward.” Event organizers are seeking presenters, and the call for proposals will open on May 1. The call will close on May 24, and the opening of registration will follow on June 3.

“We’re really looking forward to stimulating conversations at [LDSC] this year focused on what our community has done, what’s currently being done, and what will be done in the future,” said LDSC chair and College of IST instructional designer Chris Gamrat. “The informal, community-based design of this camp is ideal for sharing information and ideas about innovative ways to reshape how learning takes place at our University.”

For more information, please visit the LDSC website.

Attention Lynda users: LinkedIn Learning coming to Penn State Community

Attention Lynda users: LinkedIn Learning coming to Penn State Community

In August 2019, Penn State IT will be upgrading accounts to LinkedIn Learning in order to take advantage of the newly-named service’s upgraded features and capability to work with LinkedIn to bolster your learning needs.

Although you will notice changes to the longtime learning and professional development platform, many of the features that are popular with users will remain intact.

As a reminder, you do not need to take any action during the transition and you will not lose any information associated with your account as all admin and learner data including groups, assigned content, account settings, and histories will carry over to LinkedIn Learning.

For news and updates, please visit If you have any questions about the upgrade, please contact

Introducing Courseware, a new reference website for course instruction software

Introducing Courseware, a new reference website for course instruction software

Penn State’s commitment to be a leader in the transformation of education among institutions of higher education requires an evaluation regarding the means by which faculty are provided with the technology and tools that enhance learning experiences for students, including improving access to such tools.

Introducing Courseware, a new online resource that simplifies the process for faculty to navigate through the list of authorized software and digital applications for use in course instruction.

All authorized courseware has gone through the courseware review process to assist in meeting University security, privacy, and accessibility policies.

Courseware is defined as any digital, educational application or software used by students or instructors for a Penn State class.

Faculty can easily perform a search to determine what software or applications are authorized for University-wide use, which ones need additional authorization, what is not currently authorized for use, and submit a request for authorization for a desired courseware not on the reviewed list.

“We made it easier for Penn State faculty, staff, instructional designers, and students to access cutting-edge software and learning applications that complies with University policies to greatly enhance the classroom experience,” said Michael Kubit, vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer.

“Courseware allows faculty to discover new learning tools that are continually being added for University-wide use,” said Nick Jones, executive vice present and provost.

For additional information or questions, refer to the Courseware FAQ or contact