Money put forth for new AsULearn pilot program

The university’s subscription to Atomic Learning, an extensive collection of video tutorials for various software programs, expired Aug. 31.

The software’s usage was declining, which caused the cost per tutorial to increase, Steve Breiner, Director of Learning Technology Services, said.

The subscription cost the university about $2.16 per tutorial, which averaged two to three minutes, and totaled about $25,000 per year, Breiner said.

“Even giving up Atomic Learning, people can get to the resources they need,” Breiner said. “It might take a little bit more looking, we’ll help them look.”

The money that was spent on Atomic Learning is now going toward hardware to move to an upgraded version of AsULearn, Breiner said.

Faculty are currently testing the new AsULearn program, he said.

Next semester, faculty will discuss the problems they have with the pilot program, Breiner said.

William Atkinson, a professor in the Department of English, said although AsULearn does most of what he wants, he’d like AsULearn to become more user friendly and flexible.

“Basically, you have to go their way or no way to do it,” Atkinson said. “But I’m relatively happy with it.”

The design of the gradebook is also limited with its functions and ability to be understood, Atkinson said.

The gradebook is “written for people with higher mathematics” and the format is “very plain,” Atkinson said. 

“It’s not a big deal, I just wish it was a bit different,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson said he received help from staff from the Learning Technology Services.

Chris Osmond, assistant professor in the College of Education, said AsULearn is essential for students to access readings.

“I can’t imagine teaching without it,” Osmond said.

Uploading the readings is a “pain,” Osmond said, since it requires seven to eight steps.

While uploading is a “pain,” the support provided to faculty is “terrific,” he said.

Osmond said he asks students to participate on a discussion board, which according to his student feedback, is a valuable part of his class.


Story: KELLI STRAKA, New Editor