The OIT Learning Source Makes Training Personal!

The Training/Technology Group, a subdivision of the Montclair State University Office of Information Technology (OIT), provides training opportunities to the campus community, offering workshops, faculty forums, and brown bags in a face-to-face environment. Participants attending these workshops receive professional development while learning about technologies that will simplify their daily tasks, in addition to receiving instructional design and pedagogical strategies for integrating these technologies into the teaching and learning environment.

The OIT Learning Source
For various reasons, traditional in-person, group workshops have been showing a decrease in enrollment, while the need and request from faculty and staff for technical training, often at very individual-specific levels, remains high. Therefore, the OIT Learning Source was created to address the individual training needs at a very personal level. This online resource, developed within BlackBoard, offers an organized infrastructure that allows for individualized learning based on the learnersÂ’ goals and objectives. Learners can navigate within the OIT Learning Source through a course menu by selecting the desired topic and participating in a learning unit. Using various multimedia technologies as well as innovative instructional design strategies, the participants can acquire instruction for using common office application functionalities and pedagogical strategies within a self-paced atmosphere.

These learning units consist of self-paced tutorials that promote self-reflection and analysis by interacting with an Instructional Designer using synchronous and asynchronous communication. Each learning unit contains a built-in pre-assessment piece that helps establish prior knowledge. This is followed by the instruction, and then a set of questions that help to determine how well the learner understood the material. Finally, the OIT Learning Source provides tutorials on how to develop and organize course content within a learning management system and demonstrates how to integrate instructional design strategies into the teaching and learning environment.

Students Too!
The Training and Technology Group also wanted to support the training initiatives for students. A separate Bb community was created for them that include self-paced learning units providing step-by-step tutorials on Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The OIT Learning Source for students will also provide an atmosphere where students can communicate with each other, participate in self-assessment, and pose questions to an IT trainer in the discussion forum.

So, how can an instructor, staff, or student access these learning communities? Everyone is already enrolled. Just go to http://montclair.blackboard.com and log in with your NetID. Once there, click on the red community tab, where you can access the OIT Learning Source associated with your role.

If you have any questions, please donÂ’t hesitate to contact Patty Kahn at (973) 655-6930 or by email at kahnp@mail.montclair.edu.