What One Associate Professor Has to Say About Atomic Learning

Melissa Kagarise, an Associate Professor at Saint Francis University, was a speaker at the OLC Accelerate conference this last fall. Her LIFESAVERS for Teaching Online session was a huge hit! In her session, she also mentioned Atomic Learning being one of those lifesavers. Here is what else she had to say:

"I implemented the Atomic Learning videos last semester into my Curriculum Development for Health Programs course last semester.  I really liked the ability to select various segments of the video and require students to complete each for points. We use blackboard and integrating these into the grade book was seamless.  Students provided favorable feedback on the content of the videos and I will be working to incorporate additional videos into my other courses. 

The content was relevant and provided the opportunity for me to better engage students in the material."

Melissa Kagarise DHSc, PA-C, CLS
Associate Professor
Master of Medical Science/Master of Health Science Programs
Saint Francis University

Q&A: Excelsior College

We asked Lynn Rossello, Senior IT Trainer from Excelsior College, a few questions to better understand how their campus is handling faculty and staff training when faced with staff changes.

Q: What are some of the recent challenges your department has faced when it comes to staff training?
A: Well about 7 months ago our IT Trainers position was moved to another part of the office. Which left me the Senior IT Trainer to do all the face to face, IT Requests and New Employee training. With at least two Trainers we were able to hold quite a lot of face to face training, but with one that was going to be too much to handle. So I was faced with having to find off the shelf training that could fit the college's need to train at least 500+ staff. Office 2013 training needed to be available and this included training staff that work at a distance as well as staff here at the college. Atomic Learning has been offered to our students to use for many years and as soon as I found out our staff could use Atomic Learning as well, I asked for Administrator rights.

Q: How are you currently using Atomic Learning resources to meet those challenges?
A: Atomic Learning is now being used to train our 500+ Excelsior College staff. We were changing from Office 2007 to Office 2013 and staff registered to come to our training room, I gave a small introduction of the training and then they put headsets on and took the Office 2013 - What's New training that I put together using the Atomic Learning tutorials and I added this training to the My Campus Training Tab.  We were not using One Drive at this time, so I did not include these tutorials in my training. It was very easy to only choose the specific tutorials we needed to create our own course. Everyone seemed to receive this new form of training. They liked the idea of being able to return to these tutorials when they needed to and that they could log in at their desk and at home.  I have since taken some courses from our Learning Management System (LMS) and built them in Atomic Learning under the My Campus Training tab and we hope to add more and more college specific training to this tab as time goes on.

Q: How has this resource saved you time?
A: In March I had a big campaign on Atomic Learning for Excelsior College staff, where I walked around the office (5 bldgs.) and showed staff with an iPad how to log onto Atomic Learning, how to search and how to go to the My Campus Training tab for their application/career needs.  If they listen to my training, they received a magnet with the Atomic Learning website that staff could place on their cubicles for easy access to the Atomic Learning site. Since that campaign week and since I introduced Atomic Learning during the Office 2013 - What's New training, many staff have logged on and taken a variety of training.  I did mention to staff as I walked around and during the training that they should always visit Atomic Learning first for their application needs. One of the things I like most about Atomic Learning is as an Administrator I can run reports and let my supervisors know how many staff have taken the training sessions. Atomic Learning has saved me time as far as not holding as many face to face training session because I now have to do the job of two Trainers.

Q: Have you gotten any feedback from staff members?
A: I would say about 97 % of the staff really like the idea of being able to have Atomic Learning available to them 24 hours a day. As I showed them that they can log in to Atomic Learning from any browser anywhere.  The other 3% feel they would rather have face to face and hands on training, which again is their learning style. What I did explain is that in the world now most people go to the internet to research topics of interest and learn from this information and that Atomic Learning is a great resource for their training needs.

For more information on the how your campus can tackle some of your training challenges, request more information.

“Launch and Learn”: Fresno City College Gets Creative with Implementation

Looking to get the word out about your campus’ Atomic Learning subscription? Autumn Bell, Director of Distance Education at Fresno City College, and her team have come up with a great way to get Atomic Learning resources into her faculty’s hands without using up too much of their time: “Launch and Learn” emails.

Each week, Bell creates a quick email that links her faculty members to a few simple Atomic Learning videos on a particular topic, such as Using the Blackboard Gradebook, with direct links to three highly-relevant video tutorials. In Bell’s words, the approach allows faculty to, “Launch an Atomic Learning module, and quickly start learning.”

Q&A: Quinsigamond Community College

We asked Pat Schmohl, Dean of Distance Learning and PD from Quinsigamond Community College, a few questions to better understand how their college is using the Custom Training feature from Atomic Learning.

Q: Why did you create your custom training?
A: We have created custom training to make it easier for faculty/staff/students to access the materials they need to know.  We did not want to overload them with all of the trainings.  It is also good to have trainings with a familiar look and feel that they are used to.

Q: What problem/challenge were you trying to resolve?
A: We are trying to improve the adoption of Blackboard and also show people how to use Blackboard Collaborate.  Departments are slowly rolling out Collaborate and we need to allow students/faculty/staff to attend trainings around their busy schedules (or at least have access to materials). 

Q: How did they see Atomic Learning’s custom feature being the solution to solve the problem/challenge?
A: We were able to show a few key tutorials that helped with the main components we were trying to help people learn.  Selecting our own information helped us limit the amount of information shared.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville Initiates Tech Support Program

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has initiated a program called The Instructional Center for Educational Technologies (ICET).  This program is is available to students or instructors in need of assistance with Desire2Learn and other computer applications.

“Our mission is to support educational technology for students and teachers,” Lisa Landgraf, ICET Director, said.

By adding Atomic Learning as a resource used in the program, UW-P was able to expand the library of resources and help in efforts to enhance teaching and learning.

Helping Students Keep up With Technology in the Online Classroom - Guest Blog Post

We value our customers and appreciate the knowledge they provide and feedback they share, so we decided to ask for their stories to share in our new blog series "Voice of the Educator."

Guest blog post by Heather Austin, Visiting Professor at Eagle Gate College.

The ever-changing world of technology can be incredibly intimidating and overwhelming. With new technologies popping up daily, trying to stay up-to-date with the latest trends can be a major challenge. Before utilizing Atomic Learning in my online courses, many of my students were having difficulties grasping new technologies. Mastering software programs was a daunting task that made the learning process frustrating and dissatisfying. 

Atomic Learning has been an amazing asset to both my students and me. Since integrating this tool in my classroom, my students are more confident than ever using technology.  They are now able to self-assuredly work in multiple software platforms. By the end of the course, my students more clearly understand the course objectives and can effectively apply what they’ve learned in a real world scenario. The Atomic Learning tool has worked hand-in-hand with the course material to facilitate easier learning. I look forward to continuing to share this resource with my students.