IUPUI’s Impact: How CN is Adding to IT Fundamentals

Dr. Nancy Evans, IUPUI
IUPUI’s Nancy Evans knows what matters when it comes to computer, information, and graphics technology. And where it matters in her Information Technology Fundamentals course isn’t just in her classroom, because Dr. Evans is also interested in transforming the way the world learns within in her field. So how is she using Course Networking to guide her students to achieving their academic goals? Dr. Evans tells us, “I like to introduce students to the new, upcoming technologies, so anything in educational technology that I find will be relevant and useful to students is something important for our field.”
It began with online discussions that got her students involved and collaborating with each other the instant they logged on. “I like using posts for the class online discussions because students write more and better than they do in traditional course management systems,” Dr. Evans explained. “I also think students are more inclined to read more students' posts.” This type of interaction amongst students has made it easier for them to learn about the thoughts and feedback of their fellow peers that has encouraged a welcoming learning environment. Dr. Evans has found the value in CN’s ability to build classroom discussion. “My students have much more to say using CN than in a traditional course management system forum,” she commented. “Their responses are detailed.”From an educator standpoint, Dr. Evans found the task tool to validate her reasoning why she calls CN a, “fully functional course management system.”
Student feedback included overall positive remarks. A student from her course this summer commented, “I was very excited to utilize something other than the boring old Oncourse!” This change of pace from Indiana University’s current system gave students more enthusiasm and drive to learn in an easy-to-utilize, functioning learning environment. 
Dr. Evans even explained how some of the features that have been updated and improved over the course of its existence has given her faith for continuing her use of the platform in the future. “The addition of the Task tool and Gradebook functions have kept me using it. They’re huge improvements from when CN was available as a pilot.” As far as how CN could impact higher education technology and real-world applications, Dr. Evans was certain of its lifelong benefits. “CN is important for the real world because it is the direction education is moving. Within 10 years, I anticipate the majority of high school students will be taking an online class (either high school or college level) so educational technology is critical for student learning,” Evans summarized.

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