The College of Pittsburgh adopts the digital toolkit Life-style developed by the Bradford Campus

BRADFORD – A tool developed by two members of the University of Pittsburgh community at Bradford to help students navigate online classes has been made available to all Pitt students and faculty members through the university’s Center for Teaching and Learning .

The Online Student Toolkit is a two hour online course that teaches students how to use software that is critical to the University’s Flex @ Pitt educational model. During the pandemic, students can attend classes either online or in person.

Dr. Emily Williams, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at Pitt-Bradford, and Bernie Picklo, Academic Technology Integrator, designed the toolkit to prepare students to use the technologies necessary for their academics to succeed. During the coronavirus pandemic, more students took online courses, which makes the toolkit particularly useful.

To encourage students to take advantage of the course, Williams offered a drawing for a Chromebook laptop to the first 50 students to complete it.

Some faculties have assigned the toolkit course created by Picklo. Upon graduation, students were given a digital certificate that they could share with the faculty that assigned it.

Students who attended the class also took a survey that rated their effectiveness. Nearly three quarters of those surveyed said the course provided guidance on how to use educational technology proficiently, and more than half agreed that the course developed their skills in this area.

After attending the class, more than half of those surveyed said they were extremely familiar with the technologies required to be a good student, and almost all students said they had learned something from the class.

One respondent wrote: “To be honest, one of the strengths of this course was showing me how little I actually knew about these websites.”

Now students at all five Pitt locations can use the toolkit.

“I am delighted that all Pitt students have access to the Pitt-Bradford and Pitt-Titusville Canvas and Technology Toolkit,” said Williams.

“I am glad that the Pittsburgh Teaching and Learning Center can take advantage of our summer long and intense work on this toolkit and effectively adapt it for use by students in all Pitt locations. Pitt-Bradford Academic Affairs staff will continue to use vision and innovation to support our students in Pitt-Bradford and Pitt-Titusville. “

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