Psychology Insider: New Innovations in Online Learning

Jun 5, 2013 by University Communications

Dr. Parul PatelAt California Southern University, we take very seriously our commitment to provide each and every student with a humanistic, supportive learning environment. We prioritize our learners and their academic goals above all else, and it is essential that we are always approachable and responsive, whether via phone or email.

Our concomitant mission is to provide degree and certificate programs of exceptional quality, with unquestioned academic integrity. We pursue this standard of excellence while keeping our programs affordable. One of our unique features is helping our students understand competency and preparing them to more confidently contribute to their local communities. Another unique feature is our curriculum development process—it’s dynamic, interactive and continuous, always taking into account student feedback. (So please never hesitate to provide your feedback.)

The CalSouthern community truly is a global one. Our students, as well as our staff and mentors, bring with them a diverse variety of backgrounds and expertise, making the world a smaller and friendlier place. We reach students—and the psychology community at large—around the world through our monthly Master Lecture Series events. Course discussion forums and our clinical case conferencing initiative provide access to quality professionals and cutting-edge developments in our fields.

Following CalSouthern’s mission and vision of using innovative distance-learning approaches to serve students throughout the world, and to foster academic integrity while inspiring intellectual curiosity, the university has partnered with LiveText, an assessment-management system.

LiveText will allow us to collect data and generate reports on that data that allow us to measure our institutional effectiveness in relation to our programs. This cutting-edge system will allow us to effectively manage our continuous improvement process. Students benefit as CalSouthern’s uses the information gained to constantly refine and enhance courses across its academic programs. Additionally, LiveText provides all students with access to an electronic portfolio system.

Students will submit assignments as usual, but for some assignments there will also be directions provided to upload these assignments to the LiveText website. (With a LiveText Key Code, each student will be able to create a LiveText username and password which will allow them to perform the upload.) As your portfolio grows, you’ll be able to document and track the development of specific skill sets as well as learning and field experiences outside the classroom. It’s a fantastic resource that will help you stay organized and receive additional feedback to enhance your learning. You can even access the portfolio after graduation to refresh your learning or to provide samples or documentation of work to employers.

From the university’s perspective, LiveText will give us valuable tools for assess and analyze—and then continue to improve upon—our programs’ efficacy and effectiveness, supporting our goal of continuous refinement and improvement.

LiveText was implemented last month in most of our degree programs’ core courses. We hope you’ll enjoy its many learner benefits as we gain information that allows us to continue to position CalSouthern as an innovative leader in online higher education—to the benefit of the entire CalSouthern community.

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