Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Using learning technologies

Broadly speaking, there are two categories of learning technologies at CSU:

  • Those supported on an institution-wide basis
  • Those that are not supported and are used by individual academics in their teaching.  We call these External Educational Technologies

Academic staff may introduce External Educational Technologies (opens in new window) into their subjects in order to enhance the learning experience.  Staff are responsible for ensuring such technologies meet the requirements of relevant CSU policies, as summarised in this check-list which must be completed and submitted to the respective Head of School and the External Educational Technologies Coordinator.

A broad array of supported technologies are available within our online learning environment, Interact2.  These technologies fulfil many of the learning and teaching needs of staff and students.  The following information can help you work out which technologies to use based on what aspects of learning and teaching you are trying to support/implement.

Content Delivery

The principal tools for content delivery are the "build content" options in your Blackboard subject site.  These options allow you set-up your content in different formats, including simple folder structures through to learning modules and integrating web-links and multimedia.  More detailed help is available here.

Other content delivery tools include:

  • DOMS/eReserve for storing large content file that you wish to use and re-use with students
  • CSU Replay for creating recorded messages or lectures
  • Content Collection for storing, managing and sharing content for a course/subject
  • Smart Sparrow for interactive and/or adaptive content
  • Adaptive Release for controlling the release of content during a subject

Communication, Collaboration and Reflection

A number of communication, collaboration and reflection tools exist within your Blackboard subject site:

  • Forums for facilitating discussions
  • Groups for setting and managing collaboration and group-work
  • Wikis for collaborative development of learning content
  • Announcements for conveying important messages to students
  • Journals and Blogs

In addition, CSU uses some "best in class" tools:

Assessment and Feedback

A number of different types of assessment and feedback tools existing within Interact2.

Tools for conducting online assessments:

  • Tests for online quizzes, tests and even exams
  • Smart Sparrow for interactive and adaptive tests
  • ForumsJournals, Blogs and ThinkSpace can also support assessment on reflective tasks

Tools for assessment administration and marking:

  • EASTS for managing assessment submissions and returns
  • NORFOLK for marking assignments
  • Grade Centre for recording marks, and analysing assessment performance
  • Turnitin for plagiarism checking

Tools for providing or informing feedback to students:

Tools for gathering feedback from students:

Workplace Learning

All the Interact2 tools listed in the other categories can be employed to support students during their work placements.  In particular, the communication, collaboration and reflection tools can be used to help students on placement to connect with their peers, share experiences and address some of the feelings of isolation often encountered in workplace learning situations.

In terms of managing student placements, InPlace, is CSU's supported tool.  For information about InPlace, please contact our Workplace Learning Systems Officer, Di Plunkett.

Course Design

CSU's course design system is CourseSpace.  It allows design teams to collaboratively develop a course, evaluate it and submit it for internal and external accreditation.

Course and subject design teams can also using Learning Analytics, student feedback and student performance (assessment) data to inform design decisions.


All supported technologies work on the major mobile interfaces.  The capacity to work in a mobile environment is now a primary selection criteria for our learning technologies.  Some of our platforms, such as Blackboard and Zoom, have dedicated apps to facilitate easier mobile access.

In addition, a wide-variety of mobile apps are available to support learning and teaching.  Such apps are emerging and evolving all the time.  An introduction to some key apps can be found in the CSU Mobile Hub.