SRU launches Rock Learning Now webpage to assist students

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Rock Learning Now page

Slippery Rock University recently launched its Rock Learning Now webpage, which offers helpful videos and resources to assist SRU students adapt to new learning environments.

Aug. 28, 2020

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Because the COVID-19 pandemic has forced more classes to be conducted online again this fall, Slippery Rock University is taking extra measures to help students adapt to college life and new learning environments. One way SRU is meeting students' needs is through a webpage titled Rock Learning Now, which offers helpful videos, links and other resources related to the SRU student experience.

Brad Wilson

   WILSON

"The Rock Learning Now webpage was developed to provide students easy access to resources that will help them be successful," said Brad Wilson, associate provost for academic affairs and integrated learning. "As part of the webpage, we created a chat service to help students who have questions about SRU and connect them with experienced students. While some things have changed at The Rock this semester, we continue to put our students first."

A committee organized through SRU's Office of Academic Affairs and Integrated Learning launched the webpage that is located on the University website at sru.edu/rocklearningnow. Members of the University Communication and Public Affairs Office helped create and edit content for the webpage. The committee also included a group of SRU students who played a key role in helping the Rock Learning Now organizers develop resources that are engaging, informative and student-friendly.

"Our students made a commitment to join the SRU community and taking advantage of resources that we offer will help them to get the most out of their experience," said Amanda Yale, chief enrollment management officer. "The pandemic has forced everyone to adapt quickly to different learning environments, but Rock Learning Now and the people who are here to help are great examples that SRU students don't have to go through their college experience alone. We are in this together."

Amanda Yale

   YALE

Rock Learning Now is comprised of six sections: The Classroom Experience; Online Learning Platforms; Doing Your Best: Skills, Tips and Techniques; Get More Help: Campus Resources; Chat with a Student; and Frequently Asked Questions.

Because nearly 80% of SRU courses are being conducted online this fall, students need to be adept at online services such as Rockmail, Zoom, Microsoft 365 and Desire2Learn, SRU's online learning management system more widely known as D2L.

Brian Danielson, director of SRU's Center for Teaching and Learning, and his staff were responsible for packaging the D2L-related content on Rock Learning Now.

Brian Danielson

   DANIELSON

"SRU has been providing online instruction for a long time so we have a lot of resources available for students, but the content was targeted to learners accustomed to distance education," Danielson said. "With Rock Learning Now, the content is for the entire undergraduate population, and they need content to be repackaged in a way that is more appropriate for their needs. We took some of the content and reformatted it in a way that was more digestible for everyone, including first-year students who might be experiencing some forms of distance education for the first time."

Other features of the page are the chat functions where students can connect with a Peer2Peer Academic Support Partner, who is an SRU upperclass student that is on call to answer questions. One of more than 20 ASPs are available to answer questions through an online chat service at designated times: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays-Thursdays; 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Fridays; and noon to 8 p.m., Sundays.

"Whenever there's a request for a live chat, we receive a notification and we'll answer the chat," said Kaya Weeks, a senior secondary education-social studies/history major from Mainesburg. "Based off what the student needs, we can guide them to resources, share our screens to explain something or just answer based off our own knowledge of the University."

For more information about Rock Learning Now, visit the webpage or call the Office of Academic Affairs and Integrated Learning at 724.738.4637.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu