SHUsquare – Academic Vision and goals
By Jaya Kannan, Director, Digital Learning
What is SHUsquare?
SHUsquare is Sacred Heart University’s virtual teaching and learning commons. The goal of SHUsquare is to build a community of inquiry among faculty and students by
- broadening professional development avenues for faculty,
- creating free-flowing interaction on topics related to pedagogy and research,
- showcasing and sharing innovative teaching practices,
- providing an alternate platform for faculty to share their experiments in the classroom and develop as digital pedagogues,
- building opportunities for students to continue their learning outside the classroom,
- showing evidence of a strong innovative culture on campus and thereby motivating greater participation.
Who does SHUsquare serve?
SHUsquare is about teaching and learning. We serve faculty and students.
Background of SHUsquare
SHUsquare was originally created in 2012 within the College of Arts and Sciences at Sacred Heart University as a virtual hub to promote cross-disciplinary intellectual discussions among faculty and freshmen students in First Year Seminar courses. This virtual public square project was a pioneering initiative that built a networked community of learners connecting First Year Seminars. SHUsquare allowed students and faculty to synthesize, analyze and communicate ideas, information, and work through a multi-modal, multidisciplinary approach of teaching and learning. It supported important 21st century competencies including collaboration, creativity, and the ethical use of information and media.
Under Professor Marie Hulme’s leadership as Director of SHUsquare, academic hubs were created within the Blackboard LMS for the first phase of academic exchanges. Gradually, this project was hosted in a more robust website. Click here for more information on this SHUsquare work. Prof. Hulme, the CAS faculty, and students won the Sloan-C Effective Practice award in Fall 2014 for their innovative work.
In Fall 2015, the SHUsquare project was officially moved to the Office of Digital Learning under the Provost’s leadership. The goal was to expand SHUsquare to a university-wide effort. Dr. Jaya Kannan, Director of Digital Learning, and Dr. Pilar Munday have been spearheading this initiative since Fall 2015. The student leaders shaping this project are Joe Aiuto, Mary Awad, and Mareh Al-Sadoon.
As we launch a revitalized SHUsquare in Spring 2016, it is still amorphous in its approach and creative in spirit, building a fertile ground for experimentation. The Election 2016 audio podcast by Prof. Rose will be one of our first new projects. The new SHUsquare website and the projects that will be brought out throughout 2016 will shape the academic vision and applications of SHUsquare. We hope that this will serve as a very visible avenue to demonstrate academic excellence at Sacred Heart University.
Award for SHUsquare
The SHUsquare project won the Online Learning Consortium “Effective Practice” Award in fall 2014. (View Award Information Here)
Additional Award Information