The Center for Multidisciplinary Studies

CMS Professor Published in Literary Journal

"On the Third Day," a short essay written by Tom Moran was published in January. The essay appeared in issue 42 of Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction. (Pictured: professor Tom Moran)

Credit By Competency (CBC) Resources Available

CMS accepts applications from undergraduate students seeking academic credit based on prior learning or competencies. This Credit By Competency (CBC) can be demonstrated in one or both of the following ways: Credit By Exam (CBE) requires the student to pass an exam covering the learning outcomes of a course or discipline, while Credit By Learning Portfolio (CLP) requires the student to prepare a learning portfolio and sit for an oral review of the portfolio. For more information about credit for prior learning or competencies, please contact CMS by calling 475-2234 or by email, .

To help guide those interested in prior learning or competencies, CMS is developing a self-paced, online tutorial titled "Build Your Learning Portfolio." This tutorial, currently under development, will consist of four modules to help students build a thorough and concise portfolio. The design and development is truly multidisciplinary as it involves CMS faculty and advisors, an instructional designer from the Teaching and Learning Studio, art direction from RIT Online, programming support from RIT Production Services and Information & Technology Services (ITS), as well as hosting support from ITS.

Business course connects students in Rochester, Kosovo

"Communicating in Business", a course taught both at RIT and the American University in Kosovo is taking their unit on cross-cultural communication overseas. An RIT lecturer and adjunct professor are collaborating with a professor from Kosovo to give students on both campuses a hands-on experience learning from each other. By utilizing online technology such as Skype, students will be conducting interviews about business practices and cultural differences. They will present their findings to their campus-based class, as well as the students at the other university. If other faculty members are interested in collaborating internationally, CMS and the American University in Kosovo can partner with you for similar activities. Please contact CMS at 475-2234 or

RIT Online

Online Course Offerings to be Based on Employer Demand

RIT Online’s first initiative is to assess demand. We are working with RIT’s Office of Part-Time and Graduate Enrollment Services and outside sources such as the Continuing and Online Education (COE) Forum, a program of the Education Advisory Board. The COE Forum delivers custom reports combining thought leader research and competitor benchmarking with real-time employer demand date. As a COE Forum member, we can request custom projects exploring the viability of program concepts and strategies for growing existing programs. As RIT Online introduces new areas of demand, we’ll continue to add products. A faculty member may have a course that fits the multidisciplinary programs we’re developing now or will develop in the future. RIT Online can offer incentives to help refresh and repackage existing content, and can help faculty market their demand-based programs. Faculty also can take advantage of our COE Forum relationship to request customized research.

A custom report from the COE Forum found more than 300,000 postings for jobs in North America seeking web design and development skills. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also predicts high employer demand for interactive design and development expertise, which encompasses HTML and visual and interface design.

In response to this demand, RIT Online has met with Lorraine Justice, dean of the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, and Adam Smith, program chair for new media design, to develop a new, three-course bundle in interactive design and development for fall 2013. Our target audience for the new bundle will be working professionals seeking advancement opportunities. We have started conversations with other deans and department heads regarding other new bundle opportunities.

Alumni Survey Launched

RIT Online strives to meet the needs of alumni, our most loyal customers and ambassadors. Using interactive surveys and staff assessments, we’re building a repository of their academic interests. We’re also creating profiles of their needs--whether they’re working professionals seeking convenient education options, people needing to upgrade career skills, or lifelong learners continuing their education or broadening their background. Our unique survey with an immersive user experience empowers alumni to respond quickly and easily. The results will help shape RIT’s response to the demand for continuing education for our alumni.

Online Learning Built on Collaboration Between Many Units

As a leader in the push to bring the total campus experience online, RIT Online aims to not just augment but to transform the online marketplace. Creating an ideal virtual campus experience includes: supporting online students’ academic and career success, supporting retention, providing an experience equivalent to that of residential students, building online students’ commitment to RIT, and enhancing RIT’s reputation as a top-tier university. RIT Online is working with the Office of Cooperative and Career Services, the Division of Student Affairs, and other campus units to find ways to translate their services to an online format.

Teaching & Learning Studio

New Features for Online Programs Under Development

A virtual concierge--a welcoming online persona--will connect students in fully online programs with the right people and resources. To create a network of service providers, TLS has been meeting with campus departments to learn more their services to online students. Initially accessible via e-mail, the virtual concierge is expected eventually to be available 24/7 via instant messaging.

Resources are being developed to assist students in fully online programs. One is a web-based assessment tool called Smarter Measure, which allows a student to gauge his or her readiness to learn in an online environment. Another is a video tour of the myCourses system.

Online Learning Resources Available for Faculty

TLS continues to collaborate with faculty to create just-in-time, web-based teaching resources. One such resource, Teaching Elements, provide how-to information and examples of innovative teaching practices and academic technologies. New Teaching Elements segments are added to the TLS website monthly.

Short video guides, named "Gotcha Guides", are another just-in-time, web-based resource for faculty. They assist faculty in avoiding or troubleshooting common issues with supported academic technologies, such as setting up quizzes in myCourses. Gotcha Guides, accessible on the RIT wiki site, are shared with faculty during consultations and via e-mail. (Pictured: Teaching Elements website).

Flipped Classroom Workshops Available

TLS is hosting a series of events to help faculty investigate applying the flipped classroom teaching model to their courses. This innovative model shows promise to lower drop-failure-withdrawal (DFW) rates and increase student engagement. A flipped classroom is one in which students view a pre-recorded lecture--and related online content--before the scheduled class meeting. Classroom time is then used for discussion, problem solving, and other activities that allow students to engage in the content at a deeper level. For upcoming events about flipped classrooms, visit the TLS Website and click on "Workshops & Events. (Pictured: Teaching and Learning Services website).

Learning Management System Evaluation Process in Progress

Universities noted for cutting-edge teaching and learning practices commit to a continual evaluation of their learning management systems. This multiyear process is designed to clarify faculty and student requirements, monitor emerging tools and technologies, and pursue a transparent decision-making method. The Innovative Learning Institute, in partnership with RIT’s Information & Technology Services (ITS), is designing a process to gather faculty and student requirements for RIT’s learning management system.

Innovative Learning Institute

ILI-Centered Town Hall a Success

On Wednesday, March 20, the ILI hosted its first Provost’s Town Hall meeting. For the event, the team in the ILI "flipped" the town hall to promote the "Flipped Classroom" teaching style. Attendees were invited to watch a presentation before the meeting and a lively discussion was held about the approach and the classroom and online technologies available from the Teaching and Learning Studio. (Pictured: town hall meeting participants).

ILI Website Wins Design Award

On March 14th, Dumbwaiter Design was the recipient of an ADDY Gold Award for their responsive design of the Innovative Learning Website. (Pictured: ILI website).