NIU must promote

NIU faculty and administration need to do more to promote as a learning tool that can be used by students and faculty in and outside of the classroom.

The Division of Information Technology signed a 3-year, $218,700 contract with in fall 2015, according to the results of a Freedom of Information Act request to the Division of IT by the Northern Star. FOIA results show that from November through February, only 9.4 percent of students and NIU employees have accessed their NIU-associated accounts., a LinkedIn company, features 12 different subjects including business, design and IT. There are also walk-throughs that teach users how to use different forms of software like Photoshop. Each video is taught by a Lynda-certified industry expert, according to the website.

The Division of IT has been trying its best to promote since the license was obtained in November, but still only 1,449 students and 871 employees logged in to their accounts over a three-month period. was introduced to students in a November email from the Division of IT and in a second email at the start of the spring 2016 semester. The Division of IT held workshops in the fall for faculty members to incorporate into their classrooms and has also held walk-up demonstrations in the Founders Memorial Library and in the Holmes Student Center to show students how to activate their accounts.

The $218,700 cost is too much for only 9.4 percent of the university to be taking advantage of The contract fees for this year are coming out of the Division of IT’s budget, said Cindy Kozumplik, Enterprise Resource Planning testing and training coordinator from the Division of IT, who finalized the contract with Budget issues have left more than 200 faculty and staff positions unfilled since Sept. according to a Feb. 15 Northern Star article.

Faculty Senate is attempting to incorporate into Blackboard, according to a Nov. 30 Northern Star article, but there is still no timeline for when that may be completed. NIU administration should be communicating with faculty more to implement in classrooms. NIU and its different colleges need to unite with the Division of IT to promote to ensure the $218,700 contract is not a waste of money.