Heather Russino

Heather Russino is an instructional designer at the Center for Learning and Technology. A Columbia University graduate and educator for nearly 20 years, she began her career as a classroom teacher before moving to higher education as an adjunct professor. She is an established, professional blogger since 2009 and enjoys writing about her areas of expertise in teaching, learning and course design – integrating content, pedagogy and technology.

Recent Posts

Moodle Gets a Makeover!

If you haven’t heard the latest – Moodle is getting a makeover!

That’s right, Moodle, our Learning Management System (LMS) is getting a facelift of sorts to improve the user experience. Moodle’s fresh, modern look incorporates several enhancements, making it more user friendly and content-focused to allow you to navigate your course space with greater ease.

Topics: Taking Courses

Meet CaptureSpace: Create and Edit Videos for Your Online Courses

Online learning is as engaging as ever – just visit any online classroom and you can see how learning is moving beyond the textbook.

For example, back in 2016, the University launched a set of tools that is changing the way students connect, collaborate and engage in the online classroom; we are also beginning to incorporate video content into courses, so no matter which industry you work in or degree program you are studying, learning about and using this kind of relevant technology is vital for any discipline

Topics: Online Tools and Resources, Taking Courses

6 Essential Books Every Adult Learner Should Read Right Now

The start of a new year is always an exciting time to reflect on the previous year and think about the highlights; it is also the perfect opportunity to set new goals as another chapter begins. As an avid reader, I am interested in finding books that either help me to understand a different viewpoint or offer valuable advice I can apply directly to my life. If you are a reader in search of a new title or someone that hasn't read something new in awhile, a new year is the perfect time to consider picking up a good book!

Topics: Motivation

How to Cultivate the Ultimate Online Classroom Experience: Meet Edison Live!

If you’ve ever participated in a group project, you probably have pretty strong opinions about them. Perhaps you find working more closely in a team-oriented atmosphere refreshing. Or maybe, you find group projects can lead to frustration, especially when your classmates have different work schedules and preferences for varying technologies.

So for the online learner, how can group interaction and collaboration be easier to manage?

Thomas Edison State University has implemented Edison Live!, a tool designed to make collaboration in a virtual environment with both mentors and classmates a more engaging experience.

Topics: Online Tools and Resources, Taking Courses

Contract Cheating: What It Is and Why You Need to Care

As a college student, there are often times you may feel overwhelmed - whether it's studying for a major exam, researching and editing an engaging discussion forum post or simply balancing school work alongside working a full-time job, raising a family and multiple other responsibilities. It's important to remember that in college - as in life - cheating should never be an option.

In fact, did you know that in New Jersey, submitting a purchased essay, report or other written assignment to fulfill the requirements of a degree or course is punishable by up to a $1,000 penalty?

Topics: Taking Courses, Going Back to College, Motivation

How to Use Video Technology in an Online Course to Boost Your Résumé

According to YouTube’s company statistics, almost 3.25 billion hours of video is watched on the platform each month. If this was 1987, imagine how many VHS tapes that would take.

1.26 billion 2-hour tapes, or 11.3 billion pounds of plastic, if you don’t want to do the math. That’s a lot of VHS tapes.

As time presses on, technology changes everything. It improves the way we live and work, and the way we learn. Taking advantage of new technology will help you, as a student, to create an engaging online learning experience, while also helping you to become more familiar and comfortable with new technological advances. Furthermore, learning any new technology can add another skill set to a growing résumé. 

Topics: Taking Courses, Career

3 Tech Tools for an Engaging Online Learning Experience

Technology has improved our lives in many ways over the years – various gadgets, apps, websites and devices help to make us more efficient and productive at home and in the workplace. This technology also allows us to instantly connect with others across continents in real time, changing the way we communicate. Especially with the rise of social media and popular networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, using this technology has become a way of life. It’s actually hard to remember a time when this kind of software or access to information did not exist.

Topics: Taking Courses

Introducing TES-100: Take a Sneak Peek at the New Cornerstone Course

Heading back to college after several years can feel overwhelming, if not downright daunting. It may seem as if there is so much more information to review and decisions to be made than ever before.

However, you are not alone, regardless of where you are on your educational path. So as you embark on this new chapter in your life, the University has launched an introductory course aimed at helping you navigate the ins and outs of your college education.

Topics: Taking Courses, Going Back to College

3 Strategies to Boost Your Productivity and Efficiency as a College Student

stack of post it notes on a canvas background

Time is fleeting –we could all use more hours in the day, right? Sometimes, regardless of how much we accomplish in a given day it still doesn't seem like there is enough time to do everything we set out to do. As an adult college student, you're balancing multiple responsibilities in addition to your course work; many of you are working full-time jobs, raising a family or have various other commitments. Time feels more than just fleeting, it feels evanescent.

We are all given the same amount of hours and minutes in the day, so how do you make the most of your time? Here are three strategies to help you be as productive and efficient as possible as a college student.

Topics: Time Management, Work-Life Balance

Syllabus 101: Why You Need to Pay Attention to the Course Objectives

laptop and notebook with pen sitting on top

When you begin a new course as a student, one of the first things you review is the course syllabus. You want to know right from the start what the expectations are: How many written assignments are slated in the course? Are there any exams? Is there a final project? Any new technology integrated into the course or new platforms to learn? While most students immediately review the required assignments within the course, they seem to gloss over another important element - the course objectives.

Topics: Taking Courses