Iowa State University • Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching •
Iowa State University

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Learning Technologies Overview

CELT Learning Technology staff offer seminars, hands-on workshops, and individual consultation on a wide range of topics related to the effective use of technology in teaching and learning, including online course development, and support for WebCT for both on- and off-campus instruction.

eLearning at Iowa State

eLearning is a one-stop resource for students, faculty, and staff at Iowa State University to get information, news, tips, and trends related to teaching and learning with technology.

  • eLearning Home features announcements and current topics.
  • The eLearning Technologies menu leads to teaching and learning technologies that are available university-wide and centrally supported.
  • Support lists resources and where to go for help.
  • Teaching & Learning outlines Chickering & Gamson's (1987) Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education as a framework guiding the use of technologies for teaching and learning.

Instructional Development Consultation

The CELT Instructional Development staff can assist with a wide range of questions related to the effective use of technology in teaching and learning. Staff expertise covers a wide variety of traditional and cutting edge technologies for face-to-face, distance, and blended learning.

Workshops & Seminars

CELT, in partnership with ISU faculty and other campus support units, provides a wide variety of seminars and hands-on workshops for the effective use of technology to enhance teaching and learning.

Instructor Support for Specific Technologies for Teaching and Learning

There are many tools available to use for teaching. Some of them help with classroom management tasks, others provide means for students to collaborate, and yet others allow teachers to assess student learning and create opportunties for interaction in class. Below are tools available to instructors at ISU. Some of them are officially supported by the University, while others are great tools that can be helpful, but are not centrally supported. Click on the name of the tool or the type of tool you are interested in to learn more about it and explore how you might use it in your teaching.

Blackboard Learn (Online Course Management System)

Blackboard Learn is a secure environment for online teaching and learning. Each Bb Learn course can synchronize with the Registrar's database to manage course enrollment and submit Midterm and Final Grades. Other tools include:

  • Course Information, such as Syllabus, Faculty Information, Calendar, Schedule
  • Learning Resources: Documents, PowerPoint Presentations, Audio/Video links, Web sites
  • Collaboration: Synchronous and Asynchronous communications, Announcements, Discussion Forums, Real Time Chat and Virtual Classroom, Groups, Elluminate Live!
  • Evaluation: Turning Point (clicker) Registration, Tests, Surveys, Grade Center, Assignments, Plagiarism Detection.

WebCT, which has been the centrally-supported Course Management System (CMS) at Iowa State is being replaced by its parent company (Blackboard) with Blackboard Learn (Bb Learn). As of May, 2011, all new courses with CMS components at Iowa State will be created in Bb Learn. Courses that use WebCT will need to be moved over to the Bb Learn system by the end of Spring Semester, 2012.

Class Climate – Course Evaluation System

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and Information Technology Services (ITS) offers online course evaluation support for University departments through the web-based software Class Climate.

Classroom "Clickers" Student Response System

Clickers and the TurningPoint software allow faculty members at Iowa State University to engage their students during a lecture or class discussion. Many faculty are exploring new ways of using clickers with groups of students and at a distance with web-based clickers.

Emerging Technologies

CELT staff are currently working with faculty at ISU and collaborating with colleagues across the globe to research and develop effective practices for teaching and learning with emerging technologies, such as online communication, collaboration, and presentation tools, social network services, and virtual worlds.


Respondus is a tool used to create and manage exams, quizzes, surveys, and self-tests that can be printed on paper or published directly to your WebCT course. You can create, edit, and organize questions in Respondus, offline, and then upload the assessment when you are ready.

Respondus LockDown Browser

Respondus LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within WebCT. When students use Respondus Lockdown Browser they are unable to print, copy, go to another URL, or access other applications.

SafeAssign / DirectSubmit

SafeAssign is a free plagiarism detection tool that integrates with your WebCT course. DirectSubmit is the "teacher only" version of SafeAssign.


StudyMate is a tool used to create ten different Flash-based interactive learning activities.

Wimba (voice tools)

Wimba combines interactive technologies such as voice, video, podcasting, instant messaging, application sharing, polling, and whiteboarding. Wimba is fully integrated with the Blackboard Learn system.

For more information about CELT Learning Technologies, contact: Allan Schmidt
1200 Communications Building (view map)
Phone: (515) 294-5357