STAR Students Available for Instructional Technology Projects

SMU STAR ProgramThe Student Technology Assistant in Residence (STAR) Program is available to work with faculty and academic departments on short-term instructional technology projects. STAR students handle the technical stuff, allowing you to focus on the content. Michael Robertson, Academic Technology Services Director for Dedman College, manages the STAR Program. There are currently three STAR students with plans to add two additional students in the spring.

Since the program restarted in August 2016, STAR students have completed many projects, including creating interactive PDFs, digitizing and curating video for delivery in Canvas, creating dynamic-animated PPT slides, providing short-term web development services, and producing original videos that promote future course offerings and research opportunities. This semester STAR students have worked with faculty in History, World Languages & Literatures, Earth Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, and Anthropology, as well as Office of the University Curriculum.

Professor Gwendoline Aaron, World Languages and Literatures, worked with Samantha Glasford this semester. Gwen said, “Samantha helped me on two different projects so far, and she was very diligent and thorough. Her work definitely added value to my Canvas course.

Brooke Guelker, Assistant to the Associate Provost, appreciates the help from the STARS, “…we are grateful for the assistance and diligence of Denver.  He’s been working hard to keep us on task and checks in regularly to complete the project… we’re quite pleased with his efforts.”

I have truly enjoyed working with the students in the STAR program.” Sheri Kunovich, Chair of the Department of Sociology mirrors those sentiments, “They helped me develop several pages in Canvas that are much more technologically advanced than I could have produced. Given the wide range of their schedules and their abilities, it’s been easy to find time to meet and get the work done quickly.”

STAR students are available to work with any SMU faculty member that needs assistance on a short-term instructional technology project. Projects are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, and STAR students are available during the academic year except during reading days, finals, and breaks. A STAR student may be available during larger breaks, summer & winter, as needed. To learn more about the STAR Program or request STAR assistance, go to

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Michael Robertson

Dr. Michael Robertson, Assistant Provost for Global, Online and Continuing Education, works with a collaborative team at SMU, building upon the ongoing vision of student-centered, external-facing educational offerings to enrich lives, foster innovation, and enhance productivity. His expertise is in technology planning, user training, instructional design, eLearning systems, and emerging technologies. He has published and presented on topics including innovation diffusion, instructional delivery methods, assessing user needs, and digital gaming. Prior to SMU, Dr. Robertson was Dean of eLearning at North Central Texas College where he oversaw all distance learning services, including systems administration, course development, and user training and support.