News From AU

Terry Taylor on why “AU Rocks”

Does “AU Rock?” You bet! And even more so now, thanks to the efforts of Athabasca University’s musical element. Eight musicians – all AU staff or AU staff affiliates – contributed their own original material to create the music sampler of the year, a 17-track CD that some discerning critics are calling, “More than great!”

According to Terry Taylor, AU tutor, course coordinator, musical contributor and “guy who picked the songs,” the quality of this CD even far outstrips his own expectations. “We wound up with eight (musicians) who sent in CDs,” Taylor explained. “We listened and thought, ‘Wow! This is going to be fun. This is good.’ We had such a neat variety, and we had people from every part of the university community: students, immediate family, staff members. We got a good cross section of what we could call the AU family – a really good cross. The quality was way beyond what we even hoped for.”

The idea for a sampler CD showcasing the musical talent in and around the halls of AU was sparked at last year’s Learning Conference. Taylor noted that it was during a conversation he had with friend and colleague, Angela Heydemann, coordinator of Learning Services-Outreach, that they both realized how much musical talent surrounds them. Off the top of their heads, they were able to name four musician/songwriters.

“We started speculating that if we knew that many casually, there must be others. We got interested in the idea of finding out who they were and doing something about it.” With the support of colleagues and fellow musicians, Dave Brundage and Steve Boddington, whose songs appear on the CD, and with the support of Athabasca University and Marilyn Bittorf in Public Affairs, Taylor and Heydemann moved ahead, soliciting music, establishing copyright waivers, planning play lists.

Taylor admits there was a certain “just because” element to the project, but it quickly became much more than that. “We were also really interested in the fact it would be a community building kind of activity,” he said. “It’s something that everybody in the AU family could take pride in and share in and say, ‘I know that guy,’ or whatever. “I think the AU community is a small and fairly closely knit one,” he continued. “People know people from different departments. We have just kind of a homey feel. I do think this kind of thing does build that sense of community, and it’s something we can all share. If nothing more than that, it was fun to do that.” Taylor says the project took a community of people just to complete, including the eight musicians who volunteered their talent and recordings to the effort.

Now CD sales have been slated for a fundraising project. Profits realized from the sale of “AU Rocks” will help fund scholarships at Athabasca University [emphasis added]. Taylor says that if the project helps with that, and gives his fellow musicians some extra exposure, he’s thrilled. “Our goals were modest,” he said. “We’ve achieved what we originally set out to do. When the University recovers whatever their cost is on these and shows in the black on the project – that will be nice.”

Find out how you can order your own copy of “AU Rocks” here:

Library FAQ’s continued

Q: I’ve been trying to search the Blackwell Synergy and Science Direct journal databases but keep coming up with articles that are not full text. Is there a way to limit only to our subscribed journals?

A: Yes. We only have access to the Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences collections in Blackwell Synergy. To limit to only these collections follow these steps:

“¢ Open Blackwell Synergy. Click on Search at the top of the screen.
“¢ Choose Advanced Search.
“¢ Click in the box beside Journals with Full Access Rights.

This will limit your search only to the collections we subscribe to.

To limit to our subscribed journals in Science Direct follow these steps:
“¢ Open Science Direct. Click on the Search button.
“¢ Click on the Journals tab, and under Source choose Subscribed Journals.

If you have questions or problems, please contact AU Library. (

Q: I had a student ask me how to access the library’s journal databases and I wasn’t quite sure what to tell them. Can you help?

A: The journal databases are accessible via our website: Please be aware that all users who are not based in Athabasca must authenticate in order to gain access. Students are required to enter their first and last names as their username, and student id as their password. Please note that this is different from staff – staff members use the id number assigned by the library.

From Learning and Collaboration Services :

The Grouped Study course offerings page has been updated and now includes a number of options that can be used to search for courses that are being offered by Grouped Study. (The public entry point is at, and it allows you to conduct searches by course, by institution, and by region or city. : [information for AU staff omitted]

The indicators

Members of the Athabasca University community work hard every day to create learning opportunities for people all over the province, country and planet. In the middle of it all, it can be difficult to see what comes of all the effort. But there are tangible results, in terms of registration and student numbers, in terms of the quality and quantity of programs and courses offered, and in terms of the impact AU has on individual lives.

The following chart compares total registration numbers from April, 2003 to September, 2003 with figures from 2002. Look for more on performance indicators in future issues of Insider.

This report compares recorded registrations for April 2002 to September 2002 and April 2003 to September 2003. Please note that not all September seminar supported registrations have been processed. For the purpose of this report, undergraduate 6-credit courses are double counted and graduate registrations are pro-rated up to 3-credit undergraduate course equivalents.
(MDE and Nursing Graduate Programs @ 1.67, the MAIS and MSc CS @ 1.82 and the MBA @1.25). These figures are for internal tracking purposes only and should not be counted as official FTE’s.