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New Branding for AU: Athabasca University’s brand matters to us students, as it is part of how employers will see us once we graduate. But did you know that AU is currently rebranding itself?

Only after scouring recent posts at AU Landing did I find an explanation. According to the Landing site, ?Brand is not simply our logo. Brand is about character, associations, values, thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. However, an important component of our methodology for branding and positioning Athabasca University is the testing of AU brand logo concepts.?

The branding committee has found a number of core dimensions that they want people to associate with AU: concepts such as innovative, accessible, flexible, employing a caring approach and a welcoming environment, and pioneering the future of learning, to name a few. The two logos that they are currently considering to represent these things are both stylized shields.

They do not explain on the site how a shield is intended to suggest accessibility or flexibility, or how technology as old as a shield suggests a focus on the future. Fortunately, until June 30 you have the opportunity to take a short survey on these branding ideas and make your views known. I took the survey myself and strongly encourage you to do so as well; how employers will someday view your degree may soon change in a way you might not expect.

A short introductory video for the survey can be found here, with the survey itself available here.

If you want more information on the whole process, or to expand your personal views, you can also go to the AU Landing page here and read what other faculty and students have said.

Fun & Games on Video: Curious to see some of the research being done in the AU School of Computing and Information Sciences? You will need to make an account, but once you do you’ll have access to almost 200 videos created by graduate students and faculty at AU.

Most of these clips seem to be test videos for the graduate students, but in the Education and Instructional channel you can find some interesting research projects, such as a Massively Multiplayer Online Game developed to help teach students a programming language. Another interesting project is a trading card game that is being developed not to teach any topics itself, but so that the cards can be used as rewards and incentives for students reaching learning goals.

Perhaps one of the most fascinating projects I found was one called Pecunia. Pecunia is a virtual world that teaches students finance by giving them a virtual life and providing realistic ways to earn money as well as real-life punishments?like boredom waiting in a hospital if they do not keep themselves healthy by purchasing food and shelter, for example.

While no World of Warcraft or Magic: the Gathering, these projects are amusing, if not inspiring, and speak to the creativity and innovation present in the AU community.

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