What is PLUTO?

PLUTO stands for PLU Teaching Online. It represents a set of initiatives which support faculty in the development of online, blended, and technology-facilitated courses.


PLU supports faculty in their exploration of online teaching technologies and skills. PLU is also working to grow online course offerings for summer terms and J-Term to meet the diverse needs of students. Online courses keep students connected to campus and can help reduce time to matriculation. Blended courses combine the best of face-to-face and online learning elements to provide students and faculty with flexible options for technology-rich instruction. With offering blended and online courses, PLU supports and promotes high-quality learning experiences consistent with PLU values. PLUTO supports faculty during course design and delivery and often impacts instructors’ teaching and use of technology in all their courses.

Who is PLUTO for?

At this time, PLUTO Institutes for Online and Blended Learning are open to PLU professors who are tenured, tenure-track, or visiting. PLUTO Essentials is open to all faculty.

When and Where does PLUTO take place?

Faculty interested in learning basic skills and strategies for Sakai and other online teaching technology can participate in the asynchronous, online PLUTO Essentials program on Sakai. Registration is available and open anytime.

Faculty interested in designing an online or blended course consult with their deans/chairs and apply to participate in a program which includes an institute, online activities, cohort meetings, and personalized consultations. The institute takes place twice a year, 9:00-2:00 on Mondays during J-Term or Fridays during Summer Term II.

How can faculty participate?

Faculty interested in online/blended learning should first talk to their department chair and/or dean and select a course to design as blended or online. The next step is to fill out the application form located on the PLUTO website. The PLUTO team will then schedule a meeting with the faculty member to discuss the program and determine if the program is a good fit for the instructor and the course.

Registration/Application forms for PLUTO Essentials the PLUTO Institute for Online and Blended Learning are located on the respective pages for these programs. Faculty do not need departmental approval to participate in PLUTO Essentials.