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. 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 programming and staff support faculty during course design and delivery.

Who is PLUTO for?

PLUTO Programming is open to all faculty. Participation in PLUTO Essentials is recommended for all faculty new to teaching at PLU or those unfamiliar with Sakai and other learning technologies at PLU. The PLUTO+ program is designed for any faculty member interested in teaching blended or online courses.

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 teaching online or blended courses can apply to participate in the PLUTO+ program. This program includes resources for self-study along with instructional design support and meetings with a faculty learning community. Three cohorts of 3-6 faculty each will meet in either fall, winter, or spring. This program is currently on hold, but contact pluto@plu.edu with any questions.

How can faculty participate?

Registration/Application forms for the PLUTO Essentials program is available here. Faculty do not need departmental approval to participate in PLUTO programming, however faculty do need approval from their department chair to teach a blended or online course. The PLUTO+ is open to faculty with and without experience teaching blended or online courses. Faculty who have previously completed PLUTO Essentials or PLUTO Institute training are welcome to participate in the PLUTO+ program. Please be aware that funding is limited and there may be more applicants than funding can accommodate.