Penelope Semrau, Ph.D.

Portrait photo of Dr. Penelope Semrau
Charter College of Education
Division of Advanced and Applied Studies in Education
Office Location: KH A2035


I have been working in instructional technology since my doctoral program at Ohio State University. After finishing my Ph.D., I started teaching at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) in the Instructional Technology program. "Instructional Technology" means using technology for to teach or train. Some instructional technology applications include Second Life, webpages, learning management systems (LMS) like WebCT classes, and digital videos like training tutorials on YouTube. Anytime that technology is used to deliver training or teaching, this is a use of instructional technology. Students who complete their M.A.degrees in the Instructional Technology option have many career opportunities in schools, government, as well as in the private sector. They create educational software for their classrooms, design websites, produce video tutorials, train corporate employees on the use of technology, and coordinate technology in their school districts.


At CSULA, I currently teach these courses:

EDIT 550: Multimedia Design and Production,
EDIT 484: Software Authoring Tools in Education,
EDIT 554: Vvideo Technology in Education,
EDIT 540: Instructional Graphic Design and Production,
EDIT 430: Iinformation Technology in the Classroom.

In my classes, I encourage collaborative, constructivist learning and communities of practice with blogs, threaded discussions, team work, and the 3D virtual environment called Second Life. My courses are either partially online called a hybrid course or fully online.

In the fall of 1999, I taught a 100% online course to students in Berlin, Germany. In the summer of 1998 I taught a seminar at the FrauenTechnikZentrum in Hamburg, Germany. The seminar was on the topic of "Creating Online Courses."

In the fall of 2003 I was awarded the Outstanding Professor award, CSULA.



My current research interest is the design and application of collaborative social technologies such as blogs, wikis, Second Life for educational purposes in my classes. My professional background includes authorship of books, journal articles, regional, state, national, and international presentations, and grants and contracts focused on technology and education.

I am the principal author for an Allyn & Bacon textbook, Using Interactive Video in Education (1994), which I co-authored with Dr. Boyer. I am the director and principal investigator for a federal contract funded by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Representative Professional Activities



2003Semrau, P., & Boyer, B. A. Venturing into scorm with a government project. Proceedings from the 19th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, 4 pages. [Online and on CD-ROM]. Available:
2002Semrau, P., & Boyer, B. New roles for teaching and learning: A collaborative university project for the government. World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2002(1), 1784-1785. [Online]. Available:
May 17, 2003Refereed Presentation. So we�re teaching constructivism�but where did it come from?, Computer-Using Educators (CUE), Anaheim, CA. Co-presenter: Dr. B. A. Boyer.
Aug. 6-8, 2001Refereed paper. Constructivist values for web-based instruction: University and nsa collaboration, presented at ICALT 2001 (IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies), University of Wisconsin-Madison. Co-Presenter: Dr. Boyer.
July 20, 2004Syllabus Conference, San Francisco. A Collaborative University Team Develops a Web-Based Course for the Government. Co-Presenter: Dr. Boyer.



B.S.E. Art Education
University of Wisconsin

Whitewater, WI


M.S. Art Education
Illinois State University

Normal, IL


Ph.D. Art Education
Ohio State University

Columbus, OH