Charles Sturt University (CSU) students will stay at the cutting edge of online learning with the introduction of a new learning management system, 'Blackboard Learn', beginning in 2014.
CSU director of strategic learning and teaching innovation Associate Professor Philip Uys said the new system would improve the student experience and assist with the design and delivery of course materials.
“Charles Sturt University is the leading provider of distance education in Australia, with more than 29,000 students taking online classes,” he said.
“Our mission is to help those students achieve their educational and career goals, so ensuring they are engaged and supported during their studies is essential.
“The learning management system we use, and level of support we can deliver for students as a result, is a big part of maintaining the engagement and relationship we work so hard to build with our students.”
“We’re excited to partner with a global leader to take our digital learning initiatives to the next level, creating a world-class experience for all our students, whether they are on or off campus.”
CSU has also selected Blackboard technology to upgrade the University’s mobile learning and student life apps and to create more familiarity and connectivity with the University for students, many of whom live off campus.
All parts of the new system, including course content, discussion boards, blogs, wikis, and more, will be accessible via mobile devices.
CSU can also create custom campus life apps with features like virtual campus tours, news updates, and directories.
Mr Brendan McHugh, Executive Director, Division of Information Technology, said he believed the partnership would deliver significant benefits for students, including;
- Improved support – BlackBoard provides custom ‘getting started’ videos that students can view on demand to learn about the system’s features
- A ready-made mobile app
- Custom options to improve access for students with a disability
- Increased communication and collaboration abilities with other students
- Better organised, easier to locate, and more accessible learning resources, and a global navigation menu so students can quickly and easily get where they want to go
“From a technology solution perspective the Blackboard solution will significantly increase Charles Sturt University’s ability to deliver a true, ‘24/7’ service with robust support capability,” Mr McHugh said.
Blackboard president, international, Mr Matthew Small said technology was changing the education landscape in Australia and around the world.
“There is now an entirely new construct to what universities need to do in order to say relevant and support their students. We are excited to partner with institutions like Charles Sturt University that recognise how the strategic use of technology can help meet goals like higher student engagement and improved learning outcomes,” Mr Small said.