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Education IT

Australian university rolls out new learning management system

Charles Sturt University (CSU), a leading distance education provider in Australia with over 29,000 students taking online classes, has chosen to replace its current learning management system (LMS) with Blackboard Learn following a review of several platforms.

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CSU will also leverage data from the LMS to make decisions on how to better design courses, deliver course materials and engage with students.

The university officials decided to review available LMS options as part of its ongoing commitment to deliver the best possible online learning experience and accommodate for future growth. A committee of faculty and educational designers piloted and evaluated several commercial and open-source platforms based on 12 factors.

The committee found Blackboard Learn to be far superior in the most highly valued factors: pedagogy, breadth of features, integrations and usability, and the best choice to help the university grow its online programme.

“With such a large contingent of our students learning online, either through fully online courses or in hybrid classes, the LMS we use—and the data we can extract from it—is mission-critical to our success,” said Associate Professor Philip Uys (pictured), Director of Strategic Learning and Teaching Innovation at CSU. “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 to upgrade the university’s mobile learning and student life apps and create more familiarity and connectivity with the university for students, many of whom live off campus.

All functionalities of the LMS, including course content, discussion boards, blogs, wikis, and more, will be accessible via mobile devices. University leaders can also create custom campus life apps with features like virtual campus tours, news updates, and directories.

“It’s not always easy to build a connection between students and the university, and that’s especially true with students who take some or all of their classes online,” continued Uys. “A high-quality campus app will allow our busy students to engage with our community and deepen their relationship with the university wherever they are.”

“In Australia and around the world, technology is shifting the education landscape,” said Matthew Small, President, International, at Blackboard. “There is now an entirely new construct to what schools need to do in order to stay relevant and support their students. We are excited to partner with schools like CSU that recognise how the strategic use of technology can help meet enterprise-wide goals, like higher student engagement and improved learning outcomes.”

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