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Cal State Long Beach Adopts Angel Learning Management System

California State University, Long Beach is adopting the Angel Learning Management Suite (LMS) to power BeachBoard, the e-learning environment that makes discussion boards and instructional materials such as syllabi and quizzes available to students online. Long Beach is the first campus in the California state university system to license the Angel LMS under the CSU Master Enabling Agreement (MEA) with Angel Learning. The MEA, which leverages the university system's purchasing power, is designed to verify that the Angel LMS meets or exceeds all the university's LMS requirements.

According to a memo issued by the Office of the Provost, the search for a new LMS was prompted by the upcoming expiration of BlackBoard's contract with the university, "coupled with a desire to find an LMS that better meets faculty and students' needs as well as accessibility guidelines established by the Chancellor's office."

"The decision to adopt the Angel Learning Management Suite is the result of an extensive vetting process that included the creation of an ad hoc LMS steering committee and an LMS evaluation task force made up of interested students, faculty, staff, and administrators," said Karen Gould, provost.

The task force evaluated two learning management systems based on 114 criteria. Reasons the task force identified for selecting the Angel LMS included: its teaching and learning tools; the product's openness for customization; its compliance with Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) requirements identified by the CSU Chancellor's Office; the product's ability to integrate with the university's student information system, PeopleSoft; and the technical support provided by Angel.

According to a press release issued by the university, "Angel will allow faculty to continue to focus on teaching and learning with additional tools such as wikis and blogs and an eportfolio tool. Faculty will also have more options when using the gradebook feature, including customizing their view of and efficient input into the gradebook. Angel will also make BeachBoard more interactive for students, incorporating the Google search engine and podcasting options. Students and faculty will be instantly notified of new announcements, discussion posts, and e-mails and will be able to view BeachBoard on their PDAs or iPhones."

The campus' Office of Academic Technology will work with students, faculty, and staff to migrate to the new platform in Summer 2009 and expects Angel to be fully in place January 2010.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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