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Cengage Launches Course System with Content

Cengage Learning has introduced Course360, a set of applications for running classes online. The new platform includes course content and works within major learning management systems.

The company said it has 60 courses in five program areas, including business, criminal justice, general education, graphics, and medical reimbursement and coding. The courses are built in six-unit formats and include material equal to about a week's worth of instruction and assignments. Seventy additional courses are expected in 2011.

Each course includes animations, games, simulations, podcasts, and dynamic self-assessments. Course360 also offers collaboration functionality through discussions, team projects, and the option for Web 2.0 activities, such as blogs and wikis. Instructors can design and customize the online course, including format, look, and content. They can also edit the course content or add their own. The content can be mapped to specific student outcomes; each course includes a design document that outlines how Course360 content and assessments support each outcome to aid in the creation of documentation for accreditation purposes.

Course360 can be used with Blackboard, WebCT, Angel, and eCollege. Institutions receive a course cartridge--collections of publisher-created content--to install into their LMS. Students (or institutions) receive access codes to courses. If an institution doesn't have an LMS, the company can host the system on its learning management system, which runs Angel. Cengage said it will also work in an open source learning management system if the customer will agree to work with the vendor to protect its course content.

"Today's instructors and students are demanding flexible learning solutions, coupled with quality content, so they can teach and learn on their own terms, at their own pace and, increasingly, in their own environment," said William Rieders, executive vice president of global new media for Cengage Learning. "Course360 responds to these needs by supporting a variety of learning styles and fostering a collaborative online environment in which ideas can be shared and concepts learned."

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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