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Wilkes U Begins LMS Consolidation

Wilkes University is consolidating its learning management systems onto a single platform. As a result of the move the school's faculty and approximately 5,900 undergraduates and graduate students will be on the same system beginning in August, streamlining processes and customer service functions.

According to Matthew Koch, Wilkes University's e-learning director, the university is shifting to the Desire2Learn's Learning Suite in part because the university's community "like[s] the direction we see Desire2Learn moving toward in terms of future development. Areas like mobile access, an affordable ePortfolio, and institutional assessment capability are particularly attractive."

Desire2Learn Learning Suite comprises six different platforms: Learning Environment; ePortfolio; Learning Repository; Mobile Solutions; Analytics; and Capture.

The phased implementation of the new platform is beginning with summer classes and will continue with the addition of Desire2Learn ePortfolio and Desire2Learn Learning Repository.

"Through implementing the Desire2Learn platform we will be providing the premier LMS solutions on the market to the entire campus," said Gloria Barlow, Wilkes University's chief information officer. "Standardizing on this system will provide cost savings in many areas in addition to providing a better teaching and learning experience to faculty and students. Desire2Learn incorporates additional functionality in many of its tools, and through new tools, like the ePortfolio and interactive Rubrics, we will be able to expand the capabilities of the system for faculty."

Two other universities, Regis and Ecuador's San Francisco de Quito, also recently revealed that they're switching to Desire2Learn Learning Suite.

Regis University, with online continuing education and MBA programs and 7,500 full-time students, began a phased implementation of the LMS in April.

As part of the selection process, Regis compared Desire2Learn with an open source system and a vendor based system. Desire2Learn was chosen for its scalability, performance, interface, immediate ease of use, and "an opportunity to expand existing dual language programs online to provide courses in both Spanish and English," according to information released by the company.

"Virtually every student at Regis University will participate in online coursework before they graduate," said Peter Greco, chief information officer at Regis University. "Desire2Learn supports the art of online learning, not just the science. At Regis, we feel that the Desire2Learn Learning Suite is designed with the user in mind."

Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Like Wilkes, will be consolidating material from two previous systems when it launches Desire2Learn's Learning Suite for use by 6,000 students and 1,000 faculty and staff in August.

The implementation will begin with Learning Environment and ePortfolio, and continue with the addition of Analytics and mobile technologies next year.

The move is part of the university's plan to expand its course offerings beyond Ecuador to all Spanish speaking Latin American countries.

"With Desire2Learn, we feel comfortable pursuing our international strategy in a more aggressive way," Gonzalo Mendieta, vice president for academic affairs at Universidad San Francisco de Quito. "While we had envisioned expanding the university's reach through online education, we now have both the technology and the necessary support from Desire2Learn to execute on the idea and make it a reality. San Francisco de Quito now has the tools to take our leading reputation around Latin America."

According to information released by the company, San Francisco de Quito will be the first major institution of higher education in Latin America to use the platform.

More information is available at desire2learn.com.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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