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Wright State Finishes Year-Long Comprehensive LMS Migration

Wright State University, with nearly 20,000 students between two campuses, has wrapped a year-long migration to a new learning management system (LMS). The Dayton, OH university has deployed a version of Desire2Learn that it has branded under the name "Pilot." All materials have been migrated to the new LMS following the phased deployment, which began in fall 2010 with faculty workshops.

According to a frequently asked questions page about the pilot, a multi-disciplinary committee of faculty from multiple departments plus staff from CaTS, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and university libraries spent several months researching and trying out "the top course management systems." The committee "unanimously chose Desire2Learn for its ease of use, sophistication, performance, and support." That contract was signed May 1, 2010.

"The commitment that Desire2Learn makes to client service and support is unprecedented in the online learning industry," said Dan DeStephen, a professor of communication and director of CaTS. "The review committee decisively recommended Desire2Learn because there was a sense that Desire2Learn would be there right along with us every step of the way. We've been absolutely correct in that judgment."

From the beginning of the deployment, requests for internal tech support have also eased, and adoption of an LMS by faculty has grown. "When we first started implementing the Desire2Learn platforms, we saw a marked decrease in the number of help-desk tickets, and then when we went live, we were hardly getting any calls" said Terri Klaus, associate director of CaTS. "We have also seen an increase in faculty use. Some faculty had shied away from the concept of online learning but there is more significant buy-in now that we have Desire2Learn Learning Suite."

According to a vendor statement, Wright State plans to use Desire2Learn as an academic portal that will provide access to all of the university's materials and multiple applications, such as Respondus, for creating and managing quizzes; Blackboard's Elluminate, for live online conferencing of courses; and LecShare, for recording narration and captions of PowerPoint presentations for students to view on the Web or mobile devices. That also includes integration with the school's library services.

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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