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Learning Management Systems

Iowa College Adopts New LMS To Move Beyond 'Managing' Learning

An Iowa college is replacing its legacy learning management system (LMS) in an effort to move from managing learning to improving it. Kirkwood Community College, which has about 23,400 students, is adopting D2L's Brightspace. The new LMS, nicknamed "Talon" for the school's mascot, an eagle, will be fully in place by fall 2015.

After conducting surveys, the institution's Learning Technology Advisory Committee had settled on three finalist products, including D2L Brightspace. According to Web coverage of the decision, criteria included cost, key features, assessments, capabilities, mobile support and browser support. For the final review, faculty, students and staff scored the choices, and D2L won "by a large majority."

"We felt our previous LMS technology was only focused on managing learning, which simply isn't sufficient for the challenges we're trying to overcome today and in the future. Our faculty and students' needs have drastically changed and we are facing a new set of higher education challenges that require us to improve learning, not just manage it," said CIO and Associate Vice President Jon Neff, in a statement. "Brightspace puts the best tools in the hands of both our faculty and students, giving them the power to do just that."

The college is also investing in D2L Insights, an analytics program that integrates with the LMS and taps into other institutional data. At the course level, instructors can monitor, evaluate and predict learner performance to reach out to individual students who may be struggling or to personalize instruction. At the program and institutional levels, the analytics can be used to help the school benchmark achievements, identify areas for improvement and produce reporting for accreditation requirements.

Kirkwood isn't the only Iowa college to adopt D2L. Other users in the state include the University of Iowa, Briar Cliff University and Mercy College of Health Sciences.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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