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eLearning Dialogue for Wednesday, March 3, 2004

CMS Review - a resource on elearning & Course management Systems

Wed., March 03, 2004




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CMS Viewpoint

Farewell CMS Review – Hello eLearning Dialogue

By Frank Tansey

“Dialogue” \ Di"a*logue\ : A conversation between two or more persons. “eLearning”: a large catchall term to include all aspects of technology-enhanced teaching and learning.

From the beginning, CMS Review was structured to promote an exchange of ideas about course management systems. We had viewpoints and case studies as the anchor tenants of the newsletter. In our short life, we have had some excellent contributions in both areas. What we did not want to do was turn the Review into a regular column by the editorial board. That would be too one-way. CMS Review inferred that we were collecting information to help you keep up with the developments in course management systems. That is also too one-way, and far too passive. We wanted a conversation not an update.

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Content Management: The 'Other' CMS For Education
Content Management Solutions are not the same as Course Management Solutions. Sign up for a free demo and learn how Content Management Solutions are helping administrators and professors deliver information and services via their existing Web sites more efficiently. More than 150 educational institutions including Syracuse, Vanguard, and Duke University use Ektron Solutions to enhance their online services.

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CMS News & Product updates

NC State G'es with WebCT for Enterprise Plan

North Carolina State University picked WebCT Vista as part of a plan to extend its e-learning programs enterprisewide and foster cooperation across sections, courses, faculty and departments. The school is looking eventually to involve parts of the 16 campuses of the university.

NC State manages more than 1,000 courses via its current CMS,WebCT Campus Edition and nine out of 10 students on the 30,000-student campus have taken Web-enhanced or distance learning courses. The transition to WebCT Vista is a central component of NC State's plan to use technology to improve student learning. This is a central goal of "Learning in a Technology-Rich Environment (LITRE)," the NC State quality enhancement plan for reaffirmation of accreditation in 2004.

Partners contribute $10,000 annually with a three-year commitment. The program facilitates technical collaboration, developer training, strategy briefings, and software sharing among universities. Partners receive access to SEPP technical staff, pre-release code, developer workshops, and access to an online Sakai Project knowledgebase managed by Indiana University.

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UW-Eau Claire Swaps Blackboard, WebCT, for Desire2Learn

UW-Eau Claire stopped using WebCT, one of three Web-based learning systems on campus and will stop using Blackboard in June, as a result of license expirations for both programs. Desire2Learn was picked as the replacement Web-based learning system in March 2003 and the contract was signed in April.

Cost was a major factor in the decision, as it saves $1.3M over five years. Students hope it's similar to what they are used to and that professors will use it more.

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New University in Kuwait to Run SCT' Campus Manager

National Offset Computers in Kuwait will sub-license SCT Banner to the American University of Kuwait (AUK), which will open its doors to students in September 2004. The deal was signed by Sheikha Dana Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, chairwoman of the AUK Board of Trustees, and chairwoman of the United Education Company (UEC), and Armando Yaya, general manager of National Offset Computers.

The university will be the first liberal arts institution of its kind in the region and will deploy online technologies aimed at enriching student learning and engaging parents in the education process. The university will accommodate 500 students upon installation of SCT, with a further 500 added each year for a total 3,000 students.

Human Equation Debuts Corporate Learning Management System

Corporate training firm the Human Equation introduced InSite, a learning management system designed to simplify workforce training. The Web-based tool enables clients to schedule, launch, bookmark, and track all online training, for one or 100,000 staff. The system can customized to an organization's hierarchy so that trainee management and courseware assignments are consistent with a chain of command. Designated account administrators define the privileges and access rights of trainees, and are able to access administrative reports, notifications, and activity histories.

CMS Case Study

N.D. State College Wireless Supports Course Development

The North Dakota State College of Science, a comprehensive two-year state college in Wahpeton, N.D., gives its 2,500 students hands-on experience with today's technologies, preparing them to excel in higher education and the changing workplace.

To sustain this “learn-by-doing” approach, NDSCS wanted to simplify and broaden students' access to online academic resources. Relying on a Fast Ethernet LAN, NDSCS couldn't deliver the speedy responses that students' growing use of new, high-bandwidth applications required. In addition to lost productivity, the wired LAN also limited network access to and from classrooms and computer labs.

To resolve these issues, NDSCS sought a higher-speed backbone to extend the network to its residence halls and apartment units. NDSCS deployed the 3Com switching technology, including the 3Com Switch 4007 for Gigabit Ethernet connectivity; 3Com 11Mbps Wireless LAN access points provide up to 11 megabits per second (Mbps) wireless Ethernet connections; and 3Com 11 Mbps Wireless LAN PC cards.

The technology enables nursing majors, for example, to view jitter-free ultrasounds from a projector linked directly to their PCs or laptops. The network also facilitates interactive writing labs over the Internet, and delivers AutoDesk's AutoCAD 2000 drafting applications to architectural drafting students. Computer programming majors also have network-based Java, Visual Basic and Cobal, industry-standard software language tools.

The solution supports distance learning through Microsoft NetMeeting software and online course development with Using's technology and support, NDSCS is expanding the reach of its online training programs.

CMS TechNotes

Blogs as CMS: Is Their Biggest Asset an Achilles Heel?

Bloggers call into question the extent to which Weblogs can act as course management systems, asking the question, "will blogs grow class management wings?"

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CMS Exchange

To contribute a CMS related case study and/or news updates to the new eLearning Dialogue, please send your story or comments to [email protected] or you can post to our forum.

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