Learning Platforms

Denison U Adopts Social Learning Platform

Denison University in Granville, OH is replacing its learning management system (LMS) with a social learning platform.

More than a year ago, the university's IT governance committee made the decision to replace Denison's legacy LMS. The committee then collaborated with students, faculty and administrators to develop a list of requirements for a replacement system. After evaluating several options, the committee decided not to implement another LMS and went with the social learning platform, Notebowl, instead.

According to information on the company's site, Notebowl is designed to provide students and faculty with an online experience similar to the social networks they use in their personal life. The system supports multiple modes of real-time communication — such as group chats, private messaging and video chat — between students and their instructors. Students can keep track of their assignments and due dates through an automated agenda and receive reminders on their smartphone. Instructors can record and post video lectures on their course page and host real-time question-and-answer sessions alongside the video, and they can use the online grading tool to provide students with interactive feedback.

Denison University is rolling out Notebowl in three phases, with the first phase already in progress. So far, the response has been positive. "Notebowl is much more user-friendly. I find myself not dreading using it," said Bill Kirkpatrick, associate professor of communications at Denison, in a news release. "The user friendliness of the platform makes me more willing to try new things in the classroom."

Denison's IT team expects to complete its rollout of Notebowl by the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year, and is considering the possibility of expanding the platform to extra-curricular activities in the future.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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