Kitchener-Waterloo, ON and Melbourne, Australia, July 30, 2010
As one of Australia's largest and fastest growing Universities and an internationally recognized leader in flexible education, Deakin needed more than 'just' a replacement of its existing learning management system (LMS). The University wanted a virtual learning environment (VLE) that would support growth through partnerships, a richer student experience and improved learning outcomes that focused on instructional design and pedagogy while improving academic staff productivity.
"At Deakin we place great emphasis on our flexible learning programs and with over 30% of our students studying from home, work, regional or remote areas, we needed a solution partner who can deliver a smooth and rapid transition, with little or no 'culture shock' for academic staff and students," stated Deakin's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Philip Clarke. Desire2Learn offers the best fit with our excellent existing teaching and learning practices. They are the best fit with our values and ways of operating."
A selection committee, with wide ranging membership, assessed both commercial and open source options against critical success factors to make a recommendation to the executive. The evaluation process incorporated consultation with key stakeholders at all stages and extensive hands-on evaluation of different systems by a select group of academic and technical staff. The side-by-side comparison, using a structured approach was critical.
Academic evaluations of Desire2Learn focused on an 'intuitive', 'uncluttered' and 'user-friendly interface', and noted improved capabilities with both group and multimedia management.
"I actually began to get excited about changing systems seeing everything Desire2Learn had to offer," remarked Arlene Silvas, Director, Knowledge Media Division, Deakin University.
Deakin Studies Online (DSO) is a central component of the Deakin learning experience and a catalyst for positive change. Highly valued by Deakin's diverse range of students, DSO provides flexible teaching and learning and student support for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Desire2Learn's more efficient workflows, ease of use and seamless integration offers potential to extend the use of effective online learning by academic staff and thereby more creative learning opportunities for students.
Silvas commented, "We see the new Instructional Design support as a way of fast-tracking the adoption of good learning design and teaching practices across our University which operates on four campuses."
The new DSO will meet the needs and expectations of teachers and learners alike. Successful implementation will enable Deakin to maintain its position as a leader in flexible education.
DSO will continue to evolve in response to academic and student needs and changing practice, becoming an integrated, holistic course approach that increases student engagement and outcomes.
"It is very exciting for us to have Deakin University migrate to the Desire2Learn Learning Suite as they transform their teaching and learning practice and demonstrate their leadership in eLearning in the Asia-Pacific region," said John Baker, President & CEO, Desire2Learn. "We are very pleased to be a critical partner with them on this journey."
Established in 1974, Deakin University combines traditional values of excellence in teaching and research with innovative ways of developing and delivering courses, undertaking research and providing services.
Deakin has more than 37,000 higher education students and boasts four spacious campuses in Melbourne, Geelong and Warrnambool. Each has a strong sense of community and provides a supportive study environment.
Offering more than 250 courses from four Faculties, Deakin is committed to providing flexible learning opportunities with undergraduate and postgraduate courses available both on and off campus and through full- and part-time study. Some 10,000 Deakin students study off campus while more than 5,000 international students study from Australia and throughout the world. In 2010, Deakin was commended with seven citations for ‘Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning’ at the Australian Learning and Teaching Council awards.
Deakin has forged a distinguished cross-disciplinary approach to research and continues to attract a growing number of international staff and students supported by world-class facilities and infrastructure. For further information, visit www.deakin.edu.au.
About Desire2Learn Incorporated
Desire2Learn comprises Desire2Learn Incorporated and its subsidiaries. Desire2Learn Incorporated is a world-leading provider of enterprise eLearning solutions that enable institutions and other organizations to create teaching and learning environments that reflect their vision, values, goals, pedagogical approaches and branding. Desire2Learn and its subsidiaries support more than five million learners worldwide and clients include higher education, K-12, as well as associations, government and other leading organizations. Founded in 1999, Desire2Learn is headquartered in Kitchener, ON, Canada with personnel located in North America, the U.K. and Australia. For more information, visit: www.Desire2Learn.com, call 1.519.772.0325 or toll-free 1.888.772.0325 (within North America), +44 808.234.4235 (U.K. and Europe), 0.800.452.069 (New Zealand) and 1.800.656.210 (Australia).
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