Today marks the beginning of a strong alliance to create an innovative learning environment that will meet aspirations enshrined in both the UTAS Learning and Teaching Plan and the Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching Plan. David Clerk, Chief Operating Officer, David Sadler, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students & Education) and John Baker, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian online learning company, Desire2Learn, met today to sign a contract to replace our current learning management system with the Desire2Learn Learning Environment.
This alliance strengthens UTAS’s strategic goal to enhance excellence in online learning and teaching for staff and students, as Desire2Learn (D2L) has been demonstrated to be adaptable, to facilitate a full range of learning and teaching approaches, to accommodate diverse disciplines and contexts, while supporting cutting edge research and development ventures in the scholarship of learning and teaching in higher education. Crucially, the system has the capability to evolve as new learning and teaching needs and opportunities arise.
Professor Sadler commented that “As a result of this partnership, we expect to greatly enhance learning and teaching at UTAS by providing an online learning and teaching environment that is robust and reliable, intuitive to use and that integrates seamlessly with current services.”
Replacing the Blackboard software, the D2L Learning Environment will underpin UTAS’s My Learning Online (MyLO) system. An implementation and development program will now run until December 2011 and then, over the course of 2012, the new environment will be introduced to teaching staff and students with the aid of school-based champions, and a special group of Educational Developers and Learning Systems Support Officers who will undertake support and training for a staged migration and roll-out of units across undergraduate and postgraduate offerings.
The first operational stage of the implementation will see a select number units being migrated from Blackboard to D2L in readiness for Semester 1 2012, this process will be done in consultation with the faculties, schools and institutes.