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Elearning boasts new look and improved features

by Thom Myers

June 15, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU student with computer.
New Elearning coming soon
KALAMAZOO--"Potentially transformative," is the way Dr. James Gilchrist, chief information officer at Western Michigan University, describes the transition to a new software program for online instruction, with greatly expanded capabilities for both instructors and students.

The new system continues under the name Elearning and offers a variety of improved features in an intuitive, customizable interface.

"Instead of online learning being primarily a matter of how to adapt our teaching to the limitations of the system, the flexibility and capabilities of the new Elearning will allow us to expand and improve our teaching with new modes of interactive learning," says David Loberg Code, professor of music and member of the selection committee for the new system.

Elearning Timeline

The new system will be rolled out in three phases beginning this month and continuing through spring semester 2012.

Phase I will roll out fully online courses for summer II session.

Phase II will consist of migrating 100 courses and training the faculty who instruct them for fall semester implementation and feedback.

Phase III will consist of migrating the remainder of the courses for spring semester implementation.

By spring semester, students will be able to access the new Elearning through GoWMU, and the old system will be taken offline. Beginning with spring semester, all instructors will submit their midterm and final grades through Elearning instead of through the current Banner interface.

Elearning Support

Significant personnel resources are focused on the successful migration of currently used courses, education and support of instructors and ongoing support of instructors and students. Implementation and support of transition is a collaborative effort involving Extended University Programs and the offices of Faculty Development and Information Technology.