The National University of Ireland – Galway (NUI Galway) offers a wide variety of academic disciplines to more than 17,000 students. With each passing semester, the university looks for new ways to incorporate technology in an effort to help students with their careers after graduation.
Four years ago, NUI Galway implemented the Blackboard Learn™ platform campus-wide. Staff members quickly began using Blackboard, increasing the appeal of and demand for technology in the classroom. With this increase in usage came other challenges, the biggest of which was managing video on campus. Staff members wanted to use video in the classroom, but the university didn’t have the proper storage capacity.
Today’s digital natives – those who have had access to computers, cell phones, email, and other forms of technology since birth – expect their professors to integrate media into the curriculum to augment learning in the classroom.
Kaltura, a market-leading open source online video platform and a Blackboard Premier Partner, helps universities deliver on this expectation by allowing faculty to easily create, edit and upload videos with a click of a button. Once the videos are uploaded to the platform, students can view the videos from any device in any location.
There’s no doubt that the growth of digital learning content is accelerating. Multiple resources indicate that a higher ed world of blended and online learning is rapidly approaching, some resources even cite the “flip to digital” occurring in the next 5 years. Textbooks aren’t going away any time soon but their use in the classroom is declining steadily. And, expectations are that instructors will graduate from eTexts to the more sophisticated integrated learning systems being developed by publishers.
What does this mean for you?
Blackboard can be a channel for all this content and tools, helping faculty make sense of the numerous digital content options available to them. Blackboard offers a broad choice of content to choose from right within the Blackboard Learn course. I would like to take a moment to look at one of our newest providers of digital content: Cengage Learning.
Last week the IMS Global Learning Consortium
announced its certification of the Basic LTI 1.1 standard, and at this week’s IMS Learning Impact conference in Toronto you’ll hear much more from the standards organization about this new standard. For those of you not familiar, LTI stands for Learning Tools Interoperability. The LTI standard allows for third-party tool providers to easily plug their applications into Blackboard Learn and other learning management systems.
I’m a musician at heart, so when I explain LTI I often use Noteflight
as an example. Noteflight is an online music writing application that lets you create, view, print and hear music notation with professional quality, right in your web browser. Since Noteflight supports the LTI standard, a music teacher can create composition-based assignment and grade the assignment all within Blackboard Learn. That’s just one example! The LTI standard has been used by educators to integrate content from other providers into their courses creating truly rich course content.
At Blackboard we’ve prided ourselves on rapid implementation of IMS standards, and Basic LTI 1.1 is no different. Blackboard’s support of IMS open standards demonstrates a continuing commitment to creating a learning management system devoted to interoperability and openness. We continue to work with the IMS Global Consortium to expand standards support in our software and lead in the establishment of other industry standards.