Centra Facilitates Success of eLearning in North American Universities
Centra (NASDAQ: CTRA) today announced that Alberta’s Northern Lakes College will use Centra’s eLearning and Web collaboration platform, CentraOne, to deliver college programs to adult learners in rural communities over the Internet. The College, which has delivered distance education for 20 years, plans to replace its current distance-learning technologies with CentraOne. Live, instructor-led courses and one-on-one tutoring will be delivered over the Internet using Centra to a large student population across north-central Alberta. The students, many of whom are female and of aboriginal descent, are seeking high school, vocational, workforce, university, and career courses. Without Web-based eLearning technologies such as Centra, educational opportunities would be difficult to access or unavailable to residents in remote locations.
“Easy-to-use Web collaboration tools, such as real-time application sharing and reliable voice-over-IP, were important criteria in selecting a product that would ensure the best experience and highest user adoption,” said Rick Neidig, Vice President of College Services. “Centra meets our needs on every front. It will enable us to extend our curriculum by bringing subject matter experts to remote areas without requiring students to leave their communities. Without this type of delivery, many students would not be able to advance their education or employment potential.”
An early innovator in distance learning, Northern Lakes College has been using an audio-graphic teleconferencing system to teach courses for more than a decade. In moving to the Internet, Northern Lakes College sought a live eLearning platform with capabilities that would allow them to easily adapt their current teaching materials and expand their offering as the Internet infrastructure in Alberta improves. Total transition to CentraOne is expected to take two to three years as Alberta’s “SuperNet” project extends to bring high-speed Internet access to rural communities across the Province.
Neidig added, “It is critical that we are able to service communities throughout Alberta until high-speed Internet access becomes available. Since Centra delivers full performance over lower-bandwidth connections, we don’t have to sacrifice the important interaction of a live classroom setting or limit our reach. With the current delivery system, we are able to service approximately 850 course registrations per year. With Centra, we expect to increase our market and support services dramatically.”
Some of the future applications of Centra being considered by the College include more evening courses, delivery to students in their home or workplace, and online professional development programs for faculty. Meetings and administrative activities will also move online, reducing the amount of travel needed by the College’s decentralized management.
Scaleable Software Solution for eLearning and Business Collaboration
Used by more than 775 companies, government agencies, and universities worldwide, Centra’s scaleable software solutions are based on CentraOne(TM), a comprehensive, thin-client Web collaboration platform. Leveraging the core capabilities of CentraOne, Centra offers a suite of compatible, real-time Web collaboration products, content creation tools, and knowledge delivery systems that can be quickly installed on-site using Centra’s rapid deployment methodology, or conveniently accessed through Centra’s secure, full-service ASP. Centra’s products – including interactive Web meetings, virtual classrooms, and large-scale conferences – ensure universal access to users through firewalls and proxy servers, and deliver full-performance IP audio conferencing, streaming video, application sharing, and dynamic multimedia over low-bandwidth network connections through a standard browser interface.
“As one of the more experienced adopters of technology for distance learning, Northern Lakes College conducted a rigorous evaluation of eLearning and collaboration products before choosing Centra,” said Joyce Bokuniewicz, Centra’s Director of Higher Education Programs. “Their decision is not only a testament to the vision of the Northern Lakes College faculty, it also reflects the strength of Centra’s products and proven track record in making colleges, universities, and business schools successful in their endeavors to make education available online.”
About Northern Lakes College
Northern Lakes College has facilities in 26 communities throughout north-central Alberta with the administrative center located in the historic community of Grouard. The College provides quality educational programs and services that enable adults to continue their education, to improve their employment opportunities, and to enhance their quality of life. For more information, visit www.northernlakescollege.ca.
Leading with an undisputed track record of helping millions of users to increase revenue and improve overall business performance, Centra provides Web collaboration solutions that enable the delivery of information in a variety of live and self-service formats, and add value through unmatched capabilities to capture interactions and content, personalize and manage this information, and instantly re-use it across the enterprise. Today hundreds of global organizations across every industry and market sector choose Centra, including ExxonMobil, Cadbury Schweppes, Citigroup, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, McKesson, Merck, Nationwide Insurance, Sysco, and Stanford University. Centra’s products are bolstered by a vital ecosystem of strategic partners, including PwC Consulting, Deloitte Consulting, EDS, KPMG iLS, Microsoft, Siebel, Cisco, and Oracle. Headquartered in Boston’s technology corridor, Centra has sales offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit http://www.centra.com.