Drexel University Selects WebCT Vista to Support e-Learning for Four Philadelphia Institutions

January 8, 2003

LYNNFIELD, MA — (INTERNET WIRE) — 01/06/2003 — Drexel University, Philadelphia’s technological leader, has selected WebCT Vista as its 21st-century e-learning environment, WebCT announced today. WebCT Vista will let Drexel easily support its own academic enterprise as well as 6,500 students at three independent liberal arts colleges in Philadelphia.

Drexel, one of Yahoo! Internet Life magazine’s “America’s 100 Most Wired Colleges,” will also use WebCT Vista to broadly share content across the curriculum and readily share data among multiple campus computing systems.

The university has used the WebCT Campus Edition course management system for three years and has already Web-enabled its approximately 3,000 courses. All courses and resources are available over the university’s wireless network. Drexel has elected to standardize on WebCT Vista, higher education’s first and only academic enterprise system, because of Vista’s low cost of ownership, superior flexibility, and pre-integration with the SCT Banner student information system and Campus Pipeline portal.

“Most higher-ed e-learning technologies do similar things, but they go about them much differently,” said Jan Biros, associate vice president, Drexel University. “WebCT offers us flexible capabilities that benefit our students, faculty and the learning process.”

Drexel will use the academic enterprise system to share content across any course or section, minimizing maintenance, storage space and version control problems. With a single instance of WebCT Vista, Drexel will host e-learning services for three Philadelphia colleges – Cabrini College, Neumann College and Rosemont College – and give them each a highly customized look. WebCT Vista will let these schools maintain local academic control and greatly enhance their academic program and offerings. WebCT Vista will also enhance data exchange among Drexel’s courses, student information system and portal.

Drexel is seeing e-learning usage double every year based on sheer demand, word of mouth and structured “boot camps” for first-time faculty users. While some faculty members are using WebCT simply to support their courses with discussion groups, reading and tests, others are completely transforming their pedagogical processes to make learning more efficient. For example, by moving course materials and learning online, some professors are cutting lecture time in half. Students can earn a master’s degree in engineering management entirely online.

“Drexel University, the first university to require every student to own a computer, has always been a learning technology leader,” said Carol Vallone, WebCT’s president and CEO. “Not surprisingly, Drexel has a unique understanding of how the academic enterprise works, how to get the most from it with technology, and how to transfer those benefits directly to their students. Vista will help them greatly in that endeavor.”

About Drexel University

Founded in 1891 by financier Anthony J. Drexel, the University is nationally recognized for its technological focus, excellence in co-operative education and research. The co-op program is among the nation’s oldest, largest and most successful, comprising 1,500 employer organizations in 39 states and 12 countries. Drexel enrolls more than 16,000 students from 100 nations and has more than 90,000 alumni worldwide.

A leader in curricular and technological innovation, in 1983 Drexel became the first university to require all students to have microcomputers. In 2000, Drexel became the first major university to operate a fully wireless campus. In 2002, the University launched DrexelOne Mobile, the first wireless Web portal service for students. Drexel is ranked sixth nationally in the 2001 Yahoo! Internet Life poll of America’s top 100 “Most Wired Universities,” and #1 for wireless access.

Among the University’s firsts is the Techno MBA Online, ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top in the country. The Information Systems program offered by the College of Information Science and Technology was also ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the best in the nation.

About WebCT

WebCT has set the standard for e-learning systems in higher education. Based in Lynnfield, Mass., WebCT provides a highly flexible e-learning environment that empowers institutions across the educational spectrum with the ability to achieve their unique objectives. Thousands of colleges and universities around the world – from community colleges to large university consortia – have standardized on WebCT to expand the boundaries of teaching and learning. For more information, please visit http://www.webct.com.

Contact: Karen Gage

Company: WebCT

Phone: 781-309-1147

Email: karen.gage@WebCT.com

Contact: Darby Johnson

Company: Beaupre & Co. Public Relations, Inc.

Phone: 603-559-5809

Email: djohnson@beaupre.com