North Carolina State University selects WebCT Vista
LYNNFIELD, Mass., Feb. 17, 2004 – North Carolina State University has selected the WebCT Vista(tm) academic enterprise system to bring its e-learning programs enterprise wide and foster increased e-learning cooperation across sections, courses, faculty and departments. The decision foreshadows a new era of online collaboration that may someday involve members of the 16 campuses of the University of North Carolina.
NC State houses more than 1,000 courses via its existing course management system, WebCT Campus Edition(tm), and nine out of 10 students on the 30,000-student campus have taken Web-enhanced or distance learning courses. The transition to WebCT Vista is a central component of NC State’s high-priority commitment to fully develop a learning-oriented culture that uses technology to improve student learning. This is a central goal of “Learning in a Technology-Rich Environment (LITRE),” the NC State quality enhancement plan for reaffirmation of accreditation in 2004. (More information is available at: http://litre.ncsu.edu)
In a selection process last spring that involved representatives from numerous campus stakeholder groups, the institution chose WebCT Vista because of its superior content management capabilities and ability to support autonomous learning environments for multiple educational entities. “Our adoption of WebCT Vista is integral to a strategic effort across the institution to invest in teaching and learning through technology,” said Sharon Pitt, associate vice provost of the university’s distance education & learning technology applications (DELTA) service. “We are working hard to create a rich, vital, integrated learning environment that is seamless for both students and faculty.”
WebCT Vista’s content management capabilities enable easy sharing of learning objects among course sections, courses, departments and other institutions that use WebCT Vista. Support for multiple, autonomous learning environments offers NC State’s extension and continuing education organizations the ability to separately administer online learning programs and develop their own brand identities. Until now, these kinds of systems haven’t been readily available to these divisions.
The university will integrate WebCT Vista with Wolfware, an open source course management system, and Centra’s real-time collaboration and learning solution, all in support of both Web-enhanced learning and distance education. WebCT Vista’s design makes integrating student data a relatively straightforward matter. Its multi-tier architecture is 100-percent J2EE compliant, leveraging the BEA WebLogic Enterprise Server at the application layer and the Oracle 9i Database.
The implementation will be managed by a Strategic Learning Management System Integration Committee (SLIC), which has established workgroups for training, operations, outreach, design, policy, assessment, content, and accessibility, all with faculty and administration members. Pilots will begin this summer in anticipation of full deployment across all courses by the fall of 2005.
“NC State’s continued commitment to advanced online learning technologies makes the university well prepared for the progression to enterprise-wide e-learning,” said Carol Vallone, WebCT president and CEO. “Combined with our flexible and easy-to-use technology, this bodes well for high, early and enduring returns on their WebCT Vista e-learning investment.”
For more information about North Carolina State University, please visit www.ncsu.edu/aboutncstate.html.
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 – are using WebCT to expand the boundaries of teaching and learning. For more information, please visit www.webct.com.