You may have noticed a new pop-up question that appears when you login to the fall 2012 Integrate update asking if you would like to report your progress to the CLL offices. You may wonder what this is all about, so let me take a moment to explain what is happening.
One of our primary responsibilities to you, our students, is to help you succeed in each course you take by distance education. Feedback from students over many years has been consistent: By far the greatest issue they face is the scheduling of their time to complete courses in a timely manner, both to improve learning outcomes and to reduce end-of-semester stress.
Integr@te incorporates tools to help you monitor your progress. Often, however, our students do not check their progress against their recommended schedule and fall behind. Integr@te now provides you the option to report your progress so that we can come alongside you as you work toward course completion. All that is reported is your student ID number and your progress report. Nothing else is communicated. To help provide a "safety net" and promote your ultimate success, we simply need to know who you are and where you are in your studies.
With fall 2012 registrations, Integr@te has become the primary delivery and resource system for Western's distance education courses. While we have anticipated the platform migration, the mandated changes to course scheduling make the timely delivery of course materials a necessity. Students must be able to access course content in the first week of each session to ensure compliance with federal guidelines.
Thankfully, over the past year we have been conducting a live test of the system to ensure that our current students would find it both a functional improvement over a DVD-only approach, and a useful learning platform. Responses have been gratifying.
Many of you have inquired as to who is responsible for the new delivery and support systems that are helping to make Western's distance learning program available world-wide. The most accurate answer is that it has been a team effort with everyone in our program contributing to making it a success for our students. When it comes to the actual programming, however, we have systems and web developer Blake Kidney to thank for the raft of new learning and management tools you have available to you.
Program director James Stewart says that "Without Blake we would have a lot of good ideas but no practical way to turn them into reality. Blake not only is able to work with our ideas, but he typically makes them even better than we had imagined."