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Online Education Tool Driving Successful Learning Forward

Bournemouth University has recently upgraded to the enterprise edition of the Blackboard Learning System (BLS) This online education tool offers a variety of ideas and educational support to students within further education and is indicative of a new era in online learning.

The university is not alone in opting to enhance the online resources on offer to its students, many academic institutions have recognised the potential online learning carries. This is supported by the announcement made by Blackboard Inc. to the effect that they have reached a new milestone with the issues over one thousand licenses for the enterprise edition of the BLS.

Through displaying a desire to develop online services we can see further education institutions are keen to participate in the ever changing e-learning experience. Online education packages have emerged as valuable support tools which are taken seriously by staff within the field of further education. Learning resources can offer methods of problem solving and challenge users.

A Major Development

The emergence of increased availability of educational material is a major development in further education. Distance learning courses offer an alternative to more traditional education programmes and this type of access opens doors for those wanting to retrain or develop their skills whilst in employment or raising children. So what are the practical benefits and implications of the move towards more interactive, web based learning?

One important factor is that online educational software allows candidates to interact and use the internet as much more than simply a research and writing tool. Information and resources can be shared between both academic institutions and students themselves. This broadens the amount of accessible material on offer and provides a medium for debate and to challenge concepts and theories. This is enhanced now that the option is available for a greater number of people to participate.

Anytime, Anywhere

Another fundamental aspect of online learning programmes is the fact that they can be accessed at anytime and from different locations. This should go a long way to remove practical barriers in access to material thus enhancing the learning experience of students. Barbara Newland, Senior Lecturer Educational Development at Bournemouth University commented: “Moving to the enterprise edition will enable the university to implement its e-learning strategy which aims to enhance the student experience. It provides a flexible, easy-to-use solution with a range of tools and functionality to support the variety of learning and teaching approaches across the different disciplines.”

This edition of the BLS may also be beneficial to tutors and other education providers. As a result of the increased use of online educational software teachers are able to build on their own methods and ideas. Users can investigate and decide on the best student information systems and administration solutions to insure the smooth running of services. Staff can also examine different evaluation methods.

Increased access to educational material through internet based resources should prove beneficial as research and revision can be conducted in this space. Education institutions are displaying an increased willingness to offer up to date interactive services to all users as well as the established resources already in place.

Mark Feakes

Chalk it up to experience? What drives institutions onto the internet? Tell us in the FE Blog

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