onlineSIAST enhances online learning system

New digital ecosystem increases collaboration, mobility


April 16, 2014

SIAST has embarked upon a modernization of its online learning technologies that incorporates social tools and enhanced mobile capabilities. The project will result in an enriched student learning experience.

“Connecting and engaging with students, and providing unique learning tools for mobile devices are key components required in today’s online learning environment,” says Arnold Boldt, SIAST’s associate vice-president, Academic and Research.

Each year, almost 2,200 SIAST students take courses online, in subject areas ranging from hydraulics to psychology. Technology-enhanced learning allows SIAST to expand access to programming and to provide learning opportunities in a contemporary environment.

A key step in the evolution of the digital ecosystem at SIAST is the recent selection of Desire2Learn (D2L) Integrated Learning Platform (ILP) to replace an end-of-life system.

“The new platform is pivotal to advancing SIAST’s strategic goals of maximizing student success and leveraging educational innovation,” says Boldt. D2L could be implemented as early as this summer, he adds.

D2L’s platform provides SIAST with a user-friendly and intuitive interface, and integrates the most contemporary teaching and learning tools on the market, including robust assessment functionality, dynamic and social collaboration and communication tools.

SIAST’s selection process consisted of extensive consultation, both internally and externally, on the current state of the industry, as well as best practices for development and delivery of instruction.

Desire2Learn (D2L) is the pioneer of the integrated learning platform, delivering a personalized learning experience for every individual. With a focus on improving the learning experience, D2L partners with thought-leading institutions and organizations to accelerate learning and improve results. D2L provides an open and extensible platform for more than 1,100 clients and 13 million learners.

SIAST is Saskatchewan’s primary public institution for post-secondary technical education and skills training. A member of Polytechnics Canada, SIAST offers apprenticeship training and certificate, diploma and degree programs. The institution serves 26,000 distinct students through campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities.

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