About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4130-4134
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain

UNIVERSITY WIDE INITIATIVE - IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMON E-LEARNING PLATFORM AT RIGA TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY

Z. Zitmanis

Riga Techical University (LATVIA)
Riga Technical University (RTU) is located in Riga with eight departments and thee subsidiaries in Liep?ja, Ventspils, Daugavpils. The total number of students is seventeen thousand.
The first e-learning initiative is dated at 1997, when within Phare project RTU Center of Distance Education developed the first e-learning platform. Today the center is carrying out number of research projects in e-learning technologies and delivering doctorate program: E-learning Technologies and Governance. Yet on 2006 first university wide initiative was started to provide common e-learning platform and necessary support and implement blended learning.
Department of Information Technologies was responsible for implementation, with no rights to request from faculty to use the common platform and no money to pay for course content. In addition, there were no rights to issue the order to close several e-learning platform installations across the university.
The challenge was to make the system that is much more convenient to use, to provide a good support and convince the faculty to use the new system.
The technical solution was uPortal platform with Moodle. Initially uPortal had some information from administrative systems for students and staff, together with e-mail and e-learning platform. SUN Access Manager was chosen as key infrastructure element to provide a single sign on and off. Moodle was well integrated with existing Student records management system to provide virtual space for each e-course and enroll students automatically. In addition, we set up the internet in dorms and the wireless network in the large lecture halls and in the open spaces of academic buildings.
We believed that the great support is the key to raise the amount of users. Our message to the faculty was: “We will provide any service you need, just start using Moodle!” The service was free training courses, consultations on demand, extensive training materials, support on technical issues, we helped faculty to put the first materials in and we kept the track on user suggestions to improve the system.
To convince the faculty to use the system we worked close with Study department. Each of the deans was asked to nominate one from faculty to make board to discuss issues regarding e-learning on regular basis. Meanwhile, we provided the board and deans with detailed statistical information about the usage of new system.
On study year 2007/08 the pilot with more than 100 faculty members came to the training courses and all study materials from other systems were put in the new one.
Today, half of the students are signing in to the portal each week. There are more than 400 active courses that count for 30% from all courses. It is a great success and we believe that this is due to our enthusiastic and young team that was helped by few experienced faculty members.
Indeed, the approach to make the system convenient to use, provide excellent support and establish agents among the faculty was successful. However, the usage of the system is grooving there still are challenges how to get the rest of faculty to use the system.
@InProceedings{ZITMANIS2009UNI,
author = {Zitmanis, Z.},
title = {UNIVERSITY WIDE INITIATIVE - IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMON E-LEARNING PLATFORM AT RIGA TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY},
series = {1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN09 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-9801-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona ,Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4130-4134}}
TY - CONF
AU - Z. Zitmanis
TI - UNIVERSITY WIDE INITIATIVE - IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMON E-LEARNING PLATFORM AT RIGA TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY
SN - 978-84-612-9801-3/2340-1117
PY - 2009
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2009
CI - Barcelona ,Spain
JO - 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN09 Proceedings
SP - 4130
EP - 4134
ER -
Z. Zitmanis (2009) UNIVERSITY WIDE INITIATIVE - IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMON E-LEARNING PLATFORM AT RIGA TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY, EDULEARN09 Proceedings, pp. 4130-4134.
User:
Pass: