Unizin Updates on Florida State System and Acquisition of Courseload

I’m not sure when e-Literate was awarded the exclusive rights for non-PR Unizin coverage, but there were two announcements this week to cover.

State University System of Florida Joins

The first announcement is an update and confirmation of my recent post about the new associate membership option. If a member institution (one of the 11 members paying $1.050 million) sponsors their statewide system, that system can join Unizin as “associate members” for $100 thousand per year but without retaining a board seat and vote on product direction. The week the State University System of Florida (SUSFL) announced they are joining Unizin.

Building on its growing record of collaboration, the State University System of Florida, comprised of Florida’s 12 public universities, has joined Unizin, a group with a mission to have more control and influence over the digital learning ecosystem. Continue reading

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Release of University of California at Davis Case Study on e-Literate TV

Today we are thrilled to release the fifth and final case study in our new e-Literate TV series on “personalized learning”. In this series, we examine how that term, which is heavily marketed but poorly defined, is implemented on the ground at a variety of colleges and universities. We plan to cap off this series with two analysis episodes looking at themes across the case studies.

We are adding three episodes from the University of California at Davis (UC Davis), a large research university that has a strong emphasis in science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM fields. The school has determined that the biggest opportunity to improve STEM education is to improve the success rates in introductory sciences classes – the ones typically taught in large lecture format at universities of their size. Can you personalize this most impersonal of academic experiences? What opportunities and barriers do institutions face when they try to extend personalized learning approaches?

You can see all the case studies (either 2 or 3 per case study) at the series link, and you can access individual episodes below. Continue reading

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Unizin Perspective: Personalized learning’s existence and distance education experience

By reading the Unizin pitch for the State University System of Florida shared yesterday, we can see quite a few claims about the (potential) benefits to be provided by the consortium. “Make sure that the universities were not cut out of [distance ed] process”; “Secure our foothold in the digital industry”; “Promote greater control and influence over the digital learning ecosystem”; Provide “access to the Canvas LMS at the Unizin price”; Provide “access to tools under development, including a Learning Object Repository and Learning Analytics”; Provide “potential for cooperative relationships to ‘share’ digital instruction within and across the consortium”.

I want to pick up on University of Florida provost Joe Glover’s further comment on Learning Analytics, however.

The third goal for Unizin is to acquire, create, or develop learning analytics. Some of the learning management systems have a rather primitive form of learning analytics. Unizin will build on what they have, and this will go from very mechanical types of learning analytics in terms of monitoring student progress and enabling intrusive advising and tutoring; all the way up to personalized learning, which is something that really does not exist yet but is one of the objectives of Unizin.

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Unizin Offering “Associate” Membership For Annual $100k Fee

Alert unnamed readers prompted me after the last post on the Unizin contract to pursue the rumored secondary method of joining for $100k. You know who you are – thanks.

While researching this question, I came across a presentation by the University of Florida provost to the State University System of Florida (SUSFL) seeking to get the system to join Unizin under these new terms. The meeting was March 19, 2015, and the video archive is here (first 15 minutes), and the slide deck is here. The key section (full transcript below):

Associate Membership FLSUS Continue reading

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Instructure Is Truly Anomalous

Phil started his last post with the following:

I’m not sure which is more surprising – Instructure’s continued growth with no major hiccups or their competitors’ inability after a half-decade to understand and accept what is at its core a very simple strategy.

Personally, I vote for Door #1. As surprising as the competition’s seeming sense of denial is, Instructure’s performance is truly shocking. After five years, I continue to be surprised by it. It’s not just how well they are executing. It’s that they seem to defy the laws of physics in the LMS market. We had no reason to believe that any LMS company could rack up the numbers they are showing—in several different areas—no matter how well they execute.

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