Increasing Your e-Learning ROI TM In the current environment of budgetary uncertainty, academic institutions are increasingly under pressure to do more with less. Return on investment (ROI) has become the mantra of campus technology initiatives, and e-learning is no exception. Administrators must prove that e-learning investments deliver academic and finan- cial benefits. WebCT has worked with higher education institutions around the world to maximize the efficiency and effec- tiveness of their e-learning initiatives. This paper outlines three key steps that your institution can take to ensure that e-learning serves your institution well for years to come. 1. Standardize on a Single E-Learning Platform According to Gartner Research, 38% of higher education institutions around the Platform standardization has been a key element of campus ERP, office productivity, and operating-system strategies for world have selected WebCT as their years. Standardization allows institutions to create efficiencies campus' standard e-learning system - 12 as they provide high levels of service to faculty, staff, and stu- percentage points above the nearest dents. By standardizing, institutions are able to: competitor. More institutions have stan- Reduce hardware costs by consolidating multiple server dardized on WebCT than on any other sites into one location system. Institutions cite ease-of-use, Re-deploy help-desk staff to support the selected cost reduction, and easier support as the platform, allowing technicians to build expertise in the top three reasons for standardization. campus standard Source: Gartner Research Note DF-18-8100, Eliminate redundant training of instructors and students "Higher Education Institutions Should Select a Standard CMS", 30 April 2003. on multiple systems Concentrate resources to develop advanced tools and take advantage of options for integration with existing campus infrastructure Choosing which e-learning system to standardize on is a critical decision because it impacts the core mission of your institution: teaching and learning. The solution you choose should be flexible, with a wide range of functionality that is easy for new users to adopt. At the same time, it should be feature-rich so that advanced users are not limited by the software’s capabilities. Given its importance, your e-learning solution should be backed up by a vendor with a proven track record of supporting mission-critical deployments, a reputation for exceptional, responsive, customer service, and most importantly, a true spirit of partnership in your institution’s success. Once you’re ready to standardize, WebCT will work with you to smoothly transition any courses on legacy systems to WebCT. WebCT Professional Services offers automated content conversion for efficient transfer of online courses from select platforms into the WebCT environment. This process minimizes the effort and cost required to move your valuable content, allowing you to overcome what is often a significant hurdle to stan- dardization. TM 2. Integrate for Greater Efficiency “E-learning has become an essential instructional support system for higher- You can get more out of your investment by integrating e- education institutions, and integrating learning with other campus systems. Integrating campus sys- tems with your e-learning platform offers your institution a the course management system with the way to: institution’s mission-critical applications is essential to continue meeting academ- Eliminate manual enrollment of students in e-learning courses, freeing-up staff and reducing errors ic demands. By 2006, institutions must have realtime CMS integration in place Shorten the faculty grade-reporting cycle with automatic to remain competitive in the delivery and transmission of grades from an online gradebook to the student record system support of teaching and learning (0.7 probability).” Maximize return on investment in proprietary library systems and databases through a direct link from the Source: Gartner Research Note COM-19-9149, “Integration Indicates Higher-Education E-Learning course environment to external online resources. Commitment,” 1 May 2003. Consolidate login systems under a single authentication system and reduce password-related help-desk traffic WebCT’s e-learning solutions can be easily and efficiently integrated with your existing campus infrastruc- ture. Leveraging adapters developed and certified in partnership with Datatel, PeopleSoft, and SCT, WebCT’s e-learning platforms can be readily integrated with these systems in either real-time or batch mode, sparing the expense, risk, and headache of custom systems-integration projects. WebCT’s support of industry standards - including IMS, uPortal, and Shibboleth - facilitates integration with a wide range of addi- tional commercial and homegrown student information systems, as well as campus portals and library sys- tems. WebCT solutions can also be linked to central campus authentication systems using LDAP, Kerberos, and other common external authentication protocols to support streamlined management of user IDs and passwords. “Institutions must support e-learning con- 3. Organize Content for Sharing and Reuse tent development through peer-reviewed The right e-learning platform can assist you in transforming a repositories, and expose and make loose collection of online documents used in a limited capacity searchable all content available on cam- into a valuable resource for your institution. Effective content management tools complement the hard work your instructors pus and through collaborative projects, put into developing online content, ensuring that content can especially during times of tight budgets.” be easily accessed, shared, used, and reused. The right e- Source: Gartner Research Note COM-19-9707, learning system will let you: “Academic E-Learning Must Confront Content Development Costs,” 30 April 2003. Eliminate redundant development effort by providing easy access to content (exceptional content may also be used and reused across multiple courses) Improve efficiency by tagging content with important information so that it can be easily identified Protect intellectual property by permitting or restricting access based on built-in roles and permissions Minimize obstacles between external content-development tools and your e-learning system through standards-based content import and export tools TM WebCT’s e-learning solutions help you reduce content development and management hassles, maximizing the return on your investment in content. WebCT Campus Edition makes content creation easy, with an inte- grated HTML editor and an extensive array of wizards to guide instructors through the development process. In addition, using new learning-object import tools, you can develop complete, integrated content modules using external applications and then import them directly into WebCT Campus Edition. WebCT Vista takes content management even further. With an intuitive development interface and a power- ful content repository, WebCT Vista lets you deploy content to serve the needs of faculty and students across your institution. In WebCT Vista, all content is organized, safe, and secure, in a single location gov- erned by a flexible system of roles and permissions. Furthermore, like WebCT Campus Edition, WebCT Vista provides learning-object import tools to load content developed in external applications or in WebCT Campus Edition directly into the WebCT Vista content repository. For More Information If you would like to learn more about how WebCT can help your institution maximize the return on its invest- ment in e-learning, please contact your WebCT account manager at 1.877.WebCT.Me (877.932.2863) or 781.309.1000 (outside North America), or visit us at www.webct.com. ©2003 WebCT, Inc. All rights reserved. WebCT and WebCT Vista are trademarks of WebCT, Inc.