In the last blog, I described the great opportunities that Courseload’s features bring to Unizin Members and emphasized lowering costs while enhancing user experience. In this blog, I want to describe how this acquisition is critical to Unizin’s roadmap going forward.
At its core, Unizin is about ensuring the academy stays in control of our data, our content, and our reputations. What does a Courseload have to do with that? Actually, quite a lot!
Although the focus of Courseload’s current capabilities is its eReader functions, Courseload also comes with sophisticated content delivery and discovery capabilities that we intend to make the foundation of Unizin’s Content Relay. The Content Relay is aimed at making two problems easier to address: creating and supporting simple and sustainable workflows around 1) the deposit and distribution of faculty/institutionally generated content; and 2) the discovery of content that can be used in classes, labs, and experiential learning settings (e.g., repositories, OER, institutionally licensed content, publisher paid content, etc.). The Content Relay can enable content remix/re-use to happen seamlessly in an environment that has traditionally been segregated and legally complex (rights management alone is enough to bring most people to their knees in despair). With the acquisition of Courseload, Unizin has the opportunity to tackle this problem in ways that support the core principles upon which Unizin was founded.
With that said, we are planning to sustain Courseload Engage and the supporting platform. But we obviously need Unizin personnel to deliver all of that. Very fortunately we were able to secure several key staff members from Courseload, Inc. all of whom are clearly some of the top talent in the entire industry. Their skills, abilities, knowledge and experience will hugely benefit Unizin immediately. Their expertise will truly accelerate our own internal growth, maturity, and product delivery and support capabilities for Unizin. And we are happy to announce that they will continue to operate out of Unizin’s new offices in Indianapolis.
Alongside these deliverables, we will be enhancing the Courseload solution with some key product features such as mobile support for Engage on iOS and Android and real-time data extraction using IMS Caliper standards. The latter will allow us to explore the potential contribution of Courseload usage data. This combination of usage data and the Unizin Analytics Relay solution might yield some hugely powerful insights for membership!
More details on roadmap, development and deployment progress will be released in the coming months. It’s truly an exciting time to be a Unizin Member. We look forward to growing our digital learning ecosystem, providing solutions that improve learning experiences and, ultimately, increase learner success!
– Robin Littleworth, Chief Operating Officer