Unizin Consortium Partners with IMS Global Learning Consortium to Drive Caliper Analytics Adoption

Unizin and IMS Global Learning Consortium are excited to announce a partnership aimed at driving Caliper adoption. IMS Global is leading the charge when it comes to enabling the collection and exchange of click-stream data across multiple platforms, thus enabling institutions to improve the learning experience through valuable insights. Unizin and IMS Global are aligned in their goals to provide a vibrant digital teaching and learning ecosystem by promoting adoption of standards, like Caliper Analytics.

Unizin is uniquely situated to help IMS Global advance methods and practices for driving standards development. Schools don’t need standards to produce an innovative teaching and learning practice. They do need standards to produce an innovative teaching and learning ecosystem. And they do need standards to promote teaching and learning practices that are sustainable and scalable. Unizin can help speed up adoption of the Caliper Analytics standard by Unizin Member institutions. Making standards work for the academy at scale is core to the IMS Global and Unizin missions.

By working together at IMS Global quarterly meetings and the annual national meeting, as well as several working group calls, Unizin and IMS Global will collaborate on developing a Simple Content Use Metric Profile to define the way data is shared using Caliper. This profile will provide a standardized template for each type of learning event, down to the most basic user interactions with course materials.

Unizin’s eText reader and digital content platform, Engage, will be one of the first applications to use Caliper once it is IMS certified. This addition will make it easy for schools to track the lifecycle of content used in teaching and learning. Faculty can gain insights into the course as it is happening, instructional designers can see interactions with the content as they are designing, students can get feedback on content use and administrators can view broad content utilization analysis to control costs.

Unizin and IMS Global will work to collect digital resource event metrics using Engage and the IMS Caliper framework, thus extending LTI®, Learning Information Services (LIS), and QTI® standards. Unizin is committed to requiring that all measurable components of the ecosystem supply Caliper events to relay event data to Unizin and member analytics systems. These include the Learning Platform (Canvas), multimedia systems, learning content/resources, Student Information Systems, etc.

IMS Global can benefit from feedback from the ‘boots on the ground’ faculty and staff at Unizin Member schools. These groups can provide IMS Global with real-world Caliper applications and validated metric profiles from many of Unizin’s R1 Member institutions. In turn, Unizin will be able to offer flexibility and autonomy to Members, and provide a community forum for assessing and using the Caliper standard in the Unizin ecosystem.

Our two respected organizations are looking forward to promoting and advancing the Caliper standard. By working with the community of practice intended to benefit from the infrastructure capabilities, Unizin and IMS Global enable a development practice tied to real-world value.

Additional details about Caliper can be found here.


Unizin Innovation Summit 2015: A Summary

This October 8-9, we hosted our first annual Unizin Innovation Summit. It was a great opportunity to meet new people, share updates about Unizin and see what kinds of things our Members are doing to improve the learning experience on their campuses. The Gaylord Texan Hotel and Conference Center served as the backdrop for the two-day event. Everything’s bigger in Texas – and the cavernous conference center did not disappoint (besides the lack of WiFi).

Courseload and Content Relay, Unizin’s Next Steps

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!

Unizin Aims to Connect Learners and Content with the Addition of Courseload

We are thrilled to announce that we recently acquired the software and trademark assets of Courseload, Inc!

Courseload Engage is a leading platform for delivering textbooks and other educational resources in digital form to students. It brings collaborative teaching and learning capabilities to students and instructors, which ultimately brings us closer to improving learning experiences. Some of the key product features include the ability to highlight, annotate, bookmark, and search digital texts, as well as to consolidate and share study notes, all of which foster learner interactions with the content. Our intent is to deploy Courseload as the digital text platform for the Unizin ecosystem.

How Visually Appealing Courses Improve the Learning Experience

SamAdams_640x480It’s the first day of class, let’s say, History of Journalism. The teacher is talking about how Sam Adams stoked the flames of revolution with his essays and articles in the Boston Gazette. You could say he was one of the first writers to go ‘viral’ in the colonies. Did you know, Adams also started the 1760s version of today’s Associated Press AND organized the Boston Tea Party all while crafting a pretty tasty seasonal stout? Busy guy.

Enter 2015, from the CEO

Over two years ago, Brad Wheeler, Indiana University Professor and Chief Information Officer, wrote to his colleagues about the future of digital learning in higher education and how universities can pave a path toward scaling learning and teaching beyond a single institution. In his closing remarks, he posited a potential path forward where universities can ”sew together a set of content, distribution and analytics capabilities via strong contracts with a range of potential players.”

Enter Unizin

The technology that supports teaching and learning is increasingly more like plumbing (the basic infrastructure that both enables and constrains) than like a shiny, eye-catching plumbing  fixture. More important, this infrastructure is as critical to the future of residential and online education as bricks and mortar have been to our past. We ignore this technology, this infrastructure, at our own peril. Enter Unizin.

Unizin is Good for Students, Faculty, and the Private Sector

There is an exciting new development in the teaching and learning space that you need to know about. It’s called Unizin.  Simply put, Unizin is a consortium of universities formed around the idea that higher education—and not just private vendors—should own, direct and share a set of services that further teaching and learning.

Why Unizin?

The formal launch of Unizin begins an exciting new chapter for Digital Education and a path for universities to shape our future. We have been fortunate to be among the many who have shaped the ideas that form Unizin, and our institutions are among the earliest universities to join. Our goals and purpose in endorsing Unizin are simple: As professors and members of the academy, we want to support faculty and universities by ensuring that universities and their faculty stay in control of the content, data, relationships, and reputations that we create. As we look at the rapidly emerging infrastructure that enables digital learning, we want to bias things in the direction of open standards, interoperability, and scale. Unizin is about tipping the table in favor of the academy by collectively owning (buying, developing, and connecting) the essential infrastructure that enables digital learning on our campuses and beyond.