Growing demand for online learning
Originally established in 1977 to provide educational travel experiences, Blyth Academy is now one of the leading private schools in Canada and teaches over 160 courses to more than 12,000 students, both in-person at its campuses and remotely via Blyth Academy Online.
With digital technologies playing an ever more important role in children’s education, more parents and students are embracing online and distance learning. As a result, Blyth Academy Online has seen enrollments for its online courses increase year over year, with more than 7,000 students currently enrolled.
Moreover, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forcing more students to pursue their education online, the academy has seen applications for full-time distance-learning courses surge in recent months too.
“With interest in our online courses rising, we wanted to make sure that we could scale up course provision while still ensuring consistently excellent quality in both our online and in-class teaching,” comments Nathan Bishop, principal of Blyth Academy. Blyth Academy Online recognized that a robust, versatile, and reliable learning management system (LMS) would help it deliver more courses to more students. Its existing LMS offered limited flexibility and placed a significant administrative burden on teachers and administrators, so Blyth Academy Online decided to look for a new platform.
“We had been using Moodle to support both our online and in-class teaching for a number of years,” continues Nathan Bishop. “It gave us a good start, but it didn’t offer the flexibility required to step up to the next level. We wanted to move away from hosting, managing, and maintaining our LMS ourselves so that we could focus more time and resources on educating our students.”
Moving to a new LMS also presented an opportunity for Blyth Academy Online to audit, enhance, and redesign its course content to provide students with even richer, more varied learning experiences. At the same time, the school wanted to create onboarding and training courses for teachers that would give them a broader array of resources and help them develop new skills.