Previously, UNIT had relied on open-source software that only acted as a content repository and could no longer support the institution’s growth. At the same time, both teachers and students were dissatisfied with the level of teaching that was possible with their existing tools.
As a result, the UNIT team recognized a need to move to a comprehensive learning management system (LMS) with much richer functionality, which would enable the institution to intensify the level of interaction between teachers and students and increase the quality of that interaction.
To increase students’ engagement in their studies and enable better performance, the new platform needed to provide personalized and user-focused communication capabilities to make each student feel that there was someone from the university looking after them. The UNIT team had the perception that Brazilian students wanted to interact more directly with the course content, their teachers, and the institution. Moreover, students wanted to have these capabilities in the palms of their hands, enabling them to engage with learning activities on their mobile devices instead of having to use a computer.
According to Lucas do Vale, manager of education technologies at UNIT, the organization needed new technology “to enable students to communicate in new ways, feel engaged with their teachers, and interact with course content in a more direct and objective way in order to succeed in their learning objectives.”
Another major challenge was to improve the scheduling of in-person exams in online subjects that are offered in UNIT’s hybrid courses. This process was quite complicated, because the exams needed to take place across three states and six different municipalities, while being managed centrally.
In addition, it used to take a lot of effort to generate the questions, print the exam papers, schedule exam rooms and invigilators, scan the exam scripts for audit purposes, evaluate each student’s responses and then return the corrected scripts with the students’ grades.