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Michigan Virtual upgrades educators’ professional development portal

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Michigan Virtual recently retooled the engine that powers Michigan’s leading online portal for K-12 teachers called Michigan LearnPort. Michigan teachers, school administrators and other school staff rely on the portal, in part, to earn continuing education units, take state compliance courses and satisfy other professional development needs.

Meridian Global LMS 2011 expands how Michigan Virtual can define and deliver content. For example, with the new LMS (learning management system) that makes managing users and content easier, Michigan Virtual can take an audio recording of a principal’s presentation to teachers and make it a course for new hires. Since 2007, Michigan LearnPort powered its portal with Meridian Knowledge Centre, the software maker’s legacy LMS. That ended two months ago with Michigan Virtual’s upgrade to Meridian Global LMS 2011, which improves content delivery, reporting, security and the user experience.

“Regardless of the format a presentation, lecture or piece of educational content comes in, we can now turn that into a course tailored for all types of learners,” said Jason Marentette, program manager for Michigan LearnPort. “The new Meridian LMS improves the flexibility of our content delivery by an order of magnitude.”

“Last year we served 26,000 enrollments at Michigan LearnPort, and Meridian’s new LMS is helping us increase that number because we can offer a more appealing user interface and improved service to more users,” added David Myers, vice president of educational programs and outreach for Michigan Virtual.

Marentette added, “the upgrade to Meridian Global, with its .NET architecture also brings needed improvements over the Knowledge Centre’s ASP model.”

Meridian’s legacy product helped Michigan Virtual build online “team rooms,” or collaboration spaces. The new LMS makes it easy to reach not only Michigan Virtual’s collaboration spaces but also course catalogs and transcripts. With the LMS upgrade, Michigan Virtual says teachers will find an intuitive interface and eliminate, on average, about five clicks to find what they need.

“If a teacher is already taking training at his or her desktop, then it makes sense to use the same platform for collaboration,” added Marentette. “Our new LMS offers us an easy way for teachers to do that.”

Since launching the new LMS, the portal’s collaborative spaces have grown to more than 600, with 4,000 participants overall. Teachers also say the blogs embedded in the new LMS offer another way to share know-how. Michigan Virtual’s staffers have helped users create sub-domains, which are like an LMS within an LMS branded and cordoned off for the use of a particular state agency or organization.

About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual is a private, nonprofit Michigan corporation established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to serve as a champion for online learning. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual for Students and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.

About Meridian

Meridian Global LMS integrates learning content management, workforce analytics, knowledge management and competency modeling in one learning management system. In addition to Meridian Global LMS, Meridian provides professional services, courseware development and hosting services. They serve approximately eight million users at more than 300 public- and private-sector employers. Their software is used by companies that range in size from 1,000,000 employees to less than 100 workers. Meridian’s clients include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, AutoZone, Panera Bread, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy and more than 80 federal, state and local governments. They are the number one ranked learning technology company for customer loyalty. Their award-winning software aims to deliver learning, distribute knowledge and sharpen business skills, which will make you a leader in your industry. Meridian’s Herndon, a Va.-based company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Visionary Integration Professionals. To learn more, visit Meridian’s website, or follow Meridian on Twitter at http://twitter.com/meridianks.

 

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About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual™ (formally known as Michigan Virtual University®) provides online courses for Michigan students, professional development for educators and is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute®. As a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years of experience, Michigan Virtual is Michigan’s leading voice in online education. Visit us at michiganvirtual.org.

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