Letter to the Community


NEIU students and faculty will soon receive a new Learning Management System (LMS) to support their academic courses. Our current LMS, Blackboard version 8, will be phased out gradually and be turned off completely by the end of the summer in 2013. As part of the process of selecting a replacement for our current LMS, three vendors will visit the campus and provide the following demonstration sessions, which are open to the campus public:


Tuesday, April 24: 9:30-10:30 a.m. (Golden Eagles), repeats 1:15-2:15 p.m. (Golden Eagles)


Thursday, April 26: 9:30-10:30 a.m. (SU 214), repeats 1:30-2:30 p.m. (Library, lower-level classroom)


Friday, April 27: 9:30-10:30 a.m. (SU 214), repeats 1:00-2:00 p.m. (Library, lower-level classroom)


What benefits will a new LMS provide to students and faculty? Here are a few examples:

Mobile Access: Although there currently are only about 20 online courses offered in a given semester, NEIU has developed more than 100 online courses in the last three years. This number will go up significantly over the coming semesters. The new LMS will provide better mobile access to courses (online or otherwise) than our current system. Next year, students will be able to do more of their coursework on their smart phones and tablet devices.

Student Portfolios: Student learning includes course work, off-campus experiences, and understanding gained across semesters. Electronic portfolios allow students to gather work, images, and videos from many different courses and environments and share it with customized audiences, including friends, teachers, and family members. Future employers might also be a target audience for showing off skills and creativity through portfolios.

Dynamic Calendar: It’s not easy keeping track of all the obligations a student has at school, work, and home. The new LMS will make it easier for students and faculty to stay on top of upcoming deadlines. The calendar features can inform students and teachers that assignments, tests, or appointments are coming up. Students can add their own to-do list and due-dates, and the LMS can send a notification when it’s time to act.

These are just a few of the new developments and improvements that a new LMS could bring to our campus. College learning is increasingly supported by online tools within an LMS. Increasingly, students will see course materials—e-textbooks, readings, videos, and tutorials—online. They will be able to take tests, submit assignments, and check their course grades online. Students will also be able to collaborate remotely with classmates, publish their own work, and meet students from across campus in a virtual environment.

A top-rate LMS will be able to facilitate all these tasks. Don’t miss the opportunity to find out what our three finalist vendors have to offer. We hope you will attend as many presentations as you can; bring your curiosity and questions!


Edmund Hansen

Director for Center of Teaching and Learning