Online pioneer upgrades learning management system

In its 13 year existence, Virtual High School Global Consortium (VHS) has pioneered online high school education, in the process earning several national and international awards for best practices. Designed to supplement a school's in-person curriculum with online courses, VHS is a non-profit collaborative of high schools, teachers and students. Teachers who are certified in their specific discipline, and who have completed a VHS professional development program, facilitate and continually monitor all courses. VHS students benefit from small classes and personalized one-on-one attention from active high school teachers, while mastering subject matter and 21st century learning skills.

As part of VHS's commitment to providing teachers and students with the highest quality online experience, VHS staff recently conducted an extensive evaluation to ensure that the learning management system (LMS) selected best met the unique needs of the organization. Research centered around areas of critical importance, including providing site coordinators with a more robust "observer" role, providing teachers with batch editing capabilities and detailed student activity reports. VHS has chosen Desire2Learn as its new LMS beginning in the 2010-2011 academic year.

"What we needed in the beginning from our eLearning software when we were a small organization is much different from what we need now," says Liz Pape, President & CEO of VHS. "Features like automatic notifications when students are in jeopardy and reports that allow us to monitor teachers are a huge value to us at this stage in our development.”

Currently, VHS is creating instructor training on the Desire2Learn platform that uses a variety of media, including written documentation, screencasts, webinars and face-to-face training. Over the spring and summer of 2010, teachers will learn the new system in preparation for its launch come September. The automated migration tool within Desire2Learn will simplify the migration process of the VHS course material from the former LMS to the Desire2Learn Learning Environment.

“Desire2Learn enables us to better deliver on future, anticipated growth and also to focus more on organizational quality," adds Pape.