RMIT Online’s mission to provide students with an experience that goes beyond on-campus learning

When RMIT University in Melbourne founded RMIT Online, it was to help solve two potential problems.

Fast-forwarding five years to date, both of these scenarios become reality.

According to Will Calvert, director of technology and enablement at RMIT Online, the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced traditional on-campus enrollment and student expectations for online education, especially in the last 12 months. It accelerated. ..

“Students, of course, expect the online education experience to catch up with other experiences, such as online and great retail experiences on Spotify, Netflix, and their social media platforms,” ​​he said. I told ZDNet.

“Online education has become a bit more complicated in the last decade … it was very important about implementing an LMS (Learning Management System). Some PowerPoint, some lecture recordings, some forums, lots of Upload content … so we really needed to differentiate. ”

For Calvert, this means providing students with an online experience that is as good as or better than what is offered on campus.

“What I mean is a complete experience, which is obviously a big experience, from searching for and considering the course you want to buy or register to, to the registration and onboarding experience, but after a graduate-like study We also have experience in the community. Our platform addresses all of these with the goal of providing a better experience than on campus, “he says.

Calvert has developed a “configurable” cloud-based architecture that uses a combination of off-the-shelf and bespoke applications to provide a so-called “next generation digital learning environment.”

Off-the-shelf applications include using Canvas as the core learning management system that runs on Amazon Web Services. Universities are also leveraging AWS for data and analytics, infrastructure as code, and containerization capabilities.

RMIT Online, on the other hand, uses Salesforce for cloud-based contact centers, student support, recruitment engines, and front-end sales and marketing for both B2C and B2B.

In addition to this, RMIT Online has developed several custom applications that run on AWS’s serverless framework implementation. This includes the Student Course Builder application and the personal learning profile application that the university uses to tailor the student’s learning experience.

“As a business, we needed flexibility not only in the platform, but also in the processes and personnel to manage its external volatility. It was tested last year and was able to stand up and meet that demand. The number of enrollments on the platform increased by 34% and we were able to manage through it, while at the same time supporting our students, “he said.

In Calvert’s final count, RMIT Online has 25 platforms, all organized by a “very powerful” middleware layer that uses MuleSoft.

“MuleSoft is an absolutely magnificent central station for us,” said Culvert.

Calvert said he will continue to focus on giving students more flexibility in how they want to learn and what courses they choose to choose.

“In the future, we will leverage atomized learning content and learning content management systems to provide the flexibility to reuse content in multiple courses, allowing students to choose and build their own courses, almost their own. To be able to earn a degree. Build up those microcredentials for a more traditional accredited master or undergraduate program, “he said.

Creating learner records is also part of the university’s future strategy, according to Calvert, who will be able to store microcredentials that students “hold for life” on a single platform.

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