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Article Posted February 21, 2009

Featured - Vista 8 to Provide USG Faculty, Students With New, Improved Resources

Vista 8 to Provide USG Faculty, Students With New, Improved Resources

GeorgiaVIEW Vista, the software that delivers, tracks and manages the University System of Georgia’s (USG) online learning experiences, has 220,000 student and faculty users and is one of the largest centralized learning-management-system deployments in the nation. To keep up with the demand and stay on top of technology innovations that improve teaching and learning, USG institutions are moving to a new version of this software, Vista 8.

To pave the way for the System’s successful implementation and to thoroughly test this new tool, a small number of USG institutions varying in size, educational endeavors and uses of Vista became early adopters of Vista 8. Faculty, campus administrators and campus Vista teams at Georgia College & State University, Georgia Gwinnett College, Georgia Southern University, Savannah State University, the University of West Georgia, and USG Collaborative Programs (eCore®) worked in close partnership with the Office of Information and Instructional Technology (OIIT) Vista Project Team to prepare for the January 2009 implementation.

These pilot institutions and eCore® were the first to use SMART (Section Migration and Archive Tool), a software program developed collaboratively by the Digital Innovation Group at Georgia College & State University and OIIT, to streamline the course-migration process. SMART has been used to move 1,602 courses successfully into Vista 8 this semester.

Faculty at the pilot institutions have already identified improve-ments and innovations in Vista 8’s instructional and communications tools (see box below). Among the new enhancements are the Discussion Tool options that create a blog and a journal. Faculty previously using various student journal tools in their courses are now taking advantage of similar opportunities in Vista 8, and student peers are reviewing discussion topics for each other using the Peer Review function. Students use rubric-style grade forms in the peer-review process, and instructors use the forms to grade discussions as well as assignments. Students are also using the Goals Tool to align goals and outcomes with course assignments.

“The early adopters have done their work well, and all indications confirm success,” said Dr. Kris Biesinger, associate vice chancellor for OIIT services. “The rest of the University System is scheduled to migrate to Vista 8 between now and Summer 2009 so that all institutions will be using the new version no later than Fall 2009. “

Learn more about GeorgiaVIEW and Vista 8.

Posted by John Vanchella
Published in: On Campus, Board of Regents

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