Meridian Knowledge Solutions, LLC, has been selected to provide a new learning management system (LMS) for the Michigan LearnPort statewide communication and professional development portal. The new LMS for Michigan's K-12 education community is easier to use, easier to upgrade and offers Web 2.0 enhancements.
An LMS is the backbone of online learning and provides the structure and tools that allow users to engage the course content and successfully complete an online learning experience. The Meridian LMS includes intuitive collaboration features (a peer tool that allows users to post their profiles and link with like-minded educators), and blogging and wiki capabilities. These were some of the features identified by focus groups as being critical to the educational community in an LMS. Finding, enrolling in and completing courses will be quicker and simpler, too.
Since Meridian's inception in 1997, it has completed over 140 implementations supporting over three million users. Its client list includes the U.S. Air Force, the states of Oregon, Virginia and Idaho, the University of Washington - and now Michigan LearnPort.
"Michigan Virtual University is excited about our new partnership with Meridian Knowledge Solutions," said Jamey Fitzpatrick, president & CEO of MVU. "We believe their LMS solution will allow us to significantly expand and improve the online delivery of professional development opportunities for Michigan's K-12 educators."
As a division of Michigan Virtual University (MVU), the Michigan LearnPort portal delivers quality online professional development to the desktop, fosters teachers' communication with mentors, principals and other teachers, enables teachers and administrators to keep track of professional development, provides other school employees with online training to meet job requirements, and provides a delivery method for content developed by a variety of Michigan-based and national content providers.
"Meridian brings a whole new dimension to Michigan LearnPort," said David Myers, Michigan LearnPort Director. "The intuitive nature of Meridian's Knowledge Center will allow novice computer users to navigate, find and take courses, keep a total record of all learning, and even develop an individual professional education plan with little or no formal training in the use of the system."
Meridian was chosen as the provider of its new LMS by the Michigan LearnPort team after a thorough review of proposals from an initial field of more than 50 companies that responded to a request for proposals. The new LMS will be fully operational on July 30.
Elizabeth Harris, a Meridian founder, said, "We are elated with the opportunity to support the stated goals for Michigan LearnPort. The selection of Meridian speaks volumes about our ability to meet the needs of continuing education, mandatory training and certification requirements within the educational community."
The assessment of proposals by MVU and Michigan Department of Education (MDE) staff members, with assistance in developing guidelines for comparison from the REMC (Regional Educational Media Center) Association of Michigan and Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning personnel, narrowed the initial field of 50 down to 12 companies that were then invited to present their proposals to MVU and MDE staff members.
"I was pleased with the process MVU used to select its next learning management system and more pleased with the product," Bruce Umpstead, director of education technology and data coordination for MDE, said. "Meridian's Knowledge Centre 6.0 is best-in-breed; it is a professional tool that can manage Michigan's online professional development needs."