Bahçeşehir University is located in the heart of Istanbul, at the crossroads between Europe and Asia. It is an international university hosting over 20,000 students from 105 different countries. It promotes intercultural relations and encourages its students to become digital citizens of the world.
Bahçeşehir University (BAU) started using the itslearning platform in 2012. Currently the LMS is being used in around 300 courses. This number is expected to increase to 500 by the end of 2015.
Dr. Tufan Adiguzel, coordinator of BAU’s Distance Education Unit, says itslearning was chosen because it was the tool that best supported the university’s target of enriching digital content for BAU students. “Our goal at BAU is to make the students’ jobs easier by providing digital content to self-learners,” Adiguzel explains.
BAU is the first university in Turkey to integrate digital content into a learning platform for courses with over 1,000 students. “We wanted to offer students and teachers one platform to provide content and monitor student performance. The introduction of the Learning Tool Interoperability standard (LTI) made this possible. Now we can access digital content within itslearning, instead of going to a separate website with separate logins.”
BAU chose Pearson Education to provide content to teachers and students in calculus, physics and chemistry courses. Students can access enriched, dynamic and interactive materials through the learning platform with one password. Test results and progress reports are automatically integrated with the itslearning gradebook.
- helps BAU manage large numbers of students
- gives professors a clear and easily-accessible overview of student performance
- facilitates standardisation by providing access to agreed-upon course materials
- helps extend courses using online assignments, tests, surveys, etc.
English is the language of instruction at BAU. All students are required to pass fundamental English courses in order to graduate. Each semester there are over 3,000 students taking English classes simultaneously.
As part of their English class, students are required to make oral presentations so that professors can evaluate their language skills. To save time, instead of presenting in person, students are asked to record themselves using the platform’s video recorder feature, and upload the presentations to itslearning. Professors then view these recordings at their leisure, instead of dealing with the logistics of scheduling thousands of students to present to them in person. The videos are evaluated by multiple professors to ensure objectivity in grading. itslearning makes this easy.
“In the past, instructors would be invited into the classroom to see the presentations, which was often difficult because they are busy people. This hybrid technique works great. It also removes the barriers of speaking in front of a crowd,” Adiguzel says.
Student Ownership and Personalised Learning
“More than 90% of our students have smart phones. Now they can access materials wherever and whenever they want. This has allowed students to take charge of their own learning. They can choose content that fits their needs and digest it at their own pace. It also makes it easier for lecturers to personalise learning for each student,” reports Adiguzel. “Students are learning better and teachers are teaching better. Overall the quality of education has improved.”