Move over, RamCT. Thereâ€™s a new system in town.
Starting the summer session of 2012, CSU will complete a switchover from the current RamCT â€œCampus Edition 8â€ online learning management system to a program called â€œRamCT Blackboard,â€ according to Rusty Scott, executive associate director of Academic Computing and Networking Services at CSU, in an email to the Collegian.
Blackboard will no longer support CSUâ€™s current version of RamCT starting January 2013, according to CSUâ€™s RamCT website, necessitating a change to a new system.
In November 2010, CSUâ€™s Faculty Council Committee on Teaching and Learning recommended adoption of Blackboardâ€™s newest version â€œBb Learn 9â€ or â€œBlackboard Learn,â€ to replace the current RamCT system.
The councilâ€™s research involved input from faculty, students, the Division of Continuing Education, RamCT College and Area Coordinators, and CSUâ€™s Academic Computing and Networking Services.
Starting this semester, CSU launched a pilot program of 50 faculty and approximately 2,000 students to troubleshoot potential transition problems, according to Scott, who said that for faculty the new system functions differently from RamCT. Training in RamCT Blackboard use has been offered since February, and under the new system, faculty will still able to use other online resources within their class curriculum, Scott said.
A preview of the pilot system can be viewed at http://ramct.blackboard.com.
â€œStudents participating in the pilot program have appreciated some changes in the system, but for the most part, are successfully navigating the system with essentially no training,â€ Scott said.
The new RamCT Blackboard system will have a more efficient interface, according to CSUâ€™s RamCT website, and will feature new tools such as drag-and-drop file uploads and an improved grade center. More than 95 percent of CSU students use the current system.
Students arenâ€™t too attached to RamCT and are open to change.
â€œI use (RamCT) quite a bit for classes, to check homework, communicate with teachers, check to see if I have tests or quizzes coming up and to get homework assignments posted there,â€ said freshman rangeland ecology major Matthew Ketcham, who hadnâ€™t heard about the upcoming system change but was open to the idea.
Sophomore chemistry major Ryan Ash was also welcoming to a new online class management system.
â€œIf the new system is easier, more efficient and has a better way to navigate, then it sounds like a good idea,â€ Ash said. â€œIf itâ€™s more beneficial for us, itâ€™s okay to switch; Iâ€™m fine with it, and Iâ€™m sure it wonâ€™t be too hard to learn.â€
Collegian writer Kate Winkle can be reached at email@example.com.