University of Oulu
University of Oulu is a science university operating internationally that researches humans and cultures in changing environments as well as the possibilities new technology creates in advancing the well being of humans and the environment. Over 14,000 students study there on a yearly basis and around 3,000 degrees gets fulfilled each year. Almost 3,000 people work in the University of Oulu.
The University of Oulu has extensive experience in online learning and the very first online course was implemented already in fall 1998 with an LMS called Telsi. Back then, the university was using multiple different learning management systems. Their own programs were being developed at the same time regarding online teaching and LMS’s and they were researching online learning also in wider spectrum. User-friendliness, clearness, accessibility and reliability were required from the learning management system.
Optima was chosen as the learning management system because of its usability and extensive functionalities. At that time Optima was the only product where the instructor was able to give task specific feedback to students. The initialisation happened little by little and they have ordered tailored training events from time to time from Discendum as new features have been published to the platform.
Today, Optima’s strength is its versatility that makes the platform very suitable for different training events and methods depending on the need. The reliability of the platform as well as well-functioning and quick helpdesk are also very important.
The interviewees were Training Managers Titta Koski and Katja Pura from University of Oulu’s training services
Present and Future
The usage of Optima has expanded during the years as the reputation of it being a cost efficient and reliable platform has spread throughout the big organisation that the University of Oulu is. Dependability and the versatility of the features have been in key position. Because of this, flexibility of teaching and accessibility have increased and Optima has been utilised for example in executing and accomplishing third semester studies (summer studies) regardless of the place. Courses and study modules are being executed in Optima in all ten faculties. The scale is wide - in some courses Optima operates mainly as a distribution channel of materials and in some study modules its features are being utilised in various ways.
The reliability and functionality of Optima have been excellent during the whole long history of its usage. It has been easy to access support and it has been possible to solve together with Discendum different tailoring needs the University of Oulu has had.