Fielding Graduate University

Creating a robust digital learning environment with Learning Pool's Stream Learning Suite

About

Founded in 1974, Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California, provides personalized graduate education that accommodates the special characteristics of adult students.

North America
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Background

Founded in 1974, Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California, provides personalized graduate education and a scholar-practitioner model that accommodates the special characteristics of adult students, many of whom have significant professional experience in the field. Offering certificates, masters, doctoral programs in psychology, education, leadership, and organizational studies, Fielding Graduate University’s courses are delivered through a distributed model combining digital content and web conferencing. Through coursework, seminars, and in-person instruction, adult learners pursue their academic studies while remaining in their community. 

Fielding Graduate University has always been strategic and forward-thinking in its approach to graduate education. Their specific interest in enhancing their online course provision to improve the learning experience for every student has been at the center of their relationship with Learning Pool (formally through Remote Learner) since 2008. Recently, Learning Pool’s team of elearning experts partnered with Fielding faculty in the creation of a MA in Organization Development & Leadership (OD&L). This one-year program is designed for the working professional who is looking to take their career to the next level and make a difference in their organization, community, and society. It offers the flexibility of an online course alongside a community of scholar-practitioners to support the learning process. 

New Collaboration Opportunity

When planning the launch of the OD&L program, Fielding was determined to create a modern learning experience that aligned with the digital expectations of working professionals. A clean, intuitive user interface was essential for the desired learner experience, as was the ability to foster deep social interaction that would form the crux of this new learning community. 

University administrators, meanwhile, desired reporting on the quality and depth of those course interactions between learners and the program’s subject matter experts. They even dreamed of mechanisms by which some interactions could potentially be automated to help draw learners back into the community and encourage continued engagement throughout the duration of the program. 

Finally, as an academic university, facilitators needed options for formal grading elements by which the learners would be assessed and eventually awarded college credit.

 

Solution

After a series of discovery workshops with Learning Pool’s team of Solution Engineers and Instructional Designers, Learning Pool’s Stream Learning Suite was settled on to create a robust digital learning environment. For Fielding’s unique use case a full suite solution would be required, including an LXP, LMS, LRS, campaign deployment, and authoring products, all leveraged to meet the needs of the OD&L program:

 

  • With the LXP serving as the front end to learning, learners are immersed in cohort-based learning that is much deeper than traditional forums. 
  • Learning Pool’s content authoring tool was used to consolidate relatable content into rich, modern, interactive digital resource objects throughout the six masterclasses.
  • The social and gamified methods of an LXP allow learners to collaborate with each other and engage in the material. 
  • Each masterclass has a set of subject matter experts facilitating each module, providing on-hand expertise to support the students and guide conversations.
  • A seamless connection to the LMS provides an opportunity for learners to submit assignments for formal assessment in line with a traditional graduate program of study. 
  • The Social Intelligence Dashboard (SID) within Stream provides course facilitators with insight into which learners are most deeply engaged in the learning experience and which might need additional support. 
  • Meanwhile, data from all learner activity is fed into a Learning Record Store (LRS), where it can be utilized in automated, personalized communication campaigns with triggers and nudges for students. 

 

Essentially, Learning Pool has brought together a suite of products that allows Fielding to offer a first-class learning experience that is personal, relevant, engaging, and measurable.

The Response

As a program director, Learning Pool allows me to deliver curriculum consistently and seamlessly using multiple faculty for the same course. It allows my program to be scalable with a modern look and feel.

Dr Keith Ray
Program Director, Fielding Graduate University

The Results

Fielding Graduate University has their student experience at the core of what they do and bringing their MA in Organization Development & Leadership into Stream Learning Suite has given them the opportunity to raise their learning to the next level. Response from learners in the first cohort has been very positive: 

 

It’s user friendly, easy to navigate and I don’t believe I had any technical issues.” – Student, 2021. 

 

From a stakeholder and facilitator perspective, Stream Learning Suite, and specifically the social intelligence dashboard, is allowing them to understand the student engagement and see the detail behind the online conversations. The course is aimed at adult learners from varied backgrounds and geographies. Each shares their unique experiences and facilitates group knowledge building through their individual user contributions. Fielding Graduate University continues to collaborate with Learning Pool to create the best learning experience possible: one that is engaging, relevant, and modern.

 

“Stream offers robust functionality with its user-friendly interface, insightful analytics, and design to boost engagement. The Learning Pool team has delivered valuable instructional design support and learner-centered training on learning analytics and site administration.” – Alma Boutin-Martinez, Associate Provost for Teaching, Learning and Assessment at Fielding Graduate University.

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