Managing Students Virtually

By Bridget McCrea

Coordinating a geographically dispersed student body that learns primarily online is just one of the key challenges that modern institutions of higher education are facing. With more education taking place online–and in some cases, all of that education happening on the Web–colleges are being forced to rethink their classroom and student management strategies.

At Capella University, a recently upgraded Web portal serves as the center point for the virtual school’s student and course management activities. The new system replaces a portal platform that was delivered through the school’s PeopleSoft Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

That platform handled basic, transactional processes like tuition payments, course registration and interactions with the ERP, but it “wasn’t designed to be a Web experience,” said Jason Scherschligt, Capella’s online user experience manager.

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