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FLEXO Magazine : November 2008
By sorting all of the TEST business plan objectives into clearly defined categories, the staff has prioritized its tasks in a way that allows for planned, organized updates and expansion of its education and train- ing offerings. Through the process of categorizing and prioritizing tasks, it became apparent that the most logical next step for TEST would be to place the Virtual Campus and Education, Training, Curriculum categories on the top of the task list. The processes related to updating, authoring and storing curriculum that could easily be streamlined with the use of an electronic curriculum management and delivery system. Before we go into detail about the many milestones TEST has met in the Virtual Campus category during this first year, let’s take a moment to define the term Virtual Campus. The TEST Virtual Campus refers to the following electronic elements: 1. A Learning Management System (LMS) that includes course authoring software, allowing for building curriculum directly into an electronic storage area. 2. A virtual interface that allows learners to take all courses in an online format 3. An online course catalogue that al- lows learners to access course names, descriptions, prices, and registration information. Because the Virtual Campus was placed at the top of the priority list, the first ma- jor task for Tuccitto and FTA IT Director Cheryl Donovan was to research a variety of LMSs. After a long research and testing process, LEARN.com emerged as the best choice due to its robust curriculum author- ing tools and learner-centered interface. Purchasing the program, however, was only the first step in preparing to open classrooms in the Virtual Campus. The next step required many hours of exten- sive training in both the technical and educational aspects of the program during January and February. The end result of this careful research and extensive train- ing is the current Virtual Campus interface layout that provides the look and feel of a college campus while providing the user with an easily navigable interface and a course catalogue that organizes the course offerings into the following categories: Skills Training; Environmental,Health and