In use by nearly half a million users, the .LRN platform was orginally developed to support universities, and now we also use it with schools, businesses and non-profit organisations.
About the University of Bergen
The University of Bergen is Norway's major urban university, with two main physical campuses at A??qrstadvollen and Nyga??qrdsh?yden. The University's 17,000 students make up 10% of the population of Bergen, and its many centers and institutes are the city's most important academic institutions.
Why the University of Bergen chose .LRN
With a mixture on on-campus and distance learning priorities, the Bergen team needed flexibility first and foremost. Bergen also sought a system that would serve equally well across its two main campuses at A??qrstadvollen and Nyga??qrdsh?yden. One campus focuses largely on the sciences, the arts, psychology, and law, while the other teaches dentistry and medicine. Professors' and students' needs for online learning community vary by discipline, but the cost of two distinct packaged solutions ? not to mention their support and upgrade paths ? was prohibitive. Apart from flexibility, the Bergen team needed an integrated solution that would integrate with the central administrative databases and scheduling system, as well as the established intranet for faculty and staff.
A committee made up of members from interested departments evaluated six competing solutions ranging from commercial products to further development of in-house systems. The committee selected .LRN as the open source solution that met all their high level criteria, and offered flexibility to customize the rest.
What the University of Bergen is doing with .LRN
Bergen has more than 12,000 students and 1,000 staff actively using the system, with a plan to scale up to 20,000 users. All 1,500 courses taught in the University are included in .LRN.
The portal is the official place for students to access critical schedule information, and to read and post messages for their courses -- as well as Bergen's student-run organizations. The calendar and events features manage and integrate schedules, and file storage provides central access to documents. Bergen community members also make use of the survey feature to gather feedback about educational approaches and their efficacy.
By enabling a high-level of self service, .LRN has reduced the workload of the central and local staff supporting the students. In less than three years, .LRN has become a critical system for Bergen. According to Erik Valevatn, Information Technologist, "Like any university, we have to give the students and researchers the best possible infrastructure so they can concentrate on what they're really here for: teaching and learning excellence. .LRN provides us with that infrastructure, so we can keep up with the ever increasing complexity and diversification of education."
Future plans for .LRN at the University of Bergen
Bergen envisions continuing to build and customize .LRN applications to manage the administrative side of their student portal. Bergen is also looking to implement and customize more of .LRN's maturing LMS capabilities to support its diverse learning community.