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Aula helps Coventry University deliver transformative learning experiences, at scale

“Aula more than doubled our student engagement which made a compelling case for moving away from the traditional VLE”

Ian Dunn
Provost
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Results achieved with Aula
  • 106% increase in Daily Active Users compared to their existing VLE
  • Aula helps students feel part of a community of learners
  • Academics say that their teaching approach improved
  • 100+ courses transformed to blended/online delivery modes
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Key integrations used
Padlet
Office365
BigBlueButton
Turnitin
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Piloting Aula vs. Moodle

In the academic year 2018/19, Coventry migrated 26 courses (comprising 1800 students) from Moodle to Aula.

The pilot set out to test Aula, a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) as a potential replacement for Moodle by evaluating the impact of Aula on key proxies for student satisfaction, sense of community, and engagement. The pilot allowed the university to directly compare the results of Aula with Moodle before making a decision that would impact over 38,000 students and staff.

Activity doubled in Aula compared to Moodle

On average, 33% of users spent time in Aula on any given day, double those doing the same in Moodle (18%), suggesting that users are engaging more regularly in their digital learning community via Aula than they do via Moodle.

Students felt more supported by Aula

Survey results show that 70% of students report that Aula enables them to easily access their learning whenever they need to. Students also say Aula supports them to feel easily connected (76%) and part of a community (69%). This result is approximately double the JISC benchmark.

Academics saw significant improvements

50% of participating academic staff said Aula helped change their style of teaching and learning, crediting “better”, “immediate”, “easier” and “light” communication with students as well as increased frequency of contact.

In addition, 75% of academic staff say Aula makes them feel easily connected to students and staff, 70% say that using Aula means barriers to communication are low, and 55% say that they can easily engage their students in Aula.

“The need for us to switch to Aula was already there. Pausing face-to-face teaching because of Covid-19 and moving all our teaching and learning online accelerated that need. Aula is mobile-first making it easily accessible for students, especially those who may not have access to laptops at home. It is also simple for our academic staff to use and will help us recreate the feel of face-to-face teaching, to strengthen students’ learning communities.”
Andrew Turner
Associate Pro Vice Chancellor (Teaching & Learning)

Coventry goes full scale with Aula in 2020

Based on the pilot results, Coventry have made the decision to move away from Moodle, a traditional Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), to Aula: all courses in all campuses will be delivered on Aula from September 2020. The move makes Coventry the first university of its kind, globally, to clearly commit to an approach which embraces the next era of digital learning as active, collaborative and mobile-first.

Ian Dunn (Provost of Coventry University) in conversation with Anders Krohn (Aula’s CEO). Watch the full conversation.

Transforming 100 modules in 4 weeks

Given the current global public health crisis, the partnership is expediting the change process by transforming 100 modules to be online-ready on Aula for the start of May 2020. The project is part of a digital offer that the University is shaping for the May intake of students, including its existing portfolio of courses via Coventry University Online. Coventry University moved all of its teaching and learning online during March when face-to-face teaching was suspended.

“The fact that Aula more than doubled our student engagement in the pilot year made a compelling case for moving away from the traditional LMS/VLE completely. Our students are looking at their learning lives in a similar way to their social media lives. But that’s not the way many current VLEs are built – they’re more like filing cabinets. Our commitment to the institution-wide adoption of this Learning Experience Platform is a commitment to building learning communities which engage and excite today’s students in their academic experience at university.”
Ian Dunn
Provost

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