UMM

Universidad Metropolitana de Monterrey
  • Private University
  • Located in northeast Mexico
  • 17,000+ high school, undergraduate, and graduate students
  • International student body
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"Schoology has helped us improve teaching and learning. Courses are now more creative, accessible, and effective for faculty and students. We’ve also been able to implement world-class teaching technologies with very few resources."

Arturo López

Chief Information Officer

Story

Technology Improves Support of Teaching and Learning without Expanding IT Staff

Large international university facilitates effective faculty-student communication, streamlines course management, and keeps tech support costs low with Schoology’s learning management system.

The Challenge

After a flu pandemic shut down the Universidad Metropolitana de Monterrey (UMM) for several weeks in 2009, the school "needed a way for communication and learning to occur even when faculty, staff, and students are not face to face," said Arturo Lopez, UMM’s chief information officer.

"During the pandemic, courses came to a halt," said Arturo. Since most UMM students do not live on campus, effective communication was a challenge. "Then when the schools reopened, we had no way of letting our students know it was time to come back to class." Arturo began researching for a solution to the school’s communication issues.

The Decision

Arturo discovered Schoology, a cloud-based system that would not require additional investment in hardware. Schoology provided a way for faculty and staff to send messages to students while also giving them a platform to administer tests and quizzes, collect grades, take attendance, post course materials and assignments, and even offer fully online classes. Schoology translated the platform from English to Spanish at the school’s request. Now, Schoology is available in five additional languages.

The biggest attraction for the school was that Schoology would allow UMM to manage and administer the learning management system (LMS) with their existing IT team. Schoology handles hosting, maintenance, upgrades, and even ongoing administrative support and customization requests.

Ease of use was another critical factor in the decision. More than 15% of UMM’s faculty is over age 60 and are not strong tech users. Academic Director Carmen Tamez Muñoz and Implementation Coordinator Astrid Campos created a six-hour, hands-on faculty training course, which blends the theory of technology-enhanced teaching with how to use the Schoology platform. The faculty learns how to create a course, add students to a course, use the gradebook, and take attendance. Then instructors learn how they can incorporate Schoology into their classes and use the technology’s capabilities to enhance student learning.

The Result

After three years of using Schoology, UMM has experienced the following results.

Streamlined course management saves the school time and money. A small tech team with limited resources supports the learning management system. The platform also:

  • Helps instructors manage courses more efficiently and effectively—even from home
  • Streamlines faculty recording of grades and students’ access to their grades, using the online gradebook
  • Simplifies sharing course documents with students and collecting assignments

UMM has strengthened communication within its community. Even if the campus were forced to close temporarily, students and faculty could keep informed and courses could continue. "If we were to experience another disruptive event like the flu pandemic, the university would continue running this time because of Schoology," Carmen said. "Students could continue to access their course information and their instructors could easily communicate with them."

Learning is much more convenient and effective than before. By moving some courses online, the school has allowed more students to take courses. Now there is also an opportunity for courses featuring blended learning—a combination of online and in person instruction. In addition, Schoology has made testing more convenient, as it allows online test taking, and students can take tests remotely.

"Schoology has helped us improve teaching and learning at UMM," said Arturo. "Faculty and students find their courses to be more creative, accessible, and effective. Thanks to Schoology, we have been able to implement world-class teaching technologies with very few resources."

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