Customer Story
Higher Ed

Upgrading to Class to Enhance Online Learning

Universidad del Caribe, or Unicaribe, upgraded to Class to deliver a seamless and intuitive education experience for both on-site and online students and staff.

KEY OUTCOMES

5

weeks from initial demo to successful upgrade

6,000+

unique users per day

3.5

hour long sessions successfully conducted online

Contents

The ChallengeSeeking more visibility and accessibility for virtual learning

santo domingo, dominican republic

Unicaribe has offered virtual learning for nearly 28 years. However, with demand increasing, they began searching for a new way to deliver a better online learning experience for students and instructors alike. “The problem in the past was that when the teacher talked or when students talked, that was the only screen that you could see,” recalls José Alejandro Aybar M., President of the Board of Directors at Unicaribe. “So you didn’t have control over all the other participants in the classroom. If you’re not in contact with the students and if you don’t see their faces, you will not be able to allow and provide a quality education in the virtual learning style.”

And with sometimes limited internet accessibility across the Dominican Republic, the university needed to find a way to ensure students and staff could easily connect to their online learning environment from anywhere. “We had a lot of complaints from our students saying that the internet that is required to access their classes on was too heavy for some people who don’t have a very good internet connection,” shares José.

The SolutionUpgrading to Class for enhanced online education

With Blackboard Collaborate and Blackboard Learn already playing key roles in their EdTech ecosystem, Unicaribe was thrilled to discover that through Class’s 2022 acquisition of Collaborate, they had the unique opportunity to upgrade to Class. And because Class has a powerful, enhanced integration with Blackboard Learn, Unicaribe could continue to leverage the added benefits that come with integrated systems—including simplified instructional workflows, centralized content, and automatic data passback. Unicaribe realized that by upgrading from Collaborate to Class, they could take their online courses to the next level.

“After the demo presentation, it only took us 45 minutes to decide that we need to get Class. And just five weeks later, we went live with our students.”
José Alejandro Aybar M.,
President of the Board of Directors, Universidad del Caribe

“I’m always seeking what’s new in education so I can provide to our students,” begins José. “Once they showed me a demonstration, I was in love with it. Class is full of a lot of things that provide a completely different environment for the student. So it’s very user-friendly. The features that Class provides help the teacher. It’s like an assistant of the teacher that provides knowledge of if the student is participating, if the participation is good, if he’s paying attention to what is on the screen. And the statistics that Class has gives more information to the teacher to provide a good environment for our students.”

Seamless integration with Blackboard Learn

“In Class, our students have every single piece of information about their class and all the materials for their class. You don’t have to go sign-in in a different place. As soon as you sign-in with Blackboard, it’s like an ecosystem. You can go in Blackboard, click on Class, and it will go right there without asking for any other information. So it’s very comfortable for the students.”

“Class gave me a great service and provided a lot of confidence to us that they would be next to us during that switch. So it was a great feeling working with the technicians at Class, making that change; it was very nice and very smooth. We didn’t have any bad experiences or anything. It’s completely opposite; we are very happy that we made the change.”

“Now with Class, we have the teacher in the left corner and we have all the students on screen. So we have a lot more control of the quality of the education that we are providing. It is very comfortable to use Class because it gives us that view even when we record all the sessions; we can record everybody on the screen, not just the person who is talking.”

“Our students used to complain about the level of internet they needed to get into their courses. With Class it is much lighter the internet that they need. So it’s easier for anybody to connect even in the places that are far away from the cities where we have students. So that’s another incredible thing that Class provides us.”

The ResultDelivering better online learning to more students

By upgrading from Collaborate to Class, Unicaribe delivers a more effective and intuitive online learning experience to truly prepare students for successful lives. “After using the platform, students are very happy and they feel like more of a group and in a more friendly environment because they see everybody on screen in Class; they see the teacher on the left, they see the podium…So it’s a completely different feeling of the classroom. It’s like if you are in a physical classroom,” boasts José.

“I think every day more is needed to be flexible to the students and to teach them in the way that will fit better for their lives,” concludes José. “So by adding Class and enabling both virtual or hybrid options, it will give more possibilities to people with the complications that life can bring. They are able to perform and to graduate in different programs that can allow them to have a better life.”

With Class, Unicaribe is:

Creating a intuitive online learning experience

"I think it is a great opportunity for us as a higher education institution to provide the students with a platform like Class. If you want to be global as you have to be in these times, you have to provide students with platforms that they can trust, that they can feel comfortable with. And for us, having Blackboard, having Class and having other top platforms for higher education has been very powerful. We every day grow the number of international students enrolling."

Empowering teachers with more visibility

"The control that you have with everybody there is fantastic. You can have eyes on each student that is not paying attention, and watch the red tag become green. Also, the automatic registration of the student when they log in is great. And one of the most powerful things is the statistics that you get from Class. The statistics are very important for the teacher. It's like having an assistant that will provide information about each of the students. This is the only platform that I see that can provide as much information that Class does."

Connecting on-site and online students

"Class allows us to provide our students the possibility to be participating in a classroom physically, but also be connected with some virtual learners. And you can switch. If you have a class and you can go to the university that day and sit in the classroom, you can do it. But if you have in the next week a situation that complicates your going to the university, you can be virtual. So it brings both groups together in the classroom, virtual and physical classroom."

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