Reflecting back on my recent trip to Utah for the Aspen Grove Winter Workshop (hosted by BYU), I was very impressed by their entire IT team (plus the location was just spectacular — at the base of Mt. Timpanagos, featured in the thumbnail image). One thing that stood out to me was their integration of a single learning outcome service into many core systems.
You can read about it more on their outcomes homepage. The system architect drew out a diagram of how the learning outcome service was being used, and it basically looked like a spider at the center of a web.
The course catalog, student feedback system, accreditation reporting, and the LMS all drew upon this one service. At our university, every six years countless faculty and administrative staff spend hours to document each course, its learning outcomes, and how they map to accreditation standards. With a system like BYU’s (updated incrementally and in a central repository), they can publish their accreditation documents literally with a push of a button. I’m sure many other universities wish they could do the same…
Having an enterprise service like this also sets BYU up for exploring new learning methodologies, if they choose to do so. Things like competency-based learning, or improved student feedback & analytics, all become possible.