University of Malta
A rich and diverse online foundation studies programme for the University of Malta, delivered by Avallain Magnet, working hand-in-hand with our peerless content creation tool, Avallain Author.
The University of Malta (UM) has been a centre of learning and research in the Mediterranean for more than 400 years. Today, its 14 faculties and varied institutes and schools provide undergraduate and postgraduate courses in both traditional and digital formats. Its International School for Foundation Studies offers a comprehensive bridging programme to students all over the world, preparing them to study their chosen subject in the English language.
countries access UM across 10 time zones
Fully interactive courses created in Avallain Author and published in Avallain Magnet
hours to train content creators, teachers and administrators
An end-to-end solution to render UM’s diverse foundation programme as engaging, interactive courses and then deliver those courses within a powerful but easy-to-use LMS environment suitable for distance learning and teaching.
The University of Malta’s International School for Foundation Studies provides medical, technical, humanities and business foundation programmes with a strong focus on English language teaching, to prepare international students for admission to the desired undergraduate course. Previously, all of these discipline-specific programmes were delivered in face-to-face classes, based around bespoke, in-house textbooks. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the university quickly switched to remote online tutoring, and classes continued as scheduled. However, it was challenging to keep students engaged without a physical presence in class.
The University of Malta needed to move quickly to create a diverse and appealing online programme of study. This programme required a clean, intuitive, distraction-free interface, and yet it needed to deliver complex content, with diverse interactions, presentations and supporting assets. The student’s progress through each course needed to be tracked and their responses marked either automatically by the system, or manually, by a teacher. The entire programme had to work on computer screens and tablets.
Due to the timeframe, the university needed to implement this programme without bespoke development or investment in infrastructure. The administrators required a flexible and straightforward way to set up users and to create and manage subscriptions. Planning for the future, UM wanted to provide their unique course programme to other organisations, potentially with a customised login screen and interface.
The main challenge was the timeframe, which allowed just three months to create and deliver the first courses. In that time, all content creation work was carried out by a team of authors and editors, all working remotely and following a carefully controlled workflow.
The content itself was also a potential challenge. Advanced, and often elaborate course material had to be rendered for easy accessibility on-screen and paired seamlessly with digital assets and interactions to create a meaningful learning experience. And once the content was created, the university needed a quick and straightforward way not only to publish it to the learning environment but also to monitor and assess students’ work.
UM became the first university to benefit from Avallain Magnet, our end-to-end authoring and learning management solution. With the Magnet Professional package, UM gained access to Avallain Author, our versatile content creation tool with support for countless interactions and content formats, and Avallain Magnet itself, which combines our decades of experience in advanced learning management systems into one world-class solution. The entire offering is cloud-based and highly configurable, so it was ready to deploy without delay or development cost.
With Avallain Author, UM is able to prepare engaging activities based around multiple specialised texts - some of significant length - along with accompanying audio and video assets. Avallain Magnet captures all of the students’ responses within the activity, whether as marks or as written or audio submissions. Courses can be adapted quickly and easily to suit specific learning paths and should teachers need to do so, they are able to launch live tutoring sessions with individuals or groups directly from the interface. Avallain Magnet’s simple administrative tools control all user, product and subscription features, and are ready to support UM’s future ambition to provide products to other organisations.
The combination of Avallain Magnet and Avallain Author provided a fast and effective solution to UM’s requirements. Following the initial 2-hour Avallain Author training session, the UM team created a compelling course offering within just 3 months. Additional course development continues, and new materials are published seamlessly to the Avallain Magnet learning platform. Despite being spread across 20 countries and 10 time zones, all students have engaged enthusiastically with the Avallain Magnet course programme. The gradebook and reporting features keep teachers fully appraised of their students’ progress. Most importantly, from content production, to product management, delivery and analysis, the entire solution was delivered via Avallain Magnet’s existing, cloud-based service, keeping UM’s cost and effort to a minimum.
Professor Isabel Stabile
Director, International School for Foundation Studies
University of Malta
"Avallain’s online learning environment allows us to provide remote teaching to students enrolled in our medical, science, business and humanities pathway programmes. We utilised Avallain’s powerful authoring tool, Avallain Author, to transfer the textbook-based learning activities we had created into interactive online content. Our students, located in 20 countries and 10 time zones, now have access via Avallain Magnet to various learning activities embedded in our bespoke English courses. We were supported throughout by Avallain staff who have been exceptionally responsive to our specific needs. We are delighted with the final products and look forward to expanding into other disciplines."
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