Michigan Virtual University Wins Award for Changing the Way Teachers Learn

Lansing, MI. – November 13, 2012 – Michigan Virtual University® (MVU®) won a Silver Brandon Hall Group Excellence Award for Best Learning Team for the organization’s work in developing Michigan LearnPort®, Michigan’s leading online portal for K-12 educators.

Michigan teachers, administrators and other staff use the portal to earn recertification credits and take compliance and professional development (PD) courses. Michigan LearnPort offers more than 1,000 high-quality online courses and recorded over 30,000 course enrollments in the last fiscal year. Underpinning Michigan LearnPort is a software product provided by Meridian Knowledge Solutions called the Meridian Global LMS. This software links people to courses, documents, data, instructors and other learners at any time from a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device.

“Our goals are to harness the Internet to consolidate PD resources, offer teachers a new way of learning and create efficiencies for the K-12 community,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of MVU. This award underscores the validity and the value of these goals and highlights this meaningful innovation in K-12 education in Michigan. “We’re pleased to know an industry leader like Brandon Hall Group recognizes the positive impact and multiple benefits of Michigan LearnPort,” Fitzpatrick said. “MVU and Meridian won this award because the combined team developed a system that for nine years has elegantly solved a tough problem: Enable teachers to improve how they do their jobs without taking time away from students,” said Rachel (Ashkin) Cooke, COO of Brandon Hall Group. “With Michigan LearnPort, MVU and Meridian have given educators a way to collaborate online, share best practices, comply with government regulations and do it all at a pace and time of their choosing.”

“This award is a punctuation mark on nearly a decade of work by our two teams to constantly refine the technology, marketing and content – to name just a few things – needed to attract a loyal following of tens of thousands of teachers, administrators and staff year after year,” said John Leh, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Meridian. “Since MVU launched Michigan LearnPort, thousands of teachers have taken hundreds of courses on topics ranging from Algebra to mastering online learning – many of these courses are free.”

By regularly promoting the benefits of Michigan LearnPort, we’ve seen adoption grow by the tens of thousands. Along with that, enrollments in compliance courses have soared,” said David Myers, Vice President for Educational Programs and Outreach at MVU. Offering online compliance courses offers more time for school-based professional development that focuses on subject matter issues and school improvement related topics.

One example of how Michigan LearnPort has boosted compliance rates and benefitted teachers and students is the partnership with the Michigan Transition Outcomes Project, or MI-TOP. MI-TOP works to implement effective transition practices across Michigan to ensure all students are prepared for education, work, and life after secondary schooling is done. MVU developed and launched in Michigan LearnPort an online course for Michigan teachers to learn about easier transition planning and completion of required associated forms. This step, along with other tactics, brought compliance with MI-TOP from just under 40 percent to 100 percent in one year. The partnership continues; a forth course in the transition series will be in the catalog this winter.

About MVU: MVU® is a private, nonprofit Michigan corporation established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to serve as a champion for online learning. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual School® and Michigan LearnPort®. Michigan LearnPort provides online professional development solutions for members of the K-12 community. Developed in partnership with the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan LearnPort puts high-quality courses, tools and resources at your fingertips anywhere you have access to the Internet. To learn more, visit http://www.mivu.org.

About Meridian: Meridian Knowledge Solutions’ flagship product, the Meridian Global LMS, integrates advanced learning management, mobile learning, social learning, e-commerce, learning content management, performance management and workforce analytics into one fully integrated solution. Meridian also provides strategic professional services, mobile and e-learning courseware development and hosting services. Meridian is a wholly owned subsidiary of Visionary Integration Professionals. To learn more, visit www.meridianksi.com, or follow Meridian on Twitter @meridianks.

About Brandon Hall Group: Having worked with more than 10,000 clients globally and after 20 years of delivering world-class solutions, Brandon Hall Group is the preeminent research and analyst organization focused on developing research-driven solutions to drive organizational performance for emerging and large organizations. Brandon Hall Group has an extensive repository of thought leadership, research, data and expertise in Learning and Development, Talent Management, Sales Effectiveness, Marketing Impact, and Executive Management.

To learn more, visit www.brandonhall.com. For more information about Meridian, visit www.meridianksi.com. To follow Meridian on Twitter, visit http://twitter.com/meridianks.

Rachel Cooke

Rachel Cooke

Chief Operating Officer

Rachel Cooke

Rachel is responsible for business operations including overseeing client services, research events and project management.

Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Rachel was the Chief Operating Officer Co-founder of AC Growth.

Rachel has over 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, and sales performance management. Prior to AC Growth, she held several senior management roles and was on the leadership team at Bersin & Associates, a pioneer analyst firm in e-learning and now industry leading HR and talent Research Company. In her Senior Director role, Rachel developed the strategy and led the commercial execution of the solution provider vertical, and grew the vertical into the company’s largest market segment. In her role as Director of Sales, Rachel developed and led a team of senior account executives focused on acquiring global strategic accounts. Rachel was solely responsible for developing key business relationships with over ninety companies including industry icons, such as: Adidas, Hewlett-Packard, Toyota, Oracle, Starbucks, Avnet, Boeing, Kaiser Permanente, Safeway Inc., Wells Fargo, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Clorox and Affiliated Computer Services. Rachel began her career in the banking, media and hospitality industries. In these industries, Rachel held several key senior management and executive sales positions.

Rachel received a BA in social science and interdisciplinary studies with honors from Florida Atlantic University. Rachel continued her postgraduate education by completing a series of executive management education courses from American Management Association.
Rachel Cooke

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