Perceivant inks milestone deal with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Photo by UNC Student Affairs.

Perceivant has closed a monumental deal with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that will touch nearly 5,000 students and faculty immediately, marking the first time a university has required the use of Perceivant driven courseware for every student.

The Indianapolis-based technology firm provides educational tools and health technology platforms to a wide variety of employers, healthcare organizations and universities to help their populations live healthier, more productive lives while reducing healthcare costs at the same time. Read TechPoint’s Featured Company of the Week story to learn more about Perceivant and view their tech directory listing.

All University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) students must take the course Lifetime Fitness, which is a requirement for graduation and now driven exclusively by Perceivant courseware. Offered by the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Lifetime Fitness is designed to teach students exercise fitness and testing concepts, including behavior change and problem solving concepts that they will be able to apply to their personal and professional lives after graduation.

PerceivantUNC2_FI

The deal includes:

  • A new web-based learning and assessment system
  • A new custom lab manual
  • New interactive, online versions of the labs and assessments
  • Online distribution of all course materials.

Perceivant courseware and program management offers the following benefits:

  • Easy data collection and analytics
  • Immediate results calculation and feedback for online labs
  • Enables students to track their progress by comparing pre- and post-course results
  • Provides faculty data tools to demonstrate the efficacy of the course
  • Unburdens university staff and other resources while making the course materials easier to access by students. 

“This is the first time Perceivant courseware has been required for every student,” said Brian Rowe, founder and CEO of Perceivant. “Typically its a required class for only some majors. Strategically, we think more universities will, and should, be moving in this direction of being required for all students. Its a real commitment UNC to the well-being of their students.”

Perceivant is currently running pilot programs at Purdue University, Indiana University, and Ohio State University that are similar to the UNC program.

Rowe said Perceivant is targeting the top 250 universities that offer a program like what they currently offer, and that the largest 1000 public and private institutions in the US are all potential prospects in the future.

“Keep in mind, our offering here is really centered on health and well-being,” Rowe said. “Its helping new college students adjust to living on their own, potentially for the first time. They have new life challenges in college compared to what they faced when they may have had some of this education in High School, and its more relevant at this stage of life.”

Case Study

UNC Chapel Hill Requires All Students to use Perceivant Driven Courseware (provided by Perceivant)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a top tier institution known world-wide for its academics and research as well as an athletic powerhouse. So it makes sense that all UNC students must take the Lifetime Fitness course, which is a requirement for graduation. Offered by the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Lifetime Fitness is designed to teach students exercise fitness and testing concepts, including behavior change and problem solving concepts that they will be able to apply to their personal and professional lives after graduation.

Problem: Nearly 5,000 students enroll in UNC’s Lifetime Fitness course every year. Students enjoyed the classroom experience in which they learned how to assess their fitness, track their diet, and develop their own exercise programs. However, they found the online video materials less than engaging. The video was slow to load onto students’ computers, navigation cumbersome, and many students complained that the content was too dry and theoretical.

Furthermore, there were logistical issues. The Lifetime Fitness lab manual was printed and distributed to students through the department administrative office, causing accounting headaches and absorbing a lot of the staff’s time. Student often forgot to purchase the lab manual and came to class without it, frustrating instructors. Becca Battiglini, the course coordinator, looked to Perceivant for the solution.

Solution: Perceivant installed a new web-based learning and assessment system customized to match the Lifetime Fitness syllabus. Perceivant created a new custom lab manual for the course that students can download, print, and take to class with them.  Perceivant also provided new interactive versions of the labs and assessments online. The online labs calculate results and provide immediate feedback.

Instead of the old linear video lectures, the new course materials are balanced between textbook content, short video demonstrations, and interactive activities and quizzes. Besides the engaging interactivity of the materials, the online eTextbook is much easier to access, navigate, and study. An ePub version of the textbook can be downloaded by students onto their mobile devices, and they can use it to search, bookmark, and highlight the text. These are features that were not available in the old system.

Besides improving the online instructional experience for the students, the new online self-assessments and labs brought another benefit: easy data collection and analytics. Where before students wrote assessment results into their print lab manual, then can now enter lab and assessment data online. Not only does Perceivant better organize their self-assessment data, but it enables the students to easily track their progress by comparing pre- and post-course results. For faculty, Perceivant provides an easy to use data tool with which they can use aggregated student data to demonstrate the efficacy of the course and show student course activity beyond simple quiz scores.

Finally, Perceivant solved the administrative headaches. It took over distribution of all course materials, which are now purchased by students online. This freed university staff and other resources for other tasks while making the course materials easier to access by the students. 

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CATEGORY: Education Technology, Healthcare Technology CITY: Indianapolis

Perceivant offers directed and self-directed learning environments focusing on the health and well-being of employees and students.

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Joshua Hall is editor of techpoint.org. He writes about Indiana tech companies, jobs, people & events. @joshua2349