Students First: How The Cloud Helps UMUC Simplify Access to Education

On-demand Webinar


Students First: How the Cloud Helps UMUC Simplify Access to Education

When leaders at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) uncovered access challenges for their 90,000 students in 25 countries, they took action. The school empowered a team of faculty advocates and technology staff to build a campus-like experience for distance learners.

The project’s main requirement: stay true to the “Students First” philosophy by delivering an unparalleled learning experience. The solution had to allow students to learn anywhere on the device of their choice, deliver around-the-clock access to software tools required to complete assignments, and work across operating systems, browsers, and devices.

UMUC turned to a cloud-based virtual desktop solution called Amazon WorkSpaces to simplify access to the learning applications in a virtual environment. Now, more than 6,500 students in disciplines ranging from cybersecurity to learning theory log in via a web browser and gain access to the tools they need, regardless of geographical location or device. There is no need for computer labs or for provisioning hardware to students and staff.

Attendees will learn first-hand from the executive team responsible for project outcomes and student satisfaction. Key takeaways include:

  • How the “Student First” philosophy guides UMUC technology decisions
  • How moving applications to the cloud-based virtual desktop model helped quadruple student utilization, decrease support requests by 30 percent, and improve faculty satisfaction within one month of implementing Amazon WorkSpaces
  • How the teaching experience changed, giving instructors more insight with key learner analytics
  • What features comprised UMUC’s must-have list to ensure student satisfaction and project success, including single sign on and web access

This webinar is sponsored by Amazon Web Services and hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education. All content presented during the event is provided by Amazon Web Services and UMUC.


Dr. Kara Van Dam, Vice Provost, The Learner and Faculty Experience at UMUC

Greg M. Smith, Former Associate Vice President for Enterprise Operations at UMUC


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