The University of Texas System is updating its technology learning platform to one that features an online marketplace of courses and credentials, real-time feedback and personalized student support services.

UT System’s Institute for Transformational Learning will work with Salesforce and Salesforce.org, the philanthropic arm of Salesforce, to help establish the 2.0 version of TEx (Total Educational Experience).

TEx will fall under the Institute for Transformational Learning’s portfolio of initiatives that aim to leverage new technologies and innovative programs to benefit students. That portfolio has been dubbed UTx.

Through the collaboration with Salesforce and Salesforce.org, UTx’s team, which includes instructional designers and technology experts, will develop software and digital tools that support students on their academic and professional journeys and increase student success.

(Next page: How students will leverage digital portfolios)

TEx was first introduced through a prototype program at UT Rio Grande Valley in August 2015. It lets students work at their own pace and offers real-time feedback. Faculty can monitor progress and are alerted when students are at risk of failure.

Besides creating an online marketplace for students, TEx 2.0 also will allow a student’s academic record to transfer from a traditional transcript into a validated, permanent ChainScript™ that can be kept by the individual learner.

A ChainScript™ is built on block chain technology and contains a record of the learner’s academic and professional accomplishments across multiple institutions and experiences, building a portfolio that includes credits, competencies, micro-certificates, degrees and other records of achievement.

Beyond fully online courses, TEx supports a wide range of innovative teaching methods in classrooms, laboratories and in the field that ultimately will provide richer and more accessible content for students while preserving the quality of a UT degree.

“We are at the forefront of developing the next-generation model of higher education,” said Marni Baker Stein, Ph.D., chief innovation officer for UTx. “This new partnership will greatly enhance our efforts to deliver alternative and accelerated pathways to high quality education.”

“I truly believe UTx houses the most disruptive executive thought leaders in higher education,” said Vala Afshar, chief digital evangelist for Salesforce. “We are thrilled to partner with this innovative team to build a personalized learning platform.”

The development of TEx 2.0 begins immediately and will support programming initiatives as early as Fall 2017 at multiple UT institutions.

Stein and UTx’s Chief Digital Officer Phil Komarny will be interviewed by Salesforce Vice President for Strategic Research Peter Coffee at the upcoming Dreamforce conference Oct. 4-7.

“UTx is advancing innovative and sustainable models of education,” said UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven. “Our goal is to smooth the road for thousands of students to high-quality learning and a rewarding career.”

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura


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