Kent State University

Case Studies - Kent State University

About Kent State University

Established in 1910, Kent State University's eight-campus system spans a geographical area of seven counties in Northern Ohio, one of the largest regional systems in the nation. The Kent State campuses offer degrees in a wide array of programs in science, technology, and humanities. With a total enrollment of about 38,000 across all campuses, Kent State is the second largest university in the state of Ohio; the Kent Campus has the largest full-time enrollment of all the campuses with about 24,000 students.

Challenge

Kent State identified a need for resources to augment classroom teaching and serve as a supplement to the wider learning experience. The school sought to acquire a software-based language-learning system which provided foreign language support for faculty and students. These faculty and students would be able to gain exposure to another language in preparation for travel or residency in another country. The objectives of this new language-learning system included:

  • Increased international awareness of both faculty and students
  • Improved reputation
  • Retain students and improve standing
  • Supplement the classroom learning experience for students and faculty, but not replace human interaction/communication necessary to learn a foreign language

Solution

Kent State reviewed five language-learning programs, but Byki proved to be the easiest to use and the most intuitive. The decision to purchase Byki was based on Kent State's review that Byki would provide the widest library support for international students and individuals participating in internationally-focused programs. Byki was chosen because:

  • It includes all of the languages indentified as critical to the community (Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, English, ESL, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Turkish)
  • It provides access for Kent State's 8 campus system
  • The cost is competitive
  • It provides language learning for over seventy different languages and numerous ESL languages which it could potentially serve a larger base of international students
  • Reviewers found the program easy to navigate
  • Byki subscription includes free Byki® Mobile language learning applications for iPhone and Android smart phones.

Results

Already, the Byki system has benefited the community. Over 170 sessions have been logged with an average session time of about 30 minutes. The most popular language for users of Byki at Kent State is Italian, with German, French, Spanish, Latvian, and Turkish following close behind. Users at Kent State have noted that Byki is "valuable" and "a great tool."

Byki users have already seen their language skills improve. For example, one student explained that he began using Byki to learn Mandarin Chinese. With approximately 700 faculty and students at Kent State speaking Mandarin, he wanted familiarity in the language to be able to converse with those faculty and students. He praised Byki as a "very helpful program" and he noticed immediate results when speaking with a friend, who is a native Mandarin speaker.

Faculty members at Kent State have also found Byki helpful in content creation and presentations. They have remarked that Transparent Language technical support has been fast and efficient. Transparent Language and Kent State look forward to continue working together to build language skills in the community.