Education Technology in Australia – Where to From Here?

Education Technology in Australia – Where to From Here?

2020 has shown significant advancements in how Australians can leverage education. Institutions have recognised that the power of digital has forced them to alter business models to align with consumer demands and competitive pressure. Not only does our education need to advance in its curricular capabilities to keep up with technological advancements, institutions also need to ensure their own technology is adaptable to an ever changing environment.

What do we expect to see in 2021 and beyond?

The future of technology in education is evolving. Many of today’s technologies can no longer support the modern K-12 or university experience. Others cannot be optimised, modernised or even transformed appropriately for a modern technology environment. 

“How do we build technology that will support and complement our business needs and capabilities?”

If you’re looking for technology to support your future business need, we recommend looking for solutions that optimise:

  • Data Privacy 

Education Technology has become an essential during COVID-19, with students across all walks of life and learning using a range of devices and software to support their learning endeavors. Many state education departments and schools already have guidelines and practices in place in relation to vetting software. However, it’s inevitable that additional software and apps will be used that are often untested or approved. As a result, the privacy of children and young people is left exposed if schools and departments don’t properly consider the risks involved in using these.


  • Learning Analytics 

Online learning systems have the ability to capture learner behaviors and leverage the learner data to provide a variety of stakeholders with feedback, like how to increase learner engagement, improve teaching and learning outcomes and enhance educational decision making.

There was a proliferation of online content for 2020 which learners tolerated, but during 2021 organisations should be digging into the effectiveness of online learning and measuring impact to deliver high-quality experiences. These insights can be optimised leveraging learning analytics to measure student satisfaction.

Higher education institutions are beginning to use analytics for improving the services they provide and for increasing student grades and retention. Learning analytics is an important component of new technology you wish to implement as the data will differentiate your educational experience compared to your competitors.


  • Implementation Support

Introducing new technology doesn’t always come with an internal champion to support an organisation in its implementation. Ensuring the technology comes with appropriate resources, training, and a customer success manager, will help you implement faster and avoid delays.


EdTech will be evolving faster than ever before

Education is essentially an information industry and is highly impacted by the evolving digital capabilities throughout society, including increasing expectations from students, staff and faculty. COVID-19 accelerated pre-existing education sector trends, such as the adoption of technology in schools and the rollout of infrastructure to enable that technology. Ensure you have planned ahead with new technical adoptions to meet future budget requirements.

According to HolonIQ, digital expenditure as a proportion of overall expenditure in global education and training, will increase to 5.2% by 2025. Education institutions may have acquired new technology to get through virtual learning and converting content online, but these processes put into play will require reiterating for a long-term solution.


The Role of the CIO in Education will increase in responsibilities

According to Gartner, by 2024 25% of traditional enterprise CIOs will be held accountable for digital business operational results. The world will continue to be consumed by the digital vortex and the role of the CIO will take on further organisation-wide responsibilities.

The responsibilities of CIOs in education will only increase, with the growing need to evolve administrative and academic systems to adhere to the learning business strategy that their institution officials seek to move beyond reactive measures and move into proactive strategies that match the current moment.


We hope you found this blog useful! To learn more on education technology subscribe to our newsletter. Crystal Delta is a global software engineering practice specialising in education. Contact us today for more information on how we can support your EdTech journey! 

University of Mauritius launches iLearn, a MOOC platform based on the concept of Open Learning and Micro-credentials

University of Mauritius launches iLearn, a MOOC platform based on the concept of Open Learning and Micro-credentials

Learn. Inspire. Lead – This is the motto behind this new online capacity building platform of the University of Mauritius. This innovative technology, called XenEd (previously branded as Xenops) is an advanced customization of Open edX, which is a well-known platform for the delivery of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).


The University is championing the concept of micro-credentials based on blockchain technology where participants can enroll in courses for free or for a small fee, and will have the possibility to earn micro-credits that can be accumulated and transferred into recognized University credits.


The XenEd platform provides functionalities to better monitor and track learner progress and provides a seamless and flexible online learning experience to learners from all walks of life. The University has already identified a number of its online modules and open educational resources that would be offered through this platform. The platform will launch, with an online course on the Internet of Things will be provided for free to Mauritian and international participants from September 2020. The course was developed as an open educational resource (OER) through the support of the Commonwealth of Learning.


The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning & Resources), Dr Santally highlighted: “The University of Mauritius has played a pioneering role in the development of education technology as an academic field and led by example in terms of capacity building of education practitioners and innovation in teaching and learning through technology. This initiative is another example of our broader vision to lead the digital transformation of education and opening up access to high-quality training, to build the workforce of the future in the country”.


Mr Balaji Baradhazhvar, CEO of Crystal Delta Pty Ltd, further added: “We are proud to be associated with the University of Mauritius. It is a strengthening of our policy to promote Universities in small island states and contributing to the economic and educational development of those regions. We are already working with the University of South Pacific, and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). We are particularly motivated with this partnership with the team at the UoM, as it also entails research and innovation activities in the areas of blockchain and micro-credentials.”


The courses that will be dispensed through this platform will relate to ICT, Digital Literacy, Youth Work Development, Leadership Development, Human Rights and several other areas in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The University, through its consultancy unit, will also be engaging with the different stakeholders, especially the private sector, to mount customized online training for the upskilling of their staff. At the moment, most of the training is held through face-to-face training on campus. The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Planning & Resources) mentioned that in the long term, the vision is to broaden this initiative into a massive capacity building platform that promotes continuous professional development at a National scale to accelerate the growth of Mauritius into a knowledge society.




Questions to Dr Santally Mohammad Issack

1. Will the courses on this platform be completely free?

Some of the courses will be completely free, especially those which are of national interest, and in line with the SDGs. For example, a course on Health & Safety or Fundamental Human Rights will be free as these are of high public interest. For other programs, which has a more professional incline, there would be a reasonable fee charged, as the participants also have the option to go for an assessment that would lead to recognized University micro-credentials.

2. Can anyone follow the courses?

Yes. But some courses might require some pre-requisites if the participant is interested in obtaining University credentials. We have the concept of “auditeur libre” where anyone can access the course contents for a fee, but do not take any assessment. If a course is pitched at a graduate level, a participant needs to have at least a degree to be able to earn University credits.

3. What are the benefits of enrolling on these courses?

The first benefit is for your own personal or professional development. Then UoM is a trusted institution, and its credentials will add value to any CV. The fundamental difference between following a traditional MOOC and a course on this platform is the validity of the credential owned.

Many platforms just provide for a simple attestation that are mostly non-verifiable in terms of its validity, that someone has followed a course. This will be an option in our platform, but we will also provide for a reliable form of assessment to validate the skills and competencies of the learner.

Third, the flexible pathway even allows the learner to earn a qualification if he or she engages in a sustainable manner within a discipline. But this is for the long term.

4. How do you ensure quality?

A module offered on the platform has to be approved by the relevant instances of the University. There are different types of modules such as short courses non-award or award courses carrying University credits. All our courses are developed by academics or professionals with expertise in their fields. For each course offered online, there is a tutor or facilitator and appropriate technical support.

The University of Mauritius (UoM) (French: Université de Maurice) is the national University of Mauritius. It is the oldest and largest University in the country in terms of student enrollment and curriculum offered. The public University’s main campus is located at Réduit, Moka. Operating since 1965, the University has been a pillar of knowledge and skills development for Mauritius. Its updated vision for 21st century effectively redefines its socio-economic role to provide more significant learning opportunities for its citizens and enhance its reputation in an increasingly global learning and employment landscape.
More information at and

Crystal Delta Pty Ltd is a software engineering products and services company based in Melbourne, Australia and Chennai, India. Since its founding in 2014, the company has developed a strong focus on improving the effectiveness of technology in education (EdTech). With XenEd, Crystal Delta provides a cloud-based digital learning platform that can be deployed quickly and can scale to meet the online learning requirements of institutions and organizations of any size, today and well into the future. XenEd goes beyond the primary Open edX platform to enhance the online instruction and learning outcomes for educators and learners.
More information at


FNU Launches new online learning initiative, “FNU Online” in partnership with Crystal Delta.

FNU Launches new online learning initiative, “FNU Online” in partnership with Crystal Delta.

FNU today announced the launch of its new online learning initiative called “FNU Online”. As the national university, FNU has been responsible for educating generations of Fijian doctors, nurses, teachers, mechanics, engineers and much and accountants, through FNU’s existing colleges and core values “New Skills, Practical Experience, Real Opportunities”.

The opportunity for FNU to expand and create “FNU Online” will create pathways for any learner to enjoy life-long learning through FNU regardless of their career pathway, program or geographical positioning. FNU expects that FNU Online will further enhance the educational experience and opportunity for students throughout Fiji and Pacific nations, enabling the university to continue to provide courses and content that will enrich the real-world opportunities for Fijians and Pacific nations’ people.

By partnering with Crystal Delta to develop the FNU Online digital learning platform, the university will be able to target and enter new markets, bring all university content online to improve accessibility and ensure continuity of learning.


“Crystal Delta has an excellent track record in providing a platform for in-company online programmes coupled with a cashless payment system and I feel we are partnering with the best in the business in this area.”


Vice Chancellor, Professor James Pounder, said “I see this as a milestone initiative for FNU. With Crystal Delta as our partner, we will be able to offer full programmes and individual courses for working professionals who will not need to leave their place of work to enhance their qualifications. Crystal Delta has an excellent track record in providing a platform for in-company online programmes coupled with a cashless payment system and I feel we are partnering with the best in the business in this area”.

“Crystal Delta is proud to be part of the FNU Online journey, it is a pivotal achievement for the growth and development for both the university and the entire Pacific region” said Mr Balaji Baradhazhvar, CEO of Crystal Delta. “As an Education Technology company, it’s in our DNA to actively partner with universities and particularly those in developing regions to improve, enhance and deliver online learning that is relevant and connected. Crystal Delta has significant ties to region with of our five Directors being a proud Fijian and this is an exciting moment for Fijian futures.”

FNU Online, allows the university to reach new students that are not currently enrolled in the university, provide new online short courses that meet industry needs for professional development, enabling new pathways for learners to upskill, re-train, and transition into new career pathways. An FNU Online will also enhance the ability for currently enrolled FNU students to study part or all of their current degree program online through blended and/or fully online learning models.

Through this partnership, FNU and Crystal Delta will open up opportunities for just-in-time learning, learning on demand and micro-credentialing from a reputable and digitally enhanced institution with a track record of educational provision for transformative learning experiences for a variety of learners and learning contexts.

Although the university has been working on its digital learning strategy for some time, in the light of rising concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and the effects of social distancing measures on teaching and learning, it is now clear that learners need flexible and resilient education systems. FNU Online offers a significant opportunity for the university to effectively offer post-secondary education in a way that minimises the impact on the success of our learners during such widespread global events.

The university through the Centres for Flexible & E-Learning (CFEL) and Learning and Teaching Enhancement (CLTE) The University, is taking a leadership role in driving learning transformation. The CFEL is especially committed to effecting this transformation through digital capabilities – thereby bringing about a reconstructed university business model and significantly enhancing student experience.

Crystal Delta launches “Smarter Education” platform, Open Learning Cloud Intelligence

Crystal Delta launches “Smarter Education” platform, Open Learning Cloud Intelligence

For immediate release.
Date: Tuesday, 9th July, 2019
Press Contact: Tennille Sanders


  • Natural Language Learner engagement analysis
  • Predictive Learner Experience (Success and Satisfaction)
  • Predictive Learner ‘at risk’ management
  • Prescriptive Learner pathways


Melbourne, Australia – Crystal Delta today announced the official release of their Open Learning Cloud intelligence (OLCi) “Smarter Education” platform as the centrepiece of their education technology services and product offering, worldwide as of July, 2019.  

OLCi will provide Learners, and learning institutions with previously unrealised predictive and prescriptive analytic capabilities purpose built to improve learner experience.

Learners and administrative staff will be able to predict future experience (satisfaction and success) in learning activities, monitor engagement, proactively manage ‘at-risk’ learners and prescribe flexible learning pathways all from one platform.

The platform is set to revolutionise the way learner journeys are defined and managed, reducing failure rates, dissatisfaction and risk, all the while increasing success and administrative efficacy.

“The release of OLCi marks the transition of Crystal Delta from an outstanding services provider to a leading digital education innovator.  OLC intelligence heralds a new era in Learner engagement, experience (success and satisfaction), ‘at risk’ management and flexible learning. Smarter Education is truly here.” – Baradhazhvar Balaji, CEO, Crystal Delta

The platform is available now for demonstration with contact details available from the OLCi website (

Further detail

The platform is a fully cloud-based service with no need for internal infrastructure or development. OLCi integration has been developed to have flexible inbound and outbound end-points (LMS, CMS, CRM and other Learner management systems) and can be plugged into any system required by the user, to deliver ubiquitous Smarter Education for all. The platform is highly scalable and adopts extensive contemporary proven technologies, that are secure and extensible.

OLCi builds on existing descriptive reporting end-points and repositories with the following capabilities:

Predictive Analytics

Engagement – Sentiment prediction via Natural Language Processing (NLP) analysis.
Experience – Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven predictive analysis of Satisfaction and Success.
Learner Risk Index (LRI) – Comparative predictive Learner risk metric for effective Learner ‘at risk’ management.

Prescriptive Analytics

Pathways – Blended collaborative and content filtering recommendation engine for prescriptive flexible learning.

“Traditional learning providers are transforming from a traditional approach to learning delivery, to a more personalised Learner focused model. Commercial providers are aware that they must compete with the more established institutions through Learner experience and specialisation. They are both after what OLCi provides – education-specific, Learner-centric, predictive and prescriptive knowledge for future-focused Learner outcomes.” – Baradhazhvar Balaji, CEO, Crystal Delta

Crystal Delta currently delivers solutions for the education industry in partnership with Open edX, Instructure (Canvas), Kaltura, AWS and Microsoft.

Crystal Delta ( is a digital products development company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. Founded in 2015, it has since grown to employ a little over 100 staff and consultants located in Australia, India, United States, and United Kingdom.

Our mission: To empower people to change their professional and personal lives by enabling them to think of new possibilities, supported by our software products, our development services, our passion for innovation, and our extreme ownership philosophy.

Short Black Coffees, Short Courses and Long Stands

Short Black Coffees, Short Courses and Long Stands

This past month the Crystal Delta team have spent a lot time on the road at conferences, talking to university leaders, running webinars with RMIT, and like all edtech-ers, drinking near-lethal amounts of coffee. Here is a summary of the interesting stuff…



We had the pleasure of hosting the first in a series of webinars that introduced some RMIT Online friends to dozens of attendees from universities across ANZ. The aim of the series is to let attendees hear first-hand about RMIT’s massive LMS migration and look under the hood of the Crane Migration utility that powered much of the successful uplift & shift activities. The other topic we covered was the highly-publicised short course offering and why it is powered by Xenops: The customised Open edX platform that we built.

We are finalising details on the second in the series: A deep dive into Xenops and all things Open edX.  Keep any eye on our website for details.



EduTECH 2018: The Crystal Delta team caught up with old mates and made a lot of new friends.  As always, the conference was a massive event and threw up some really interesting stands for those walking the trade floor. In what appeared to be a parallel universe, Tesla and Bic had large, centrally-located booths – I was struck by this dichotomy and the vast chasm between ultra-digital Tesla and the uber-analogue Bic.

Open edX 2018: Having built RMIT Online’s customised Xenops platforms, our urbanely cultured CTO, David Mackenzie recently attended the Montreal conference and came back excited by what he learned, who he met and high levels of caffeine in the bloodstream.

Apart for RMIT,  another uni killing it with Open edX is UQ.  An old mate of mine from Apple days, John Zornig is the Director of UQx and he was particularly generous early on in helping RMIT Online understand the potential of the platform.  As the Xenops platform architect, David will be the main speaker in our next webinar and will we keen to take your questions on how and why RMIT Online chose Open edX.



Following our work with RMIT, webinar campaigns and briefings with US and local Instructure teams, we have been inundated with questions from universities considering LMS migrations. So, in my next post, I’ll dig into how RMIT halved the usual migration time through automating uplift and QA activities, and how our team has created a brilliant course creation and editing tool for Canvas simply called Page Builder.

Please enjoy this EduTECh 2018 Video Postcard