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Job offered: Systems Administrator, Digital Learning

Type: Full-time
Location: 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON

The Royal Conservatory is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world, providing the definitive standard of excellence in curriculum design, assessment, performance training, teacher certification and arts-based social programs.

The mission of The Royal Conservatory, to develop human potential through leadership in music and the arts, is based on the conviction that the arts are humanity's greatest means to achieve personal growth and social cohesion. The curriculum for the study of music developed by The Conservatory has become Canada's national standard and its broad use has served to bind together the people of the nation with the thread of shared creative experiences.

The Conservatory has articulated a new vision for digital engagement through the establishment of the Digital Learning division which has a significant growth and expansion mandate to develop and create a variety of experiences, courses and resources including a series of online communities for private music teachers and much more! Our plan is to make the very best tools and resources in music training and professional development readily available in the kinds of digital formats that today’s youth, adults and the music teaching community will find most engaging. the RCM will deliver courses through an LMS (Moodle), on the web and as educational resource apps.

Reporting to the Chief Digital Officer, the Systems Administrator will support the Royal Conservatory of Music’s (RCM) Digital Learning team in finding solutions for presenting courses in a manner that goes beyond the standard GUI. You will be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Conservatory’s highly customized Moodle LMS platform, including supporting the set-up and delivery of a variety of course types as well as data gathering, analysis and reporting. You understand in detail the Moodle data model and exactly how Moodle functionality maps to that data model. You are well versed in PHP and experienced with Moodle’s modular open-source framework. Customization, out-of-the-box thinking and solution finding are challenges you find rewarding. You will work closely with the IT department to ensure that the LMS is fully integrated with the Conservatory’s Community Management System (Drupal). You possess strong judgement, are consultative by nature and pride yourself on your skills.

To accomplish these goals, a key requirement of the position is the ability to read music and play an instrument to fully appreciate and understand the complexity of engaging artistic learners.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Using knowledge of LMS capabilities to recommend delivery strategies that yield a rich, meaningful and dynamic experience and are appropriate for music and arts students.
  • Understand how to customize environments and are able to source solutions through the global open-source community.
  • Experience with authoring tools and integrating interactive multi-media and media elements.
  • Managing and defining all user accounts and roles in cooperation with instructional designers and IT team.
  • Ability to read and understand PHP in the context of Moodle’s object oriented design and working closely with developers to ensure that the LMS performs efficiently (in the RCM’s high volume environment) and can also be maintained in an efficient manner.
  • Managing course content and back-up processes to ensure stability and a seamless user-experience.
  • Using Moodle and Google Analytics to assess trends and develop reports.
  • Configuring the RCM’s Moodle platform to best support identified educational objectives including installing and maintaining custom or user-contributed plug-ins.
  • Comprehensive understanding of the Moodle data model including all core tables, their entities and relationships. The ability to write SQL code to update tables or append to tables in certain circumstances is definitely an asset.
  • Comprehensive understanding and experience with Distributed Version Control Systems and best practice version control processes. Knowledge of Git and Git Repositories is a definite asset
  • Experience in system testing procedures including function, system and integration testing. Able to configure and maintain all functions/processes in the Moodle administration panel to support the Conservatory’s needs in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Staying current with Moodle support community; research and share information about updates and features.
  • Providing and preparing LMS training and documentation for colleagues who support the faculty and develop online curricula.
  • Provide tech support and tech support training to front line staff such as course moderators and Candidate Services.
  • Providing day-to-day issue resolution to key stakeholders. Performing other duties as required or assigned.

Required Skills:

  • Five years (minimum) experience as a systems analyst, ideally with CMS/LMS platforms (Moodle preferred), including installation, configuration, maintenance and technical support.
  • Proficiency with modular web development concepts (including Model View Controller (MVC),  PHP, JavaScript frameworks and Ajax).
  • Ability to map Moodle processes to the database tables and use that information to help troubleshoot LMS and course presentation issues.
  • Proficiency in server administration using the command UNIX (Linux) line.
  • Knowledge of API development and integration.
  • Experience in the integration of third-party plugins for enhanced functionality.
  • Cohort building and social tools management.
  • Knowledge of authoring tools.
  • Working knowledge of video formats and codecs. 
  • Internet usability: responsive design, accessibility features for AODA compliance.
  • Good understanding of the Drupal CMS and framework.
  • Knowledge of e-commerce systems such as Magento.
  • Strong organizational, documentation and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects while delivering quality results to deadlines.
  • Ability to proactively plan and complete time-sensitive projects.
  • Excellent interpersonal, communications and collaboration skills.
  • Detail-oriented and accountable.


  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or multi-media development.
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in systems administration using databases and maintaining a small to medium-scale Moodle-based Learning Management System.
  • Experience in an education environment with a high volume of students.
  • Knowledge of usability standards and protocols, UX guidelines.
  • Experience working with developers and Instructional Designers in a formal education environment. Proven ability to work with various software applications, knowledge of educational apps and industry standards.
  • Project Management experience.
  • Ability to read music and play a musical instrument.

Interested candidates are asked to submit a cover letter with a current résumé online by November 1, 2015. Please note that this position may be filled prior to the deadline should a suitable candidate be identified.

Apply online at:


While The Royal Conservatory of Music appreciates the interest of all applicants, only those individuals selected for an interview will be notified.


Entry added by Sarah Irwin - Friday, October 2, 2015, 5:34 AM
Last updated - Friday, October 2, 2015, 5:34 AM