The Open University builds student online environment with Moodle and more
The OUs expertise in supported distance learning has always meant it being a leader in developing the best technology to support its students.
Now, The Open Universitys Learning and Teaching Office has started a new programme worth nearly £5 million to build a comprehensive online student learning environment for the 21st century.
The development, which will first appear in May of 2006, and be fully operational for February 2007 courses, will see the largest use of Moodle in the world. Moodle is a free, Open Source software package course management system used by educators to create effective online learning communities.
Currently Open University students use a variety of software in a network to access their course work, interact with tutors and other students, use the library, submit assignments and handle administrative paperwork. The new development incorporating Moodle will ensure the network is much more user-friendly and uniform.
Dean Taylor, the programme manager of the OUs Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), says, We see the development of Moodle applications, along with involvement of the Moodle Open Source community giving our students a great advantage in e-learning. Plus, the innovations added by the OU will be available to the entire Moodle community. Its a two-way creative street.
Martin Dougiamas, Moodle community leader and lead developer, says he is very proud that the OU has chosen Moodle as the platform for its next generation of internet-based courses. By joining our community they are recognising the great value of the open source paradigm and the power of a social constructionist approach to both learning and development. At the same time, as one of the largest, oldest and most respected practitioners of distance education in the world they bring resources and experience that will give Moodle development a tremendous boost in the coming years, he says.
The Open Universitys Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching, Dr Paul Clark, says: The Open University has always been a leader in developing technology for e-learning, and this new student-centred technology is the next logical step. The OU has the top student satisfaction rating in the National Student Satisfaction Survey in England , Wales and Northern Ireland , and this new student environment were creating will only help to ensure that people who learn with the OU continue to receive an exemplary educational experience.
Louis De La Forêt L.firstname.lastname@example.org +(44) 1908 653256
Niall Sclater VLE Programme Director n.l.sclater @open.ac.uk +(44) 1908 653256Dean Taylor VLE Programme Manager d.k.taylor:open.ac. uk +(44) 1908 655518