Moodle 3: History of Moodle at LSU

  

There may be broken links in this article, the GROK staff has been notified and is working to resolve the issue.

What is Moodle about? 

In fulfilling recommendation 7.01 of the Flagship IT Strategy – which calls for a single CMS to be deployed at LSU – the campus migrated from the previous environment featuring Blackboard and Semester Book to a single CMS deployed universally.  That CMS that was chosen is an open source course management system (CMS) called Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment). Moodle is designed to provide educators and students with an easily accessible online course tool. It promotes a social constructionist pedagogy (which includes collaboration, activity-based learning, critical reflection, etc.).


When did this change happen?

June 2008.


Who chose Moodle and who decided we would use it?

Moodle was the tool recommended by a committee of faculty, students, and staff led by Joe Hutchinson, formerly of CELT, which was formed by the Flagship IT Strategy Teaching & Learning Task Force chaired by Ray Ferrell, Alumni Professor of Geology.  That group has been working diligently over the past year in examining the requirements and the available products, and only reached their conclusion and submitted their final report at the end of September 2007.   The decision to implement this recommendation was made by LSU's past-Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Brian Voss in early October 2007.


Why did we do this?

From the FITS, recommendation 7.01:  “ … the presence of more than a single course management system imposes an undue complication and hardship upon LSU’s students.” As well, there has been an escalation of costs over the past four years featuring ~30% annual increases in the cost for Blackboard.  If the University is to ever achieve the goal of near-100% use of these enabling IT tools in instruction, a more cost-effective (while fully functional) alternative than a vended solution, or one totally written and maintained by LSU personnel must be implemented.  LSU has had two CMS deployed because neither Blackboard nor Semester Book was meeting the needs of all LSU faculty.  It is felt that Moodle will provide the single platform to satisfy all needs.  Finally, the open source model gives us the benefits of a broad-based vended solution with the flexibility to adapt it for LSU needs.


How did this happen?

Information Technology Services (ITS) and the Centers for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CELT) developed a roll-out plan that featured significant personal assistance for faculty making conversions to Moodle.  Technology enabled transfer of materials from the old systems to Moodle.  Faculty were able to choose from a plethora of migration strategies – from self-guided (using instructions that will be found in LSU’s online knowledgebase ‘GROK’), to participating in discipline-specific ‘migration classes,’ to getting hands-on one-on-one help at ITS Faculty Technology Center.  Faculty were assured that significant information and personal assistance will be made available to ease and speed their transition to Moodle. Tremendous effort went into making the transition easy and quick.


What other universities are using Moodle?

Moodle has a worldwide deployment at thousands of sites.  Nearby, the UL-Lafayette campus converted last year.  On a national flagship level, Moodle is either currently in use or being deployed at the University of Minnesota, University of California, and the University of New Mexico.
 

Where/When can faculty learn more?

Self-Training on Moodle : LSU's online documentation moodle3.grok.lsu.edu.
Instructor-lead Training on Moodle : Moodle courses taught through our local Faculty Technology Center.

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