Athabasca University moves to Moodle

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Athabasca University moves to Moodle
by - Friday, 6 April 2007, 2:57 PM MDT
(375 words)

Athabasca University moves to Moodle

New Learning Management System provides more student-friendly environment

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Athabasca University moves to Moodle

E-learning at Athabasca University (AU) has just gotten friendlier, easier, and more student-focused. AU, a leader in distance and online education, has adopted Moodle as its primary vehicle for online teaching.

Moodle is a software package for producing internet-based courses and websites. It is open source software, which means that it has no licensing costs and is available for modification by users and developers. It offers students easy access to course content and online resources such as the library, digital reading rooms, and forums for online discussions between instructors and students.

Moodles great strength is that it provides all the functionality and features of sophisticated, expensive, learning management systems, but it has a user-friendly, intuitive interface that requires only a gentle learning curve, says Dr. Derek Briton, a member of the Moodle evaluation committee. Also, student reviews of Moodle are exceedingly positive, and for a University that is student-focused, that is important.

Over the years, AU has used a number of learning management systems for e-learning. Moodle allows the University to move to an effective, efficient, common learning management system. By using Moodle, AU joins a large community of users and can concentrate all its e-learning efforts on one system.

AU is currently piloting 11 undergraduate and graduate courses using Moodle. Implementation of Moodle will be phased in over the next 24 months.

As Canadas Open University, AU is dedicated to improving access to post-secondary education for adult learners worldwide. Currently, the University serves 32,000 students who live throughout its home province of Alberta as well as Canada and the world. AU offers more than 700 courses, bachelors degrees, masters degrees, and undergraduate and graduate certificates and diplomas.

Last year, AU became the first Canadian university to achieve regional accreditation in the United States. In January 2006, Athabasca University was also approved to operate as a university and to grant degrees in British Columbia. AU is the first post-secondary institution to be fully authorized to operate in both B.C. and Alberta.

For more information about Moodle, see