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The University is adopting Moodle as its new learning management system, part of a drive to provide the best possible learning environment for students, says Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey.
Moodle, an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, is an open-source learning platform used by the world's leading university-level distance education providers, including the Open University (UK).
The move to Moodle is the first of a number of initiatives that will form part of a larger strategy aimed at broadening and enriching the learning experience for all students, Mr Maharey says. It will allow the University to offer a blended model of teaching – combining face-to-face and online learning – to internal, distance and international students.
"This demonstrates Massey’s strong commitment to a more interactive, collaborative, media-rich and personalised learning environment relevant to the needs of the 21st century learner," he says.
“We intend to blend the best of traditional distance education with a new electronic teaching paradigm to create an exceptional and distinctive learning experience for all students."
Massey's student bodies have welcomed the move.
The carefully-phased implementation of Moodle over the next two years will be a major step forward in the online toolset available to staff and those tools and services Massey already provides its students to support conventional teaching. In particular, the new teaching platform will be used to encourage higher levels of student interaction and engagement through new digital media and online learning communities.
"Although technology offers great potential, Massey's strategy is about investing in people to develop a new approach to learning and teaching, which prepares today's students for tomorrow's world," Mr Maharey says. "To realise these benefits Massey fully understands the importance of staff professional development and the need to adequately support students. Selecting Moodle is only the first step.
"Moodle will be used to build on Massey's reputation for excellence and innovation in teaching. In the past three years Massey has had six winners in the National Awards for Excellence in Tertiary Teaching, including the Prime Minister's supreme award this year. The decision to select Moodle is about ensuring our teachers have the right tools for the virtual classroom of the 21st century.
“The adoption of Moodle will also allow Massey to continue its leadership role in distance learning. We are the nation’s pre-eminent provider of distance learning and we believe, in the context of economic and social transformation, Massey should ensure that those students who choose to study at a distance can do so anytime, anywhere."
Created: 30/10/2008 | Last updated: 03/11/2008
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Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager speaks to students and staff at Massey’s Manawatu campus last Friday.