August 20, 2008

Information Technology Services Receives National Grant for Moodle Development

Project will enhance the usability of the online learning management system

Information Technology Services (ITS) has been awarded $43,500 from the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) to support a project to build a model for sustainable Moodle development.
Lafayette is acting as the lead institution, but the project constitutes a national collaboration with Reed, Macalester, Kenyon, Earlham, and Smith colleges. The College’s portion of the project will be headed by Ken Newquist, web applications specialist.

Moodle is an open source learning management system which allows faculty, students, and administrators to view, edit, and add content. The system provides grade tracking, access to course content and online assignments, interactive forums, group email, and other educational tools.

According to Neil McElroy, dean of libraries and ITS, although Moodle is used by Lafayette and hundreds of colleges and universities across the globe, there is currently no structure for coordinated, sustained development of the system.

The goal of the project is to create a basic framework to be used by the 75 NITLE schools currently using Moodle. The schools participating in the grant will produce a module from start to finish documenting all bugs, concerns, and steps along the way. The resulting model will provide a repeatable method for designing new modules, code enhancements, and documentation and training materials.

posted in News and Features