- 6 MIN READ -
- Customer's Business: Assiniboine Community College (ACC) is a community college in Manitoba, Canada offering more than 30 programs in the fields of agriculture, environment, business, health and human services, and trades and technology.
- Opportunity: Transition from a self-hosted Moodle LMS to a hosting provider who could provide technical expertise to support the learning management system as a more reliable system.
- Solution: Moodle Professional Cloud Bundle with Lambda Analytics (3,000 Users)
- Results: By adopting a hosted Moodle solution, ACC now has a stable platform, doubled its user base and reduced the number of steps involved in creating new courses.
About Assiniboine Community College
Assiniboine Community College (ACC) is a community college in Manitoba, Canada that offers over 30 programs in the fields of agriculture, environment, business, health and human services, and trades and technology.
ACC offers diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs, the Manitoba Mature Student High School Diploma program, continuing education programs and contract training. The college’s educational delivery is offered through a variety of approaches including: face-to-face, distance and online, integrated programs and blended learning.
There are currently 3,000 active users on Moodle. This includes approximately 85 instructors, 15 Administrators consisting of Chairs, Deans, Program Managers and Directors, as well as the staff of the Centre for Learning and Innovation.
Prior to using Moodle as the LMS of choice, ACC had been using WebCT until it was absorbed by Blackboard. Part of the rationale in migrating to Moodle was the cost saving.
After migrating to Moodle, ACC self-hosted Moodle for several years and the technical staff had previously wasted a lot of time trying to solve technical issues.
“The challenge was that we did not have the required skills and experience to solve the technical issues that we encountered, and there were many. This resulted in unscheduled downtime and time diverted from more important tasks. We recognized that if we wished to promote Moodle as a reliable LMS we would need to move to a hosting provider who could provide us with technical expertise,” stated Peter Lindsay, Instructional Designer, Assiniboine Community College.
"One unexpected benefit has been that we now have additional time to work with instructors creating innovative learning experiences rather than debugging technical problems with Moodle. We have Lambda’s experienced staff to take over when the unexpected occurs." - Peter Lindsay, Instructional Designer, Assiniboine Community College
By switching from the WebCT/Blackboard solution to Moodle, ACC has now been using Moodle for many years and their yearly cost has been reduced to less than half from the WebCT solution.
Moodle is used for delivering online programs, as well as a number of face-to-face programs. Some face-to-face programs, such as Practical Nursing, are delivered almost entirely in Moodle. Instructors share resources, course outlines, assignment handouts, PowerPoints, grades and course schedules. In many cases, quizzes and exams are delivered through Moodle.
Students appreciate having access to course resources as well as grades on their mobile devices, and instructors are now becoming aware of how Moodle can contribute to creating a paperless workflow.
“One unexpected benefit has been that we now have additional time to work with instructors creating innovative learning experiences rather than debugging technical problems with Moodle. We have Lambda’s experienced staff to take over when the unexpected occurs,” Lindsay stated.
ACC can now schedule larger, and more complex, course development projects knowing that the technical team won’t be wasting time trying to troubleshoot technical issues.
Another reason ACC went with the Moodle/Lambda Analytics solution was that the team had been using Moodle’s reporting tools, which are limited in capability and scope. Said Lindsay, “Lambda Analytics provides us with the tools to dig much deeper. We will be exploring this capability in depth in the coming months.”
How They Did It
With a Moodle Professional Cloud Bundle including Lambda Analytics, Assiniboine Community College (ACC) has freed up the burden on its IT department to troubleshoot issues.
Optimized the course creation process by developing course templates that help to guide instructors and developers in creating quality learning—reducing the number of steps involved in creating new courses.
Able to push the envelope to display complex math questions in quizzes, building gradebooks with categories to make grading easier for instructors and deploying rubrics for criteria-based assessments.
Has a stable platform with a paperless workflow to support instructors in creating exceptional learning experiences.
Saved ACC IT staff time by utilizing the Lambda Solutions experts to help solve complex issues.
Doubled number of users and are able to provide students’ mobile access to course resources and grades.
Increase User Base
ACC’s goals were to increase the number of users—both instructors as well as students— hoping to see an increase of 20% per year. In the past two years, this percentage has been surpassed and the user base in Moodle has doubled. This result was a completely unexpected benefit.
Another item on the ACC’s wish list was to provide a stable platform that would support instructors in creating exceptional learning experiences. Still a work in progress, the learning and development team has optimized their course creation process by creating course templates that help to guide instructors and developers in creating quality learning. Also, by being able to reduce the number of steps involved in creating new courses, instructors can have a course shell created in less time.
Painless Setup and Launch
The initial setup and launch were relatively painless, compared to the issues ACC had been dealing with. Stated Lindsay, “Lambda Solutions handled everything, including backing up our current Moodle, migrating it to the new servers and working with our IT staff to connect the login system. There was minimal interruption for our users.”
Peter Lindsay has nothing but praise when it comes to the support his organization has received. “Lambda’s support team has been very responsive to our needs. They keep us up to date when resolving problems we encounter and often volunteer solutions we hadn’t considered. We are frequently pushing the envelope of what we know when creating courses for our instructors. For example, we use TeX notation to display complex math questions in quizzes, building gradebooks with categories to make grading easier for instructors and deploying rubrics for criteria-based assessments. The Lambda knowledge base has been invaluable to us.”
"Moodle is an open-source learning management system, and although there is a large user community that can provide support for setting up and maintaining it, at a certain point it will be necessary to either hire a team that can provide technical support or go with a company that can provide both hosting and proven expertise. We are very pleased with the support and services that we receive from Lambda Solutions." - Peter Lindsay, Instructional Designer, Assiniboine Community College
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