As DUT aligns itself to a new era in education and a new era of students, the need for an online Learning Management System (LMS) that meets our needs and aspirations has become increasingly pressing. Following pilots of various LMSs in 2018, a recommendation was made to Academic Executive Management (AEM) that Moodle LMS would be the best fit for DUT.
This was ratified at the meeting of Senate on 13 March 2019. Executive leadership of the project lies with the Office of the DVC Teaching and Learning and CELT, who are working closely with ITSS to implement the project. A Task Team has been formed in support of the Institutional LMS Change project. The Task Team consists of representatives from each Faculty, CELT, ITSS, the Library, and also some seasoned Blackboard/Moodle LMS users. Work is being conducted by a Technical team and a Development team, who report back to the Task Team.
The University will continue to use Blackboard in 2019 with the license for Blackboard expiring in April 2020. The changeover to Moodle aims to be as seamless as possible for staff members and students, and our LMS will continue to be called the ThinkLearnZone (TLZ). Those who are familiar with using an LMS are expected to find the changeover intuitive.
Project tasks are following a logical progression from the set-up of the host environment, the installation of Moodle and choice of a theme for the University, the development of default classrooms and common tools, levels of access and permissions, and perhaps most importantly, the interface between TLZ Moodle and our DUT ITS student registration system.
Once this has been set up, an automatic classroom creation can be run and classrooms can begin to be developed. Staff members will be kept posted as to when they will gain access to their 2020 classrooms. In the interim staff members can get a sense of Moodle from: https://moodle.org/demo/.
DUT looks forward to the increased opportunity to share best practice and innovation in teaching and learning as we join the larger Moodle community in South African higher education, which includes Stellenbosch, Rhodes, University of Zululand, NMMU and UKZN.
Pictured: DUT students will soon have access to a new online Learning Management System (LMS).