This page provides support for staff using Moodle at UNSW.
Moodle is an open-source learning management system which allows staff to create online and blended learning and teaching environments for course delivery.
Moodle enables creation of collaborative learning environments modelled on social constructionist pedagogy.
What is Moodle?
Moodle is an open source Learning Management System (LMS) designed to support a social constructionist learning model. The word "Moodle" is an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment.
- Pedagogy - Moodle contains a suite of tools that help us build learning activities and resources into sequenced learning pathways, promoting collaborative and active learning experiences.
- Usage statistics - Moodle is widely used in all sectors of education, government, public organisations and private enterprise.
You can learn more about the origins and usage of Moodle, and the pedagogy behind it, at Moodle.org.
See Using Technology in Teaching for a general summary of eLearning benefits.
The Office PVC (Education) also facilitate a series of Moodle Training Workshops.
We chose Moodle because we received positive feedback and evaluation outcomes relating to its ease of use, flexibility and adaptability to meet the learning and teaching requirements of UNSW staff and students.
A Learning Management System is the most critical student-facing technical system in a modern multi-disciplinary institution such as UNSW. Academic research and our own students tell us that an LMS is highly important to students. Students' pedagogical and accessibility needs have changed a lot in the past 10 years, and it makes sense that UNSW changes with them.
Our first LMS in 2000 was WebCT CE. We made the transition to WebCT Vista during 2005/2006 because WebCT CE was not capable of supporting the rapidly increasing system usage—and was being phased out as a supported product by the vendor.
Our second change, from WebCT Vista to Blackboard Learn in 2009, came about because WebCT was acquired by Blackboard Inc. in 2006 and WebCT was phased out in favour of the Blackboard brand and platform.
The third transition from Blackboard to Moodle was a business and pedagogical imperative. We analysed a number of options and undertook a 3-year pilot program before finalising with Moodle for real course teaching. The extensive pilot has exposed more than 16,000 students, 350 staff and 1,200 courses to the Moodle system, which has received a positive response from both students and staff, for reasons of flexibility, ease of use, delivery of pedagogical change and technical outsourcing.
- Flexibility: UNSW’s strategic direction for learning and teaching is towards a blended learning model that fulfils the pedagogical and flexible learning needs of all our diverse students. Moodle delivers the flexibility required to fulfil the University's range of learning and teaching needs, meet demands for higher service levels, and ensure superior staff and student learning experiences. Moodle's flexibility was demonstrated in the pilot's trial and evaluation process, and validated by it's ongoing subsequent usage.
Moodle is a customisable system that allows for the inclusion of plugins that deliver additional pedagogical functionality and multimedia within online courses. Rather than a one size-fits-all LMS product, Moodle can be customised and extended to closely fit UNSW's requirements.
- Ease of use: Moodle's interface is easy to use, without the steep learning curve of earlier systems and is more efficient at administering course activities and assessment. It also helps teachers improve learning and teaching based on a learner-focused pedagogical model and a variety of system generated analytical information.
- Delivery of pedagogical change: Moodle supports active learning rather than just passive learning and improves student engagement by allowing student to be co-contributors and knowledge builders, which frees the instructor to facilitate the engagement while providing students with feedback much earlier in the course.
- Technical outsourcing: The TELT Operations team manages the overall service, out-sourcing the technical and functional support to Netspot (specialist external vendor), freeing up academic staff to focus on improving teaching and learning outcomes, curriculum design and implementation, and supporting educational design and pedagogical development.
See Using Technology in Teaching for a general summary of eLearning challenges.
How do I get started
- Log in to Moodle
- Moodle Courses Dashboard
- Build Courses in Moodle
- Course Design - careful planning is essential.
- Course Administration - information on staff enrolments and course rollover
- Moodle Releases
- Moodle Upgrade
- Feature Requests
- Known Issues
- Index of all Moodle pages—creating content, adding resources and activities
- Contacts—for support