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Evolution of online learning at the Open University: Why we have redesigned (OU) Moodle.

The Open University (OU) has been providing distance education since it accepted its first students in 1971. Online learning and teaching has been part of the standard provision for all modules at the OU since 2001. This provision started life in an in-house developed content management system but as functional requirements increased the University took the decision, 10 years ago, for the primary online delivery to use Moodle as its core Learning System. This year, OU Moodle is undergoing its 3rd major change and this session will outline the evidence based reasons for this update to not only (OU) Moodle but to the online experience for OU students.

The OU is addressing changes in pedagogy, introducing less blended and more solely online learning and teaching to a wide and inclusive demographic of students. In addition, the last few years have seen larger changes in our users’ expectations of their online experience and their increasing use of mobile devices.

We will take you through the process we used to evaluate our Learning Systems, which led to a complete redesign of the user interface based on UX research and findings to improve the user experience. We will share our learner’s perspectives alongside other stakeholders and expert feedback to demonstrate how the user-based evidence and user-centred design process were key to moving our Learning Systems forward. We will outline some of the challenges, including technical considerations for the adoption of a new Moodle theme and developing it quickly using Agile methodologies.

This presentation will show why we have redesigned our online user experience and (OU) Moodle in a matter of months. This is only Part 1 of our story. Part 2, ‘How we have redesigned (OU) Moodle’, is being covered separately, focussing on development to delivery, including challenges of running parallel themes in a single Moodle instance.

Presented by...

Louise Olney
Head of Online Student Experience, Learning and Teaching Solutions
The Open University, UK
Tammy Alexander
Product Development Manager, The Open University, UK
Sharon Monie
Product Development Manager, The Open University, UK


Submitted by:
Sharon Monie
Last modified: Thursday, 19 May 2016, 4:58 AM
Email address:
[email protected]
Presentation slides: Powerpoint presentation Why we redesigned OU Moodle v2.pptx
Slides visiblity:
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Your educational sector: University
Roles in which you usually use Moodle: Decision-maker
Type of presentation: Short presentation (15min + questions)
Relevant to audience from which sectors: Education
Relevant to audience in which roles: Teacher
Instructional Designer
Permission: By submitting, I grant permission to promote, record and share my presentation before and after the MoodleMoot.
Committment: Should my proposed presentation be accepted, I commit to attend the MoodleMoot to present it.
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