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

The Open University 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 2001and for the last 10 years, the primary online delivery has been using Moodle as its core Learning System. This year, OU Moodle is undergoing its 3rd major change and this session will outline the developments and challenges of implementing a new Moodle theme to meet the needs and expectations of its users.

We will outline how we have redeveloped our Moodle site to improve the structure and usability of our course websites. We have created a new custom theme and course format, along with a few other related plugins. The course format uses responsive design to work well on tablets and mobiles. Our changes, where possible, utilise standard core functionality like course editing. The main goal of the new structure is to present a clear view of the course narrative to our students, designed using UX research and iterative feedback from users.

We will also share the challenges of moving over 450 websites, in the next year, from our current structure and design to the new one, whilst parallel running them both in a single environment.

This presentation will take you from developing our new theme to preparing for the challenges of delivery, which is Part 2 of this story. Part 1, ‘Why we have redesigned (OU) Moodle’, is being covered separately, focussing on reviewing our current Learning Systems through to designing a new theme and online user experience.

Presented by...

Sam Marshall
Senior Developer, IT Delivery
The Open University, UK
Jason Platts
Senior Developer, IT Delivery, The Open University, UK
Tim hunt
Senior Developer, IT Delivery, The Open University, UK


Submitted by:
Sharon Monie
Last modified: Thursday, 19 May 2016, 5:23 AM
Email address:
[email protected]
Presentation slides: Powerpoint presentation How we redesigned OU Moodle.pptx
Slides visiblity:
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Your educational sector: University
Roles in which you usually use Moodle: Administrator
Type of presentation: Short presentation (15min + questions)
Relevant to audience from which sectors: Education
Relevant to audience in which roles: Administrator
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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