When Longdean initially contacted Webanywhere, the school was already using Moodle as a VLE, which integrated all data parts except apart from the MIS data. However, they wanted to complete the circle with MIS integration and create a new Longdean Learning Platform (LLP).
Webanywhere could provide an excellent solution to Longdean’s this final problem. Webanywhere recommended integrating Moodle with their Capita SIMS integration system, providing the following benefits for users:
This integration would allow students to access their marks, teacher feedback and other data that is relevant to them, both inside and outside of the classroom. This information can then be used as a benchmark for students to work from, providing a chance for self improvement.
There are many tools available such as progress bars and lesson objectives to aid them in this process. In addition, the learning platform encourages independence, develops numeracy & literacy skills and acts as a vehicle for self-organisation.
SIMS integration benefits the teachers of Longdean school enormously, as it reduces the amount of time that is spent on admin. Moodle-SIMS integration provides a single access point where registration, grades and behavioural information can be entered, so that all records get automatically recorded within SIMS.
SIMS integration dramatically reduces the administration burden of maintaining the learning platform to the extent that staff can do this for themselves. For example, there are simple tools to enroll/un-enroll students into courses using data directly taken from SIMS and the timetable. Also, staff are free to create, delete, move and rename courses in which they wish to teach. It’s then up to them to use the various tools to create stimulating activities that engage and support progress. Furthermore, at the start of the new school year, the system is able to update those who are new starters and those who have recently left. This saves time, allowing the teachers to focus on the education of the students.
The ability to access student MIS information whilst also getting course grades and progress at the same time, provides a powerful teaching & learning tool. It allows teachers to really get to ‘know’ the students in front of them so they can better plan differentiated programmes to maximise their progress.
Moodle-SIMS integration allows parents to access information on their child’s performance such as homework results, reports, attendance, achievements and behaviour. The central and individual student calendars also provide powerful tools for monitoring their child’s deadlines for classwork, homework, dates for trips, functions etc. In addition, communication between students, parents and staff is more efficient, timely and effective. Keeping parents informed not only benefits the student, but the school community as a whole by improving parental engagement.
Webanywhere are able to provide a number of installation options for Moodle and Moodle MIS integration. Longdean chose to self-manage an internal Linux server with online support from Webanywhere.
Internally, access to Moodle is direct whereas external access is made through a proxy server. The learning platform homepage provides a dash-board from which all other functions may be accessed, including network home directories and windows shared areas, without the need for multiple logins. In essence, it now provides a complete solution to the original requirements.
The system works equally well internally and externally on PC’s, laptops as well as on mobile devices such as tablets, mobile phones and PDA’s.