To create a central learning platform that provides a range of learning opportunities for all Alumni students. To set up an LMS that will accommodate the learning resources of the online course. To provide additional learning opportunities for informal social learning that will enable for participants’ interactions and synergies through social media channels.
Moodle was the learning platform that was selected to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system. We delivered a Moodle based Learning Management System alongside a range of extensions developed by Mathemagenesis. Moreover, a bootstrap-based theme was selected for Moodle to allow multi-device access for course participants. Because course participants were geographically dispersed all over the country, social media channels were also used as part of the learning strategy to encourage open communication, information sharing, and networking. Peer-to-peer discussions, reminders and notifications of upcoming deadlines, bite-sized content, webinars, and videos from lab meetings as well as other course-related content were used to foster student engagement and motivation and created a strong sense of community among learners.
The blended learning Alumni program was completed with great success. Not only 95% of the 50 participants completed the program successfully, but also 10 of them completed it with honors. Although, most of the Alumni students initially believed that it would be difficult to complete the course with their everyday work and family commitments, the Moodle course receive overwhelmingly positive feedback. The transition from face-to-face training to the eLearning modules hosted on Moodle LMS has offered great flexibility to participants, reduced travel costs, increased student satisfaction and EMaTTech continues to support its vision for lifelong learning and see success in its effectiveness as an educational institution. Course evaluation and student interviews revealed that students were able to access the course seamlessly using their desktop, tablet or mobile device and that social media channels helped them to build relationships with their virtual classmates, but also to exchange eLearning information.