@ULCC migrates 15,000 students onto Moodle

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Exeter University moves from WebCT to ULCC’s Hosted Moodle Service

University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) has won a tender to provide and support a hosted Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), using the Open Source Moodle software for the University of Exeter. ULCC has already begun work to ensure a smooth transition, by September 2010, from Exeter’s current learning platform, WebCT.

Exeter’s decision to move came after a review of the institutions current VLE recommended a move to a new VLE platform, based on Moodle.

“Our move to a new hosted VLE with ULCC is a strategic decision which will help to sustain Exeter’s position as one of the top ten Universities. All our students undertake elements of their courses online, and the choice of new platform along with high availability was essential to achieving these goals” says Matthew Newcombe, Head of e-Learning. “ULCC’s experience in managing and supporting large scale Moodle implementations helped them win the tender alongside their modern data centre which provides us with a robust hosting environment.”

VLEs are now commonplace and e-learning is embedded throughout the academic and training sectors, in the workplace and lifelong learning. ULCC’s team of e-learning professionals and technical experts have used their in-depth knowledge of the educational sector to develop a service that has attracted over 120 customers since its launch 3 years ago.

Providing a stable and reliable service for a combined total of over 400,000 students and close to 30,000 courses would be impossible without the infrastructure provided by ULCC’s data centre, located in the heart of Bloomsbury.

“In addition to an impressive set of security and environmental features, academic institutions like University of Exeter also qualify for the use of our JANET(UK) network link” says Steve Knibbs, Head of Hosting Services. “This provides sufficient bandwidth and helps institutions offer a stable and reliable service to their students at all times.”

All of ULCC’s hosted Moodle services are operated from its data centre in Russell Square which meets all security and safety standards expected in running mission critical services like a VLE; and include physical security, data recovery, air conditioning, flood & fire protection, dual ISP network connectivity, un-interrupted power supply and a stand-by generator to name but a few.

“We are pleased to have won the contract to meet Exeter’s demanding specification and are looking forward to working closely with them on this exciting project” says Mick Kahn, Head of Application Services. “Our e-learning services are attracting a lot of interest from the HE sector because of the cost and collaboration benefits of our shared services approach”.

Steven Sherwood, the University VLE Project Manager told us: “We are one of the UK’s top ten Universities with over 15,000 students so it is vital that we provide the best possible virtual learning facilities to support our learning and research. We have been impressed with ULCC’s facilities and services, and we are looking forward to working with them on the implementation of this critical system.”

About ULCC:

Established in 1968, University of London Computer Centre (ULCC) has evolved into a highly respected and innovative brand within the academic and not-for-profit sector.

Since 2006, ULCC has been hosting and developing e-learning services using Open Source software. Learning providers are now able to move forward and realise the ‘Harnessing Technology’ agenda and as part of its e-Learning services, ULCC offers customisation of tools and technology for joined-up delivery and support of Personalisation of Learning, as well as engaging community involvement to shape future developments.

Other services include: co-location and managed server hosting, podcasting, web development, desktop support, digital preservation, video streaming and managed network services.

About the University of Exeter:

Exeter is a top 10 UK university which combines world leading research with very high levels of student satisfaction. It is one of the UK’s most popular and successful universities with campuses in Exeter, Devon, and near Falmouth in Cornwall. Exeter is ranked 9th out of more than 100 UK universities in the Times league table. It was the 2007/08 Times Higher Education University of the Year.

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