Saylor.org Starts using Moodle for more than just exams

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Saylor Academy, aka Saylor.org has been using Moodle for several years as we’ve covered in the past here and here. Their organization is one of the foremost curators of Open Educational Resources which they have pulled together over the years into nearly 300 distinct curricula. Most recently they announced the “soft launch” of 93 courses all built and delivered from their own Moodle instance which will be one of the largest, if not the largest Moodle-based repositories of open courseware.

WIRIS

According to the post and announcement,

The road to a new course delivery platform was long…like really, really long. Switching systems is something that had been on the horizon for over a year. This was in part based on specific student feedback and requests for course features, as well as our own organizational desires to have our courses be more effective at educating our learners and allowing them to achieve their goals. We looked at numerous systems, hit many roadblocks, and ultimately landed close to home.

From an organizational standpoint, a couple of factors were key to deciding upon Moodle. First, as with WordPress, there is no fee for us to use Moodle, which is important given that we are a non-profit organization whose aim is to be open to an unlimited number of learners. Second, as a provider of openly-licensed courses, we think it is important to be connected to other open source projects. Not only is Saylor Academy fundamentally aligned to some of the core principles of open source, but Moodle’s large and active community of developers continually add new features, meaning that there will be a lot of room to grow and improve our site at a sustainable cost (we may perhaps be able to contribute some open source plugins of our own). Other platforms such as Canvas, Sakai, and Open edX meet these previous criteria as well, but the fact that we had already done development work linking our custom ePortfolio system to Moodle ultimately made the porting of course content into Moodle the most viable option.

You can check out the courses ready for enrollment at https://learn.saylor.org/. Their responsive theme also includes options for increased accessibility (in addition to the OER curriculum). A few screenshots below are from their Introduction to Business course.

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