A recent confluence of events is making SUNY, the State University of New York, worth keeping tabs on in the national debate around education policy, free tuition, college debt, and the role of Open Source content, considering SUNY’s committment to Moodle and OER initiatives. The Plattsburgh campus alone creates close to a thousand Moodle Courses each new term, Blackboard’s E-Learn Magazine reports.
Since 2011, Moodle has serviced the Plattsburgh campus in one capacity or another. The academic staff quickly realized how dependable the Open Source LMS was. It allowed them to launch fully-online courses for undergraduate and graduate programs. Instructors easily keep control of all students with the many tools Moodle has in place. Specific customization allows users to report platform issues as soon as they appear. Direct integration with the library system enables easy access to research guides and the online catalogue.
Earlier this year, the New York Governor’s office announced the launch of a tuition-free program for eligible families covering two to four-year programs. Named “Excelsior,” the program is predicted to benefit more than 1,200 state students applying to SUNY and CUNY, the City University of New York. New York state will provide the bulk of the funding, with significant savings expected from the implementation of OER textbooks, courtesy of EngageNY. Moodle is the platform of choice for the delivery of OER, as it can easily support the integration of license-free, flexible, constantly-updated materials into the existing Course platform. SUNY Plattsburgh’s Moodle site is also accessible, thanks to a dedicated “Student Support Services” team who offers support during business hours and makes sure the site is up-to-code with modern disability accommodation standards.