Site purpose and policies

The Purpose of this Web Site

The primary purpose of this site is to allow schools in The Loop catchment (Nelson/Tasman /Marlborough) to experiment with using an online Learning Management System and provide a venue for cross-school and regional education interest group discussions.

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) is administering the site, providing initial training and support for schools within the Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough regions.

There is no financial commitment required from any teacher or school administrator to use this site for experimental purposes or participation in collaborative education-related projects. Neither do you need to be a "Loop" school. If your school has no other access arrangements on this site, simply fill in the account request form and an account and course will be created within 2 working days.

If a school decides to develop their own Moodle site they can easily export their courses from here and restore them on their own site. If a school decides they would prefer to expand their use of this site beyond 10 courses, they can sign a service agreement with NMIT which includes a small monthly charge to cover the costs of hosting and servicing the site. This charge is simply a cost sharing exercise, there is no profit motive behind NMIT's provision of this service.

Moodle is an Open Source Learning Management System that includes a wide range of online tools that can be used to support class-based activities as well as fully online courses. The software is free to install, meaning you can concentrate your expenditure on your own specific technical support and staff training requirements in utilising the software to support your teaching and learning goals. Moodle.org has a very active international community of users that anyone can join - you can see some of the Primary/Secondary school discussions happening here.

Moodle is one of the Learning Management Systems included in the NZ Ministry of Education Managed Learning Environment project - http://groups.google.co.nz/group/mle-reference-group?hl=en & http://paulseiler.wordpress.com/.

Site Objectives

  1. To create a "sand-box" play area for any teacher in a school across the top of the south island wanting to explore using an online toolset to support teaching and learning in their classes. Teachers can request a course site to be created, have access to support as they add content and activities and then allow students to view materials and participate in online activities (see our Moodle Support area for more details).
  2. The site can also operate as a central communication/collaboration site for any school or education related interest groups or projects. Teachers from subscribing schools should discuss ideas with their local school Moodle support contact. Teachers from other schools can complete the Create a new login account and/or the Create a new course form.
  3. To develop a regional support network for teachers using Moodle and other ICT tools. Regular or on-demand workshops will be run on aspects of using Moodle for representatives from each school. See our Moodle Support area for further details.
  4. If more than one teacher from a school is interested in using the site NMIT can set up a separate category for the school, under which they will be able to create their own sub-sites for classes or interest groups. Schools may create courses and provide access to students up to a maximum of 10 courses. Beyond this the school must decide to host their own Moodle site or sign a service agreement with NMIT.
  5. The Moodle site will be run out of Wellington on the server cluster maintained by Catalyst IT. This cluster is on the WIX and will shortly be on the KAREN network. This will serve as a practical exploration for providing a centrally hosted web service via The Loop technical infrastructure - for those connected to The Loop :-).
  6. Schools with their own Moodle sites may choose to run some courses or have their students participate in courses hosted on this website. Waimea College already has their own local Moodle site and will continue to develop this separately to the site described here. However they will contribute to the group discussions and share their experiences with the wider educational community. Moodle has the ability to build "network links" between separate Moodle sites to allow users to move seamless between them. Contact the site administrator to discuss possibilities for linking with this site OR to another Moodle site.
  7. Moodle is an approved Learning Management System with the Ministry of Education Managed Learning Environment project. As the MLE project progresses the ability to transfer data between a school student management system and this site will improve, along with options to support school-specific authentication mechanisms.
"NMIT have benefited greatly from participating in the OSVLE project, the Moodle.org community and using Moodle to support teaching and learning. We look forward to working with anyone in our region interested in exploring how Moodle can support their teaching and learning."
David Sturrock, Flexible Learning Team Leader, NMIT