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UIS is reviewing the use of Moodle, the University’s virtual learning environment (VLE), with the Education Quality and Policy Office, some pilot Departments and the Technology-Enabled Learning Service to understand what it is used for currently and determine an appropriate acceptable use policy for the future. The new policy will be implemented over the next 2 years, but staff may continue to use Moodle for all current uses until at least Summer 2023.
 

What is changing: proposed acceptable uses of Moodle

It's proposed that Moodle be restricted to allow only:

  • the provision of material directly consumed by active students, including accepted students prior to their arrival in Cambridge, as part of their formal studies at the University of Cambridge
     
  • the provision of material directly consumed by active students as part of professional learning and development taken in parallel with their formal studies
     
  • the support of staff in the use of the VLE itself and other teaching, learning and assessment (TLA) services provided via the VLE.

Some exceptions to the above will be permitted, including some student support. However, restrictions will apply to all permitted uses (such as file types permitted). In addition, we'll be making changes to Moodle to improve support for TLA activities, and some of these changes may not be suitable for, or support, uses unrelated to TLA.

We're still working with pilot Departments to determine all of the use cases and whether they'll be permitted under the new acceptable use policy. More Departments will be invited to participate in this pilot as we develop the policy.
 

How you can prepare for migrating to alternative solutions

UIS will support users in understanding Moodle’s new acceptable use policy and, where possible, in migrating content to suitable alternative solutions. We'll be releasing further details and timelines soon. In the meantime, staff can continue to use Moodle for all current uses until at least Summer 2023, and can take steps to prepare for the migration of some activities to alternative solutions.

The Digital Presence Programme is designing and piloting tools and services to support many of the activities that will need to be migrated away from Moodle, including the ‘Intranet in a Box’ service based on SharePoint. The team is working with Faculties, Departments, divisions of UAS and non-school institutions to understand their needs. This will inform the design of this product and its supporting service, and will result in improvements to the end-user experience. If you're interested in finding out more about this work and how you can get involved, you can join the SharePoint User Group Team.

The team will be designing a migration process along with training, guidance and templates to support the move from current platforms to the new Intranet in a Box service. In preparation for this, we recommend that you not attempt to set up SharePoint sites because these will be less secure, searchable and supportable than the designed templates. Instead, we recommend that you begin the important groundwork, such as auditing content.

You can join the Content Community to get expert advice from our Content Design Team on auditing content, writing for the web and for user needs, as well as accessibility. Recordings of all Content Community sessions, as well as guidance and templates, will be published on the Digital Presence site.
 

Any queries?

If you have any queries about Moodle, please contact Jessica Comber-Chaney. For queries related to the Digital Presence Programme, contact the team at digitalpresence@uis.cam.ac.uk.

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