Bournemouth & Poole College select CoSector – University of London for its virtual learning environment
Bournemouth & Poole College is home to 11,000+ students from across the region, the UK and the world. The institution is the largest provider of Further Education (FE) and Apprenticeships in the surrounding area. The college supports a range of values, among them a passion for learning and success, within a supportive and caring environment. In order to uphold these values, it is important that the college offers the best learning experience that is supportive to the needs of every student.
Bournemouth & Poole College's core focus is on developing the work skills of students to ensure that at the end of their study, they are well placed to start or to progress in their chosen career. The college has a strategic plan ‘The Bournemouth & Poole College strategy 2017-2020: Inspiring Excellence’ to ensure it meets this vision. The ambition is to be recognised for excellence and by 2020, the college will be outstanding with student achievement rates amongst the highest.
To help achieve its mission, the college has a number of areas of focus including; offer flexibility in delivery, developing its curriculum to meet the skills needs of the local economy; value and empower its staff and unlock their potential and make the college an attractive place to work; and foster innovation and be prepared to take risks, whilst ensuring a high trust culture.
To this end, the college needs to offer an attractive, learning proposition that will enhance and enrich the student experience.
In 2012 the college was using a virtual learning environment (VLE) platform, however this solution provided a high renewal quote and did not support the Individual learning plan (ILP) that Bournemouth had in mind for its staff and students.
They therefore sought a new VLE that would support the features it needed, as well as providing a modern looking front end, that staff and students could interact with quickly and efficiently, whilst enabling a seamless, hassle-free learning and teaching experience.
The VLE also needed to be used by a host of different individuals in a variety of ways. For example, students needed to be able to upload their work, be able to make edits, and submit it for marking within a particular timeframe. Teachers needed to be able to access work submitted from any location, at a time that suited them.
It was also important that the VLE had a wide range of plug-ins and add-ons to conform to the college’s wider digital strategy.
Bournemouth needed help with the migration and hosting of the new VLE and implementation needed to be as quick and seamless as possible to avoid disruption to learning, and on-going support and technical assistance was vital.
The college selected CoSector – University of London’s Bloom team to implement and support the hosting of Moodle, a VLE platform which manages data specific to students, teachers and other college staff.
With Moodle, the college could upgrade its ILP, with a full integration on to its BPC student record system and also securely host all of its data which is critical to enabling staff and students to have a positive learning and teaching experience. As well as course material, Moodle provides access to the library service, student support functions, career planning guidance and the Student Union activities and services.
CoSector seamlessly managed the migration process ensuring all content from the previous platform was securely transferred to Moodle. To ensure this was as smooth as possible they also supported the conversion of the colleges courses from its previous platform into Moodle versions.
Keith Ball, ILT Technical Officer comments: “We chose to partner with CoSector – University of London, as the Bloom team that manages the Moodle platform has a wealth of experience that we needed to effectively manage, support and consult us on our VLE, the Moodle platform.”
The Moodle platform stores and hosts all course materials and makes it simple for students to quickly and easily access it remotely. Hosting data in this way with the Moodle has also made it far easier for teachers to mark and grade student assignments, and insert comments and annotations as relevant.
With Moodle, data can also be accessed at any time, any location, with a consistent experience regardless of device i.e. phones, tablets or PCs.
Ball adds: “The Bloom team at CoSector – University of London are a true partner. They have improved the learning experience for our students and made it easier for academics, and administrators to do their jobs. The Bloom team is always on hand for ongoing support via the customer desk and has helped us with updates of the most recent plug ins to develop the platform even further; analysis/reporting; integrations; training for staff and security.”
Having CoSector – University of London manage and host the Moodle platform is better for the college than managing it internally as this would require more staff resource, and therefore budget. It is therefore more cost effective and more efficient to have the hosting outsourced to an experienced third party like CoSector – University of London as they are digital learning experts.”