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Day 2 Presentation

Eating An Elephant: The DCU journey to Moodle 4.1

Dublin City University (DCU) has been a user of Moodle for 20 years, and in that time the virtual learning environment has grown to become a mission critical piece of infrastructure. It is critical not just to teaching, learning and assessment, but also to internal staff training, external projects, student feedback processes and indeed student elections. As the fourth generation of Moodle became available, and with it new features, workflows and a radically different user interface, the DCU Moodle team faced a challenge – how do we prepare ourselves and our educators and our students for a major upgrade? Just like eating an elephant – one bite at a time.

The DCU team planned the upgrade project in six phases: Scope, Explore, Test, Deploy, Configure, Support. Securing senior management buy-in and establishing parameters was key. From here, the DCU team sought to explore the affordances of Moodle 4.1 and become familiar with new features and interfaces. Working closely with our Moodle partner, we conducted hundreds of tests in a systematic manner to uncover bugs and apply fixes. After deploying 4.1, site settings and configurations were made to prepare the site for a new academic year, and then staff were supported with asynchronous resources and synchronous training sessions to become familiar with the new Moodle version.

This presentation at the Moot will share the DCU approach to upgrading and lessons learned, with a view to helping others undertake a similar journey.

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