Online Courses Move to Moodle

by Andrea Speros, Public Relations Writer

Following the recent campus-wide transition from Blackboard WebCT to Moodle online management system, Cedarville University anticipates continued growth in academic programs, especially online graduate programs including the Master in Education, the hybrid Master of Science and Nursing and the developing Master of Business Administration.

According to Phil Schanely, manager of the center for teaching and learning (CTL), Blackboard WebCT, the former online learning management system, could no longer meet University needs and compete with other systems. The University’s departments of information technology and CTL developed a transition plan the end of spring semester 2011 and have been implementing it since.

Dr. Andy Runyan, academic vice president and dean of graduate studies, said teacher-student interaction is a key component of Moodle.

“Research shows that if students are more involved in the course, they will be more successful. That’s a big part of why we use the tools that Moodle provides” Runyan said.

As an open source software system, Moodle is an ongoing process, allowing a community of servers to support and customize the system as needed. According to Schanely, Moodle allows flexibility and smoother transitions with emerging technologies and the university’s own course websites.

Current graduate programs are the fully online Master of Education and the hybrid Nursing and Science Master, a combination of online and standard classes. With the Master of Business Administration being developed, the transition to Moodle promises to give students a more interactive course load.

“For future programs, it means we have a good set of tools to work with as we develop more and more courses. Since there are so many other schools on Moodle too, we will be able to add on more functionality without having to increase the costs for us or you as students. “

Moodle is also a more user-friendly site, an advantage for on-the-go graduate students who are likely to want to access courses on mobile technology. Because graduate programs are fully online and others have a significant portion online, the decision to transition to Moodle promises to have a positive impact on current and future programs.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at