01.04.2015 - 31.03.2017
There will be a major change in the digital support of teaching and learning: In future, the ITMC will focus its resources on Moodle, which is to completely replace the previous e-learning platform EWS by the end of 2016. As early as the winter semester 2015/16, all newly established courses are to start on Moodle if possible, and from the summer semester 2016 it will no longer be possible to create new EWS workspaces. However, all EWS workspaces already created by the end of the 2015 summer semester are guaranteed to remain available until the end of the 2016/17 winter semester.
The importance of digital media in supporting interactive teaching-learning scenarios is playing an increasingly important role. Teachers and students therefore rightly expect the digital tools provided to be highly secure and available, ergonomically designed, capable of depicting contemporary didactic scenarios and regularly adapted to the current state of the art.
The last two points in particular have repeatedly presented us at EWS with great challenges for some time. There is a simple reason for this: EWS was designed almost 15 years ago and the technical design decisions for the system that is still running today were made around 10 years ago. At a time when accessible web applications were still in their infancy, social networks like Facebook were not mass phenomena and mobile devices like smartphones or tablets were not even on the market. In the last 10 years, the technical possibilities have changed and developed fundamentally, but the demands on a learning platform have also grown considerably. In order to be able to meet these requirements with EWS, a comprehensive conceptual and technical re-design would be necessary with a high expenditure of time and money.
At the same time, there has already been a second learning platform at TU Dortmund University since autumn 2012 that now covers a large part of these requirements: Moodle. One of the most widely used e-learning systems in the world with a huge developer community, largely barrier-free, easy to use on mobile devices and always state-of-the-art with regular updates. A few minor adjustments, e.g. in the distribution of video streams, are still necessary to be able to provide all the functionalities known from EWS, but in principle any EWS workspace can already be mapped in Moodle and extended with further additional possibilities.
We have therefore decided to bundle our resources on Moodle as a central platform for supporting digital teaching and learning in the future, instead of distributing them across two e-learning systems as before. Of course, this does not mean that you now have to immediately port your current or prepared workspaces from EWS to Moodle. But it does mean that all new courses should start directly on Moodle from the winter semester 2015/16 and that no new EWS workspaces will be possible from the summer semester 2016. All EWS workspaces already created by the end of the 2015 summer semester are guaranteed to remain available until the end of the 2016/17 winter semester.