Founded in 1487, Stockport Grammar School (SGS) is the oldest educational institution in the North of England, and a member of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference. With over 1,500 students aged from 3-18, SGS had been using Moodle for several years, as well as iSAMS to manage student information.
The school met with Titus Learning with two key aims in mind – to improve the usability and aesthetics of the Moodle VLE by creating a new design, and to integrate their Moodle with their iSAMS system.
“We were already using Moodle alongside iSAMS, although without any link between the two we didn’t feel we were making the most of either system. We approached Titus Learning initially for some advice on what could be achieved if we got Moodle and iSAMS working together.” – Jonathon Quinn, Systems Administrator
Following an initial consultation between Stockport Grammar School and Titus Learning, a project outline was jointly drawn up which laid out the following key features the new platform would need:
- To improve the design of the Moodle platform in order to make it easier to navigate and more efficient for staff and students to use. The layout of the platform would adjust according to whether the user was accessing it on a desktop, tablet or smartphone.
- To integrate Moodle with iSAMS, allowing processes such as course enrolments and reporting to be streamlined or automated, thereby reducing teaching time spent on administrative functions.
- To provide a bespoke training and support service, which would assist SGS in launching the new platform, ensure each user was able to take full advantage of the new features, and provide ongoing assistance alongside proactive advice on making the most of the new platform moving forwards.
Having agreed on the goals, the project commenced and over a ten week period, Titus Learning implemented the following:
- Set up integration between Moodle and iSAMS, which works with the official iSAMS API. This ensures the integration will continue to work following future updates to the two systems.
- Created a new responsive Moodle theme designed around key usability principles. The brief was to significantly simplify the navigation of the platform and increase user engagement. This was achieved by implementing a clean, consistent layout throughout the platform, with high visibility of the most used and relevant features at each stage of the user journey and distinct signposting of next steps and help resources.
- Tested thoroughly across different devices and operating systems before being applied to the SGS Moodle.
- Provided in-school training on the use of the new features of the Moodle as well as supplying take-home training materials for later reference, allowing self service support.
- Provided SGS with a single point of contact for ongoing support and arranged regular “check-in” calls to offer guidance and proactive advice on maximising the use of the school’s Moodle.
The new responsive design has improved the usability of the platform across devices, which along with the ongoing proactive consultancy, has allowed the school to explore new ways of utilising the platform, rather than concentrating on getting everyone up to speed on the basic features:
“Titus Learning have completely redesigned our VLE to give a much more attractive feel both on desktop computers and mobile devices. With the redesigned theme we’re seeing much higher engagement from both staff and students. Titus are keen to ensure that we are using our VLE effectively and are consistently looking at ways for us to promote more effective use of our VLE within the school.”
The school has also seen a significant decrease in the time spent by teaching staff on administering the VLE – translating into more time available for teaching. The streamlined integration with iSAMS has greatly assisted in maintaining course enrolments on a much more dynamic basis with less IT management overhead. The integration between Moodle and iSAMS is saving teaching and admin staff a huge amount of time.
SGS have also reported that the new platform facilitates “self service” support to a much greater extent, however for those issues which can’t be solved by the user, Titus Learning’s proactive support service has proved invaluable.
“Titus Learning have provided a great product, and brilliant support, responding quickly and effectively to any issues we have had. We’d certainly recommend Titus Learning to any school looking to take e-learning to the next level.”
Looking to the future
Stockport Grammar are working with Titus Learning on plans to further develop the functionality of the Moodle and iSAMS integration, advanced Moodle training for teaching staff and continual improvement of the Moodle user interface based on ongoing feedback from staff and students. In addition, the school is keen to work on enhancing some of the core features within Moodle including homework reporting and the quiz module, as well as looking at integration with Microsoft Office 365.
To learn more about the work we’ve done with Moodle, or to find out how we could help your school or organisation improve engagement, communication and learning outcomes, book a short online demo with one of our team.