Established in 1958, Monash University is the youngest member of the Group of Eight Australian universities. Monash is an energetic and dynamic university committed to quality education, outstanding research and international engagement.
It has grown to become the largest university in Australia, with six campuses in Victoria, Australia, a campus in Sunway, Malaysia, a campus in Ruimsig, South Africa, and a centre in Prato, Italy. This campus network supports over 65,000 students and around 8000 academic staff.
The transition to Moodle
Monash adopted a user-centred approach in four stages – or ‘waves’ – to implement the transition to Moodle. In the first wave, Monash trialled the system with 50 units representing all faculties and campuses. Based on the results and feedback from the first wave, the roll-out process was adjusted for the nextwave of users.
With this wave-based approach, an opportunity was created to ‘learn as we go’ and to make improvements based on user feedback and evaluation.
Moodle use at Monash
Moving to Moodle has provided new opportunities for Monash academic staff to explore a blended learning approach to teaching. Many teaching staff have restructured their online content to be more sequential or modular, taking advantage of Moodle’s flexibility to design content and activities with the student experience in the foreground. For example, more lecturers and tutors are using Moodle’s discussion forums to support learning activities, rather than simply as a social or administrative function. A significant proportion of faculty schools and departments are also moving towards online submission of assignments for the first time.
The initial Moodle training built enthusiasm within Monash academic staff to trial the more interactive and collaborative features of Moodle. The choice and feedback activities appealed to academics who were interested in finding out students’ pre-existing knowledge before they attended a face-to-face teaching session. Other academics have seen the potential for glossary and database to provide rich collaborative activities for their students. Finally, the flexible structure of the workshop activity excited academics from all subject areas with its potential to host deep thinking peer assessment activities.