On 30 June, The European Commission Directorate General for Informatics (DIGIT) and the United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology (OICT) announced the winners of the Moodle two-week long hackathon, ‘Get plugged into education!’ which aimed to expand the footprint of digital learning possibilities. 

In a post pandemic world, more than 600 million learners worldwide learn remotely and in developing countries access to quality learning management systems (LMS) platforms and digital learning infrastructure is key to addressing The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Sustainable Development Quality Education goal (SDG #4) to “ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. 

Open source education: bringing people together

To continue striving towards the UNESCO goal, Moodle hosted a two-week long hackathon, ‘Get plugged into education!’ which commenced on the 16th May. This was one of several hackathons in collaboration with DIGIT and OICT. 

The Moodle hackathon sought out proactive ideas and solutions for challenges to help improve Moodle performance, expand video conferencing functionality and reach more students. 

The hackathon was broken down into three challenges: an open challenge for anyone working on a plugin to improve Moodle functionalities, The Mobile App Challenge to improve or extend Moodle plugins for the Moodle mobile app and The VideoConf Challenge to improve or extend Moodle plugins. Each challenge aimed to help Moodle LMS reach more learners around the world.

Ms. Veronica Gaffey, Director-General “Informatics” DG DIGIT said, “This reaffirms the fundamental benefit of open source: bringing people together. The hackathon we are celebrating today is an excellent showcase; it brings together the United Nations, the European Commission and open source contributors from all over the world.”

The hackathon winners

The participants worked with Moodle mentors to establish concrete open source software solutions that can be reused through open source licensing terms and conditions. There were over 9,000 visitors to the hackathon platform and a total of 25 submissions were made, from which 11 were shortlisted.

The top 3 projects were celebrated at the awards night and 2 additional projects received honourable mentions. As well as the use and publishing of their projects, the winners received formal recognition from UN officials and the European Commission and special Moodle certificate and Moodle Badges.

The winners of the hackathon include: 

1st Prize—Mr. Essoh Lathe Gnagne Sebastien, Principal Inspector of Physics-Chemistry, Ministry of National Education and Technical Education, Government of Côte d’Ivoire. Mr. Sebastian’s solution integrates Moodle course groups into the Jitsi plugin, which allows teachers to create webconference activities fully integrated with Jitsi Meet—an open-source videoconferencing solution that enables you to easily build and implement secure video conferencing. 

2nd Prize—RÉCIT FAD (Mr. Étienne Roy, Mr. Yvon Quémener, Mr. Émile Jacques, and Mr. Gustavo Bazzo). The RÉCIT FAD team, whose expertise is online training for information technologies in education, developed the Moodle HTML Bootstrap Editor plugin, which aims to create modern and engaging HTML content directly in Moodle. 

3rd Prize—Ms. Marie-Eve Lévesque, Mr. Annouar Faraman and Mr. Andrew Caya, (University of Montreal, Canada). The aim of the team’s plugin is to provide users with an overview of group events in the form of a table, where events are grouped by time (planning lab sessions, group meetings). 

The two honourable mentions are: 

Honorable Mention—Mrs. Celine Perves (Digital Department, University of Strasbourg, France) Ms. Perves contributed with various plugins, such as the ability to restore from remote sites. 

Honorable Mention—Mr. Renaat Debleu (IT Specialist, eWallah). Mr. Debleu built a Moodle plugin for administrators to translate a full course using Neural Machine Engines.

Promoting lifelong learning opportunities

The projects showcase the variety of possibilities to continue improving digital learning and support a future of more equitable education. A global community of developers and educators help to improve and extend Moodle LMS, playing a key role in facilitating eLearning worldwide.

Through the Moodle LMS open source software, educators can access quality resources and tools. Moodle works for the collective benefit, to empower educators to provide an online education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities and supports the UNESCO Sustainable Development Quality Education goal.

About Moodle

Since its beginnings in 1999, open source Moodle LMS has constantly evolved through a commitment to pedagogy, social constructionist philosophy and a collaborative global community of teachers and technologists.