Microsoft Open Technologies (MS Open Tech) has joined with educational technology services provider Remote-Learner.net to integrate open source programme Moodle with Microsoft Office 365.
By integrating the two platforms, Microsoft aims to increase the productivity of teachers and students by synchronising login credentials, improving calendar management and course content creation, and more.
“Working closely with Remote-Learner, we’re delivering a technical solution for one of the most popular open source learning management systems that aims to provide seamless workflows for both Moodle and Office 365 users,” said Jean Paoli, president of MS Open Tech. “By working closely with the open Moodle community, MS Open Tech will continue taking feedback and maintaining, improving, and adding new features.”
The open source Office 365 and Microsoft Services plugins for Moodle include integration with OneDrive for Business, OneNote and Office 365 Outlook calendar. This will enable students and instructors, as well as enterprise users, to sign on to Moodle with the same ID, enabling Moodle users with Office 365 accounts to sign-on more quickly.
In addition, events created in Moodle will be stored in teachers’ and students’ personal Office 365 calendars, enabling them to easily track course events and due dates. Previously, instructors needed to update their Outlook calendars manually, or send event invitations separately to students.
Integration with OneNote also enables instructors to create assignments in OneNote, while students to can complete the tasks in the application and submit their work via Moodle. Teachers can then provide feedback in the same OneNote document.
Additional integration between Moodle and Office 365 allows instructors to easily embed interactive online lessons created in PowerPoint with Office Mix. Documents stored in OneDrive for Business can be associated automatically with Moodle courses. Updates to those documents will appear automatically in links in Moodle, streamlining version control and simplifying integration of content stored in the cloud.
“We are thrilled to be able to work with Microsoft to integrate Moodle with the Office 365 platform,” said Jason Cole, CEO, Remote-Learner. “With the Office 365 plugins for Moodle, Microsoft continues to demonstrate its commitment to open source software and education. Educators and trainers who have both Moodle and Office 365 create new learning experiences that leverage the power of both platforms. Moodle administrators can deploy these new features knowing they have the support of both Microsoft and the Moodle Partner community.”
MS Open Tech will officially release version 1.0 of the project at the Bett Show, which will be held from 21-24 January in London, UK. Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft, will share more about the project during his keynote at Bett, while Cole will present a ‘Learn Live’ session.
Thee plugins will also be available for download from the Moodle plugins directory, via Azure-certified Virtual Machine image and VM Depot.
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