University of London drives accessibility at the University of Roehampton

CoSector – University of London provides a seamless on-boarding and flexible service for the online learning platform Moodle

Based in south west London, the University of Roehampton is situated across two major sites. It has over 175 years of history and tradition, but it is still important to the academic institution that its services are modern and easy to use.

In order to maintain this reputation and support these areas, the university has created a strong Digital Learning department to support technology for teaching and learning and which includes dedicated eLearning, specialist IT and media teams.

Blended and online learning are priorities for supporting the university’s diverse student population, as it often hosts assistive technology integrations such as JAWS, Zoomtext and Texthelp Read and Write. Course slides can be uploaded for students who need to take more time to review them outside of lectures, and most virtual learning environments (VLEs) now provide a way of navigating around the course without a mouse and ensure the links and additional files can also be navigated by using keystrokes only.

Three years ago, the Digital Learning department at Roehampton decided it was time to enhance one of its key online learning tools, its VLE, as its eLearning team found it to be too static and wanted to engage students and teachers further in the use of online technologies as part of the learning experience. As a result, they were looking for a versatile solution that would allow the integration of new products and upgrades easily, and for the VLE to be hosted by a vendor which provided comprehensive support with any of these amendments or developments to the platform.

Moodle was identified by the Digital Learning department as the most suitable platform for its needs, due to its clear and modern interface, but what was more important to the university was selecting a partner to implement and host the platform flexibly, supporting new integrations, and it was vital for the new vendor to prove it could improve on the static service currently provided. CoSector – University of London was selected due to its reputation within the HE community for its versatility and its proven experience in providing all the services required.

Three years ago, the Digital Learning department at Roehampton decided it was time to enhance one of its key online learning tools, its VLE, as its eLearning team found it to be too static and wanted to engage students and teachers further in the use of online technologies.

The University of Roehampton currently works with the CoSector – University of London digital learning team, which includes the hosting and technical support of the Moodle VLE platform.

CoSector’s digital learning team is always on-hand to give advice on new integrations and any ideas for developments to the platform, and they can work with the university to create this.

Xavier Briche, head of digital learning at the University of Roehampton, said: “There has been great communication and reassurance. When we were looking for deep expertise, it was useful to be able to turn to the team at CoSector – University of London. They clearly have the knowledge to answer quite complex queries relevant to our context.”

CoSector – University of London also ensures that Roehampton’s Moodle platform is constantly up to date, and that each summer at the end of the academic year, the platform is rolled over to the latest version. At the end of the academic year CoSector ensures that the old version becomes an archive, and all materials from the past two years remain accessible to students as well, so if a student is in their third year they will still be able to access material from their first year.

Roehampton has just reviewed and renewed its contract with CoSector – University of London, a process they worked closely on with their account manager, who was on hand to discuss any alterations they wished to make.

Xavier concluded: “When you change host, you are taking a big risk. Although you’re hoping there will be some improvement going forward with your new vendor you just never know. With CoSector we were thrilled. In terms of account management, and the business side of it, it’s proven to be worth the switch.”

CoSector – University of London will be at the UCISA Leadership Conference in March. Please drop by exhibition stand 53 and say hello to the team, or take a look at www.cosector.com

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