Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. (MS Open Tech), a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., together with leading Moodle partner Remote-Learner.net Inc., on Monday announced integration between Moodle and Microsoft Office 365, bringing a more productive experience to teachers and students by harmonizing login credentials, calendar management and course content creation, in addition to other workflow improvements for education institutions and other Moodle users.
“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. The integration allows students and instructors, as well as enterprise users, to sign on to Moodle with the same ID, making single sign-on easier and faster for education institutions and other Moodle users with Office 365 accounts. 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 enables instructors to create assignments in OneNote, students to complete the assignment in the digital note-taking application and submit their work via Moodle, and instructors to 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 through an open format standard. These lessons may contain audio, video, digital ink, interactive simulations or assessments. 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. With the Office 365 plugins for Moodle, Microsoft continues to demonstrate its commitment to open source software and education,” said Jason Cole, CEO, Remote-Learner. “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.”
On Jan. 21 at the BETT Show 2015, MS Open Tech will officially release version 1.0 of this project, which kicked off last September, on GitHub under GPLv3. The plugins will also be available for download from the Moodle plugins directory, via Azure-certified Virtual Machine image and VM Depot.
During the BETT Show, attendees can learn more about the integration of Moodle on Office 365 from Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft, who will present a keynote at 2 p.m. GMT on Jan. 21, titled, “The Role of Technology in Transforming Education.” Following the keynote, BETT Show attendees are also invited to attend the Learn Live session, “Moodle and Microsoft: Better Together,” presented by Jason Cole, CEO at Remote-Learner, and Doug Mahugh, senior technical evangelist at MS Open Tech.