The vast majority (85 percent) of Romania’s 105 universities are now using Moodle, an open source e-learning platform, reports the country’s Moodle community manager, Herman Cosmin. “They appreciate its world-wide community and the involvement of the national community.”
Cosmin's firm, eLearning & Software, an ICT service provider and Moodle partner, organises an annual conference open to all of the country's education institutes, high schools, universities and training institutes. In 2015, the ‘Moodlemoot Romania’ conference will take place at the Ovidius University of Constanta - from 17 to 22 August. Here, attendees are trained how to use Moodle, either as a teacher or as an IT administrator. “These conferences have been taking place since 2010, when we started at the Vasile Goldis Western University in Arad”, says Cosmin. “The number of participants has been increasing steadily.”
The past two years, similar conferences have been organised in Moldova. The 2015 edition of Moldova’s Moodlemoot, will take place at the Academy of Economical Sciences of Moldova, between 30 March and 04 April. According to Cosmin, nearly all of Moldova’s 17 universities have turned to implementing Moodle.
Cosmin's company, based in Arad, is involved in many of the Moodle projects in Romania and neighbouring Moldova. It offers the Moodle platform for free to all schools and high schools in Romania and Moldova.
The company has also helped to set up ‘Reteaua EDU Moodle Romania’, involving many teachers and IT administrators, in schools, high schools and universities. “This group develops new e-learning projects, aiming to improve education and to develop the knowledge societies in these two countries. We want to connect all of Romania’s educational institutions, with interactive courses that inspire schools to collaborate.”
“Romania’s education is changing, and we are showing schools how to using modern e-learning platforms such as Moodle.” He says that the platform enables Romania’s teachers to create courses that include educational material from all over Europe. “Moodle is helping to build a permanent exchange platform of courses and teaching materials for schools, national and international.”
Moodle is also attracting public administrations, including municipalities and libraries, Cosmin says. Moodle is used by several libraries in Romania, including the Metropolitan Library of Bucharest, and the libraries in the cities of Cluj-Napoca, Galati, Deva and Sibiu. He has no municipal clients at the moment, he adds.
Moodle is currently used by the National Agency for Public Servants, with Cosmin and his colleagues offering technical support and helping to create content. Moodle was chosen because of the low costs involved in implementation and maintenance, Cosmin explains.
The open source e-learning platform also introduce the Romanian organisations to other open source solutions, Cosmin confirms. “Most of the country’s Moodle implementations run it on servers using Linux, the Apache web server and the MariaDB database management system. It is most-attractive that way.”