20 Jan 2015
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Microsoft transforms Office 365 with Moodle integration

By Catherine Knowles

Microsoft Office 365 and Moodle partner Remote-Learner have announced the integration between Moodle and Microsoft Office 365.

This enables Office 365 users to coordinate login credentials, calendar management and course content creation, as well as other workflow improvements for education institutions and other Moodle users.

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.

Users can also create events in Moodle that will be stored in their personal Office 365 calendars, enabling students and teachers to 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 allows 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.

“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,” says Jean Paoli, MS Open Tech president.

“By working closely with the open Moodle community, MS Open Tech will continue taking feedback and maintaining, improving, and adding new features,” says Paoli.

Additional integration between Moodle and Office 365 allows instructors to 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.

Jason Cole, Remote-Learner CEO, says, “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.”

“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,” says Cole.

Version 1.0 of this project will be released on January 21 at the BETT Show 2015. The 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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