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23 May 2023

RWTH International Academy

Sharing UX and Moodle know-how to create a flexible, engaging and collaborative online learning platform for RWTH International Academy 

Bringing Moodle expertise to an ambitious international education organisation

RWTH International Academy is the official academy for continuing education of Germany’s renowned RWTH Aachen University. It mainly delivers courses to international students and the employees of companies committed to ongoing professional development.

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, International Academy was putting plans in place to offer a more digital learning experience. At that stage, most international students were attending courses on campus. The digitisation process was accelerated by the pandemic and the first full online programmes ran in the summer of 2020.

A new film studio was built to create a professional recording environment for lectures and learning content. At the same time, RWTH International Academy took the opportunity to make the existing online learning infrastructure more flexible and create a customised platform for its target groups of learners.

It made the move to Moodle LMS for its new Learning Space platform but was not getting the level of practical and proactive support it needed from its supplier. RWTH International Academy approached us looking for a hands-on Moodle partner who would:

  • Migrate its LMS from its current provider 
  • Customise the platform to better suit the needs of its learners, educators and administrators
  • Provide Moodle expertise and act as a sounding board for its ideas for the platform

A truly collaborative space

We completed a successful migration of RWTH International Academy’s Moodle LMS timed to meet the expiry of its contract with the previous supplier.

To achieve the look and feel RWTH International Academy wanted for its Learning Space, we introduced our Spark LMS theme. This allowed us to create a design and user experience that closely matches RWTH International Academy’s website, including an engaging tiled layout within courses.

The project team was determined that its LMS should not become just an upload space for PDFs and video content — they wanted to create an interactive hub for conversation and the exchange of ideas. The ease of use created by Spark’s UX design helped to make the Learning Space a place to which students like to return. Intuitive dashboards make all the information needed by learners readily available, while marketing spots help administrators to signpost key information or courses.

The array of collaboration tools available, including chat, discussion forums and announcements have improved communication with students and make Learning Space a more engaging environment.

Moodle App — Moodle’s native mobile experience — makes it easy for students to check in for information, communicate with lecturers and complete learning on their phones.

Making life easier for everyone

The revamped Learning Space had more than 2,000 students using it almost immediately after it launched. This reflected the fact that all RWTH International Academy business units immediately adopted the new platform and were keen to work with it straight away.

The new site has made life easier for lecturers and students alike. The LMS is now the single point of communication, replacing email, WhatsApp and phone calls. Students have just one place to check for information or to ask questions, while lecturers have been able to free up time that would previously have been spent responding to correspondence across multiple platforms.

We continue to provide ongoing support to help RWTH International Academy with any questions or ideas they have and are working with them to upgrade to a newer version of Moodle LMS in the near future.

“Synergy Learning has experts who know the Moodle system, know what customers need, and can make these things happen. We appreciate creative and useful advice from our suppliers and guidance on how to implement all ideas in the best way. That’s what we get from Synergy Learning — and that’s why we switched to them in the first place.”

Janina Dähne, Development Team Leader



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