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Cochise College Moves Forward with Institutional Goals After Moving to Fully-Managed Moodle Site

By December 19, 2016case studies
Cochise College Case Study

College experiences ripple effects of progress – including initiative to save students an estimated $4.1 million.


Background

Cochise College, founded in 1964, is one of Arizona’s first community colleges. With approximately 12,000 enrolled students annually, Cochise College is focused on providing high-quality associate-level education, professional development, and workforce training to its students. Cochise College also offers online degrees and certification courses through its Virtual Campus program.

Challenge

For more than four years, Cochise College has been utilizing the most popular Learning Management System in the world, Moodle. Unfortunately, they became increasingly frustrated with their Moodle vendor’s poor service. This poor service delayed project developments vital to the college’s success. The lack of customer support from their Moodle vendor also forced the school’s Virtual Campus team to learn HTML and coding to solve technical issues.  “As a group, we decided we would no longer log trouble tickets unless it were an absolute emergency,” said Adam Woodrow, the college’s Virtual Campus Assistant Director.

After supporting themselves for over a year with a problematic vendor, Cochise College decided that they could no longer accept their provider’s subpar performance. “The daily frustration of our situation was overwhelming,” continued Mr. Woodrow.

Servicing the Moodle site was becoming a full-time job, resulting in the inability to pursue other strategic initiatives and educational goals. The Virtual Campus team knew that they needed to find a solution that provided excellent hosting and customer support.

Solutions

Fully-Managed Moodle by eThink

After an extensive review process, Cochise College selected eThink Education to provide a fully-managed Moodle experience that covered all of their needs including implementation, real-time SIS integrations, hosting, trouble-shooting, unlimited modules, consulting, and more. “During the initial demonstration with eThink, I was impressed with their dedication to customer service. They delivered a level of support that I didn’t know existed,” said Woodrow. “After our past experience, it’s a relief to leave our Moodle site in the hands of experts who continue to meet our needs.”

Responsive Customer Service

With an average functionality support ticket response time of under one hour, eThink provides industry-leading customer service and is always on hand to immediately resolve any issues a client may experience. “Things don’t ever ‘break’ with Moodle by eThink, but if something did happen, I know we can rely on them to take care of it quickly and efficiently,” said Woodrow.

Real-time SIS Integration

eThink Education implemented a real-time SIS integration, enabling seamless migration of user data, courses, and enrollments between Cochise College’s Student Information System and Moodle. The efficiencies gained through this integration not only fixed problems the college was experiencing with course enrollments, but also allowed the team to be more productive in other aspects of their jobs.

Results

“Before Moodle by eThink, I didn’t know what customer service was when it came to LMS support. Now, I am no longer worried whether I can fix Moodle. If something breaks or we need support, eThink is there. With our Moodle LMS in capable hands, my team has been able to branch out and move forward with other initiatives. Goals we had in mind for the last couple of years are now coming to fruition much sooner than anticipated. Our decision to move to Moodle by eThink created a ripple effect of positive developments within our Virtual Campus that has benefited the entire Cochise community.” – Adam Woodrow, Virtual Campus Assistant Director at Cochise College
Progress on Institutional Goals

With a fully-managed Moodle site, Cochise College was able to make progress on initiatives that were previously put on hold.

  • Training Program for Faculty

By modifying the free online Moodle training provided by eThink, the Virtual Campus team finished developing a Moodle training course specifically tailored for faculty that was previously “in development” for over a year. After switching to eThink, the development team was able to develop the program and test, implement, and launch within four months. To date, 85 instructors completed the training program to earn the Level One badge, and the Level Two program is currently in development.

  • OER Initiative to Save Students Money

Cochise has moved forward with a plan to offer courses that use Open Educational Resources (OER). The initiative is estimated to save students $4.1 million or more over a three-year period.

For the 2015-2016 academic year, Cochise College’s online program was ranked the 3rd best in the nation for student return on investment.1


[1] Online College Plan. “Top 20 Online Community Colleges with the Best ROI.” Online College Plan, 3 Oct. 2016, onlinecollegeplan.com/online-community-colleges-best-roi/