The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) administers state and federal aid programs to oversee the educational regulations and requirements of more than 2,500 schools across the state, affecting more than 1.4 million public and non-public elementary and secondary school children in New Jersey. During the 2015-2016 school year, the NJDOE reported having 114,584 full-time educators, to whom the Department provides additional information, guidance, and resources including professional development and certification programs.
The NJDOE conducts in-person training sessions for educators across the state. Various factors including travel time, acquiring release time, and finding and paying substitute teachers was making it difficult for educators to attend the on-site training sessions. Thus, the NJDOE began evaluating eLearning platforms as a way to make training more efficient in order to expand their reach and connect a geographically-dispersed audience across the state.
Moodle™ by eThink Fully-Managed eLearning Platform
The NJDOE selected eThink Education to provide a fully-managed Moodle™ experience including implementation, integrations, hosting, industry-leading support, unlimited modules, consulting, and more. With Moodle™, the Department is able to reach more educators in the state with trainings. Moodle™ also provides an easy-to-navigate platform that enables educators to connect and share resources.
eThink created custom reports for the NJDOE that gather anonymized data to track how modules are being used within courses and more. This data is used to determine what revisions should be made to the courses.
With Moodle™ by eThink, the NJDOE’s eLearning trainings are easily accessible, can be shared with a larger network, and reduce the need for travel. eThink provides the opportunity to complete training sessions at a time and place that is convenient, leading to more sessions being completed by a wider array of educators. Also, having courses and materials stored in a single, organized location allows teachers to revisit these resources as needed.
“An advantage of utilizing a learning platform like Moodle™ is that the state department can potentially reach every teacher in the state of New Jersey by allowing educators to take training courses whenever and wherever they want,” said Elizabeth Thomas, Instructional Designer for the NJDOE.
Better Connect Teachers
Moodle™ by eThink allows educators across the state to more easily connect and support one another. The NJDOE supports Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to provide participants with opportunities to network, share resources, and discuss theoretical and practical approaches to change. This ongoing collaboration was challenging when trainings were only held face-to-face.