The Catalyst Group has had Moodle Certified Partner status since 2004 and was upgraded to Moodle Premium Partner in 2020. Catalyst was winner of The Moodle Project – Moodle Open Source Contributor Partner of The Year, 2019. Moodle is pleased to announce the appointment of Catalyst IT Canada (Catalyst) as a Premium Certified Partner, now the fourth Moodle Premium Certified Partner in the Catalyst network.
“Our expansion into Canada is a natural development in our multi-region coverage – Australia, New Zealand, UK and now Canada. We are in a position to provide a truly global service to our Moodle solution clients – to support their learning populations that are becoming more dispersed, remote and always on. Our “Follow The Sun” support model provides 24/7 support anytime and anywhere,” says Matt Porritt, Director and COO, Catalyst IT Canada.
Catalyst’s Premium Services include quality development services for customised code, with a commitment to ISO 27001 standards, tier 1, 2 and 3 level support, along with 24/7 response that is managed by real people (not machines). These capabilities were utilised in Catalyst IT Canada’s work with Concordia University’s e-assessment project and are endorsed by Moodle through the appointment of the Canadian branch as a Premium Certified Partner.
Concordia University made the decision to move to online delivery of high stakes exams in March 2020, the project went from initial discussion to online exam delivery in eight weeks. Catalyst worked with Concordia to create a customised Moodle based e-assessment solution that was robust and secure, Once the solution was finalised, Catalyst provided (and continue to provide) Tier 1 support during the critical high stakes exams period.
“We’re impressed with its user-friendly design that addresses the needs of the students and faculty,” says Sandra Gabriele, Vice Provost of Innovation in Teaching and Learning, Concordia University.
Porritt explains, “Prior to the COVID Pandemic the expansion of online and flexible learning in Canada was growing 10% per year, while face-to-face learning was flat. Obviously, the year that was 2020 accelerated growth in online learning and Catalyst IT was well positioned to service that growth.”
To explore the ongoing impact of The Pandemic, in 2020 the Canadian Digital Learning Association (CDLRA) surveyed 273 faculty and administrator staff. Universities and colleges had different expectations as to what the future would look like with colleges predicting either full online courses delivered synchronously alongside some hybrid course (part on-campus, part online), whereas universities were more inclined to predict a greater likelihood of a return to on-campus with online hybrid options.
Equally, the Canadian workplace learning market has experienced significant growth. In line with the World Economic Forum report published in October 2020, the rapid acceleration of automation and economic uncertainty caused by The Pandemic has created a shift in the division of labour between humans and machines. This signals an opportunity to create a culture of continuous learning as adverse to professional training as a ‘once and done’ event.
“We envisage significant opportunities in the workplace learning sector in Canada with Moodle Workplace. Training is now ‘anytime, anywhere, on any device’ kind of activity. The modern workforce looks to employers to provide online training programs that are a continuous process without a definitive expiration date,” says Porritt.
The Premium Certified Moodle Partner status gives Canadian clients assurance that Catalyst IT is an expert provider of Moodle support services. Catalyst IT already has an established Moodle client base in Canada that evolved from the long-established relationship between Concordia University and Catalyst IT New Zealand. Other Canadian based clients include Carleton University, de Souza Institute, McGill University Healthcare and the Universite de Montreal.
In addition, Canadian customers will harness Catalyst’s expertise from large scale Moodle-based projects in other regions.
Australian based Monash University wanted to improve their Moodle experience for their +86,000 students and 9,000 staff. The Catalyst team migrated the site which included over 10,000 active courses (over 22 Terabytes of digital content), to a cloud managed service on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and upgraded the codebase to the latest version of Moodle. The key success factors were using an agile approach to the project and working in close collaboration with the Monash product team.
Dublin City University (DCU) required a hosting partner that could help them optimise their Moodle LMS to support the increase in online learning. In 2019, a managed service was established to support their staff and students accessing the LMS (now over 18,000). In 2020, when the COVID Pandemic took hold, Catalyst established a Moodle based e-assessment solution for 11,820 exams to be delivered via the Moodle VLE for over 7,000 students/exams with a period of only 5 weeks to prepare. DCU were able to deliver their full exam program without any issues.
“Catalyst are truly exceptional in their response and efficiency – a robust company to work with and a ‘can-do’ attitude – we can’t speak highly enough of them,” says Mark Glynn, Head of Teaching Enhancement Unit, Dublin City University.
Other large international clients include La Trobe University, University of Bath and University College London.
About Catalyst IT Canada
Catalyst provides a comprehensive range of services to support Moodle solution users from consultancy, design, custom development and training through to full cloud managed services.
Catalyst IT has significant experience with large, existing Moodle users that are looking to improve the availability of their systems, extend integration with their wider infrastructure and provide more streamlined and automated workflows.