IT Center Blog

Five Years of RWTHmoodle

March 25th, 2024 | by
Lettering 5 years RWTHmoodle in speech bubble

Source: Own illustration

With the go live of RWTHmoodle on March 5, 2019, a milestone was reached in the digitization strategy for teaching. This strategy provides for the development and implementation of digitalization concepts for excellent teaching. Among other things, the required system should be able to adapt to constantly changing requirements.

In the following blog post, you can read how the Moodle instance came to RWTH and what we have already experienced with it.


How It All Began

It all started with the predecessor of RWTHmoodle, L2P. Developed by RWTH, L2P was in use for a proud 12 years. Like RWTHmoodle, L2P also offered learning spaces that supported learning: Learning materials could be made available there and electronic self-tests could be carried out. However, as the platform was based on Microsoft SharePoint, L2P offered less flexibility. In addition, L2P was only used at RWTH, which meant that students who were previously familiar with a different system had to get used to it.

As part of RWTH’s digitalization strategy, the decision was made to switch to a new platform. The choice fell on the open source platform Moodle from Australia, the first version of which was released in 2002. Moodle was developed as a teaching and learning platform and is now used in 242 countries in schools, universities, and other institutions. Germany is currently in 3rd place worldwide with 9,521 registered Moodle sites [1].

The global Moodle community makes a very important and large contribution to the development and further development of the platform and plug-ins. Suggestions can be discussed or solutions to problems found in regular exchanges. These take place both globally and locally in the form of conferences and meetings, such as this year’s university meeting in Leipzig or last year’s MoodleMoot Global in Barcelona. RWTH Aachen University is also actively involved in the further development of Moodle. The “PDF Annotation” plug-in, for example, was developed at the IT Center and won an award from the Moodle community.

However, before RWTHmoodle could be made accessible RWTH-wide, extensive tests had to be carried out. The first test phase took place in the winter semester 2017/18 on a limited scale, in which a total of 15 courses from 6 faculties took part, followed by a pilot phase in the summer semester 2018, in which all faculties participated. The final pilot phase was carried out in the 2018/19 winter semester. RWTHmoodle was finally launched on March 5, 2019.

At the start of the 2021 winter semester, after RWTHmoodle had already been successfully established in regular operation at RWTH for over a year, L2P was finally switched off.


The Challenges

One year after the launch, the coronavirus pandemic presented us with major challenges in 2020, which also affected teaching. Fortunately, with RWTHmoodle, we already had a system in place that could be adapted to these new circumstances. However, when RWTHmoodle fails in already turbulent times, good emergency management is required. We explained what this looks like at the IT Center in a blog post in December 2020.

Technical malfunctions or even outages are annoying, especially when they occur when the system is needed most. In June 2021, RWTHmoodle was down for a whole two days due to a serious database error. We have summarized how this happened and what measures were taken in the article “#moodletrouble² – The chronology of a malfunction”.

The know-how and experience of the Moodle community can also be used to solve technical problems. Solutions can often be found together by exchanging ideas with others.

The same applies to you users: If you encounter a problem, please contact your colleagues at the IT Service Desk.


What Happens Next

Since the start of regular operations, new plug-ins have been tested again and again, such as the “Margic” and “Wortwolke” plug-ins last winter semester 2023/24. In line with the numerous responses from the annual user surveys on RWTHmoodle, changes have also been made to make the learning and teaching experience easier for users and to improve user-friendliness. You may have noticed that you are now taken directly to the “My courses” page after logging in instead of the dashboard. The icons in the learning rooms have also become smaller and the width in which the content is displayed is also still being adjusted. The Opencast streaming server was also recently updated to a new version. This allows videos to be played again in the Safari browser and on the iPad.

An update to Moodle version 4.3 will follow in May 2024.

Together with the Center for Teaching and Learning Services (CLS), the IT Center is working to continuously improve RWTHmoodle and meet the needs of users.


Questions or Problems?

If you have any questions or problems, please take a look at the RWTHmoodle documentation on IT Center Help or contact the IT Service Desk.



Responsible for the content of this article are Verena Grouls and Linda Jörres.




[1] Moodle Statistics:, retrieved on 18.03.2024

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