Royal Institute of Management (RIM). These systems, Google Apps for Education and Moodle LMS, bring RIM to the forefront of educational technologies, on par with leading universities in the world.
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During the project's three months we conducted 24 visits to RIM, which included training as well as technical sessions and informal discussions. RIM’s Google Apps for Education enables a variety of core office functionalities such as institute email and calendars, hosted securely and reliably “in the cloud”, on Google’s servers. By using these services, the risks of local power cuts, software and hardware failure, and Internet security threats are virtually eliminated. The Google suite also includes functionalities such as an unlimited number of online documents, spreadsheets, and presentations which allow collaborative writing and easy sharing. Such tools are invaluable for collaborative research, for active learning, and for more efficient academic administration.
RIM’s Moodle LMS is tailored to the structure of programs and courses at RIM. It is hosted securely at a reputable hosting service, thereby providing the necessary 24x7 availability to instructors, trainees, and program assistants. Integrating the use of an LMS into RIM’s on-ground programs can improve learning, improve the quality and freshness of teaching materials, reduce the amount of printing and paper, improve collaborations between trainees, and provide a platform for communication beyond the classroom. RIM’s Moodle LMS can also serve in the future to connect instructors and trainees (as well as outside lecturers and students) who are not physically located in the same place.
The two IT systems provide enabling technologies which can drastically improve the academic capabilities of RIM. In addition to the technical implementation, we also put a strong emphasis on the pedagogical aspect, since one cannot function without the other.
We collaborated with staff and faculty to understand their needs, obtain their feedback, and to give them hands-on experience using the core functionalities of Google Apps and Moodle LMS. These systems can and should profoundly change the way RIM works and functions. They can help make RIM a leader in Bhutan’s education and research sphere by supporting the creation, sharing and dissemination of knowledge and information. In order to assure integration of the systems into RIM’s environment, it is important to set policies regarding training of faculty, staff, and trainees; ongoing maintenance of the systems and their availability; administrative roles and procedures; and ongoing usage of the systems by instructors and trainees.
RIM will soon celebrate its Silver Jubilee anniversary. These systems enable RIM to march forward in the next 25 years. We hope that RIM will take advantage and benefit from these technologies.