A scalable solution for IMU, to increase Moodle performance during the pandemic

By  Jonathan Mathew

International Medical University Malaysia (IMU) trains tomorrow’s doctors and other medical professionals to deal with unexpected situations. As such, the university is well placed to cope with any emergency. The arrival of Covid-19 in early 2020 proved to be a testing time for everyone, and the university approached Pukunui to help them deal with a peculiar non-medical issue. 

As the strict Movement Control Order came into full effect, universities up and down the country were forced to put much more of their teaching online. Luckily, having been a client of Pukunui since 2016, IMU already had a Moodle online learning system in place. However, a sudden surge in demand for access meant that their server capacity was in danger of being overloaded. This could have severely disrupted learning even more than it already was. 

Pukunui developers managed to intervene quickly and increase capacity and increase moodle performance within a matter of hours. We were able configure the load-balanced server to replicate itself whenever there was a big surge in demand. This turned out to be the perfect solution, as IMU only had to pay for the additional server capacity when needed, and the extra hardware was automatically de-activated when not in use. Importantly, the whole server upgrade process was automated, so there was no need to wait for manual intervention. Additional web servers were up, running and ready to share the load within seconds of activation. 

The result was that IMU could easily transfer as much learning as they needed onto the online system, keeping disruption to a minimum and allowing students to continue their studies during lockdown. There was no downtime, and the server maintained its reliability throughout the health crisis. Thus, Pukunui successfully built a robust, scalable solution for IMU to increase Moodle performance.

A long-term relationship

Over the years, Pukunui has helped IMU develop a dynamic and highly interactive online learning platform, using Moodle. At every stage, we have sought to increase Moodle performance and improve the quality of the online education experience. For example:

  • We advised on best practice discussion forums, that students and lecturers use regularly to share learning and experiences.
  • We also integrated Mahara – an open-source web system that allows students to customise and share e-portfolios to display their achievements and learnings to a wider audience.
  • Students across IMU need to access a variety of platforms and discussion forums. Having separate logins and passwords for each facility would be cumbersome and inefficient, so we created a single sign-on experience. Now, students only need one login and password to access any system at IMU.
  • Finally, we built a seamless monitoring dashboard. This allows the IT department to monitor output and performance of their online learning systems at any time. 

We are proud to have an ongoing relationship with IMU and it doesn’t stop at technical support. In 2020, we were asked to present at the university’s annual Learning Resource Festival which, appropriately for the year of the pandemic, took place entirely online. 

As the pandemic slowly recedes into memory, IMU will continue to have a robust, scalable and reliable online learning system in place. Pukunui is ready to build more integrations to further enhance the learning experience for students and instructors alike, especially when the next unexpected situation occurs!

If your organisation would like to create an e-learning platform using Moodle or simply streamline and unify existing content, contact Pukunui for a consultation. Learn more about Pukunui here

Jonathan Mathew

Jonathan specialises in inbound sales, business operations, and account management. He joined Pukunui’s Malaysia office in 2020, building on his considerable management experience from companies based in the UK and India.

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