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Atenea UPC

The biggest on-line campus in Spain

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Challenge

In 2004 the Senate of the UPC set up a commission to review the existing on-line campus, which was technologically obsolete. A step forward needed to be taken to adapt it to teaching and administrative requirements, make it more usable and increase its compatibility with the other UPC information systems. Above all, it had to adapt to the European Higher Education Area and to the new undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

UPCnet was chosen to take charge of the installation, operation and maintenance of the on-line campus, as the staff are familiar at first hand with the UPC and its internal operation. While UPCnet leads the technology aspect of ATENEA, ICE (the UPC’s education department) is responsible for the organisational and functional aspects. Other parties involved include the UPC’s teaching and research staff and its students.

 A Steering Committee (Vice President, Coordinator Computing, a UPCnet ICE) and a Monitoring Committee (ICE UPCnet, Coordinator of Computing), and a team working (and UPCnet ICE) was created. There a network of facilitators and network managers to go to solve problems and seeking solutions to every day.

The difficulties to be overcome included the non-existence of standards for Moodle in Spain and Europe and the lack of models in the world supporting the concurrency required at the UPC.

Results

ATENEA is the current education virtual campus of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. With a functional design made from the contributions of teachers and the basic units of UPC, it is based around open source Moodle an it has had a successful deployment of 35,000 students and 3,500 teachers. In operation since the 2005-2006 academic year, has experienced a sustained growth of 20% over 6 years.

ATENEA gestiona 8.000 aules cada curs acadèmic i serveix més de 30 milions de planes mensuals. A més, és un dels primers serveis 24x7 de la UPC, amb un rendiment excel·lent.Moreover, it is one of the first 24/7 services at the UPC. Its performance is excellent.