Leading Bulgarian university embraces a new way of providing digital education
One of the top education institutions in Bulgaria, the Medical University of Plovdiv, inspires more than 6,800 students annually to become healthcare professionals. Through its partnership with 800-plus distinguished lecturers—more than 400 of whom have doctorate degrees—the university aims to equip its students with the knowledge they need to improve human lives worldwide.
Aware of the benefits that new technologies could provide and the need to create a seamless digital ecosystem for education, the Medical University of Plovdiv started to search for a solution to address the following challenges:
- To improve the efficiency of the interaction between the university units, the lecturers and the students.
- To provide a flexible learning process.
- To establish innovative teaching methods.
- To increase the students’ engagement when outside the classroom by providing a seamless learning experience.
- To support the students with technology throughout the entire learning journey.
- To facilitate the application and assessment process of international students.
- To setup an e-learning platform with the ability to auto-scale when stressed.
In 2018, the Medical University of Plovdiv engaged with Telelink Business Services (TBS) to begin its digital transformation, deploying a Moodle-based learning management system hosted on Microsoft Azure and integrated with Microsoft 365. The main goal of implementing the solution was to enhance the learning experience and create a platform for both exams and educational content that could autoscale to meet the demand.
As part of the project, TBS undertook an assessment of the university’s environment to ensure the proper installation and configuration of the Moodle app. The team also configured Azure Web Services and Azure Database for MySQL.
- Online learning management system Moodle
- Microsoft Azure
- Azure Web Services
- Azure Database for MySQL
- Microsoft 365
- Perform initial assessment of the technical environment, requirements and limitation to ensure proper installation and configuration of Moodle application.
- Create a design based on the requirements and Moodle best practices.
- Configure Moodle deployment and the cloud resources. Configure Azure Web Services and MySQL database for high availability and auto-scale with two-tier infrastructure and load-balancing techniques. Integrate Moodle with Microsoft 365.
The deployment of Moodle on Azure and its integration with Microsoft 365 tools—including Teams, SharePoint, Forms — empowered the university to provide both synchronous and asynchronous collaboration among employees, lecturers, and students, a key capability during the current COVID-19 pandemic. While many other organizations have struggled, the university quickly shifted to online classes and kept its community connected.
MicrosoftTeams helped professors to proceed with their weekly schedules remotely and work collaboratively. Students were able to attend classes, share resources, and interact without physically being together.
“Microsoft Office 365 gives us the environment and tools to keep up our specific dental education in the global coronavirus pandemic and even speeds up the digital transformation of the university education.”– Prof. Neshka Manchorova MDM, PhD, Head of Department of Operative Dentistry and Endodontics, Medical University – Plovdiv
With Microsoft SharePoint, the university managed to provide a repository where all students can access the lectures and high-quality learning resources regardless of their location.
The adoption of Power Automate, Microsoft Forms and SharePoint enabled the university to automate the accountability of the educational process and equip the management team with the right tools to track lecturers’ workloads and learning schedule.
“The lockdown did not interrupt the management of the college, thanks to Microsoft Teams. It not only allowed meetings to go on but also enabled document-sharing and timely feedback, all in one app.” – Nina Koleva, Deputy Director of Medical College, Medical University – Plovdiv
Through its Moodle learning management system—developed by Telelink Business Services and leveraging the capabilities of Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365, especially Teams—the university managed to provided first-class medical education and empower a thriving international community of digitally connected students.
This case study is also featured on Microsoft’s Customer Stories website: Microsoft Customer Story-Leading Bulgarian university embraces a new way of providing digital education