Virtual classroom best practices: how famous schools and universities use ONLYOFFICE

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ONLYOFFICE solutions, both the online editors and the full-stack collaboration platform are widely used in Europe and beyond to build virtual classroom systems with document editing and collaboration, for students and teachers. We compiled a few notable use cases of how different universities organize collaboration in learning with ONLYOFFICE.

University of Nantes: ONLYOFFICE Docs + Nextcloud

University of Nantes is a large university and research center in Western France, located in the city of Nantes. It enrolls over 37,000 students distributed between 20 faculties and schools, and employs 3,900 staff members. Part of the university campus are also 43 research units and 44 laboratories.

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Such a vast system requires a collaboration environment of large scale, fault-tolerant and secure, to host and facilitate simultaneous document editing and work with data in distributed locations.

Since the adoption of several data protection regulations, including USA Patriot Act, CLOUD Act, and GDPR, University of Nantes had to look for an alternative to cloud-based G Suite and Microsoft 365. University’s IT team has developed own platform based on Nextcloud — UNCloud.

UNCloud provides and open-source self-hosted file storage and sharing functionality tailored to the needs of university’s staff and students, and ensures full compliance with data protection regulations standing before European universities.

ONLYOFFICE Docs integrated in the platform through Nextcloud integration scenario provides high compatibility with MS Office formats, versatile collaboration features, concurrent user pricing model, and a number of useful addons for academic tasks.

ONLYOFFICE Docs in Nextcloud

In higher education, Nextcloud-based integration of ONLYOFFICE Docs remains the most popular option. The solutions not only both provide the essential collaboration tools for learning and research, but also feature deep integration nurtured by years between the developer teams in close technological partnership.

Other universities delpoying ONLYOFFICE Docs with Nextcloud are Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, University of French Polynesia, IMT Atlantique School of Engineering, University of Lorraine, and North-West University.

Münster University: ONLYOFFICE Docs + sciebo (ownCloud)

Germany’s 3rd biggest university, Münster University, accommodates over 40,000 students and 5,000 employees. To support such a community, the university incorporates own IT center called ZIV (Zentrum für Informationsverarbeitung) in charge of university’s IT infrastructure.

Source: Münster University

ZIV created a collaboration platform called sciebo (short from “science box”) based on ownCloud which is currently used by hundreds of thousands of users in universities and research centers in North Rhine-Westphalia.

A benchmark for corporate and educational collaboration, ONLYOFFICE-ownCloud integration has proven itself as a reliable and secure collaborative combo in German schools and universities. Münster University employs ONLYOFFICE Docs in sciebo for all the same reasons: open source code, compliance with security regulations, all necessary editing and collaboration tools, and scalability.

ONLYOFFICE Docs in ownCloud

University of Grenoble Alpes: Alfresco, Chamilo and Moodle + ONLYOFFICE

University Grenoble Alpes (UGA) is a result of merger between three universities: the University Joseph Fourier (Grenoble 1), the University Pierre-Mendès-France (Grenoble 2), and the University Stendhal (Grenoble 3). Currently, it brings together 60,000 students and 7,500 staff members.

To fullfill the needs of so many users distributed among its campuses, the university simultaneously uses three different platforms — Alfresco, Chamilo, and Moodle.

Source: Grenoble IAE

The deployed ONLYOFFICE Docs in integration with all three platforms, each for its own purpose:

  • Alfresco is used for organizing work and collaboration among staff. UGA integrated ONLYOFFICE Docs into the Alfresco environment using the official integration app developed by ONLYOFFICE team.
  • Moodle, being one of the most popular learning management systems, is used for organizing courses and sharing documents among students. The university initially used the ONLYOFFICE Docs integration app developer by Logic Expertise, our technological partners. In 2022, ONLYOFFICE released its own official integration app for Moodle that allows editing editing OOXML files and collaborating on them in real time.
  • Chamilo integration app was created by university’s own Digital Technologies Service based on Moodle application. ONLYOFFICE integration helps teachers create and edit teaching materials, organize teamwork, compose and share research information, take notes, and organize scientific data. Later on, ONLYOFFICE team developed an official Chamilo connector.
ONLYOFFICE Docs in Chamilo

Over the course of COVID19 pandemic, ONLYOFFICE became one of the essential digital resources for remote teaching and collaboration in the university.

Institute of Biology of Lille: ONLYOFFICE Workspace

Institute of Biology of Lille (IBL) focuses on cancer research and basic studies in infection biology, the genetics of diabetes, and obesity. IBL employs ONLYOFFICE Workspace for its research units that consist of two joint scientific facilities, a multi-support unit, a startup, and 17 research teams.

Image source: IBL

The IT Resource Center of the institute opted for implementing a ful-stack collaborative system for the labs to organize all processes between the labs in the single cloud environment with project management and tracking, mail, file storage and sharing, and, most importantly, collaborative office suite.

Using ONLYOFFICE Workspace, IBL achieved secure sharing, editing, and collaboration on documents, access control and data security, seamless communication and collaboration between researchers, manufacturers and institutions.

Documents module of ONLYOFFICE Workspace
Gantt Chart in Projects module of ONLYOFFICE Workspace

Maximum compatibility with MS Office formats and ability to host the solution on private network are the primary advantages that convinced the university to migrate from G Suite and choose ONLYOFFICE Workspace as an alternative among other cloud collaboration suites.

Rennes Academy: ONLYOFFICE Docs + Toutatice

The Academy of Rennes in Brittany, France, uses its own platform, Toutatice, to sustain collaborative processes among teachers, students, administrative staff, and parents, with combined user base of over 200 000.

ONLYOFFICE Docs in Toutatice

Toutatice is based on free software and combines tools for productivity, digital resource organization, mail, feed, and other elements. ONLYOFFICE was chosen as a tool for editing and collaboration on texts, spreadsheets and presentations for Toutatice users on both administrative and academic levels for its easy-to-use editing, reviewing, and sharing features.

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