Hebrew University in Jerusalem Rector Tamir Sheafer on February 19 sent out an email to his entire staff, saying: “Recently we received complaints from students who had received messages regarding the legislative changes at the judicial system from their lecturers through the website of the Moodle website.”
Moodle is a free and open-source learning management system which is used for blended learning, distance education, flipped classroom, and other online learning projects in schools, universities, workplaces, and other sectors.
The rector asserted that “contact with students through Moodle is intended only for pedagogical purposes that are directly related to course content. It may not be used for other purposes, even if those appear very justified and important to the course lecturer.”
The students who complained about the misuse of the classroom program were affiliated with the Zionist Im Tirtzu movement.
Im Tirtzu CEO said: “We welcome any civic activity of a lecturer in his spare time. However, using an educational platform for the benefit of political coercion is wrong and contrary to the Council for Higher Education’s regulations. There is no reason why students––who are on the weaker side in the classroom, compared to the lecturer who enjoys complete control of the platform and earns his salary from public funds––should have to put up with political coercion and the brazen use of an educational platform. We applaud the Rector who clarified this. We will continue to take care of the freedom of expression of lecturers and students, within a legal framework and in accordance with the regulations.”