This post will feature my notes from the third and final day of Moodle Moot 2012, on the beautiful Gold Coast of Queensland. As always, I’ll be notetaking fairly furiously, so if I include something in error – or miss it outright – please leave a correction or amendment in the comments area.
Before I get started though, I want to say what a tremendous pleasure it was to attend this year’s Moot. It was my very first one and I couldn’t have been luckier. The speakers and presentations were all fantastic, the food was just gorgeous, and the social interaction was both entertaining and highly inspiring.
My gratitude and appreciation goes out to everyone who had a hand in organising the conference. It must have been a massive undertaking, but the extent of your efforts was undeniable.
9:00 to 9:25 Moodle in a language learning context
Neil McRudden, Embassy CES
- Moodle includes Macmillan Dictionary; acts as dictionary and pronunciation guide
Every unit features sub-sections to facilitate the following (each containing a series of resources:
- Watch – videos and other visual materials
- Listen – audio recordings on specific topics
- Read – articles and other supplemental material
- Write – activities covering the unit
Practice: Self-tests using drag and drop fill in the blank questions. Series of sentences with blanks, drag the correct term to the blank. Plays sounds for correct and incorrect answers.
Create: includes a tool for producing animated videos covering the unit topic.
Reference: Dvolver (http://www.dvolver.com/moviemaker/make.html) – online animation creation tool
- Select background scene
- Create characters
- Assign dialogue to each character
- Select Background Music
- Assign the video a title
- Preview the Video
Once created, students can have link to video sent to their email address to share with other students.
Q1: [Didn't hear question]
A1: If we are going to use them for assessment we make that clear. Don’t do all activities every week; would be too much. Encourage forums, but forum participation doesn’t count towards final mark.
9:30 – 9:55: Teaching using the Participation Discussion Forum
Brant Knutzen, University of Hong Kong
Speaker Asks: How many are disappointed with the level of engagement students have with the forum? [Quite a few hands go up]
Using Moodle since 2005; developed methodology over that time of how to effectively use the forum tool.
- Social Constructivism
- Building engagement
- Assessment methods
- Participation rating
- Measuring engagement
CMC: Computer-mediated Conferencing (nb: also communication)
- Synchronous: chat, IM
- Asynchronous: forums
Aim to maximise collaboration amongst students.
Social Constructivism – knowledge product of group; efficacy linked to process; social negotiation of knowledge
Cites John Biggs, 1999
- Participants respond to and build on each others contributors
- Peer exchange of info
- Social negotiation of knowledge
How can we formulate instructional design conditions which result in more productive and transactive learning
Online forum great learning activity; highest potential for social construction of knowledge and transactive collaboration; also most likely to fail
- Small groups (only in chats; not in forums)
- Class time to initiate dialogue
- Set open-ended, challenging topic questions
- Assessment system that reinforces production and peer interaction
Leave space for students to communicate; don’t constantly jump in, else risk of stifling conversation
Objective of multiple questions
- Make discussions accessible to all students
- Challenge the advanced students
- Concrete facts >> abstract concepts
- Textbook context >> Personal reflections
Speaker Question to Audience: Should a discussion be a summative activity?
- Audience: Perhaps ask students to write a reflection of the outcomes from the forum
- Speaker doesn’t think forums make good summative grades.
Problems with teacher assessment
- Teacher can become a victim of their own success – high volume of posts to review
Peer assessment – Possible Problems:
- Revenge Grading – if you mark me low, I’ll mark you low
- Back-scratching – if you grade me high, I’ll grade you high
Possible Solutions - Automate the rating based on participation – no subjective judgement, just using a systematic method; rating based on participation.
BUT, participation alone isn’t enough. Need to consider constructive alignment between formative discussions and summative final assignments
- Reflective blog posts
- Group collaboration
- Constructive Alignment
- Situative: sense of social obligation
- Quantified Participation (NB: expand on this)
Q1: [NB: My paraphrase] How should teachers manage forums? Can you set them and forget them?
A1: Just like a F2F discussion, you wouldn’t set a topic and leave the room; the quality would plummet. But you don’t want to respond to every post either. It’s a matter of finding a common medium so students know you’re paying attention.
10:00 to 10:25: Digital education: challenges and opportunities, an African perspective
Eudes K Tshitshonu, Vaal University of Technology (TBC)
- Connecting with rural communities – school materials/books failing to reach remote areas; inaccessible roads, lack of school infrastructure
- Related strongly to ABC Open’s segment on “Africa is Crying”
- Unconventional sequence – contemporary African kids frequently unfamiliar with landlines; only mobile phones / cellular telephones
- Mobile technology requires minimal infrastructure / buildings to leverage
Demo’ing Moodle site over iPad
- Classes offered in different groups
- Social construction: students reported problems with assessment (“too hard”); speaker discovered the next day another student solved the question and posted the solution for the other’s to see
- Leaves space for students to help each other but posts when clarification is required
- Course includes multiple choice assessments to help students practice mathematics; also calculated questions and short answer;
- Frame questions so that students have to make an attempt before they are shown the correct answer;
- Uses annotation tool on the iPad to provide feedback on student assessment
“I’ve seen institution investing millions in smart boards, but the iPad is my smart board. No need to print; students and teachers can both read electronically.”
Q1: Who are your students, where are they located?
A1: Using this as a blended learning mode; online elements are designed for use outside of normal class hours.
Q2: Digital dispensation. Is there some kind of program
A2: At this point not yet. HOpeful that local NGO’s will help.
Q3: What support are students getting?
A3: During session students have access to computer labs; out of session can be problematic as we have no control over their local conditions.
11:00 – 12:00: Keynote: Moving Beyond “No Significant Difference”: Mobile learning as a catalyst for pedagogical change
Presentation notes: http://bitly/mLrnPrz
Opens with video clip on The Big Bang Theory about Siri; using Air Server to broadcast iPhone to projector
Discussing the nature of mobile devices. Citing example of mobile bratwurst vendor in Berlin.
Mobile phones are crucial to young people; represents their connectivity.
Polling room: What type of phone do you have – iPhone and Android overwhelming leaders
Discussing Christchurch after earthquake. Rather than send in people to check for survivors, bought $400 mobile helicopter with cameras enabled, flew it into decapitated buildings to check; iPad used to steer; much safer.
This post will contain all of my notes and thoughts from Day Two of the Moodle Moot 2012 Conference. As before, I will be typing frantically throughout much of the day, so if I overlook something important or include any information in error, please post corrections or amendments in the comments area.
Morning Session to Tea
Connecting with the Staff Learning Community at ABC
Elisabeth Ellis, Manager of Learning Projects at the ABC.
ABC’s Moodle Environment is known as ABC Connect.
Will be looking internal staff development in ABC as well as their Moodle site. Presenting it as a case study.
Asking different sectors to stand up; lots from TAFE; lots from University; relatively few from industry; more from “other”
Got everyone doing a “Mexican Wave.” It was amazingly well received considering the time of day.
Asks how we connect learners as a learning community. Learners approach eLearning in different ways.
“What kind of wave are we riding?” Rough and strong like a tsunami; or placid and calm like ankle breakers.
ABC using Moodle 2.2; soon going to 2.3 and later adding mobile learn. ”Starting somewhat small;” have had technical challenges getting Moodle to work with IE.
Experimenting with a range of the tools that Moodle provides; different topic formats; want WebEX integration. Trying out conditional release as well as different types of courses.
What Type of Learner Wave / Who are our learners
Audience at ABC consumes content in many different ways; same with learners.
5,000 staff. Myriad of job roles; camera operators; radio recorders; journalists; technical services, hairdressers; truck drivers; retail staff; content making roles. Huge range of skill-sets that they need to cover.
Also different employment arrangements: Casual staff, contract staff
Locational: Regional Australia, Rural Australia, International
Mix of very tech advance staff through to complete technophobes and non adept; some people work exclusively in field, no computer at all. Getting them to engage with eLearning can be a challenge.
Staff Expectations: some have high expectations of the online experience
Three different profiles on learners
- Autonomous Leaners – very savy; connect via social networking; no disconnect between home and work; 24/7 learners
- Busy Staff – attached to smart phones; connect via mobile; use traditional learning to a small degree, but need it short, sharp and to the point
- Traditional Learners – classroom based; face to face; workshop
- Learning Content
- eLearning Skills
- Hearts and Minds – getting them excited about the journey
- Set up champions; SME technical trainer and Moodle Champion.
- Subtle introduction through face to face courses.
- eFacilitation courses to create more champions
- Getting management support has been a challenge
- Question of return on investment (ROI); “what’s in it for me” for managers
- Staff constantly time poor
- Face this regardless of F2F or Online;
- Need “skill pills”
- Have to go into Moodle and do pre-work before you go to WebEX sessions
- All about networks, teamwork, influence
- Provide training to SME’s
- Building Communities of Practice
- Re-version content for different content (e.g. editorial policies – generic, radio, TV, online); content serves different purposes. Moodle allows for access to examples
- Many staff accessing programs via iPhones, social networking
- Still need to help some staff developing skills
- Moving from self-paced to community engaged online learning is a challenge
Looking at external strategies to connect outside of the organisation
Working in Indigenous Media; producer and video journalist
Open is about more than putting content on the ABC. It’s about engaging with community and using skills.
What is ABC open?
New Project – 2 years old; Produce local contributions from local community
45 producers around Australia. Open producer in almost every regional station around the country. No open producers in capital cities; project set up to share stories from regional areas.
Ways regional residence interact with online media will change.
ABC Open is project driven. Anyone in the country can get involved. Examples:
- Photo project – Snapped: Winter
- Sport project – 110% (Short videos about people who are 110% into sport)
- Now And Then: Sharing photos of a location in past and present
Aftermath: Disaster, Resilience & Recovery
Capturing aftermath / experiences with disasters, like QLD floods, fires. Helped with healing process. ”Having ABC Open involved was like part of his healing process.” Human Element.
Sharing content with local radio stations, News24, ABC1, national radio programs. Each night there is a small segment on News24 that features a contribution from ABC Open.
Working with high schools, TAFE’s, and universities. Working with Bond University in Broadcast Journalism (NB: need to verify course).
- 110% Project - http://open.abc.net.au/projects/110-09kk3ol#/discover
- DreamBox: http://open.abc.net.au/projects/dreambox-41gz2pv#/discover
ABC Open Tutorials [[NB: Locate link for this]]
Q1: How have users engaged with Moodle?
A1: Early adopters take to it quickly; but may have had existing experience with it. Others have a great deal of trouble finding their way around. So there is a range of capabilities in staff that needs to be addressed in the design.
All just-in-time learning. Need to get content out really quickly; changes happen quickly.
Balancing act between getting content up quickly and developing high quality content.
Q2: What strategies did you use to target staff who didn’t want to learn via eLearning?
A2: That’s our challenge. We’re using a number of strategies. Example:
- Train the trainer is face to face but incorporated online resources.
- Interacting through forums
- OHS – Managers are key to ensure learners are key. Personal risk assessment is one method. They have to do it; so they engage. Initial bugs, but now a seamless experience
Q3: Do you use any other online platforms than video tutorials once you’ve been into communities for follow up.
A3: Skype, email. Looking at other strategies for follow up.
[[End of Morning Session]]
11:00 to 11:25 – Migrating offline Pedagogy into the online classroom
Julian Ridden, Pukunui Technology
What is Pedagogy?
- Important, but too frequently used as little more than a buzzword.
Why doest online learning fail?
- Connected learning often occurs disconnected learners.
Point One: The room you’re in matters
- 1960′s school system intentionally modelled on prison system
- “A student who is oppressed is easier to teach”
- Current example in NZ: largely open; all walls have a white board
- A good teacher struggles in a bad classroom; same applies online
- Style guidelines not built for eLearning, but frequently used to justify visual style on online learning sites
- Walls of Text versus Icon-based navigation
- “Just because a course is standards based doesn’t mean it should be taught in a standard way”
Point Two: Reconnecting your users
- “A forum does not a social classroom make”
- “Online learning often fails because the users are disconnected”
- We don’t stop all classroom discussion because someone might say something; same idea should apply online
- One of the best resources in online learning is the students themselves
- Have students engages with the content by engaging with each other
- PLNs and PLEs
- Inbuilt connectedness in a classroom environment; content comes from many directions in a classroom
- Comparing Facbook functionality with Moodle Tools: Glossaries, Wiki’s , Chatrooms, Galleries, Blogs, Forums
- Successful online learning includes ways to Connect, Collaborate, Contribute
- eLearning is a different style of delivery, it is not a different style of learning
- People enjoy video games because their creators put engagement before anything else
- eLearning authors often put engagement a distant second to academic rigour
- The key to using any technology effectively is underpinning it with the right pedagogy
- For most of us here, our online learning system is a repository
- Linear flow versus Adaptive flow; adaptive release and scaffolding
- Use adaptive release to identify certain levels of capability and direct them towards custom resources or assessments that are designed for them.
- Key to all of this to me is in F2F classrooms engagement first, knowledge second
- Can engage students through each other.
Q1: How do we get students talking to each other?
A1: How we get students talk to each other depends on us setting effective tasks. Asking the right question. Icebreaker forums; create tasks that make them want to talk to each other and want to engage.
Q2: What do you think about “Mandatory Engagement?”
A2: How you do it depends on the cohort, and the content.
11:30 – 11:55 – Collaborative e-assessment using the Workshop module
Melanie Worrall and Tony Stone, ASC Training & Development
Format: Background Context, Story, Live in Course
- eAssessment guidelines for assessment released – how we assess in VET sector
- Lots of peer delivery, little peer assessment;
- Identified peer assessment as something they want to look at
- Moodle Workshop module great way to do this
Story About Project
- ASC Training and Development, Adelaide
- Cert IV in Frontline Management
- Not much work had been done in Peer Assessment
- Target group of 11 Pharmacists to undertake the learning program
Project involves 3 levels of learning
- Team Development Skills
- Using Online Technology
- Peer Assessment
Blended Apporach combining
- 1 Full Day F2F workshop
- Online activities including
- Discussion Forums – proved very popular
- Team Survey – using Google Docs
- Assessment tasks, one involving Peer Assessment using Moodle Workshop
Peer Assessment Activity – Team Improvement Project
- Participants complet a Team Climate Survey (Self and work team)
- Identify area for improvement and develop Action Plan
- Upload Action Plan in Moodle Workshop 1
- Peers In Learner Group review and post comment, based on agreed criteria
- Projects implemented in workplaces
- Project outcomes (Final Report) posted in Moodle Workshop 2
- Final peer assessment against agreed criteria
- Personal learnings posted in Forum
- Assessor panel validation
Spent a lot of time making sure the language used was accessible to students. Questions framed as Yes or No (e.g. Was this element present? Y or N)
1 student assessed 2 other students.
Challenges to date
- Attracting participants and keeping them motivated and on task
- The group has reduced from 11 to 7 owing to:
- 2 withdrew citing work pressure
- 2 have moved pharmacy
- Technology glitches
- Moodle Workshop “switching” from one phase to the next, e.g. From Submission to Assessment Phase
Learnings to Date
- Forums were a big hit
- Formative Assessment helped learners understand their own Action Plan strengths/deficits
- [Missed this]
- [Missed this]
- [Missed this]
12:00 – 12:25 – Plug me in!
Grazia Scotellaro, Australian National University
Notes and Resources: http://moodleposium.wikispaces.com
- Not a programmer or techy
- Job is to enthuse academics to incorporate technology into their teaching
- Formerly Italian Lecturer
- Focus today is using tech to teach in languages; aim is to make things easier
- Resources, widgets that can be plugged in easily to your Moodle site
Spoke to year 11 and 12 students to identify usability needs.
- Make it more like Facebook
- Not boring like the stuff in our school
- Developed prototypes and got students to vote.
Students get used to hearing the way their teacher speaks; grow accustomed to it. Allowing for different speakers helps acclimate them to different speaking styles.
Reference: Socrative (http://www.socrative.com/) – free polling tool that can be embedded in Moodle. (Limit of 50 concurrent users). Really easy to use as a student, and adds a nice dynamic, participatory element to a course.
Reference: Twiddla (http://www.twiddla.com/) – free collaborative whiteboard tool that can be embedded in Moodle.
Reference: Voki (http://www.voki.com/) Speaking avatar tool. Speaker indicated the avatar spoke in perfect Italian.
13:30 – 13:55 – eDesign: An authentic online learning course using Moodle together with an open companion website
Jenni Parker, Murdoch University
Speaker begins: Imagine you live in a regional country area; studied your entire degree online; never spoke to a single student or instructor. Finally in the last year you get to try an online system in your last year. How would you feel?
We’ve known for a long time that students learn better when involved with others. So why are most uni courses little more than dumping grounds. Found instructors wanted to change things, but lacked skills to do this online; weren’t comfortable with the technology; time was an issue; lack of encouragement and recognition of good quality teaching.
Goal of Thesis was to identify a real world learning approach; assess its effectiveness; and, if successful, develop guidelines for others. Initial approach tested via two courses.
Students becoming creators of the content. Needed restraint on part of instructor to avoid dumping too much content online.
Questions to Audience:
Q1: Why did you come to this session? What is of interest to you.
A1: (from Audience) Learning/educational design, course design; get away from technology and examine L&T practice.
Research Website: http://www.elearnopen.info
- Course examples
- Published papers
- Links to presentations
Moodle site: http://www.elearnopen.info/courses
- Used two-column layout; felt three-column was too busy
- Included orientation video for Moodle to help new users acclimate to the site
- Students asked to join eDesign Docs (Diigo, Google Docs, Skype) to encourage network development
- Most items point to external services; Moodle acting as portal rather than destination/endpoint
- No synchronous communication; all asynchronous, though some one-on-one Skype conversations do occur.
- Authentic eDesign – felt everything can be open except confidential information, such as marks
- Sharing much of her content under Creative Commons
Task Design – Students asked to:
- Read background reading materials
- Complete the task
- Post a reflection on the task
14:00 to 14:25 – Integrating the Mahara Portfolio with Moodle 2
Julian Ridden, Pukunui Technology
Not a technical discussion; it’s about what integration means.
Reflective Learning Practice
Moodle is an LMS; LMS are teacher centred. Yes Moodle is constructivist, but the reality is it’s teacher centre; focused on our materials as teachers, and what we want students to do. Delivery of learning resources and publishing of activities. Moodle is built by educators.
Mahara is an open source tool designed for portfolio for users – not just students. Teachers, administrators, and managers use portfolios as well. Portfolio is student centred.
Mahara facilitates bringing the students digital life together.
Porfolio often fails because the processes are disconnected. Needs to be completely integrated with elearning process. Integration is not just single sign on.
- Belongs to the whole class
- Teacher decides on layout
- Teacher decides on target
- Teacher decides on content
- Feedback by teacher
- Teacher fixes deadlines on assignments
- Belongs to the student
- Student decides on layout
- Student decides on target
- Student decides on content
- Feedback by student + teacher
- Student decides when to share
Integration improves use an keeps relevance
- Single sign on is the first stage of integration
- Anything a student creates in Moodle can be exported to Mahara – including Forum posts they create
- Portfolio is not where assessment takes place; it happens in Moodle.
14:30 – 14:55: Extending Moodle using Collaborate
Kim Edgar, NetSpot
- Moodle collaboration
- What is Collaborate
- Integration between Moodle and Collaborate
- Live demo
Chat is the only real synchronous communication tool in Moodle.
- Real time collaboration
- Virtual classroom
Collaborate similar to Elluminate; has other functions built in as well. Bb Collaborate 12 has mobile features built in.
Creating new Collaborate session
- Add an Activity >> Blackboard Collaborate Session
- Prompted to provide session details: name, time, description, session begins, session ends, automatic recording (yes or no), Max. talkers, etc
- Event added to page based on configuration settings
[[Mental note: need to contemplate use cases that are applicable to a largely F2F institution]]
Blackboard Collaborate Mobile
- Fits within mobile screen; simple navigation/menu for tablets
- Echo cancellation
Q1: Does Collaborate require any client-side software to run?
A1: Yes, during the initial login a check is run and a small Java program (applet maybe?) is installed. May have implications for IT restrictions (e.g. SOE).