Migrating to Moodle: Lessons Learned from Recent CSU Migrations


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In this presentation from the US West Coast Moodle Moot 2011, leaders from California State University that have recently migrated to Moodle discuss their campus decision-making process, the processes and technologies used to migrate content, and their process of implementation. The speakers represent campuses migrating from both Blackboard and WebCT, and a mix of small and large FTE campuses. Activities that benefited from multi-campus coordination and resource sharing are also be discussed.

David Levin, CSU Northridge
Barbara Taylor, CSU San Marcos
Moderator: John Whitmer, CSU Office of the Chancellor

Published in: Education, Technology
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  • 2 reasons to switch Looking at substanital change from WebCT CE 6 to BB 9 Tremendous budget reduction to the CSU Process for making the decision: CIO formed a team consisting of database admins, server admins, programmers, and instructional developers. Each group formed a team to investigate what was needed to get Moodle up and running. We setup a server, recruited faculty to be a part of a pilot, and ran the pilot parallel with WebCT in Spring 2010. Faculty in the pilot liked Moodle, found it more intuitive, and more flexible than WebCT.
  • Tools: We couldn’t find any tools that allowed for the conversion of material from WebCT CE 6 to Moodle 1.9 Now what? What do we really need from WebCT? With ~1500 course to migrate, and only 3 instructional developers, it was not feasible to migrate courses manually. Determined what we really needed to have migrated (if it was possible to pull anything from WebCT & put it into Moodle) List was revised a couple of times. Initial list: Files – thought was we could reorganize material Revised list: Learning Modules, Folders, Discussions, Links, Quizzes Our awesome and amazing programmers (along with our database administrator) found APIs and wrote scripts that enabled us to pull out everything we needed (except quizzes) and migrate it to Moodle. We used Respondus to migrate quizzes/exams.
  • Developed a website for instructor Showed them a list of course containers they had going back 3 years. They could choose to convert just files or their entire course. We reviewed the list to be sure that at least one copy of every course an instructor had used in the past 3 years was migrated. Website for conversions We had a site that we could choose the year, the subject and the course to convert. We started out with one course at a time and then slowly started adding more courses. We would receive either a “successful conversion” message or an “error” message. Converted 50 courses We converted about 50 courses and then went through a quality assurance testing process to be sure the material had migrated in a way that was similar to how the original course looked. If it failed the conversion we went back to the programmers and they tweaked the script. We then ran another sample of about 150 courses and went through the quality assurance testing process again. Once we were convinced it was as good as we could get it we started the process of migrating the rest of the courses.
  • Overall our process went pretty smooth. We attacked this project with enthusiasm. During the development process we met weekly as a complete team. Small groups met on an as needed basis.
  • Migrating to Moodle: Lessons Learned from Recent CSU Migrations

    1. 1. Migrating to Moodle: Lessons Learned from Recent CSU Migrations Presenters Barbara Taylor, CSU San Marcos David Levin, CSU Northridge Facilitator: John Whitmer, CSU Office of the Chancellor
    2. 2. CSU San Marcos <ul><li>Barbara Taylor, MS., MA </li></ul><ul><li>Instructional Developer </li></ul><ul><li>Instruction and Information Technology Services </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
    3. 3. Campus Environment <ul><li>Centralized Technology </li></ul><ul><li>FTE students – 9722 (Fall 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>Full-time faculty: 230 (Fall 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>Instructors using Moodle: 524 (Spring 2011) </li></ul>
    4. 4. How CSUSM Uses Moodle <ul><li>Academic Courses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create containers for all courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spring 2010: 2086 created </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>~1200 actually were used </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fall 2011: 1736 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-academic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Departments, Committees, Campus Organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>138 containers </li></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. CSUSM Switch to Moodle <ul><li>What lead to switching from WebCT to Moodle? </li></ul><ul><li>Process for making the decision </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compare process of converting to Moodle/BB </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CIO formed a team to evaluate Moodle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Database admin </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Server admin </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Programmers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional Developers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty Pilot (Spring 2010) </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Timeline <ul><li>Decision to move to Moodle: October, 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Actual migration: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Courses: 2.5 weeks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessments: 3 weeks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pilot: Spring 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Fully Live: Summer 2010 </li></ul>
    7. 7. Migration From WebCT 6 to Moodle <ul><li>Tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>None for WebCT CE 6 to Moodle 1.9 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Now what? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What did we really need from WebCT? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Determined we needed all files, Learning Modules, Folders, Discussions, Links, Glossary, Assessments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Video extracted to be streamed in Mediasite </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Didn’t need student data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What can we put together to migrate material? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>APIs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Respondus </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Migration Process <ul><li>Developed a website for instructors </li></ul><ul><li>Website for conversions </li></ul><ul><li>Converted about 50 courses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality assurance for course </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tweaked script </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Converted ~150 courses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality assurance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything was as good as we could get it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Begin converting newest version of each course for all instructors going back 6 semesters </li></ul>
    9. 9. Finished Conversion <ul><li>Timeline </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Approximately 2.5 weeks to complete conversion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Statistics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Migrated ~1800+ with less than 100 errors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Courses with video: 171 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Courses with assessments: 391 </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Team approach is critical </li></ul><ul><li>Create a project plan – realize it will change throughout the process – be flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Training is vital to success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Database admin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Server admin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional Developers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Communicate, Communicate, Communicate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep everyone on the team updated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inform instructors on how to pull out student data they might want later (ie: assignments, DB) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Test, test, test before moving to production </li></ul>
    12. 12. CSU Northridge <ul><li>David Levin, Ph.D. </li></ul><ul><li>Senior Director of Academic Technology </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
    13. 13. CSUN Campus Overview <ul><li>Third largest California State University campus </li></ul><ul><li>Almost 36,000 students </li></ul><ul><li>Large commuter population </li></ul><ul><li>Over 2000 faculty members </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Approximately 50% part-time Lecturers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instruction six days a week </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classes from 6:30 AM – 10:00 PM </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. CSUN Migration Timeline <ul><li>Pre-Moodle LMSs – WebCT and Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>July 2008-June 2009 – Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>June 2009 – Selection of Moodle and decision to host with Moodlerooms </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2009 – Build environment, begin migration of content, begin training </li></ul><ul><li>Fall 2009 – Spring 2010 – Run both Moodle and WebCT in production; complete migration of course content </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 2010 – 100% Moodle </li></ul>
    15. 15. Some Migration and Implementation Details <ul><li>2545 WebCT courses migrated to Moodle </li></ul><ul><li>Create Moodle shell for all courses </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated Elluminate, Respondus, TurnItIn, ASCIIMathML </li></ul><ul><li>1668 courses using Moodle in Spring 2011 (35%) </li></ul>
    16. 16. Lesson One: Planning <ul><li>Team Approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authentication team </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student Information systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moodlerooms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Project management </li></ul><ul><li>Weekly meetings and reporting </li></ul>
    17. 17. Lesson Two: Communication <ul><li>Early and often </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to your users – students as well as faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Keep faculty informed of upcoming dates </li></ul><ul><li>The fact that you said it does not imply that it has been heard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Although we have been telling faculty for two years that WebCT would not be available after June 30, 2011 we had a faculty member turn up last week asking for access to a WebCT course. </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Lesson Three: Open Source <ul><li>Licensing fee versus added support cost </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor support versus community support </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility and supportability </li></ul>
    19. 19. Lesson Four: Collaboration <ul><li>Major key to our success </li></ul><ul><li>Within our university </li></ul><ul><li>Within the California State University System </li></ul><ul><li>Within the Moodle community </li></ul><ul><li>With our hosting provider </li></ul>
    20. 20. Lesson Five: Support and Training <ul><li>Provide a variety of support and training options </li></ul><ul><li>For different groups: faculty, students, support staff </li></ul><ul><li>In different modes: workshops, QuickGuides, user guides, videos, webinars, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Sandboxes for faculty </li></ul>
    21. 21. QUESTIONS?
    22. 22. Contact Information Speaker Campus Email Barbara Taylor CSU San Marcos [email_address] David Levin CSU Northridge [email_address]