Partnership & Collaboration in Moodle Development: Making it Work


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Presentation by Kathy Fernandes (CSU Office of the Chancellor), Andrew Roderick (San Francisco State University), and John Whitmer (CSU Office of the Chancellor)

US West Coast MoodleMoot 2011 (July 2011, Rohnert Park, CA)

As an open source application, Moodle has strong potential for collaborative partnerships, support services, and code development. This presentation will describe one year in the life of California State University Moodle Collaborations. Over the past year, the CSU has developed a governance process and established a new organizational culture while working on code development, training materials, migration tool, and expertise collaboration. We will discuss the balance of central coordination and campus leadership, technical issues and opportunities, and plans for the future.

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  • Looking at the trend over time, the pattern in clear: Moodle is growing in popularity and adoption across our system.If you’re interested in what we are doing as a system to coordinate efforts, can attend our session tomorrow afternoon
  • Partnership & Collaboration in Moodle Development: Making it Work

    1. 1. Partnership & Collaboration in Moodle Development: Making it Work<br />Kathy Fernandes, Director, System-wide LMSS Project, CSU Office of the Chancellor<br />Andrew Roderick, CIG Chair and Manager of Technology Development, San Francisco State University<br />John Whitmer, Associate Director, System-wide LMSS Project, CSU Office of the Chancellor<br />
    2. 2. Outline<br />Moodle in the CSU System<br />Strategic Campus Coordination<br />Implementing Governance<br />Services Created / Delivered<br />Lessons Learned<br />Crystal Ball: the future<br />
    3. 3. Moodle in the CSU System<br />
    4. 4. The California State University<br />23 campuses<br />412,000 students systemwide<br />43,000 faculty and staff systemwide<br />LMSS efforts “coordinated” since 1997, within decentralized academic technology leadership <br />Moodle coordination started with “Moodle Consortium”, transitioned to formal Moodle Governance in 2010<br />
    5. 5. Campus Location & LMS in 2012<br />San Francisco State – 2007<br />Humboldt State – 2007<br />CSU Monterey Bay – 2009<br />CSU Maritime – 2009<br />CSU Northridge – 2010<br />CSU San Marcos – 2010<br />Sonoma State – 2011<br />Cal Poly SLO – 2012<br />CSU Fullerton – 2012<br />CSU LA - 2012<br />
    6. 6.
    7. 7. Diversity of CSU Campuses<br /> (1,000 FTES)<br />Focused on Maritime trades/careers<br />take Moodle “on the boat” with them each summer<br />one staff member for Moodle tech support <br /> (25,000 FTES)<br />diverse metropolitan university<br />1,000+ simultaneous quiz attempts in a single course<br />3 development staff for open source app development<br />
    8. 8. CSU Budget Crisis<br />2011-2012 will reduce budget by at least $650M (reduction to $2.1B), 23% single year cut<br />2009-2010 cut $625M (partially restored in 2010-2011)<br />Increased tuition, reduced enrollments, doing less with more is status-quo<br />Synergies, cost-savings, cost-avoidance all major motivators<br />
    9. 9. strategic CAMPUS Coordination<br />
    10. 10. LMSS EnvironmentLMSS = Learning Management Systems and Services<br />
    11. 11. System-wide LMSS Strategy <br />LMS Futures Group (Provosts, CIOs, Faculty) prepared 4 documents:<br />LMS Critical Elements<br />External Scan of Market & Higher Ed Systems<br />CSU System-wide Recommendations<br />LMS Governance Recommendations<br />Organize stakeholders to implement recommendations, starting with Moodle<br />
    12. 12. LMS Futures Recommendations<br />Recommendation #1: Provide an “opt-in” services approach to supporting the LMS with the baseline services being a collection of bext practices vs. minimal services<br />Recommendation #2: Provide a centrally hosted “safety-net” LMS for campuses that are at risk. A system or consortium LMS service can result in significant cost savings, especially for small campuses currently using proprietary systems such as Blackboard<br />We recommend having a limited production available by July 2010. During spring 2010 we will need to determine the specific services available for this first production.<br />Moodle is the first LMS application that would be provided, followed by Blackboard<br />
    13. 13. Approach: Decentralization / Coordinated Autonomy1<br />“California is not only a state, it’s a state of mind” (John Ittelson, CSU Monterey Bay) <br />Focus on social/strategic aspirations, above functional requirements<br />Consistent with higher ed. culture: individualism and autonomy within open, public, and engaged environment<br />Principles: mass individualism, robust flexibility, undirected direction, persuasive standardization, open privacy<br />Approach adopted from UCLA’s CCLE project <br />1. Term coined by Jim Davis, UCLA CIO Published writings at: and<br />
    14. 14. Stages of CSU Moodle collaboration<br /><ul><li>Competitive
    15. 15. Cooperative
    16. 16. Collaborative</li></li></ul><li>Implementing Governance Processes<br />
    17. 17. LMSS Governance KeyElements<br />Standards & Practices Group <br />Common Interest Group<br />Chancellor’s Office Staff <br />
    18. 18. Standards and Practices Group<br />10 members, 1 member from each Moodle production campus (either current production or announced migration)<br />Diverse membership: Directors of Academic Technology, Chief Information Officers, and Faculty Development Directors<br />Focus: strategic and policy decisions, vision-setting, prioritization of tasks and collaborative practices <br />
    19. 19. Moodle Common Interest Group<br />Open membership to any interested CSU staff<br />25-30 attendees per meeting, Programmers, Sys Admins, Instructional Designers, Faculty Support<br />
    20. 20. Chancellor’s Office Staff<br /><ul><li>Meeting coordination and documentation
    21. 21. Project planning and activity management
    22. 22. Vendor management and research
    23. 23. Communication, communication, communication
    24. 24. “Glue” that holds together campus-driven activities and priorities</li></li></ul><li>Implementation Strategy Documentation<br />LMSS Project Scope Document<br />Shared Code Base (SCB) Project Scope<br />SCB Development Principles<br />SCB FAQ<br />Baseline assessments of technical environment and faculty/staff/student perceptions of Moodle<br />
    25. 25. Services created & delivered<br />
    26. 26. CSU Moodle Shared code Base<br />
    27. 27. CSU Moodle Features<br />Remote Import<br />My Courses Tabbed Block<br />Gradebook<br />Analytics Block<br />First iteration<br />Still more features to add<br />Files Area<br />CK Editor<br />And more…<br />For more documentation on each feature, visit<br />
    28. 28. SharedProfessional Development & Support Materials<br />Webinar Series <br />Moodle Administration<br />Moodle Architecture and Performance Tuning<br />Moodle 2.0 Evaluation<br /> collaboration environment <br />QuickGuides Tutorials<br />170 guides<br />Customizable by campus instance<br /> multimedia tutorials for faculty and students<br />Available via Shibboleth login, or campus network<br />
    29. 29. Vendor Management & Collaboration<br />Moodlerooms<br />Co-lab Pilot Hosting Environment<br />Shared Technical Account Manager<br />Common Shibboleth & Conduit integrations<br />MoodleMoot !!<br />Other 3rd Party Licensing & Integrations <br />Respondus<br />iParadigms/Turnitin<br />Migration support and information sharing<br />
    30. 30. Lessons Learned<br />Clearly define and over-communicate deliverables and timelines<br />Campuses have very different timelines, deployment approaches, staffing, etc, so<br />Document and formalize campus expectations<br />Keep it simple and agile, especially considering assessment and planning efforts<br />Communicate, communicate, communicate<br />
    31. 31. What’s coming next<br />Test, refine, and launch SCB into production<br />Define requirements for SCB development in 2011-2012<br />Create resource model to distribute development activity across campuses<br />Continue plans for migration to Moodle v2.0<br />
    32. 32. Contact Information<br />Kathy Fernandes ( of System-Wide LMS Initiatives<br />Andrew Roderick ( Chair, Technology Development Manager at San Francisco State University<br />John Whitmer ( Director of System-Wide LMS Initiatives<br />