The following presentation will analyze the diffusion of Moodle as a new technology innovation.
In defining the innovation-development process, Rogers (2003) explains how it, “begins with recognition of a problem or need , which stimulates research and development activities designed to create an innovation to solve the problem or need” (p. 137). There is a need for distance education to become more individually learner-focused and close the gap in teacher-student relationships. This need has led to the evolution of learning management systems (LMS) and collaborative learning. When Dodero, et al. (2007) were describing Moodle, they explained that, “the actual implementation at each installation may vary due to national options, and portal contents, visibility policy and interaction functionalities are implemented by such system as custom installation features, in order to better match actual needs of the users’ community” (p. 350). The personalization of Moodle allows its users to customize their experiences and tools which they use for learning.
The following linked video gives a preview into the capabilities of Moodle.
The need for an innovative learning management system led to applied research, which, “consists of scientific investigations that are intended to solve practical problems” (Rogers, 2003, p. 140). Creator and lead developer of Moodle, Martin Dougiamas, explained how the program, “was designed by an educator and computer scientist, with ‘social constructionist’ principles in mind” (Moodle, 2011). This theory of social constructivism led to the idea of groups collaborating to construct meaning and share ideas and artifacts. The linked video is of creator Martin Dougiamasintroducing himself andMoodle.
The term “skunkworks” originated during World War II to define, “an enriched environment that is intended to help a small group of individuals design a new idea by escaping routine organizational procedures” (Rogers, 2003, p. 149). The idea for Moodle created a new way for groups to interact and learn in an enriched environment, through a learning management system. Moodle (2011) was developed by a core team, with the support of hundreds of people from around the world. To keep users informed of updates and development issues, Moodle Tracker is a record used for management of features and improvements. It also gives people the ability to contribute to conversations about future developments. A list of these developments can be located in Moodle Docs, and a current list of the 281 developers for Moodle can be located at the following link.
Rogers (2003) explains commercialization as, “the conversion of an idea from research into a product or service for sale in the marketplace” (p. 152). Moodle (2011) describes themselves as, “an alternative to proprietary commercial online learning solutions, and is distributed free under open source licensing.” Because this service is free and available online, schools are beginning to take more of an interest in its opportunities for engaging learners. Being an open source, users and organizations that create courses through Moodle have the ability to make changes as necessary.
The Moodle (2011a) philosophy describes how its design and development is guided by social constructivism. They define this as, “social settings, wherein groups construct knowledge for one another, collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings”. This idea, as well as mass media channels, has helped them to spread knowledge about adopting Moodle. Rogers (2003) explains how mass media channels, “enables a source of one or a few individuals to reach an audience of many” (p. 205). Through mass media channels, a large audience can quickly gain and spread information and increase the likelihood of the innovation being adopted.
Since Moodle is free and created by its users, it depends on social interactions through groups and individuals to spread the word of its adoption. Rogers (2003) explains that, “interpersonal channels are more likely to cause persuasion effects” (p. 198). It is important for educators to stay informed of current innovations, and use their new knowledge to persuade others to adopt innovations. Moodle depends on its users to persuade other individuals, groups, and systems to adopt its program.
Having no cost makes Moodle more likely to be attempted and adopted. To speed up the rate of adoption, Rogers (2003) suggests communicating ideas more rapidly in order for knowledge to be developed sooner. The more that people hear about Moodle and are willing to try it, the more its advantages will be acknowledged and it will be adopted. Course creator privileges provoke adopters to be more motivated to adopt the innovation to meet their instruction needs and students’ learning needs. They can also use existing resources and support from an active community.
As people become knowledgeable about the advantages and uses of an innovation to the point of adoption, their next step is to begin to put it to use. Users of Moodle have the ability to develop their own courses and use it with students or employees. The features of the modules can be adapted and managed to meet the needs of the course and individual learners. The detailed features of Moodle make implementing this innovation an easy transition for any classroom or group learning experience. These features include blogs, scales for grading, a location for recording and analyzing grades, a log to track students’ participation, and file sharing.
When users have fully adopted an innovation, they seek confirmation and reinforcement for their adoption. As of January 2008, Moodle (2011b) has been used by over 37,000 organizations in 204 countries, growing by around 10 percent each month. The open source of Moodle allows users and developers to give each other support in a community of learners.
The linked video is of creator Martin Dougiamas giving a general overview of Moodle 2.0.
The next question is, why are people choosing to adopt Moodle?
The following linked video gives an introduction to the design and use of Moodle.
In 1999, Moodle was first invented by Martin Dougiamas, but it was not until 2003 that its users began to register for the website. Davis, Carmean, and Wagner (2009) quoted the 2009 eLearning Guild’s research report, ranking Moodle as the number one learning management system product, used primarily by over 24% respondents, for two consecutive years. As of September 2011, Moodle consists of over 57,000 registered sites, with over 48 million users participating in over 5 million courses. It is used in 214 countries by users in 75 different languages.
Moodle (2011c) provides a monthly updated graph displaying the S-curve in the increase of its registered users. The following picture shows the increase in adoption of Moodle since 2003.
In my field of K-12 education, the innovators and early adopters of Moodle would be educators interested in adopting technology, particularly those new to the field. Digital natives, or those who have grown up adopting new technology innovations, would be the people to take initial steps to its adoption as innovators. Other educators they work with could also become early adopters, as they are exposed and choose to quickly adopt Moodle. Through trialability, K-12 educators could try out Moodle to see for themselves its advantages for instructional and learning purposes. The linked video is a middle school teacher’s experience integrating Moodle in her classroom.
Rogers (2003) explains how laggards are people in the adoption process who must be convinced that an innovation will not fail before they choose to adopt it. This is often found in K-12 education from veteran educators who are stuck in their ways of instruction. There are also educators who only see the negative aspects of technology, and choose not to adopt any form of it. Observability of Moodle and making its results visible to laggards will assist in swaying their adoption of this innovation.
Because Moodle is created by its users, the best way for the mass industry of K-12 education to learn about it would be through exposure and word of mouth by Moodle users and developers. Moodle has a relative advantage because it is free. Rogers (2003) explains how this attribute can influence a rapid rate of adoption. It is just as important for educators to see how compatible an idea is for their teaching situation. Being able to create their own courses, instructors can modify the course to their teaching styles, as well as meet the needs of their students’ varying learning styles. Trialability is another attribute that gives educators the opportunity to slowly see for themselves how Moodle can meet their instructional needs. Creating their own courses allows educators to see how they will instruct and assess students, as well as the accommodating tools Moodle offers. The S-curve of Moodle’s adoption clearly shows that the more educators who are exposed to the technology, the more rapidly it will be adopted.
Moodle is based on a decentralized diffusion system. Its power is controlled and shared among its members, particularly users who create courses. Rogers (2003) explains how such systems diffuse at a high degree, horizontally through communication networks as educators adopt locally. Educators are the ones to actually diffuse Moodle into their instruction to improve students’ interactions and learning.
As our school system works in clusters, I believe that there should be a representative from each cluster to serve as a key change agent. Rogers (2003) explains how such roles are identified as an innovation is introduced to its clients. These people will work to develop a need for change within their cluster towards Moodle, and establish relationships between each other for collaborating and sharing information. These selected change agents will also be the “go to” person as educators run in to problems during adoption. Their goals will be to ensure a successful adoption across the school system. Having over 54 million users, Moodle has met the critical mass in the educational society. With that being said, its use has become so widespread that some teachers within our system may already have knowledge about it. This will allow its diffusion into our schools more self-sustaining.
The adoption of the innovation Google and its applications has improved the way that all members of Carroll County’s system communicate. To ease the transition into an online learning management system, teachers can use their Google accounts to access Moodle and share information between locations. Its adoption can also be supported through professional development. This can be offered face to face or through mediated online instruction. Through professional development, myself and other key change agents can redefine and restructure adopters’ views. Once the concept becomes more comfortable, we will serve as a support to clarify and suggest ideas. Once Moodle becomes widely spread throughout the system, we will assist in rationalizing its use in K-12 classrooms throughout the county.
In an effort to emphasize efficient and effective organizational processes, Carroll County Schools maintains a premier instructional environment (SchoolDesk, 2009). Moodle is the organizational learning tool for the 21st century, emphasizing a broad range of access to course content and information, more collaboration for students’ learning and group work, and deeper communication among peers. To enhance the technological capabilities that already exist within our system, Moodle will continue to improve our ability to interact with students and motivate a positive social change within them. What potential do you see Moodle having in Carroll County Schools?
DIFFUSIONOF MOODLE Tiffany Harrell Walden University EDUC 7101-2
NEED An environment for learner-focused education Close the gap in How Moodle meets those teacher-student needs: relationships Varying national options and portal An evolution in the contents innovations of learning Custom installation features through visibility policies and management systems interaction functionalities (LMS)
RESEARCH Designed by an educator Martin Dougiamas and computer scientist Creator & Lead Developer Social constructionist principles Solves issues in collaborative learning http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KMV SHqgYIc&feature=related
DEVELOPMENT Workflow of Moodle Tracker to fix problems and establish new features Moodle Docs 281 Moodle Developers found athttp://moodle.org/mod/cvsad min/view.php
COMMERCIALIZATION Free and available online Developers and users play the Open-source software role of producing and distributing the creation of their courses to learners.
KNOWLEDGE Moodle believes in using the social constructivist theory for spreading knowledge. Mass media channels have helped to inform educators and businesses of the advantages of adopting Moodle.
PERSUASION Moodle depends on social interactions Interpersonal channels assist individuals in spreading and forming opinions Targets individuals, groups, and systems
DECISION To speed up the rate of adoption, Rogers (2003) suggests communicating ideas more rapidly in order for knowledge to be developed sooner. Moodle’s privileges: Anyone can be a course creator Use of existing resources Active support community
IMPLEMENTATION Putting an adoption to use Features of using Moodle: Blogs Grading Scales Gradebook Participation Logs File Sharing
CONFIRMATION Reinforcement of an innovation Over 37,000 organization users in 204 countries Community of learners for users and developers
AN INTRODUCTION TO MOODLE http://youtu.be/GMETu-eCWc0
S-CURVE OF THE ADOPTION OF MOODLE September 2011- •Over 57,000 registered sites •Over 5 million 2009- Moodle courses and 48 is ranked the million users BeganInvented in number one adoption1999 by learning •214 countries in 2003Martin managementDougiamas system (LMS) •75 different languages
WHO IS ADOPTING MOODLE? Innovators and Early Adopters: People in the field of Moodle in the Classroom education and technology, particularly new teachers. Digital natives Trialability would assist K-12 educators in theirhttp://www.youtube.c adoption of Moodle.om/watch?v=Z9XfwBzt1mY
WHO IS LAGGING IN ADOPTING MOODLE?Laggards: Educators with many years of experience Educators who are not interested in adopting technology Observability would expose Moodle and influence its adoption.
HOW CAN MOODLE MEET THE MASS INDUSTRY OF K-12 EDUCATION?Relative Advantage FREE = Rapid adoptionCompatibility Users create their own courses Meets multiple learning stylesTrialability Courses and uses can be experimented with
DECENTRALIZED DIFFUSION FOR MOODLE Power shared among members Created by users Diffused through horizontal networks Instructors diffuse into learning
OUR MOVE TOWARDS POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGERepresentatives from school clusters for key change agents Recognize need for change Collaboration and CommunicationMoodle has already met the critical mass
HOW WILL MOODLE IMPROVECARROLL COUNTY SCHOOLS? Professional Development Offer face-to-face and online mediate instruction Redefine and restructure views of Moodle Clarify adopters’ ideas of Moodle Rationalize use in classrooms
REFERENCESDavis, B., Carmean, C., & Wagner, E. (2009). Moodle moves to the front of the LMS adoption pack. Retrieved from http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/111/Dodero, G., Ratcheva, D., Stefanova, E., Miranowicz, M., Vertan, C., & Musankoviene, V. (2007) .The virtual training center: a support tool for teachers community. Retrieved from http://hal.archives- ouvertes.fr/docs/00/19/00/62/PDF/349-362.pdfMoodle (2011a). Philosophy. Retrieved from http://docs.moodle.org/20/en/Philosophy#Social_constructivismMoodle (2011b). Powerpoint moodle 1.9 presentation. Retrieved from http://download.moodle.org/download.php/docs/en/presentation_1.9_en.pptMoodle (2001c). Moodle statistics. Retrieved from http://moodle.org/stats/Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.SchoolDesk (2009). Carroll county schools strategic foundations. Retrieved from http://carrollcountyschools.com/Home/VisionMissionGoals/tabid/15453/Defaul t.aspx